Sealing a wood palette like the New Wave ones?

I really like their palettes but I am to cheap to own one. Would really like to try making one like it so I am hoping someone here knowledgeable in wood sealants could guess what they are using.. is it just a basic urethane or something else?


  • edited October 7
    They are made by the Amish community. They use tung oil mixed with a citrus solvent. The solvent helps the tung oil penetrate the wood better, speeds up drying time and gives a citrus aroma. You'd just need to follow good instructions for tung oil - which would be sanding to about 150 grit, then several coats over about 3-4 days, allowing the oil to absorb but wiping it back each time so that it doesn't cure on the surface until you've had good penetration. Tung oil oxidises and polymerises in the same way that linseed oil does.
    I make musical instruments but I'm not a oil finish expert - I prefer spray on nitrocellulose lacquer and I use a glass palette for painting.
  • dencaldencal -
    edited October 7

    Five coats of linseed is the recommendation from Jackson’s

    I too use glass palettes.
  • I use glass as well, with a neutral gray paper under the glass (instant value feedback), and then a piece of masonite on the bottom.  I duct tape everything together on 3 sides. The open side allows me to slide a piece of paper  under the glass and over the neutral gray paper. I find it useful to work out the color harmony on a small piece of paper before the painting; this is what I slide under the glass. Its very easy then to match the palette paint blobs to the color harmony. Hey, I need all the help I can get! Plus, for me, painting is also about problem-solving. 

    I have my palette resting on a small table next to me, not held in my nonpainting hand.
  • I spray paint the back of my glass in a neutral gray and have stick-on rubber feet for mine.
    But @desertsky I love the idea of the ability to slide references beneath the glass. That's just brilliant. I think my next palette will be like that.
  • edited October 8
    Thanks guys, I appreciate it. I tried linseed but you do not end up with a new wave finish no matter what you do.. will try tung oil.

    I also use gray glass but recently realized that there are huge advantages to the old timey wood palette. You can step away from your painting and mix your colors when viewing it from several feet and you can also bring it up to the painting and tilt it so that it’s in exact same light.  No matter how much I fuss over my glass palette setup its just not the same. You can also tone the wood to the color of your canvas tone. I am all for making things easier!
  • NotACat - Yes, for your goals, a big and heavy glass palette will not work. I agree with making things easier. I never want to suffer for my art :)  Are you a Sargent aficianado?
  • Yep! And the Boston school in general
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