I have a rather unorthodox method for keeping my oil paints fresh throughout the life of a painting. Oil paints tend to dry out rather quickly on a palette which is something I defintely don't want to happen. I work full time and my painting time is limited so when I quit a painting session and can't get back to it for a few days, I want to make sure my paints are still fresh.
Artists may keep their oil painting palette in their refrigerators or freezers. I don't have the space or the desire to do that. This is where the wine cooler enters the scene. A few years ago, my son gave me a refrigerated wine cooler for a Christmas present. It has two pull out wire racks that were supposed to hold wine bottles. Since I don't drink very much wine, the wine cooler converted very nicely to a Paint Palette Cooler. Not exactly how my son expected me to use the cooler, but I'd rather drink the wine immediately than store it. Anyone in the mood for a nice chardonnay?
Refrigerated wine cooler
Purchase a wine cooler
My wine cooler was a gift but you could purchase a small two to four tier electric wine cooler from around $60 to $200 for a small one. Walmart and Target
usually have these small coolers in stock. I would also check on Ebay. If you have a generous son, like I have, your cooler could be a gift, too. Lucky me!
Glass panel edged with black duct tape
Purchase glass panels
(hint: measure before buying)
I bought two glass panels at Home Depot and lined them with black duct tape to protect the edges...and to protect me from cutting my delicate fingers! After completing this little project, I realized that the glass panels were too large to fit in the wine cooler. After the second trip to Home Depot, with two very correctly sized glass panels, and repeating the "duct tape" project, the panels fit nicely into the converted wine cooler or
Paint Palette Cooler.
Wine cooler transformed into the Paint Palette Cooler
Use Your New Paint Palette Cooler
When I paint, I use one of the glass panels for my palette of paints (top shelf of wine cooler) and I use the other glass panel (from the bottom shelf) for my
mixing palette. I don't know why the order matters, but that's just how things are done in MY home studio. Feel free to organize your Paint Palette Cooler any old way that makes YOU happy.
Top tier for paint palette, bottom tier for mixing palette
However, if you try making your very own Paint Palette Cooler at home, remember to measure your cooler first!
Meet Donna Ham
Donna Ham is a professional artist located in Tulsa, Oklahoma creating acrylic and mixed media abstract paintings, and still life paintings in oil. She also enjoys photography and writes poetry.