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  • The Ice Palette

    Hello folks! I would like to share with you a way of building a simple yet effective palette I invented/discovered this summer, in order to make paint last longer and save valuable time and money when it's really hot.

    Note1: This was created specifically to deal with HEAT (more than 80F / 26C) and LOW AIR MOISTURE. As of today, march 13, it's the end of the summer and it's still quite hot and dry where I live, in Chile, the southern hemisphere. IT HAS NOT BEEN TESTED DURING OTHER SEASONS OR WEATHER CONDITIONS; anyone willing to try this is encouraged to do so!

    Note2: I would like to clarify that even though I came up with this idea on my own (greatly inspired by the good old wet palette) I do not claim to be the inventor or the first one discovering this method. For the same reason this may not be a finished invention, and it's open to critiques, tips and improvements. Furthermore, I am posting this in the best of spirits with no other intention than than to share the knowledge and help other painters and crafters around the world deal with hot weather.

    The Ice Palette: (or how did this invention saved my hobby last summer)

    It's really simple, we will be using the low temperatures of ice to condense water particles in the air for our own benefit. Ever noticed how cold beverages “sweat” once out in the open? It's the same principle. Let's science!

    1.First, we need an ice tray. With ice.

    Optional: don't overfill it with water before freezing, so there is room for palette-like divisions for the paint itself. This will be better explained in the following pictures.

    2. We take a big enough sheet of aluminum foil and wrap the top of the ice tray.We can gently push-in each ice compartment to create divisions between our paints or washes. Or we can use the reverse of the tray for a flat palette (in case it's flat). But beware of it thawing!

    3.We add a towel under it (for it may drip a bit) and VOILA! Let there be the Ice Palette.

    (Can you see the little droplets of moisture accumulating in the surface? It's alive!)

    Now the paint should last way longer than before and washes will seem immortal. This seemed to be more effective, in my experience, than the common wet palette, especially when the temperature rose above 80 degrees F. (26 C) If used correctly, this palette should not freeze the paint or water, or make paint too wet. It should just keep the pain fresher for longer and make you a happy cheery painter. If the cold seems too strong, though, try adding an extra layer of aluminum foil, plastic or any material you may think of, for insulating.

    Ice melted/ done painting? Just carefully remove the aluminum foil and replace the ice tray with a new, out-of-the-freezer one. Most ice trays come in pairs so while you use one, the other can remain in the freezer, well, freezing. If your family/roommate is not very fond of sharing the ice trays with your awesome paints (although they technically do not touch) you can get a pair of these for really cheap virtually anywhere, from thrift shops, to supermarkets (and gourmet stores if you feel like having an extra nice one too.)

    That's it! I hope you try this. Thank you for reading and CC is greatly appreciated! Cheers,


    - spanish version of this article coming soon
    Comments 13 Comments
    1. Zab's Avatar
      Zab -
      Interesting. With summer (finally!) on the way here in Canada I am looking forward trying this out. I love to work on the deck in the summer, but the paints dry out super fast, even with medium. I'll give it a shot and let you know how it turns out
    1. Crosstowndonkey's Avatar
      Crosstowndonkey -
      I live in Australia and haven't managed to get my hands on a wet pallet yet (Australia is hot averages out in summer at 35'c) so this will help me out a lot. THANK YOU
    1. vbt's Avatar
      vbt -
      Superb idea, will also be using this for summer in the north of England, all five days of it!
    1. Cobalth77's Avatar
      Cobalth77 -
      I have to try this too.
    1. Skandabcn's Avatar
      Skandabcn -
    1. CorallineAlgae's Avatar
      CorallineAlgae -
      Very clever. I'll try it later today. Thanks for posting this.
    1. superbug983's Avatar
      superbug983 -
      This is a brilliant idea!!
    1. Woodstone's Avatar
      Woodstone -
      When Cleaverness has not limit ! Congrats and thanks for sharing the idea, will check it next week, it's summer now around here.
    1. Sugarstar's Avatar
      Sugarstar -
      Hey, this is pretty neat!
      Thanks for sharing, will have to try it.
    1. StephanW0lf's Avatar
      StephanW0lf -
      Doesn’t really ever apply to me as i live in Alaska, but this is pure genius. Hats off to you!
    1. Latt8's Avatar
      Latt8 -
      Looks pretty cool. Looking forward to checking it out.
    1. Doc Zoff's Avatar
      Doc Zoff -
      With aging eyes I have to use a desk lamp now, and the heat of the bulb does dry my pallette. Ice pallette to extend drying time off model plus bulb to reduce drying time on model... Win/win
    1. Kadmon's Avatar
      Kadmon -
      This is a cool idea! I've linked this in my article -
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