Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Learning the hard way ...

I think most of the time, good, really good lessons are learned the hard way.  Such as me leaving my paint box palette filled with paint to harden ... for one week.

See the dried up mess on my almost new Guerrilla paintbox palette below?  Ouch, what a mess.

Next photo you see a paper towel with paint scrapings from the above palette. I ended up using a palette knife, odorless turp and a retractable razor trying to remove the dried on paint.  Some big globs, some small smearings of paint.  All very hard to remove from the wood palette.

After working on this for quite awhile I've finally removed all the paint and I've learned my lesson to never leave the paint on my palette this long again.

In Kathleen Dunphy's workshop her palette was a beautiful grey that had accumulated from wiping up the oils.  After time it had turned a beautiful hard smooth surface.  I think I'll try this next time before my paint dries too hard.  I chalk it up to being new at oils, what do you think?  Have any of you learned this lesson the hard way?


  1. It cleaned up very nicely! I'm a big fan of palette paper; I recently found some in gray. Also, it doesn't add much weight to the box.

  2. Yepper, that's what they make palette paper for. Or a nice roll of wax paper. I bought a roll of wax paper at the .99 cent store that fits nicely in my backpack. As you've seen with your friend's palette, oils aren't so critical, but acrylics can make a big mess.

  3. Oh how many times have I done this too, and how many times have I said "never again"? Its amazing how well it does come up though, with a bit of elbow grease. The question is - what did you paint next from this beautiful and clean box?

  4. I'm with Sand Hill Art - I am a fairly tidy person, and having dried paint accumulate on the palette would drive me nuts! I use grey palette paper too. Super easy cleanup! Next time you have a mess like this, or your brushes are really a mess, OR you get some paint on a favorite piece of clothing, try Turpenoid 'Natural' (NOT regular Turpenoid). It's used to clean, not thin paints. You can clean up dried palettes - spread a thin layer and let it sit for a 1/2 hour or so... then scrape. Repeat as necessary.

  5. Well, sounds like you've all known about this palette paper ... I'll keep my eyes open for this. I'm wondering if it stays put where you put it... hmmm, must be attached on all sides then you pull it off???

    Helen ... I'm working (maybe 'attempting' would be a better word here) at making the workshop paintings look better (hopefully ... better), I think I need to keep my eyes on that paint and not let it dry like I did... again

    Nancy ... I'll look for the Natural Terpenoid ... is it odorless I wonder?

    D .... Nice idea with the wax paper, I might give that a try until I can find the palette paper ... Thanks.

  6. Nancy, it comes in a tear-off pad. You put the entire pad into the box. You can save oils by scraping them onto the next clean sheet to use later. Saves paint!

  7. Here's a link to Blicks showing the product:
    It does have a strange odor.
    and the palette paper. I like this brand:
    I put the whole pad in the Guerrilla box when I used that box - no need to tape it all down - the whole pad fit nicely. Or you could just double stick tape for one sheet.
    What you see in my new palette box is actually a piece of plexiglass cut to size and the backside painted grey, then I taped it to stay in my box. I clean it up with the Turp. Natl. when I am done. You could make a piece of plexi to fit your Guerrilla box also. I just couldn't bear to dirty up the nice wood! ;-)

  8. Thanks Nancy for the links .. I've see the natural turp in that can, maybe on line. Thanks also for the link to the palette paper ... wonderful that it fits inside my guerrilla box. Yippee.

  9. you did an outstanding job of cleaning up the old paint. Outstanding! I use plexiglass in my pochade box. I treat the plexiglass as sort of a disposable item. I get about 5-8 sheets cut to the correct size and I spray the back gray. I have seen the boxes that have the "patina", but I can't bear to put paint on the wood! I got used to this plexiglass thing and that's what I do now!

  10. Anonymous11:04 PM

    Hello Nancy,
    It is find to hear from you !

    It does not bore me if my palette is a mess. I have the same one (a wood palette) for years and years.
    I remove the dried paint very regularly and use always the same place for the colors (or almost.

    By the way, I like very much the painting you posted the day before. Very good light in it.

    Helene @ Inspiration from Nature

  11. I have done this a couple of times. Once I left the paint overnight on a new clear plastic palette and it was so diffucult to remove without marring the surface. You certainly cleaned it up very well.

  12. A quick tip, if you don't have the time to clean up your palette or brushes, throw them in the freezer. When you take it out wait about 10 min. and it's as if you just squeezed out the paint. :)

  13. I use paint stripper when the palette gets too messed up.
    I never scrape the palette all the way down because I always plan to use it again sooner than I do :{
    A do use the freezer trick too.