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  • *UPDATED* Magic Wash and Wet Palettes

    Hey all-

    I went to a painting seminar and got a chance to talk with Vaitalla
    on her mixture. At the time I was a devoted "Floor Wax Guy", but have
    since abandoned it as I do not like the stickiness it leaves on my
    brushes. The shine I was always able to correct with brushed
    on/sprayed on Dull Cote. I have experimented for about a year with
    different formulations. Here is what I like:

    Danny's Magic Wash
    I use this to extend the open time of my paints and to thin them for
    layering and blending. This alone is not enough, you should try to
    use high pigment paints (Reaper, GW or Vallejo) and a Wet Palette.
    These are absolutely crucial for the wash to have its full effect.

    In a clear plastic 16oz. water bottle mix (but don't shake as it
    creates a zillion bubbles that you have to wait to settle) the
    following (use pyrex beaker to get the measure roughly correct):

    350 Ml of filtered water - if your tap water is good use that.

    100 Ml of Golden/Liqitex Flow Aid - this stuff is awesome, combats
    ringing and makes paint "milk-like" in the right proportion.

    50 Ml of Golden/Liqitex Retarder - Instructions say to only use a
    couple of drops but I threw that out with no ill effects. Paint
    stays open for days with a sealed wet palette.

    One drop of liquid dish detergent - may just be superstition but it
    seems to keep paint from adhering to my brush ferrule.


    You need a small sealable container, like a ziploc disposable plastic
    container, paper towelling and baking parchment. Parchment is easy
    to find around the holidays, but harder at other times. Check the
    grocery or a specialty food/baking store. This is NOT wax paper.
    Parchment breathes, allowing the moisture below it to wick through to
    the paint on the upper surface and this way your paints always remain
    precisely moistened.

    Cut the paper towel to fit snugly into the bottom of the container
    about 10 plys thick. You will replace it from time to time depending
    on how often you paint. I replace about every month and paint about
    30 hours per month. Add water to just below the saturation point.
    The towelling should be thoroughly wet without liquid pooling up.

    Cut the parchment to fit on top of the paper towels. Lay it in there
    and it will curl. Pull it up and flip it, smooth it down to the
    towelling and voila, you have a wet palette.

    Mix your paint right on the parchment and you will find that the
    paints will stay open for far longer than on a dry surface. With the
    additional extension time of the Magic Wash you will have a
    dramatically longer open time. Keep it sealed between uses and the
    paint will literally stay open and recoverable for several days.

    Hope this helps
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. sippog's Avatar
      sippog -
      I used this recipe with inks to make a bunch of "shadow" washes in violet, magenta, green, sepia etc which I find really useful. (The labels say "Danny's Magic Wash" - credit where it's due)
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