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Caring for your Ceramic Paint Palette & Accessories - Tips & Tricks

Caring for your Ceramic Paint Palette & Accessories - Tips & Tricks
Welcome to the very first SarahBeePottery blog post! 

 

Since this is my first blog post, here's a bit about my background and how I ended up where I am now before we jump into all things painting. My journey with ceramics starting in 2012. At the time I was in University studying Anthropology, and I had ended up working at a Community Arts Centre by chance. During my time working there, I met the most unique people who had such beautiful and creative minds. I found all of the instructors so inspiring, and got to know many of them - one of whom inspired me to take their Introduction to Pottery class. I loved it from the moment my hands first touched the clay and I knew it would forever be a part of my life. At the time I was feeling a huge loss of art from my life, I had attended an Arts High School where I focused on Dance and Visual Arts but then ultimately decided to not pursue the arts in University and I was struggling with not having any creative outlets during such a stressful time in my life. Discovering this new art form was immensely healing in a way I didn't even know I needed. Now, nearly a decade later, I have explored many shapes and forms while working with ceramics but ultimately I found my way (like many others) to ceramic paint palettes and painting accessories. Though I still enjoy making many different things, ceramic paint palettes and painting accessories have very much become my favorite both to make and share with the world. I can't wait to tell you a bit more about them!  

 

Alright, so let's get to it. Here are some of my tips and tricks for using, caring for, and cleaning SarahBeePottery Ceramic Paint Palettes and Accessories. Scroll down to read all about my recommended mediums, some of my favorite paint brands, tips for cleaning the glazed surfaces, unglazed surfaces, and something I think you should avoid when using SarahBeePottery Ceramic Paint Palettes.  

As a quick disclaimer, I can't speak for any other ceramic paint palette brands so be sure to follow the directions provided by each maker. Remember that with ceramics there is a huge variety of clay, glaze, and firing so we may all have different recommendations. 

Photo by Tracey Jazmin for SarahBeePottery

Recommended Mediums for SarahBeePottery Palettes

-Watercolour: My favorites include Stoneground Paint Co.Rain City Watercolor, and Winsor & Newton watercolour paint tubes which can be found at most local paint shops! I always checking to see who is making paint locally, and support them first. 

-Gouache: My all time favorite gouache palette is from Beam Paints but I also started out using Gouache by trying out a simple set of tubes from my local paint shop. You don't need to get fancy when you're trying out new mediums.

-Acrylic: My favorite is the Liquitex Basics line but I don't work with Acrylic a lot so, take that with a grain of salt. Scroll down to read some very important care tips for using Acrylic on paint palettes. 

-Watercolour Ink/Liquid Watercolours: My favorite is Daler Rowney AquaFine Watercolour Ink.

Photo by Sarah Bach

Using your SarahBeePottery Paint Palette or Accessory!

You can use ceramic paint palettes almost the exact same way you use any other palette - I say almost because typically investing in a ceramic paint palette is going to cost you more than a plastic palette. Therefore, you're probably a bit more concerned with giving it the longest life possible and treating it with a bit more love. If I'm right this entire blog post was written for you. So other than caring a bit more about cleaning these palettes, you use them about the same way. I predominantly use glossy glazes on my palettes and accessories, because I have found that I prefer cleaning paint off of a glossy glaze compared to a matte glaze. But everyone has their own preference on this. I like to stick with what I know and trust, so that's why I use a glossy white glaze to finish off my paint palettes and accessories. 

This post is mostly geared towards paint palettes, but the care instructions work for all of my painting accessories! 

Ceramic Paint Pans - Photo by Sarah Bach 

Cleaning the Top of Your Palette or Paint Accessory: Watercolour & Gouache

While I always recommend washing promptly after each use, the truth is that with Watercolour and Gouache you can actually leave those mediums on your palette for extended periods of time and it can still be easy to wash off. In fact, it can be quite beautiful to leave them on, and convenient to come back to colours you've already mixed if you need to leave a painting part-way through. I also make Ceramic Paint Pans which can be used just as regular plastic paint pans and half pans are for storing paint long term. They aren't as convenient for travel as they are not magnetized, but for storing your paint at home or in your studio they can be a really lovely and an easily reusable option. 

For cleaning watercolours and gouache from your palette, wash with a moist cloth or sponge. If you are having any trouble removing watercolour or gouache paint, try reactivating the paint by moistening your palette before cleaning and doing a bit of gentle scrubbing. 

Cleaning the Top of Your Palette or Paint Accessory: Acrylic Paint

If you wish to use Acrylic paint with your palette, it needs to be washed promptly after use - no but really, like right after okay? While still water based, acrylic paint will dry into a very hard plastic-like crust which is water resistant on your palette - which will be very difficult to remove. Wash promptly after every use with a moist cloth or sponge. You can cover the palette tightly with plastic wrap if you do need to step away. If you do wait too long and you're struggling to remove acrylic paint from your ceramic palette, you may need to use a cleaner specifically made for removing paint from brushes or palettes, or you can use warm water, soap, and a palette knife for scraping off stuck on paint. You might even get lucky and that dried acrylic will just peel right off. 

Watercolour Paint on Ceramic Paint Palettes - Photo by Sarah Bach

Cleaning the Base of your Palette or Paint Accessory 

The base of every SarahBeePottery Ceramic Paint Palette and Accessory made in my studio will have an unglazed base. It is not possible to glaze the bottom of ceramic wares as they would adhere to the kiln shelf during firing. This can leave the base of your painting accessory vulnerable to staining depending on the mediums or pigments being used. This is extremely normal, and a part of the wear and tear of using ceramic palettes. While it's not guaranteed to occur, if it does, you can lightly scrub the base of the palette or accessory with dish soap for the best chance at reducing the stain. Or be like me, make a mess and embrace the beauty. 

Photo By Sarah Bach

Why I Don't Recommend Oil Paint 

Hear me out - because I know other ceramic paint palette makers might have different instructions for their palettes. I'm just here to chat about palettes made in my studio and my experiences. 

Oil Paint is not water based or water soluble therefore it is extremely difficult to clean off of a palette once it has started to dry. It's not that you absolutely cannot, but it's going to take a few extra steps to clean. If you do decide to use your ceramic palette with oil paint it can be removed pretty easily up until it starts to dry. Once it starts to dry you'll likely need to use a cleaner specifically designed for oil paint for any pieces you can't easily scrape off using a palette knife and be prepared to put in some elbow grease. I have personally had luck using a small amount of Reeves Winsor and Newton Brush Cleaner and Restorer on my palettes to remove oil paint (please follow all of their instructions and use at your own risk). Moral of the story, use oil paint and cleaners at your own risk when using a SarahBeePottery Ceramic Palette. 

Photo by Tracey Jazmin for SarahBeePottery

Final Notes

Have fun with your Ceramic Paint Palettes & Accessories! Ceramic Paint Palettes are built to be used and can be used for a lifetime if well cared for. I have personally found my paint palettes to be such a beautiful addition to my studio, at the end of painting I often find myself marvelling at the beauty of the palette itself (often this is much more lovely than my paintings if we're being honest). 

I have recently started exploring some of the many art classes on Skillshare since in-person classes just aren't an option right now. If you'd like to check it out you can use this little link and it helps me to earn more months (anyone can get this type of link I'm not special!). On that note, nothing here is sponsored, all brands mentioned are the ones I actually use and like. 

Thank you for reading! I hope this gave you a bit more insight into how to use & care for your SarahBeePottery Ceramic Paint Palettes and Accessories. 

 

Have you had success using any other mediums with your SarahBeePottery Palette or have any other tips & tricks to share? Email me at sarahbeepottery@gmail.com or send me a DM on Instagram @SarahBeePottery I'd love to chat! 

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