How Can I Preserve My Paints From My Palette?

Dear Darrell, How do I keep my oil paints after I have put them on my pallet. I hate losing paint as it is so expensive over here in oz. There is only 1 shop that sells the brand I’m using. Patricia G.

Hi Patricia, You can save your paint for some time, depending upon the type of paints you use.

For oils, I recommend two or three approaches.

1) If you’re only leaving for a few hours or one day at the most, place your palette into a very large zip lock bag.

2) If you’re leaving for a larger period of time, wrap your palette in cling or another clear plastic food wrap. This will preserve the paints for 2-3 days.

3) If you’re done with the painting and not sure when you’ll be using that color or that mix again, use air tight sandwich bags. Place paints into the sandwich pags and seal. If you have one of those vacuum sealers, that works as well. When you go to use the paint again, simply take a needle and poke it into the bag and squeeze out the paint you need. When done, reseal the hole by covering it with masking or scotch tape.

For Acrylics, I recommend that you use a wet palette system. There’s a product on the market called Sta-Wet palette. It’s essentially a 12×16″ plastic box that has an airtight lid you can put on it. The trick is always getting the lid off. 🙂

Remove the lid from the Sta-Wet tray and place a piece of double strength glass on the bottom that fits the tray. Fold paper towels in long strips of no more than 2″ wide. Soak the towels in water and place them saturated with water along the outside edge of two sides of the tray on top of the glass. Place your acrylic paints on top of the wet towels in the order you prefer. Use the exposed glass for mixing your paints. Now and then mist your paints and towels with a spray bottle of water.

When done, reseal the Sta-Wet lid and your paints should last for a few days.