The Best Palette for Acrylic Paint: Product Reviews, Tips and FAQs

The best palette for acrylic paint is the most important tool for any artist. It’s what you will use to mix colors, create textures, and more! But with so many options out there it can be difficult to find the perfect one. That’s why we have put together this article that answers common questions about palettes, provides product reviews of some of our favorite brands, and contains helpful tips on how to make your palette last longer.

Best Choice
Masterson Sta-Wet Premier Palette
Masterson Sta-Wet Premier Palette
It keeps acrylics and other water-based paints wet for hours on an open palette. The paints will stay workable for days, if not weeks, after the lid is closed.
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What Is a Palette?

A palette is a flat surface on which an artist mixes and blends different paint colors. Palettes are used by artists of all levels to create the color combinations needed for their paintings, drawings, or other works of art.

Palettes come in many sizes, shapes, styles, and materials. They are typically made of metal or plastic, but can also be found in other materials such as paperboard or glass. A plastic palette will last longer than one made out of cardboard or paper because it won’t warp or get soggy when wet with water.

Some artists also prefer the feel of certain types over others. For example, wooden palettes are often chosen by artists who want something more sturdy than plastic but don’t necessarily need the durability offered by metal palettes.

Why You Need a Palette for Acrylic Painting

1. Speed Painting

Palettes are great for mixing colors quickly on one surface and then using that pigment to paint your artwork several times before having to go back and make more color adjustments.

2. Easy Cleaning

Palettes are easy to use and clean and you don’t have to worry about spilling paint or thinner everywhere. Simply wipe them down with a moist rag, let them dry, and you’re ready for the next day.

3. Consistent and Predictable Paint

Palettes help you mix colors that are the same consistency each time. If the paint is mixed on a table or other surface it can be harder to get consistent results.

4. Advanced Techniques

Palettes are great for advanced techniques like glazing and scumbling. They can also be used to mix washes, gradients, textures, etc.

Types of Palettes for Acrylic Painting

As mentioned before there are many types of palettes but it mostly comes down to personal preference. Artists usually go with what feels right in their hands when holding it while creating artwork!

1. Material

Glass Palettes

Glass palettes are often considered the best for acrylic painting because they allow you to see your paints. They come in different sizes and shapes but usually have a flat surface that is easy to clean.

Some artists like glass better than other materials because it’s doesn’t warp or get soggy when water gets on it while others prefer something with more texture so their paint sticks better without falling off.

Ceramic Palettes

Many ceramic palettes are made by hand which means each one has its own unique look, feel, and design. These can be very expensive but also make great pieces of art if you want them displayed instead of used!

Plastic Palettes

A lot of people choose plastic palettes over other materials because they are easy to find, usually cheap, and very durable! They don’t warp or get soggy when wet. If you’re looking for something affordable this is probably the best choice since most artists have several in their home studio so one gets used while another dries out completely between sessions.

Metal Palettes

These don’t warp and usually come in a few different shapes and sizes which means you can get one that fits comfortably in your hand while painting all day long. Metal palettes work best for advanced techniques where multiple colors are used. They also tend to last a very long time which means you may only have to buy one in your lifetime!

Wood Palettes

Wood is a beautiful material to paint on for many reasons. It can be carved and shaped perfectly to fit in your hand comfortably. Wood palettes are usually chosen for their feel – most artists want something that doesn’t get too cold to the touch during long sessions.

The only downside of wood palettes is that they warp when exposed to water which means you have to keep them dry between sessions!

Paper Palettes

Paper palettes are definitely the most affordable and usually come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and designs. Artists love them because they are easy to replace if necessary.

They’re easy to find at any art supply store or can be cut out of old sketchbooks, cereal boxes, or anything else you have lying around the house!

Paper palettes are a great choice for beginners who want something inexpensive and environmentally friendly while learning new techniques on their palette.

2. Size

Large Paint Palette

Large palettes are usually chosen by artists who work on a larger scale or need more space for their supplies. This is especially common among portrait and landscape painters because these types of art require a lot of color decisions to be made before the session begins.

Small Paint Palette

Small palettes are usually chosen by beginners or people who work on smaller-scale pieces. Most artists tend to choose them because they believe that there is more control over their paint when it’s in a small well than if the entire palette was filled with paints and mediums.

Pocket Palette – Great for Travelers!

Smaller palettes can also be used while traveling if you don’t have much room in your suitcase! They’re lightweight, inexpensive, easy to replace and come in different designs and sizes. These make great gifts as well since they look stylish yet very functional at the same time!

3. Style and Shape

Flat Palette

A palette with no well allows you to see your entire painting at once which can be helpful when deciding between colors, mixing paint in specific areas, etc… This also makes it easier to cover up mistakes by just wiping away all of the excess paint into one area then applying new layers over the top if necessary.

Well-Filled Palette

The biggest advantage of having individual small wells on your palette instead of one big space is control. It’s much easier to decide what color goes where before putting anything onto the canvas. Having each section filled with paint or medium can also be helpful for mixing colors since it allows you to see the results of your experiment.

Palettes With Lids and Seals

Another advantage of having individual wells is that they allow you to store different paints in their own sections which means you don’t have to worry about colors getting mixed together, drying out between sessions, etc…

This type of palette usually comes with a lid seal and sometimes even two lids so there’s no need to carry around an extra bowl while traveling! Some manufacturers include additional tools like pallet knives as well which makes these types extremely useful gifts for any artist.

Paint Palette with a Thumb Hole

Palettes with a thumb hole are usually chosen by artists who paint from life or want to have full control of their brush at all times. This type allows you to hold your palette in the palm of one hand while painting which means less chance for dirt and paint build-up on your hands as well!

Foldable Palette

Another popular option among beginners is a foldable palette. They come in different sizes, styles, colors, and designs but what they all have in common is that they’re extremely lightweight making them perfect for traveling around campus or long trips abroad without having to carry extra supplies!

You might also be interested in our article about The Best Palette for Acrylic Paint.

Wet vs Dry Palettes: What Are They and When to Use Them?

Wet Palette

A wet palette is usually made from plastic and has a seal that allows you to store water or any liquid medium. This allows artists to experiment with different types and consistencies without worrying about color changes or mixability since everything will stay exactly as it was when you first opened it! It’s best for messy projects like painting from life where colors can be smudged around easily, etc…

It also needs a bit of preparation before use because certain areas need to be covered up with tape, foil, etc… in order for the paint not to seep through while using it.

Dry Palette

The advantage of having a dry palette over wet ones is that you don’t have to spend time preparing it before use! You simply open up your acrylic paint set, choose the color you want then go for it without worrying about anything seeping through since there are no liquids involved.

The downside to this option however is that paints will start drying out between sessions so you’ll need additional supplies like lids or foil if necessary in order to prevent them from doing so quickly.

Best Palette for Acrylic Paint Comparison Table

ImageProduct 
Best Wet Palette
Masterson Sta-Wet Premier Palette review
Masterson Sta-Wet Premier Palette
  • Unique sponge and palette paper
  • 12 x 16 inch surface area
  • Paint will stay workable for days

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Best Disposable Palette
Strathmore Palette Pad review
Strathmore Palette Pad
  • 9"X12"-41lb 40 Sheets
  • Manufactured in United States
  • Disposable paint-mixing palette

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Best Thumb Hole Palette
U.S. Art Supply Oval-Shaped Acrylic Painting Palette review
U.S. Art Supply Oval-Shaped Acrylic Painting Palette
  • Smooth non-porous surface
  • Polished curved oval thumb hole
  • Pack of 2

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Best Well Palete
Bella Bora Plastic Palette review
Bella Bora Plastic Palette
  • 16 Paint wells
  • Sturdy white plastic
  • Easy to clean

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Best Refill Pack
Masterson Handy Palette review
Masterson Handy Palette
  • Includes 30 refill sheets
  • Keeps acrylics moist
  • Use with the Sta-Wet Handy Palette

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1. Masterson Sta-Wet Premier Palette – Best Wet Palette

Masterson Sta-Wet Premier Palette

First Impressions

The first thing you notice when opening the box is just how lightweight this palette really is. It’s sturdy and durable but not heavy which makes it perfect for traveling since artists won’t have to worry about lugging around a bulky item that takes up all of their space!

Performance

The inside features soft foam padding which holds wet paints without them seeping through onto other items like clothing or books you might have underneath if left open during transportation or storage.

This Sta-Wet palette contains the same excellent paper and sponge as Masterson’s other wet palettes.

You don’t need any additional supplies like foil, tape, etc… in order for the paint not to seep through which is really convenient! All you have to do when working with this palette is put a small amount of water before beginning your painting session.

This will allow artists to use both dry and wet mediums without having to worry about mixing them together or worrying about liquids seeping through! The best part however aside from its lightweight design has got to be how quickly everything dries making clean up extremely easy after finishing up my work.

Plus & Minus
Durable
Portable
Keeps paints wet
Quality palette paper
Harder to get a seal around the edges
The larger surface area evaporates water faster

Verdict

The Masterson Sta-Wet Palette may just look like another ordinary product but once you start using it there’s no doubt that you’ll fall in love with it! It’s lightweight, easy to use, and clean up after which makes it your favorite palette for sure.

2. Strathmore Palette Pad – Best Disposable Palette

Strathmore Palette Pad

First Impressions

It has 40 sheets of medium-duty white paper, useful in creating artwork. The pad’s size makes it easy to carry around and store anywhere without taking up too much space. Every sheet comes off easily, so you can use a new one if needed or just cut out what you need from the old ones.

The paper has a nice thickness to it and there’s no odor coming from the pad itself (which isn’t always true for other types). You can get them in several different sizes depending on what your needs are but if you are just starting out with acrylic painting or watercolors these work great also.

Performance

The palette pad is ideal for use with acrylic paints and mediums. It can be used wet or dry to mix colors. The paper surface has glue running through which holds the sheets in place so there’s less chance they’ll move while working.

This lightweight, but sturdy palette pad features a smooth surface. The paper has enough weight so it doesn’t curl up while wet but not too heavy where the pad is hard to handle either.

It’s also easy to transport and store when not in use. This is a great feature if you plan to take your palette somewhere such as class or an art show where you’ll need the convenience of storing it under other items.

Plus & Minus
Easy to use
Glossy and shiny paper
Saves a lot of time you used to have to spend with clean up
Some people find it hard to get a page out without damage because the pages are bound at both ends

Verdict

The Strathmore Palette Pad is a great starting place for an artist looking to pick up a palette at a low cost. The paper surface is heavy-duty and stays sturdy even when it’s wet with water or paint; It doesn’t buckle as some other brands do.

3. U.S. Art Supply Oval-Shaped Acrylic Painting Palette – Best Thumb Hole Palette

U.S. Art Supply Oval-Shaped Acrylic Painting Palette

First Impressions

U.S Art Supply Oval-Shaped Acrylic Painting Palette is a great option for acrylic painters and designers looking to add some variety when it comes to their palettes.

It has an oval shape which gives more room than most other brands and is perfectly sized for both beginner artists/designers as well as professionals who need a good quality palette in order not to waste too much time doing clean-up after each painting session.

The palette also features a polished thumb hole design so your hand stays in place throughout each painting session reducing fatigue levels significantly You’ll have fewer cramps and pains in hand after using it.

Performance

The U.S Art Supply Oval-shaped Acrylic Painting Palette doesn’t bend or warp over time and stays in shape after being handled regularly for months on end without losing its rigidity which makes painting easier.

Its all-plastic design makes it lightweight, easy to handle even if your hands are wet or covered in paint. Just rinse off under water and let dry before storing away until next time use required. The rounded shape feels nice in hand.

Plus & Minus
Comfortable to hold
Convenient size
Easy to clean
Scratches easily
Slight glare in bright light

Verdict

If you’re looking for an inexpensive acrylic painting palette yet want something versatile and durable U.S Art Supply Oval-Shaped Acrylic Painting Palette would be your best choice!

4. Bella Bora Plastic Palette – Best Well Palette

Bella Bora Plastic Palette

First Impressions

Bella Bora Plastic Palette is a great option if you’re looking for something lightweight, easy to carry around, and affordable. It’s made from plastic which makes it very durable while still remaining lightweight weighing at just 6.7 ounces but can last through years of use without getting warped or bending out of shape!

Performance

It comes with 16 individual wells (4 square, 4 circular, and 8 small circular) that are perfect for both small and bigger paint brushes making them extremely versatile when compared to other brands available on the market today.

The wells are deep enough to hold lots of paint, making them perfect for artists who use a lot of different colors when working! The palette is easy to clean either through rinsing under water or by wiping each well with a paper towel or sponge before storing away until the next time required.

Plus & Minus
Lightweight
Sturdy plastic
Bright white gives you a good sense of colors
Not easy to hold
Stains from acrylic paint

Verdict

If you’re looking for something lightweight yet has durability this Bella Bora Plastic Palette would be the right choice for you! It’s affordable, simple but effective design makes it versatile; just wipe off any excess under running water then let it dry before putting it away.

5. Masterson Handy Palette Acrylic Paper – Best Refill Pack

Masterson Handy Palette Acrylic Paper

First Impressions

Masterson Handy Palette Acrylic Paper is a great option if you use stay-wet painting palettes. It’s an economical way of saving money by refilling the paper every time paint dries out on yours!

Performance

Masterson Handy Palette comes in white color only and measures 8.5 x 7 inches which makes this palette perfect for small paintings or sketches. It features 30 individual sheets that will easily fit into any standard size tray, making them extremely versatile for all types of painters who need something quick and effective.

Plus & Minus
Simple design but efficient at the same time
Sta-wet handy
Easy to store away when not in use
Not entirely waterproof for wet on wet techniques
Not suitable if you're looking for bigger surfaces area

Verdict

The Masterson Handy Palette Acrylic Paper would be a great addition if you already have some decent acrylic painting tools at home yet want something quick and effective; it’s economical, versatile, and easy to clean!

Things to Consider When Choosing a Palette for Acrylic Painting

Price is usually one of the top factors that people consider when choosing a palette for painting with acrylics but there are some other things that might influence your decision too. The main thing you should focus on is how comfortable it feels in your hand – after all this will most likely be attached to your arm during the entire painting session!

Size and Shape

The shape and size of the palette you choose will both be very personal so it’s best to go with something that feels comfortable in your hands while painting.

If you’re just starting out with acrylic painting, go for something small in size because many artists make the mistake of purchasing too large of a palette when they first start working with paints and mediums.

As an artist gains more experience he/she may prefer larger palettes, but beginners should stick to smaller ones until they know what works best for them.

Care and Cleaning

Palettes can be made from a variety of different materials but some are definitely easier to take care of and clean than others.

Plastic and glass palettes are usually pretty easy to clean by rinsing them with water or wiping each individual well down with a paper towel before storing them away until the next time required.

Palette paper is usually the cheapest option available because it can easily be replaced every time paint dries out.

Palettes made from wood and metal can be harder to keep completely free of paint residue which might not always make them the best choice when working on large paintings.

If you’re just starting out, however, all types of palettes should work fine for beginners who want something simple yet effective.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Clean My Acrylic Paint Palette?
Will a Wet Palette Thin Paint?
Which Palette Is Best for Me?
What Is the Best Color Palette for Acrylic Paint?

Thanks for Reading!

Hopefully, this article has helped you decide what the best palette for acrylic paint is based on your personal needs as an artist! Just remember that not everything works perfectly for everyone so make sure to test out a few different types until you find one that feels right for your work.

Leave a Comment

How Do I Clean My Acrylic Paint Palette?
You should wash it after each session using soap and warm water then wipe dry immediately afterwards; this is especially important with wooden palettes because they're porous which means moisture could get trapped inside over time causing them to warp! If there are paints left on the surface let them completely dry before scraping off pieces - otherwise some colors might mix together and become unusable.
Will a Wet Palette Thin Paint?
A wet palette will help thin out acrylic paints so they go on smoother and more fluidly. However, you'll usually need more layers of paint if you're using a wet palette - this is especially important when working with acrylics that have fewer pigment loads and require multiple coats for full opacity.
Which Palette Is Best for Me?
This really depends on your needs and what you value most as a painter so we can't give you a "one size fits all" answer here but if you do want durability then go with metal or glass palettes because they won't warp or crack unlike cardboard or plastic ones that are usually inexpensive but not very durable over time. You just have to decide whether those features matter enough to make up for their higher price points.
What Is the Best Color Palette for Acrylic Paint?
It really depends on your personal taste, the type of painting you're doing, and how much money you want to spend. While some artists have their favorite color schemes that they stick with over time others like using a variety of colors so it's best if you try out different palettes until you find one that feels right for your work!