Palette Paper: Frequently Asked Questions and Helpful Tips

Palette paper is a great alternative to expensive, heavy canvases. This article will answer your most frequently asked questions and provide helpful tips on how to get the best use out of palette paper.

You’ll learn about the benefits of using palette paper, what sizes are available for purchase, and what you need to know before purchasing from an online retailer.

What Is Palette Paper?

Palette paper is used to prevent paint color bleeding, which can happen when several colors are mixed on the same surface. It also allows you to mix precisely if that’s what your project requires. It isn’t just for watercolorists; acrylic and oil painters find it helpful as well.

Palette paper helps save time and effort for artists who use them correctly during different stages of painting such as underpainting, blocking in colors, or adding fine details like glazes.

Many painters swear by the advantages that come with having a palette surface nearby at all times: it’s also possible to keep old sheets from previous paintings if you prefer using those over new ones. The last thing artists want is their wet paints drying before they’re finished with them!

It’s important to note that palette papers are intended for one-time use only because paint seeps through the surface over time which can make it harder to clean thoroughly once finished with! You may also notice some paper fibers left behind after each use but these should be minimal depending on what type of paper you’re using – this is normal and won’t affect your next project, however.

Disposable paper palettes are useful for travel, painting outside, or on the go. You can buy them online in various sizes and shapes (circle, rectangle), even with foldout legs if you’re planning to paint at an easel but they’re also easy to make yourself.

What Types of Palette Papers Exist? What Should I Use?

There are two basic kinds: standard (or natural) kraft-based paper and white matte drawing/printing paper made specifically as a painting surface. Both have unique characteristics but most professionals agree that one or the other will work best depending on the medium.

Standard kraft-based paper is the go-to choice for watercolorists because it’s absorbent and inexpensive, but some debate that using a nonabsorbent surface can cause problems with color mixtures.

Acrylic painters should use white matte drawing/printing paper to avoid dull colors caused by the absorption of dyes in standard kraft-based palettes.

Oil painting professionals agree on one thing: if you want an elegant or vintage look, make your own custom palette from old wood panels!

What Are the Benefits of Using Palette Paper?

There are plenty of reasons to use pre-cut papers whether acrylic, oil painting, or watercolor:

  • it’s easier to wipe away excess paint and mix colors without wasting leftover pigment;
  • these products also prevent color mixtures from seeping under parchment paper because they’re completely transparent (especially those with multi-layers);
  • finally, some brands provide a professional quality surface that can take heavy usage during all types of art projects!

Palette paper isn’t always needed but makes life much easier when working on paintings no matter what kind of material is used underneath – definitely worth trying out today if you haven’t done so!

How to Use a Disposable Paper Palette?

Disposable paper palettes can be used with watercolors, acrylics, and oils. They’re great for small projects that don’t require a lot of paint like greeting cards or posters. Simply tear off sheets as you need them; the harder side means they’ll last longer than softer surfaces!

Pick what color(s) you’d like to mix from your palette paper’s surface – just remember that one side is absorbent while the other isn’t! You might want to fold down an edge so that only part of the paper is exposed for easier mixing until all colors are used up.

Clean your brush between each color mixture unless you’re planning something specific with multiple colors mixed together first.

It goes without saying that wet palettes must be kept separate from trash cans until completely dry. After drying, simply throw out with regular garbage.

That’s about it! Palette papers have many benefits and can save you time and effort in the long run.

How Should I Store My Palette Paper?

Many artists prefer to buy pre-cut sheets because they’re easier to store when not in use.

Palette papers don’t have a shelf life so storage isn’t an issue but it doesn’t ́t hurt to keep them in a sealed bag just in case!

What Other Uses Do I Have for Palette Papers?

Palette papers aren’t just used to mix colors: they make an excellent drawing board because their surfaces are sturdy and flat – much better than painting directly on sketchbook pages or stretched canvas.

Artists love them for this purpose; some even take their palettes with them when sketching outside to keep color mixtures organized and accessible at all times! Try using your old sheets from previous paintings if possible so that nothing gets wasted.

Palette paper has many different purposes in the studio aside from just mixing colors!

What Is the Best Design and Size for Palette Paper?

There’s no rule in terms of design: standard kraft-based papers come in many different shapes and sizes while white matte drawing/printing paper usually comes as several sheets per pad.

You can cut down larger pre-cut sheets to your desired dimensions if you wish but there isn’t much need to when it comes time to paint – what matters most is how big your workspace is so that will determine how large of a surface you’ll need!

The amount of color mixture space also depends on whether you’re planning something specific before painting begins. Some artists prefer smaller surfaces because they’re easy to manage, whereas others use full-page palettes without any issues.

What Are Some Tips for Using Palette Papers?

Palette paper is only as good as you make it! There are no one-size fits all approach but there are ways to improve your painting experience if necessary:

  • don’t use too much water or paint;
  • always cover unused areas of the surface (especially around mixtures), and try not to soak up every drop of leftover pigment – this way, you can actually reuse old colors instead of wasting them completely;
  • keep extra sheets on hand so that mixing new hues doesn’t interrupt what you’re currently working on;
  • simply tear off a fresh sheet when needed rather than stopping in the middle of something important like an underpainting session because wet color mixtures can ruin any paints underneath.

Tips about Choosing Palette Paper

Palette paper is a great way to get started with painting. However, not all papers are made equal and people have different preferences when it comes to choosing the best option for them. Here are some tips about selecting your palette paper:

  • It should be non-absorbent so the paint doesn’t dry out quickly on top of the paper while you work.
  • The color shouldn’t influence how light or dark paints appear on its surface.
  • A smooth texture helps water evaporate more evenly from the surface

In general, white palette paper can be used with any mediums including acrylic paint and inks without problems – just make sure that they’re 100% cellulose (not mixed materials) before buying.

Strathmore Palette Paper

Strathmore 300 Series 40 Sheet Disposable Palette Paper is a high-quality, thick paper that can be used with any medium. It’s made with 100% cotton rag, which ensures that you have a sturdy surface to work on.

First Impressions

The paper is thick enough to prevent paint from seeping through. It also lays flat with no ripples or bumps, which can be an issue when using watercolors on most disposable papers. The smooth surface makes it easy for your brush to glide along the page.


One of the most important tests for any paper is how well it performs with ink. There are many types of inks on the market, and they all react differently to different surfaces. Some inks have a tendency to accumulate or clog at certain areas, while others spread out over an entire page.

The Strathmore 300 Series has passed every test we could put it through! There was no visible bleed-through when testing with almost every type of pen imaginable (including pens known for bleeding).

It even holds up well under watercolor paints without allowing colorant to seep underneath your pencil lines! And because this paper is one hundred percent cotton you can expect beautiful results from both brushwork and dipping.

Pros and Cons
Smooth texture
Not so great for using a palette knife


Painters, you need to check out this awesome disposable palette paper. This paper’s wax-coating and 40 sheets make for a low mess and tremendously long-lasting color mixing experience! Throw away the messy paint tray and live like a king with these coated papers; never use trays ever again.

Strathmore 300 Series 40 Sheet Disposable Palette Paper Strathmore 300 Series 40 Sheet Disposable Palette Paper
  • Accepts a variety of wet art mediums
  • Consists of a light plastic coating to prevent mediums from soaking through
  • Ideal for use as a disposable paint-mixing palette
Check Price

What Can I Use Instead of Palette Paper?

Palette paper isn’t always needed during every stage in painting such as underpainting glazing so don’t be afraid to experiment with other materials before choosing one specifically for each job.

Parchment paper is a good substitute for palette papers because it’s nonabsorbent and has the right amount of thickness to prevent accidental paint seepage. It also comes in convenient rolls like most pre-cut sheets!

However, parchment paper isn’t as durable – many artists complain that using this product can cause problems with color mixtures; some even say that adding too much water causes colors to bleed more than usual.

Be sure not to add extra water if you’re planning on painting large surfaces: one reason why palette papers are better than other options is that they can take a lot of paint without soaking it up completely (especially the multi-layer kind).

Always use an absorbent product underneath the parchment paper to avoid unwanted seepage.

How to Use Wax Paper?

Wax paper can be used to mix colors on but it’s not very durable. The price is the main reason artists choose this option: wax papers are cheaper than palette or parchment paper so they’re a smart choice for large-scale projects in which you know you’ll go through lots of sheets with different color mixtures!

Just like kraft/palette papers, wax papers also come in white matte and various sizes depending on your studio preferences. Some art stores offer special deals when buying bulk amounts at once – always check around before deciding what works best for yourself!

What Is a Stay-Wet Palette?

A stay-wet palette is a special kind of painting surface that’s used for wet color mixtures. These are often made from plastic or glass with various types of adhesive underneath to prevent paint seepage (such as Vaseline).

Stay-wets are extremely helpful when underpainting, glazing, and reworking. Simply use an absorbent product underneath the wax/palette paper before placing your mixture(s) onto it – even better if you’re using multiple colors at once!

When using wet palette paper, there are a few helpful things to remember before getting started:

  • Try adding an adhesive such as Vaseline underneath if you want to keep acrylic mixtures moist for longer periods without drying up.
  • If possible, select one with the best color opacity possible because mixtures may look different on your palette compared to the final painting.
  • If you’re using oil paint, remember that it’s more difficult to clean up so choose a disposable paper for easy cleanup later.

How Do You Keep Acrylic Paint on a Wet Palette?

If you’re using acrylic paint, prepare a wet palette with an adhesive such as Vaseline so that the mixtures don’t dry up. This is especially useful for glazing and reworking because it allows you to work on multiple color layers without worrying about ruining any previous ones!

What Can I Use If I Don’t Have a Paint Palette?

The best way to mix colors is with a palette or paper. However, what can you use if this isn’t an option?

If you’re painting in the field without access to any of these materials, try using your hand instead! Simply wipe it against the edge of each color mixture after mixing so that no paint ends up on your fingers and spread them onto a piece of paper for later reference.

Be careful not to touch anything after doing this because transferring paint from one surface will ruin other things nearby including clothes, furniture, etc – just be sure that everything has dried before coming into contact with anything else.

How to Make Your Own Wet Palette

A wet palette is one of the most helpful painting tools when working with acrylic paint. This can be made out of anything that’s relatively waterproof and absorbent including glass, plastic, ceramic plates – even paper towels!

A DIY wet palette is easy to make and often much cheaper than buying one. Here are some tips for creating your own:

  1. If you don’t have a glass or acrylic painting surface, use an old plastic container instead (just be sure that it’s completely dry before using).
  2. Use an adhesive like Vaseline or beeswax to coat the surface underneath whatever material you choose to use (make sure there isn’t too much!).
  3. Cut paper into a rectangular shape that fits your palette.
  4. Place down some thick paper towel or blotting paper (tear apart old papers into pieces) before adding the paper that you’ll use to paint on top.
  5. Add water.


Palette papers are by far the best products for mixing colors because they’re durable, absorbent (perfect for wet paint), and act as a drawing board in addition to color mixtures.

It’s also better than using parchment paper when it comes time to actually paint on your prepped surface: no matter what you use, just be sure that the product is thick enough so that most of your pigment stays on top instead of sinking into any cracks or crevices underneath.

If needed, stick with using a plain white printer/drawing paper – cheap but effective! Palettes aren’t glamorous materials but they help save time during painting sessions if used correctly.

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