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Studio Palette Options with Acrylics

14 thoughts on “Studio Palette Options with Acrylics”

  1. I am just reading your article on types of pallettes. I use acrylics and casein in my art. To prevent mold, I place a copper penny(s) beneath the damp sponge in my Sea-Wet palette. I use two pennies in my 12×16 palette.I do not add ammonia or anything else. So far, no mold has occurred and I leave it out all the time. I live in southern Oregon and we experience very hot and dry weather.
    I ran across this online. You might want to test this at some point.

    J R

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  2. This was very helpful, I have been mixing my colors and storing in small containers but had no idea about the mold, I’ve been using filtered water, but I can get distilled. Thank you, Stacey Miller

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    • Hi Stacey,

      The mold issue was addressed in relation to the “wet palette” type of closed palette system that uses a moist flat sponge, but we would not expect mold in a closed plastic container. However, there can be some microbial growth ( bacteria ) that like to grow in acrylic and can make the acrylic mixture smell pretty bad. This only happens when the acrylic mixtures are thinned with a lot of water, as this dilutes the anti-microbial additives we use.

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  3. Thanks so much for these articles — very helpful! BTW, Talenti Gelato is sold in plastic pint containers with screw-on lids that are perfect for storing acrylic pre-mixes. Of course, you have to eat the Gelato first, but (sigh), art demands sacrifices, yes?

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    • Hi Deborah,
      You are most welcome! And yes, there are lots of possibilities for re-using plastic containers and I have personally also used the ones you mention. I tend to prefer snap off lids which are easier I think in terms of not having threaded surfaces. The really important thing here is to always create a clear label for these mixtures and place on the container for safety and convenience.

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  4. I’m using small water bottles for temporary diluted acrylic ink and acrylic watercolors. Most of the diluted solutions don’t last more than a week. Pigmnt separate. How fast can / will/ might microbes form? Thanks.

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    • Hi Alice,

      We cannot effectively comment on general categories of art materials such as “acrylic ink” or watercolor in general, regarding microbial growth, as this could easily vary depending on the formulas of the products which are generally proprietary to the manufacturers. However, you can generally assume that wet mixtures like this could easily provide a medium and environment for microbial growth, especially without any anti-microbial compounds added. A few drops of ammonia can sometimes be helpful to reduce this growth. Pigments will definitely settle with any very liquid mixture, and so mixing before using is important.

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  5. I use a covered palette with 54 wells that has a lid. I place sponges into several empty wells around the palette and am able to keep my acrylic paints (Golden Brand, of course!) viable for months. I apply water to each well using a spray bottle before I close up my palette at night. My storage palette is: Spectrum Palette from CheapJoes.com. When a well is empty, I simply add more acrylic paint and keep painting. After about two years, some of the wells start to dry out and fill up. I then start with a new palette. It works really well and I teach my students to do the same.
    Donna Beverly donnabeverly.com

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