5-Minute Palette Clean Up

5-Minute Clean Up by Michael Newberry

Palette Clean Up in 5 Minutes

If you are like most artists, you love to start with a clean oil painting palette. But like most of us, a day or a week of painting goes by and your palette becomes crusty with dried paint. Okay, some of you have decades old palettes that have morphed into abstract sculptures. Nothing can help with that, but for relatively recently dried paint, the following is an awesome way to quickly clean your wood palette.

What you need:

A palette knife, painting medium or stand oil, turpenoid, paper towels, and a copper sponge.

Start by scraping off any excess paint with a palette knife. This palette had about a week’s old dried paint.

Palette Clean Up in 5 Minutes

Pour on the palette any leftover medium, or stand oil.

Palette Clean Up in 5 Minutes

Grab the copper sponge and scrub the palette, going in the direction of the wood grain.

Palette Clean Up in 5 Minutes

Magic presto, 4 minutes later, the palette is scraped clean and ready for the finishing touches.

Palette Clean Up in 5 Minutes

Take a paper towel and a little turpenoid, and wipe the palette down, cleaning up the residue.

Palette Clean Up in 5 Minutes

Palette Clean Up in 5 Minutes

Now finish the job off by pouring a tablespoon or two of leftover medium or stand oil on the palette, take a clean paper towel and rub the oil into the wood. This will protect the wood and prepare it for fresh oil paint.

Palette Clean Up in 5 Minutes

Five minutes from beginning to end! Now you have a primed palette just begging for a slather of oil paint and your vision.

I hope you enjoyed this tidbit on cleaning up.

Michael Newberry
Santa Monica, December 2011

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