You are in the right place if you are scouting for the best palette for acrylic paint.
If you are a beginner, you may feel overwhelmed as to which one is the best for you because there are so many options available in the market today.
When looking for the best palette for acrylic paint, you should choose those that are comfortable to use, can keep the paint fresh, easy to clean, and are spacious enough for paint mixing. Glass palettes, plastic palettes, stay-wet palettes, and disposable palettes are some of the best palettes for acrylic paint.
Every artist needs to have a quality palette. Choosing a palette largely depends on the artist’s personal preferences. This article will share with you the best palettes for acrylic paint that you must own.
Table of Contents
Do you need a palette for acrylic paints?
Acrylic painting palettes are necessary for every artist because they mix and blend paint colors and create their desired paint textures for their artworks.
Artists can conveniently make the same paint consistency every time they mix paint on a palette. Aside from this, palettes help artists paint more efficiently.
All the paint you need for your artwork is conveniently placed in one place – a palette. This makes cleaning your working area faster and easier. There is no need to worry about spills.
Also, using a palette allows you to perform advanced painting techniques such as glazing or scumbling. A palette also allows you to be able to mix gradients and washes.
What is the best palette material for acrylic paint?
The table below shows briefly the different materials that are best for acrylic paint palettes.
|Glass Palette||Working in a studio for it is large enough to accommodate paint mixing, durable, and easy to clean|
|Stay Wet Palette||Keeping your paints wet for a longer period of time|
|Plastic Palette||Beginners because it is cheap, portable, and lightweight. It is available in different shapes|
|Disposable Palette||Outdoor painting|
The other types of palette material that can also be used for acrylic paints are as follows:
- Ceramic or porcelain palette
- Metal palette
- Wood palette
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If you want durable and easy-to-clean palettes, then you should opt for glass palettes for acrylic paints. Glass palettes are recognized as the best palette for acrylic paints so you can clearly see the paint colors.
Most art studios prefer to use glass palettes because it offers the best mixing surface for acrylic paint. Not to mention that glass palettes don’t warp or become soggy when the paint is mixed with water.
You can effortlessly apply pressure when mixing acrylic paint because it has a sturdy and smooth surface. You may want to consider using tempered glass palettes. They don’t break, but they can shatter when dropped. Thus, they are called safety glass palettes.
|Easy to clean||Not portable (large size)|
|Spacious for paint mixing||Expensive|
Stay Wet Palette
If you have problems with acrylic paint quickly drying when you work, you may want to consider the stay wet palette. With this palette, you can keep working for hours and not worry about whether you will end up with dry paints.
The stay-wet palette comes with a lidded tray, disposable paper palettes for color mixing, and an absorbent layer (base). Purchasing a stay-wet palette consists of refills that are replaceable such as disposable palette sheets and reservoir sheets.
In using a sta-wet palette you need to soak the absorbent layer in water. Then, position a membrane sheet on top of it. When you feel that you are done painting for the day but will resume the next day, you can simply put on the tray lid to keep the paint wet.
You will minimize wasting precious paint when you use a stay-wet palette. A stay-wet palette is indeed an economical option for both beginners and expert artists.
|Economical choice||Regularly changing the soaked disposable paper palettes|
|Can keep the paint wet for days|
For a quick and easy clean up after painting, disposable palettes are the way to go. This palette is the perfect choice for outdoor painting for it is very convenient to use and dispose of.
When you purchase a disposable palette, you will get a palette compiled like book sheets of coated paper which can easily be held when painting. The coated papers are heavy and thick which can resist wind when working outdoors.
The sheets are well-treated to ensure that each sheet doesn’t get wet when the sheet on top of it is being used. However, you may want to take it slow when using disposable palettes for acrylic paint contains some toxic substances that can affect the environment.
If you want to know more about whether acrylic paint is toxic or not, you can click this article link.
|Low maintenance||Challenge to achieve a satisfying paint mix for the surface is not completely flat or smooth|
|Can be used for outdoor painting||Can be an environmental concern|
Most beginners use inexpensive painting tools for practice. A plastic palette is a good choice for it is readily available, durable, lightweight, and relatively cheaper than other palette types.
Beginners will enjoy using plastic palettes for they come in different shapes and sizes. Some plastic palettes come with thumb holes for you to have a firmer grip when moving around your work area.
With plastic palettes, you have the option to use one with wells to avoid mixing paint or a flat palette for easier mixing. Plastic palettes often come with a non-stick coating and are solvent-resistant. Dry paint can easily be peeled off from plastic palettes.
|Portable||Paint stains can still stay on the palette despite exhaustive cleaning|
|Lightweight and cheap|
Ceramic or Porcelain Palettes
These palettes are relatively heavier compared to other types of palettes. Ceramic palettes are made uniquely by hand. So each ceramic palette made is different. Ceramic palettes are relatively more expensive than other palette types.
These palettes can help keep your acrylic paints dry for a longer period of time. There are porcelain palettes that come with dust covers.
These covers are not primarily meant to seal the palette. Rather, it allows you to place clean water in one of the wells to help increase the humidity level inside the palette leaving your paints fresh for weeks.
|Durable and long-lasting||Easy to clean (no paint stains)|
|Can keep paints dry for a longer period of time||Fragile|
Metal palettes are highly durable. These palettes are perfect for artists who are working on advanced painting techniques that involve several colors. These are available in different shapes and sizes.
If you decide to get a metal palette, make sure to scrub the mixing area completely before using it. You may use an old toothbrush with toothpaste. Doing this minimizes the occurrence of beading or paint cracking.
|Highly durable||Paint stains can still stay on the palette despite exhaustive cleaning|
|Can be used for painting outdoors||Prone to rusting when not cleaned and dried thoroughly|
Wooden palettes have been used by many artists for years. They are preferred by many artists because these palettes are lightweight and warm on the hands when used during long hours of painting.
Wood palettes are sustainable to use. They are also relatively more durable to use than plastic palettes. However, wood palettes tend to warp or deteriorate faster when exposed to water.
|Provides a warm feeling to the hands||Not long-lasting|
|Lightweight||Paint stains can still stay on the palette despite exhaustive cleaning|
How to choose the best Palette for acrylic paint
Choosing the best palette all depends on your own personal preference as an artist, your needs, and even your budget. However, to make your search for the best palette faster and easier, you may refer to the suggestions below:
- When choosing the right size for your palette, many will suggest choosing one that could sit comfortably in your hand. But to be honest, holding a palette is cute only in movies. If you are a beginner, it is best if you start with a large enough palette that is easy to clean like a plastic palette and it can sit on your table or workspace without you holding it. It frees your hands for painting.
- You should also consider choosing a cheap or affordable palette, to begin with, such as a disposable palette or paper palette or basic plastic palettes (all these options can be less than $2). You can also make a DIY palette for acrylic paint using a plastic lid from a container, a disposable plate, a piece of cardboard or acrylic sheet.
- If you opt for well-filled palettes, you are more in control. You can easily decide where each color goes. Will flat palettes (no wells), there is less control and a tendency to be messier if you are a beginner. Though palettes with no wells can help you see easily your color mixes in their entirety. I’m more comfortable using flat palettes as they are easier to clean and convenient for painting with palette knives.
- There are several types of palettes based on material construction. Some of the different material construction of palettes are glass, paper, ceramic or porcelain, plastic, metal, and wood. Each type of palette has its own pros and cons as mentioned above but also varies in prices.
- If you are looking for affordable palettes, you can start with a plastic or disposable palettes. While glass and ceramic or porcelain palettes are quite expensive for beginners.
Again, all palette types are good palettes. The choice all depends on your personal preference and studio setup.
16 Best Palettes for Acrylic Paint You Find In Art Stores
Here are 16 of the best acrylic painting palettes in the market today:
- Best palette for acrylic paint overall
- New Wave: Posh Glass Palette (large acrylic paint palette)
- Best mixing palette for acrylic paint
- Best acrylic paint palette with lid
- Best affordable palette for acrylic paint for beginners
1. New Wave: Posh Glass Palette
Many artists consider the New Wave: Posh Glass Palette as the best palette for acrylic paint. Aside from paint mixing, this palette is highly versatile for it can also be used for mono-printing, paint mulling, or when using clay.
This palette is ⅛” tempered glass thick with 4 corner guards offering you strength, protection, as well as surface traction.
The palettes are available in white, clear, and gray glasses with 3 different sizes for you to choose from 9”x12”, 12”x16”, and 16”x20”.
This palette is an excellent addition to your studio or workplace. This spacious palette offers you a wider working space for your paint colors. Not forgetting to mention that this palette looks very sophisticated to use.
2. Masterson Stay-Wet Super Pro Palette
The best stay-wet palette in the market today is the Masterson Stay-Wet Super Pro Palette. The Masterson Stay-Wet Palette keeps the acrylic paint fresh and wet for days. The paint absorbs the moisture coming from the absorbent layer to maintain its wetness for days.
This flat palette comes with an airtight tray with a lid that allows you to bring it wherever you go. It also has a large paint mixing area. It is lightweight, durable, easy to clean, and easy to use. This is definitely a quality palette that you must own.
3. New Wave: Hand-Held Paper Palette
The New Wave: Hand-Held Paper Palette is your go-to disposable palette. It is ergonomically designed for convenient use.
This palette is available in 11”x16” coated sheets. Individual sheets are glued on 3 sides to ensure stability when used.
4. SoHo Urban Artist: Grey Palette Tray
The SoHo Urban Artist Grey Plastic Palette Tray is available in 3 sizes: 11”x 15”, 8”x12”, and 11.75”x15.75”. It is available in a neutral grey color which is very convenient to use for outdoor paint for it minimizes the glaring effect.
Dried paint can easily be removed from this palette. The SoHo Urban Artist plastic palette is easy to clean and maintain.
5. Strathmore Palette Paper
The Strathmore Palette Paper is a 40-sheet (9”x12”) disposable palette that offers a large paint mixing area. This can lie completely flat when used. The Strathmore Palette Paper is considered the best disposable palette today.
This palette doesn’t curl or buckle when wet. This disposable palette is perfect for art classes since it can easily be thrown away after use.
This is also ideal for minimalist artists who don’t want to have so much stuff in their work area or for a beginner who is looking for low-cost acrylic palettes.
6. U.S. Art Supply Oval-Shaped Acrylic Painting Palette
The U.S. Art Supply Oval-Shaped Palette is a great addition to any artist’s collection of palettes. This is a perfectly sized palette and is considered the best thumb-hole palette in the market today.
The good thing about this palette is that it doesn’t bend or warp. It is lightweight and easy to use. Not to mention it is also very easy to clean.
This palette is a good choice if you want a palette that is low-cost, durable, and versatile.
7. Bella Bora Plastic Palette
The Bella Bora Plastic Palette is made from plastic and is very durable. It weighs 6.7 ounces, very lightweight yet you won’t see it bend or warp.
This palette is recognized as the best well palette available today. The palette has 16 deep wells suitable for both small and large brushes. This palette can easily be cleaned by rinsing it with water or wiping it with a sponge or towel.
8. Masterson Handy Palette Acrylic Paper
If you like using stay-wet palettes, you will find the Masterson Handy Palette Acrylic Paper the perfect partner. This is considered the best refill pack of 30 acrylic paper (8.5”x7”) available today.
Because of its size, this palette is used best for small paintings. However, you can still use the sheets on any standard-sized trays.
If you want a quick setup as well as a fast cleanup, this palette is a good choice. It is also cost-efficient (economical) and versatile to use.
9. Darice Acrylic Painting Palette
If you are looking for a palette that is great for color mixing and color organization, you may like the Darice Acrylic Painting Palette. This palette has 20 wells where you can organize the different paint colors you are going to use.
The large slanted wells are perfect for mixing paint hues. This palette can be used for acrylic paints, watercolors, and oil-based paints. The Darice palette is inexpensive and perfect for beginners.
10. Amaco Paragona Glass Palette
The Amaco Paragona Glass Palette is your best choice for a durable and long-lasting paint palette. This is available in 11”x14” and is ideal for studio painting use. This glass palette comes in rectangular-shaped and oval-shaped palettes.
This is a flat palette that is perfect for paint mixing. This is also very easy to clean. You can easily scrape off dry paint from this glass palette.
11. Richeson Clear Acrylic Palette
If you are looking for a quality paint palette but don’t have enough budget for a glass palette, you can check out the Richeson Clear Acrylic Palette or the Blick Clear Acrylic Palette as an alternative. It has a traditional palette shape that anyone will love.
With the Richeson Clear Acrylic Palette, you can own a glass-like palette at a more reasonable cost. This acrylic palette has a clear and flat surface where you can easily mix your paint colors without worries.
When cleaning an acrylic palette, avoid using any sharp object for it can chip off, scratch, or scrape your palette. Instead, use alcohol or any similar solvent substance to clean your acrylic palette.
12. Artlicious Palette
The Artlicious Palette is a best seller in paint palettes.
This palette is great for artists who prefer to stand while working. This is a compact-sized palette perfect to bring outdoors or during travels.
The Artlicious palette has 10 wells and includes a thumb hole. However, if you are the type of artist who likes uniformity, you may not like this palette for out of the 10 wells, 4 of which are irregularly shaped. For beginners, this is a good palette to start.
13. Large Oval Palette
The Large Oval Palette is a flat, plastic, non-toxic, odor-free, and oversized palette. It may be too large (11.75” x 16.5”), but it is lightweight weighing 8 ounces only. This palette can use be used for acrylic paints, watercolor, and gouache paints.
The palette is divided into three sections which give the artist freedom and control when handling paint.
The great thing about this product is the fact that you can return it within 30 days, with a money-back guarantee if you feel that this palette is not for you.
14. Mijello Fredi Weber Peel-Off Palette Tray
If you are ambidextrous, you may like the Mijello Fredi Weber Peel-Off Palette Tray. This is a non-skid palette tray with 4 bumpers at the bottom. This flat palette can be used for both acrylic and oil paints.
Thick acrylic paint can easily be peeled off when dry. For thin acrylic paint, you can simply soak the palette in warm water and scrub it with a rag. This palette is perfect for a quick painting session.
15. Canson Disposable Palette Pad
The Canson Disposable Palette Pad can be used for all types of art paint with its smooth coated surface. This is a 40-sheet acid-free palette pad.
Paint mixing can easily be done on this palette pad either with a brush or palette knife.
16. Mr. Pen Wooden Paint Palette
If you are looking for a wooden palette, you may check out this Mr. Pen Wooden Paint Palette.
It has a classic design with a large thumb hole. When purchasing this wooden paint palette, the set includes 2 pieces of 14” x 10” palettes. This is also ambidextrous friendly.
4 DIY Acrylic Paint Palettes
Most beginners would find it more fun and exciting to make their first DIY paint palettes. If you are starting out and your budget is really tight, a DIY palette is your best bet to help you begin your career in painting.
You can make DIY acrylic paint palettes using different household items. Below are the 4 DIY acrylic paint palette ideas for you:
- Using Plastic or Foam Plates
If you have a number of unused and disposable plastic plates lying around in your home, you can use that as your first cheap paint palette. Plastic plates are easy to clean, sturdy, and can withstand brush friction. You won’t notice any color absorption as well.
The downside, however, is most plastic plates are not wide enough to accommodate paint mixing. Foam plates are also good alternatives to using.
Cellophane is a good choice for a DIY palette if you want to be able to freely decide how big you want your palette to be. All you need is a particle board cut to your preferred size and the cellophane taped onto the board with painter’s tape.
Cellophane is a durable material that is great for mixing colors. It is also easy to clean, affordable, and easy to dispose of.
- Aluminum Foil
You can also use aluminum foil as a paint palette. You need to firmly and tightly stick it onto a sturdy wooden object. That’s it! You now have a no-frills palette. You can easily remove it and throw it away when you are done.
- Plastic Wrap
Using plastic wrap is another idea for a DIY palette. Similar to aluminum foil, all you need to do is to tape it unto a wooden surface. Once you are done, you can just remove it and throw it away.
You can also repurpose old cardboard, glass from old picture frames, trays, and even plastic containers for stay-wet palettes. If you are planning to pursue a painting career, it is best to invest in durable and long-lasting paint palettes. Most DIY palettes are disposable and can be an environmental concern.
How do you keep acrylic paint from drying out on a palette?
If you are a beginner, 2 things can come to mind when you want to keep your acrylic paint from quickly drying out on your palette. First, you will opt to use slow dry paints, or second, use a stay-wet palette.
These options are indeed helpful and can keep your paints wet for hours. However, there are also other ways you can try to keep your acrylic paints moist. With a spray bottle, regularly spray your acrylic paint on the palette with water while painting to keep the palette wet.
Secondly, you may seal your paint in an airtight container. The Masterson Palette Seal can store palettes of up to 16”x12” to ensure that the acrylic paints stay wet.
The third option is to use a Liquitex Palette Wetting Medium. This medium can easily be sprayed on your paints to keep them wet. The medium contains fluid acrylic resin.
The Liquitex palette wetting medium can greatly reduce the paint’s viscosity. However, it can offer a durable and well adhesion paint finish.
If you are interested to know more ways to keep your acrylic paint dry on a palette, you may click this link.
Best Palette For Acrylic Paint FAQ
What is the best palette for acrylic paint?
A glass palette is the best palette for acrylic paint for professional acrylic painters or anyone who is serious about acrylic painting. It is smooth and sturdy for mixing paint either with a brush or a palette knife. Extra caution is needed when handling glass palettes for they can break.
However, plastic palettes or DIY palettes are the best choice for most crafters and beginners because they are decent to use and relatively cheaper than glass palettes.
What can I use as an acrylic paint palette?
If you still don’t have the budget to purchase a quality paint palette, you can make do with alternative items you may have at home. You can use an airtight container. Also, you can look for a shallow container made of plastic or ceramic.
Are acrylic paint palettes good?
Acrylic paint palettes are good for this helps artists paint more efficiently. All the colors and textures they need are within their reach. Acrylic paints naturally dry up fast. With the right acrylic paint palettes, artists can keep their paints fresh for a longer period of time.
Can you use acrylic paint on a wood palette?
Yes, you can use a wood palette for acrylic paint. These palettes are warm on the hands when held. However, they are not highly durable and cannot withstand too much water exposure.
Image by RODNAE Productions from Pexels
There are several amazing palettes available in the market. There are several palettes that are versatile to use but don’t expect these to be able to offer you everything that you are looking for. There is no one-size-fits-all palette.
If you are a beginner, it is recommended that you try different palettes first to be able to determine which one is best for you. When your painting skills have improved and you want to try more advanced painting techniques, you can always purchase better types of palettes to add to your collection.
Masha Eretnova is a certified teacher. She started painting and drawing 20+ years ago and now is an international abstract artist and educator passionate about acrylic painting, gouache and crafts.
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Last update on 2023-12-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API