Mu51 - Daler-Rowney, Stay Wet, Palette Paper

by Massive Voodoo


Another Mu (Miniatures/Material Unpacked) drops in this Friday morning.
This time with a pretty interesting topic: Palette Paper.

While jungle brother Max visited the jungle HQ during the Duke of Bavaria, he introduced us to some different paper for our wetpalettes and asked everybody interested to test it a little more. So we did. Why did we test it? Well, everybody knows painting on a layer of baking paper on his wetpalette and this is not wrong, but baking paper has some disadvantages as all painters know:

Baking paper plus:
- cheap and much
- available in every supermarket

Baking paper minus:
- Different baking paper brands, different baking paper characteristics
- after a while colours on the baking paper get filled with fuzz/lint
- If the room temperature is too hot, you have to switch the baking paper often
- High room temperature leads to fast drying colours on your baking paper wetpalette
- due the reasons above your colour dillution your paintwork is depending on, changes randomly
- Annoying set up to find the right amount of water in your wetpalette
- If you are working too much on one area the baking paper might even rip

Following photo: Baking paper, during the work, airbubbles beneath it, fuzz/lint here and there and sometimes too much water.

Well, wether you are using the Wetpalette 1.0 or the Wetpalette 2.0 the following information might  be interesting for you. Max introduced us to the so called "Stay Wet" palette paper from the UK-based company Daler-Rowney.

Max left the HQ leaving 2 sheets of the paper behind and Roman tested as Max sounded so convinced. Roman got convinced too and ordered two more sheets from the UK with horrible shipping costs. Now the jungle crew tested the paper.

This is how the Palette Paper arrives. They offer small sheets and big sheets. Nonetheless for our palettes we have to cut them in pieces, that fit to our wet palettes.

It says that you can even use the reservoir paper in it instead of tissues or foam in your wetpalettes. Max told us that it really works, it looks all very thin. The MV-Team gave it a try and it really works   We did not test it further as we are pretty happy with the foam of our wetpalettes 2.0.

Before we jump in some practical use let us explain to you what disadvantages and advantages we found while using the paper since some months:

StayWet Palette Paper plus:
- Colours don't come up with fuzz/lint, even after a longer time period
- Colours hold the dillution of your colour much longer
- The Palette paper stays wet much, much longer
- You can even clean your sheet of paper with a wet tissue to rework with the same sheet
- While painting with the palette paper you are more independent from temperature issues
- Easy set up
- No ripping of the paper due its stronger structure

StayWet Palette Paper minus:
- more expensive than baking paper, fewer papers
- if you place colours on it, they will not stay in drops like on baking paper, after a while they start to float around and make a mess


Now to some practical use and tips. 
First you have to cut a fitting sheet to your wetpalette, but do not place it yet to your wetpalette.

First big difference is that you have to place the piece of palette paper in water for about five minutes, fully covered. It sucks itself full with water. Don't miss this step.

After five minutes you can take it out of the water and make ready to place it on your already prepared wetpalette. Already in this stage you can spot that this is something different than the usual baking paper:

Now placed on the wetpalette. The setup is much easier as the Palette Paper is already wet. It connects very easily to the surface of foam or tissue on your wetpalette. Really easily. A drop of colour was placed on top of it and in the first moments the drop will stay a drop. Looks fine and feels much better than baking paper on the first impression.

Max says:
"After a few months of more or less intense testing, I am still very satisified with this sort of wet palette paper. The best advantage, compared to standard baking paper, is that it holds the dilution much better. Paints do neither dry out that easily nor do are they further diluted accidentally by the palette. Along with this upside comes the feature, as is my impression, the consistency of the paints slightly differs (in a positive way) from when using standard baking paper. Blending for me is much easier when using the wet palette paper. One characteristic which I still need to get used to is that the paint actually spreads over the palette. This won't cause the paint to dry faster on this type of palette paper but the palette becomes a mess quite easily. Also the paint is sometime soaked over the edge of the wet palette paper into the paper towel beneath the palette paper. Still have to figure out how to solve this issue, may be by sizing the wet palette paper to the exact size of the wet palette. Bottom line: Don't want to miss this palette paper anymore."

Raffa says:
"I've tested this palette paper for some time now and in my opinion it has it's pros and cons. It's working as intended, it keeps your colors wet and does a much better job there than usual baking paper. One thing I don't like very much about it is that color spreads out on the paper. Usually I like to make small pools of color to manage my palette and this is sometimes very hard to pull off and after a day it ends up in a big mess. One of the biggest advantages, in my opinion, is that you don't have any "fluff"in your color. That problem often happens with normal baking paper after a little while of painting."

Well, both oppinions are showing that the spreading of the colours on the palette paper causes a big mess after a day. This is resulted in the fact that the palette paper does not really dry out, it will suck water really all the time, even if you close it over night.

The mess starts soon to look like this:

 ...and growing, at this stage some colours might look filled with fuzz/lint already, but they are not,
you can see that when you pull your brush through the colours:
 The next morning makes the mess even more messy. Still the colours are wet and easy to handle without any fuzz/lint in it. The paper stays plain on the foam, but it can be recognised that the foam lost water of the sucking powers of the paper.

Anonymous says via comment:
"The problem with the floating of the colours is a result of to much water! A thin layer of wet paper unter the membrane is enough!" (we need to give this a try)

Oli says:
"I really like this new wet palette Roman showed to me some weeks ago. I often had problems with twines which were loosening from the baking paper, when I mixed the colours on it. And finally I had those twines on my figure and so an unsmooth surface. I don't have any problems with that any more. I think the new product, don't let the water through it, like the baking paper, for me it is more easy to handle very thin colours, like the Vallejo Game Colour, now. On the other side maybe it is a bit to dry sometimes. It is funny, that is the opposite that Raffa said, I guess I just don't use it right, I still have to test it and find the best way for me. I will use this product in the future, because the solving of the twines problem is a huge simplification in my painting."

Sanne says:
"The advantage is that the colors do not dry out and you can also use them weeks later. And you can clean the paper and use it again. That's very cool. The drawback: The colors run together after a few hours, mix and pollute the water and the sponge of the wet palette. Nevertheless, I find it better than baking paper."

In several instants we cleaned that mess already. If you take some tissues and make them wet with water you can pull off all the colour from the Palette paper and use it again. This takes a little while, but you are not in need to throw it away. Don't do it on your wetpalette. Take the palette paper off , place it elsewhere, prepare the place with old towels for example and then clean it.

Peter says:
"I have tested the palette paper for two weeks now. Actually I´m quite satisfied with the results. It keeps your colors fluent and prevent them from drying out (very helpful in summer). Also you can clean the paper everytime with some water and reset your palette easily. I like it!"

Roman says:
"Well, I am in love with that palette paper and I think it can resolve many of the issues students encounter during my Beginner Painting Classes. I will take it with me to future classes, hand it out to the participants to see how they like it. If they do like the handling with it like I do, there might be some more happy painters around soon, even in hot summer. Personally I do not have big issues with the spreading of the colours, but I know I am different here: I think it is beautiful and at least I believe I can work that mess."

Bene says:
"For me, it took a little bit of time to get used to this paper. But now, once I got used to it, it works quite well. It has some nice advantages, for example that you can clean it pretty easy and use it again and the fact that its very hard with this paper to get fibres of the paper into the color. It´s also really nice that the color doesn´t really dry out on that paper. But for me it has also some, well, not so good aspects like the things Max and Sanne told already.That the colors tend to spread pretty far over the palette or run down the edges of the paper into the water of the palette can be a little bit annoying sometimes. This means also that you have to pay a little more attention when working with metallic pigments/colors, because it might happen that the metallic colors „ruin“ your non metallic colors by flowing into them, because that can happen easier than on normal baking paper. But all in all I really like the wet palette paper and it is a really great alternative ."

One big disadvantage of the Palette Paper is that it is not easy to get hold of it outside of the UK. Shipping paper from there was pretty expensive, I mean shipping "paper". Sometimes if you are lucky you can spot that paper on Amazon or an Art-shop, but all often with massive shipping costs if they are not based in the country you live in.

So we asked PK-Pro if he trusts us in the advantages we see in this product and if he would take it into the PK-Pro store. He told us that at the moment only the big sheets are available, as soon as the smaller ones are in stock there will be a cheaper version, but with less stock in it as they difference in seize.

StayWet, Palette Paper at PK-Pro

We can only recommend to other painters that you give this a try.
It really works, it is way more comfortable than regular baking paper. It has its little disadvantages, but if you do simple maths the advantages of this Palette paper win.

Keep on happy painting!
Your MV-Team


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