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Over the past few years my painting setup has evolved in order to provide what I am hoping is the best way to keep my paints wet on the palette. Initially, I got a couple pieces of white ceramic tile to use.
That worked great, but I found paints always dried out on them, especially GW's metallics, which seem to dry out on me much faster than any nonmetallics I use. Add to that the burden of basically having to scrape the tile clean afterward. It was, quite simply, a mess to deal with, and I didn't like it.
So I moved on to the "wet palette" technique, basically taking a small plastic container with two layers of wet sponges in it. On top of that, I put a square of parchment paper, and after it settles down (stops curling) I use it as the palette. For a long time, this worked extremely well, especially when working with those pesky metallics, and cleanup was a breeze -- just throw the paper away and wring out the sponges!
Trouble is, I find it doesn't work as well as it used to. While the paint doesn't completely dry up, I find it needs to be rewetted with my thinning agent a lot more these days, and I have no idea why. I recently picked up one of those cheap plastic palettes I see everyone using, the ones with the little cups in them. I use it to prep clearcoat primer (for the "Slorak method"), and I'm wondering if it's time for my paint setup to evolve once again.
I fear, though, that if I switch to using this palette, the drying issue will crop up again, so my questions:
1) Right now, I use a 50/50 mix of water and Future Floor Wax as my thinning agent. I don't see a HUGE difference, but I've been doing it so long I'm convinced going back to straight water will be disappointing. For those who don't use plain water, what do you use?
2) What is a binding agent and how does it work? Should it be standard? Should I add it to my thinning mix?
3) Does flow improver help you? Why or why not?
4) The big question -- What is the best way you've found to keep paints wet? I know people use extender agents with good results on the palette, but I fear that this will prevent the paint on the models from drying fast enough for me to do a lot of work on them at a time.
5) If wet palettes do work best, what am I doing wrong? Why would this method suddenly not seem to work so well? I got new parchment paper (same brand) and everything, and still the same problem. Aruh?
I use a regular old metal pallete. My mixture is a bit different with about 40% water, 40% future floor was, and 20% Liquitex extender. The extender does extend the drying but not by much. Metallics will wit for a bit but when I notice them starting to thicken up I simply add another drop of my mix to keep it wet. Sometimes I will get into painting for several hours and will have to add a drop maybe 3 times or so...
I guess I would suggest just add more of your thinning agent and stir it up real good. If it gets thick add some more...
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these are great questions. I have only used the GW paints and a white plastic pallet up to this point but hope to change that up and move on to the more advanced stuff once I get this down to my liking.
Thanks to all that respond to this and those who ask the questions
I use much less FFW. Like 20-30% in water. I find using more/too much causes the paint to become 'tacky' on the palette too fast.1) Right now, I use a 50/50 mix of water and Future Floor Wax as my thinning agent. I don't see a HUGE difference, but I've been doing it so long I'm convinced going back to straight water will be disappointing. For those who don't use plain water, what do you use?Yes, but I personally only use it to blend and don't like to add it for painting straight colors.3) Does flow improver help you? Why or why not?The humidity in my house never gets above 50% (35 is normal) this time of year no matter what I try to do. I find a wet palette is still adequate, I just have the problem you cited, rewetting it roughly once per hour during a painting session.4) The big question -- What is the best way you've found to keep paints wet? I know people use extender agents with good results on the palette, but I fear that this will prevent the paint on the models from drying fast enough for me to do a lot of work on them at a time.Massive cold snap in your part of the world has the forced air heating system in your home running double overtime, driving down the humidity in your house?5) If wet palettes do work best, what am I doing wrong? Why would this method suddenly not seem to work so well? I got new parchment paper (same brand) and everything, and still the same problem. Aruh?
Just looking at the current weather in Boston: "Humidity: 39%" that seems quite out of the norm for the area.
Also, if you submerge the parchment paper in water and boil it in the microwave for a few minutes you won't have to wait for the curling to stop when you put it on
so i have nothing to add but another questionish thing, i hope Canew doesnt mind.
what is a wet pallet...from what your saying its wet parchment on a sponge.. is that it or what i hear about it all over the place and was just wondering.
strait water to thin paints on my PAPER PLATE!!!!! yeah rad i know.
hope you get your answers buddy
Course, I may try the extender on a dry palette anyway, just for fun
EDIT: InquisitorAffe, it's even colder in Maine, where I now live, so the air's even drier. Sometimes the obvious needs to be stated before it beomes, well, obvious.