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Review: New Wave Easy Lift Palette

As I mentioned using the New Wave Easy Lift Palette in my previous post I thought I’d repeat my full review which¬†I posted on Jackson’s Art Supplies¬†web site.

After years of working in oils and alkyds over the past year I’ve made the transition to acrylics. This change of medium has meant a change in work practice.

With oils I was used to working off a wooden palette and cleaning it at the end of a session. However the ‘stick and stay put’ nature of acrylics soon put paid to this.

Easy Lift palette ready to unpack
Ready to unpack

After experimenting, unsuccessfully, with various palette surfaces I switched exclusively to the disposable varieties. But then I saw this New Wave palette at Jackson’s Art Supplies which, to be honest, sounded too good to be true. Disposable palettes are good, but I prefer to work off a solid surface, so I had to give it a shot.

I like holding it this way
I like holding it this way

Visually the New Wave’s signature shape is interesting, offering three points of support. However having played around with the recommended position, perversely I found it more comfortable to hold the palette lengthways. I have to say though that this is a personal preference and not down to any design flaw.

Cleaning

Dried paint
Solid dry paint

As expected wet paint wipes very easily from the palette, so for a sterner trial I deliberately allowed my acrylics to dry solid for a over a week. Previous experience with other plastic palettes suggested this might render the paint completely immovable.

Peeling off lumps
Peeling off lumps
Using a freezer scraper
Using a freezer scraper

Picking at the larger blobs resulted in sheets of paint being lifted off, which was an encouraging start. Things became more awkward as the chunks gave way to thin glazes of paint. With my short nails I found it difficult to get things started; some aid was required. I knew that anything metal would scratch the surface and first tried a plastic scraper (pinched from our freezer). This worked, but left scuff marks on the palette surface.

Using card to scrape
Scraping paint away with thin card

By trial and error I found stiff card worked very well without leaving any obvious marks. An off cut from a pack of batteries held at a shallow angle quickly cleared half of the palette. For the remaining paint I wanted to test whether water would make things easier. As I used fairly hot water I was relieved when the palette didn’t show any signs of bowing or distortion.

Cleaned palette
Cleaned palette with light scuffs
Gentle scrubbing
Gentle scrubbing to remove remaining paint

With a little detergent the hardened paint film sloughed cleanly away from the surface, encouraged by a soft nailbrush as a gentle ‘persuader’. Besides being relatively easy to remove hardened paint, it was also interesting to see that the white plastic hadn’t been stained, remaining bright white.

Conclusion

Long term it will be interesting to see if accumulated scuffs in the surface will lead to a stronger bond with the paint, but so far I’m very pleased; the palette lives up to it’s description and is a welcome addition to my acrylic kit.

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