How to Clean Your Oil Paint Palette

Written by robert russell
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How to Clean Your Oil Paint Palette
Take the time to clean your palette. (Palette with oil paints image by petercoupe from

Taking proper care of your tools is an important habit to develop for any activity. An artist's palette is an essential tool. While working with oil paint, you may be tempted to leave the paint on the palette and cover it over night. Although this technique does preserve the paint, over time you will end up with a bumpy and dirty palette. Setting aside the time to clean your palette after each use will pay off in the long run.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Aluminium foil
  • Container
  • Razor blade
  • Razor blade holder
  • Paint thinner/linseed oil
  • Rags
  • Toothbrush or scrub brush
  • Soap
  • Towel

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  1. 1

    Remove the wet paint from the palette and store it in a container or aluminium foil.

  2. 2

    Wipe off the last traces of wet paint with a rag and linseed oil or paint thinner.

  3. 3

    Place the razor blade in a razor blade holder so that only the sharp edge is exposed. Scrape off dried and hardened paint with a razor blade.

  4. 4

    Fill a utility sink with warm water. Add a little bit of linseed oil or paint thinner. Put the palette in the sink. Allow the palette to soak for at least 30 minutes.

  5. 5

    Scrub the palette until it's clean. Rinse the palette with clean water to remove soap and paint thinner residue.

  6. 6

    Dry the palette with a towel.

Tips and warnings

  • A razor blade holder is safer than using just the razor blade. It also allows you to apply more pressure when you scrape the dried paint off the palette.

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