When I started to paint in oil and cold wax, I discovered the pleasure of working with a glass palette. It is easy to clean, eco-friendly, long-lasting, it also allows free both hands and above all, it is quick, easy and inexpensively to make one by yourself. Here is a tutorial showing you how I made mine.

Of course, this glass palette is too fragile if you like to paint outdoor or if you do not have the desk or a table top space to put it perfectly flat. If you do your own paint and enjoy grinding pigments by yourself, I suggest you rather look for a thicker glass palette made from unbreakable glass and polished edges custom prepared by a glazier to the size of your choice. The price will be much higher.

For others, beginners or those on a budget, try the following solution…

This is my homemade glass palette for oil paint after a few months of use. © 2016, Louise Lamirande.

This is my homemade glass palette for oil paint after a few months of use.
© 2016, Louise Lamirande.

The Material Used

  • A frame with a glass (here 11 × 14 inches / 28 x 10 cm). You will only need the glass.
  • Grey duct tape
  • Scissors or an X-Acto
  • A scraper with a retractable razor blade like this one to scratch the dry paint (see the last picture too)

The Making of the Glass Palette

STEP 1

Remove the back of the frame and the glass. Do this gently and with care, that the glass is fragile and the edges can be sharp.

Pick a frame with glass. © 2016, Louise Lamirande

Pick a frame with glass.
© 2016, Louise Lamirande

Gently remove the back of the frame and the glass. © 2016, Louise Lamirande.

Gently remove the back of the frame and the glass.
© 2016, Louise Lamirande.

STEP 2

Entirely cover one of the glass surfaces with the grey duct tape. Slightly overlap the lines of tape. Cut off any excess with your scissors or an X-Acto. (Following is a picture of my glass palette after several months of use.)

Cover one side with grey duct tape. © 2016, Louise Lamirande.

Cover one side with grey duct tape.
© 2016, Louise Lamirande.

This step does two things:

  • Strengthen the glass palette. If broken, part of glass splinters should stick to the tape making it safer for you.
  • Give a neutral background color to the palette. It is easier to mix colors on a palette with neutral background color such as gray.

STEP 3

Cover the sharp edges of the glass palette with the duct tape by making it overlapping the edge, and then fold the tape on each side of the palette. Again, cut any excess with your scissors or an X-Acto.

Cover sharp edges with grey duct tape. © 2016, Louise Lamirande

Cover sharp edges with grey duct tape.
© 2016, Louise Lamirande

Cleaning Up

Between two painting sessions, I suggest you cover your glass palette with plastic wrap to slow down the drying process of the paint. This method works well if you are painting every day or several times a week.

Between painting sessions, cover the palette with plastic wrap. © 2016, Louise Lamirande.

Between painting sessions, cover the palette with plastic wrap.
© 2016, Louise Lamirande.

When the paint is dry, simply use a scraper with retractable razor blade to easily lift it off the palette.

When the paint is dry, remove it with a razor blade scraper. © 2016, Louise Lamirande.

When the paint is dry, remove it with a razor blade scraper.
© 2016, Louise Lamirande.

The downside with this kind of glass palette is that the sides covered with duct tape are almost impossible to clean unless using some solvent. Thus I suggest you let the paint accumulate there for a while and then just replace the tape protecting the sides.

Thanks for your visit and see you soon,

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