How to Clean Your Palette

I don’t clean my palette every time I use it, but I do prefer it to be clean over having big dried piles of paint on it. This is my everyday palette, but it was accidently left with paint on it while I was out of town. Now I need to clean it up before I use it again. Let’s get to it.

I start by using a palette knife to scrape as much of the old paint off as I can. This can take some good elbow grease depending on how long the paint has been there and what material your palette is made of. One of the reasons this is my go-to palette is because it’s made out of glass, so cleaning it is much easier than other materials like wood.

I got most of the paint off, so now I can take a paper towel dipped in mineral spirits to wipe away any lingering residue.

Now it’s clean and ready for my paints again. The two knives pictured are the best solutions I’ve found for scraping dried paint off of my palettes. The one on the right is available at any hardware store and is a wall paint multi tool. It’s great for scraping stubborn paint that needs a little extra oomph to get off.

You can see just how well-loved this palette has been by the cracking of the gray film on the back and the scratch marks worn into the surface by years of mixing. Despite the cosmetic blemishes, it has many more years of service in store.

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4 Responses to “How to Clean Your Palette”

  1. Liz

    It sure would be nice to know what kind of paint was on that palette. Makes a difference in how you treat it, don't you think?

  2. Brenda Hicks

    Thank you for tips. Sometimes when you don't paint for a long time any tip is greeted with open arms and mind. No matter how small.

  3. Jo

    May I ask which plein air palette is in the photo? Thanks

  4. Peter Dupuis

    Instructor mentions class materials--however, there is no way to find the list of class materials--unless I'm brain dead.