The key to success with your Sta-Wet Palette is the proper preparation of the palette. Follow these 5 steps to insure great results every time!
1) Prepare the Sta-Wet Acrylic paper by placing a sheet of Masterson’s acrylic paper in the sink and turn on the HOT water. Do not use the sink stopper; let the water drain over the paper and out of the sink.. Allow the hot water to run directly onto the paper for 45-60 seconds. The paper will become semi-transparent.
2) Wet the sponge. The sponge material has been compressed. Once you moisten it with water, it will expand to 1/4” thickness. The first time you use the sponge, rinse it thoroughly to remove any adhesives used during the processing of the sponge. Doing so will extend the life of the sponge. Then, fully saturate the sponge with COLD water. DO NOT WRING OUT THE SPONGE. Place the wet sponge in the palette tray. If the sponge is too large for the tray when it is wet, wring the sponge out and trim it to fit with a pair of scissors. Then saturate the sponge again with cold water and lay it in the tray.
3) Place a wet piece of Sta-Wet Acrylic palette paper on top of the sponge and use a paper towel of soft cloth to wipe off the excess moisture from the top surface of the paper.
4) Place your paints on the paper. The paints will slowly absorb moisture from the sponge, through the paper. Darker paint colors may bleed back into the sponge. Simply wash out the sponge when your project is completed. The paper is strong and will not easily tear, even if a palette knife is used.
5) When you have finished painting, place the lid on the tray, making sure the lid is properly sealed, and your paint will remain fresh for many days.
Helpful Hints for using Your Masterson Sta-Wet Palette
1) If you paint often and anticipate that you will be changing your palette paper often, you can place several sheets of paper that have been prepared according to direction in #1 above into a jar of COLD water and leave them indefinitely. In this way, you will always have a fresh, fully saturated piece of palette paper ready when you need it.
2) If you are painting in very hot, dry or windy conditions, evaporation of the water from the sponge may occur. If you notice the edges of the paper beginning to dry, add some water to your sponge. DO NOT LET THE PAPER COMPLETELY DRY OUT BEFORE REHYDRATING. To re-hydrate the sponge and paper, lift up the paper and sponge together at one corner and pour some water into the tray. Gently tip the tray back and forth to distribute the water evenly. Use your fingers to press down any dry sports on the paper onto the sponge.
3) While the lid fits snugly onto the tray the seal is not watertight. When transporting your palette, you should lift the paper off the sponge, gently wring out most of the water from the sponge and place the sponge and paper back into the tray. With the lid on, there does not need to be as much water in the sponge because water will not evaporate with the lid securely in place. To contain water spillage during transport a Ziplock bag may be used.
4) If mildew or unpleasant odors are a problem, use distilled water to moisten the sponge, or you may add 1/4 teaspoon of ammonia to a basin of water and use to wet the sponge. Ammonia will not affect the paper, the sponge or your paints.