How to Keep Wet Palette From Molding

How to Keep Wet Palette From Molding

The best way to keep mold out of a wet palette is to clean it between uses. Wet palettes that are not cleaned will become damp and may become moldy. You can keep mold from forming on a wet palette by changing the sponge frequently and cleaning your palette between each use.

Warhammer players have suggested many successful ways to keep mold out of a wet palette. The penny method is the most commonly recommended way to keep mold out of wet palettes. However, keeping mold from wet palettes also requires adequate upkeep.

The remainder of this article will discuss how to keep mold out of a wet palette, how to maintain a wet palette, the average lifespan of a wet palette, and ways to prolong the life of your wet palette.

Penny Method

The most common suggestion is to use the ‘penny method’, which uses an old penny with high copper content. Copper attracts mold, causing any potential mold to form on the penny. That way, you can easily remove mold from the wet palette. 

Painters place multiple pennies in each corner of their wet palette under their sponges. Generally, the most common place mold forms are along with the corners of the wet palette. If you have a mold issue elsewhere, place a penny near that area to absorb the mold.

General Upkeep

Upkeep and cleanliness is the most critical part of keeping mold out of a wet palette. Cleaning sponges frequently, emptying excess water, and cleaning the palette will keep mold from forming inside wet palettes.

Some ways that you may clean mold from your wet palette include:

  • Bleach
  • Dishwasher
  • Dish soap
  • Ammonia
  • Microwaving 
  • Windex
  • Rubbing alcohol

Distilled Water

Using distilled water is soft water that many painters recommend using for wet palettes. There are fewer minerals and less calcium in distilled water, making it less likely to form mold.


Add a drop of ammonia to the bottom of your palette to deter mold from forming in your palette. Ammonia and mold create a toxic reaction, which prevents mold from forming on your sponge.

How Do You Maintain a Wet Palette?

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You can maintain a wet palette by cleaning your palette often. Change your sponge when it becomes too moldy, or clean it with bleach if there is only a small amount.

Always remember to check your pennies and continue to practice a strict, anti-mold regimen.

If you don’t already have a high-quality paint palette, we recommend using The Army Painter Wet Palette. This wet palette is unique as it will keep your acrylic Warpaints wet and fresh for days. To check the current price and availability of The Army Painter Wet Palette, click here.

Clean the Palette

Clean the palette between each use to maintain a sanitary palette. The cleaner a palette is, the better. You can use water to rinse your palette or a disinfecting cleaner like Windex or rubbing alcohol.

Some retailers and art stores also sell specialized wet palette cleaners. Purchasing special cleaners compatible with your palette can make the cleaning process much easier. However, some painters urge against this.

After cleaning your palette, add a drop of ammonia to the bottom of your palette. This small drop of ammonia will prevent mold from forming in your wet palette. You may use this anti-mold solution singularly or in addition to another preventative mold method.

Wash Your Sponge

Washing your sponge between each use will prevent staining and molding. You can use a microwaving or bleaching method to clean your sponge to remove mold from your sponge.

After the mold is completely removed, leave the sponge to dry before replacing it in your palette.

Replace the Sponge

Sometimes sponges will mold with time. Molding is natural when sponges are kept damp for long periods without being washed.

You may wash small amounts of mold from your sponge easily with bleach or by microwaving it for at least one minute. However, if your sponge becomes very moldy, you should replace it.

Replace and Sanitize Pennies 

If you use the penny method to keep your palette mold-free, check on your pennies often. Sanitize your palette and rotate pennies, if necessary. 

Keep in mind all pennies you use in your wet palette should be from before 1982. Pennies that were made after 1982 do not iodize like older pennies. This means that they will not gather mold the same way.

How Long Does Paint Last on a Wet Palette?

Paints can last weeks on wet palettes, which is why this palette is such a convenient tool. Wet palettes are great even if they are left unused. 

Lengthening the amount of time paint lasts does not require extra water. However, a generous amount of water will help keep paint from drying up. 

The most important part of keeping paint from drying is preventing it from becoming exposed to air. Exposure to air can shorten the length that your paint lasts on a wet palette. 

If you fail to place your lid on the wet palette correctly, your paints will dry quicker. These paints dry quicker than normal because the exposure to air eliminates the moisture in the paint and the sponge.

Storing wet palettes in lower temperatures influences the lifespan of your paints. Your paints will last longer if you keep them in a cold environment. 

The amount that paint gets thinned has a major influence on how quickly it will dry. If your paint is heavily thinned, it will dry quickly. The sponge will soak the thinned paint quickly. 

Final Thoughts

The best way to keep wet palettes from molding is to clean them between each use. Clean the sponges and palettes frequently to prevent mold from forming. When necessary, replace sponges.

Clean palettes mean that your sponges will last longer, your colors will be more lively, and you will be less prone to molding. Cleaning the palette and rinsing sponges between each use refreshes the wet palette. 

Some of the ways that you may maintain a clean wet palette include:

  • Following the penny method
  • Clean the palette
  • Cleaning the sponge with bleach
  • Rotate sponges
  • Adding a drop of ammonia

Paints can survive long lengths on wet palettes, which makes them a convenient painting tool. The survivability of paints can be influenced heavily by the room temperature at which it is stored. Colder rooms are more likely to keep paints lasting longer.

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