Best Palettes for Oil Painting: 14 Reviews + Alternatives

A wooden artist's palette with eight different colors set against a black background.

Having a palette that is easy to hold, simple to clean, and designed so that you can see the true color of each of your paints is essential to any successful oil painting session.

This article will take you through the pros and cons of 14 different oil painting palettes, arming you with the information needed to make the best choice for your oil painting needs. 

Key Takeaways 

The New Wave POSH Artist Glass Palette is perfect for artists who love the transparency that glass offers and also love to paint big.

The Jack Richeson Grey Matters Paper Palette is ideal for painters who want a neutral background to assist them with their color mixing experiments.

The most economical palette is the Bella Bora 20 Well Palette as it is both affordable and reusable.

New Wave POSH Artist Glass Palette Best for artists who like to paint big
AMACO Paragona Glass Palette Good for maintaining brush health
New Wave POSH Wooden Palette Great tabletop wooden palette
Jack Richeson Grey Matters Paper Palette Neutral background ideal for color mixing
Pro Art Oil Palette Paper Pad Disposable palette pad with lots of space for color mixing
Acrylic 3-Piece Palette Set Small, medium, and large reusable palettes
Sienna Plein Air Palette Great choice for plein air painters
New Wave u.go Plein Air Palette Options for different sizes are great for traveling artists
Masterson Sta-Wet Super Pro Keeps leftover paint from drying out in airtight storage box
Mr. Pen Wood Palettes Good option for lefties
Healifty Rectangular Wooden Palette Good for people with smaller hands
Acrylic Transparent Nonstick Palette Economical choice for reusable palettes
Bella Bora 20 Well Palette Basic, affordable plastic palette
Hulameda 20 Piece Disposable Palettes  Best for kids

Main Recommendations

The Best Palette for Beginners: The Acrylic 3-Piece Palette Set 

The Best Palette for Kids: The Hulameda 20 Piece Disposable Palettes 

The Best Palette for Experienced Artists: The Sienna Plein Air Palette

The Best Palette for Traveling Artists: The New Wave u.go Plein Air Palette

New Wave POSH Artist Glass Palette

New Wave POSH Glass Artist Palette | Neutral Grey,...
  • The POSH Glass Artist Palette is made of tempered glass for strength and safety. The painting...
  • Uses: The perfect addition to your artist painting supplies. The New Wave glass palette can be used...

  • Material: Glass
  • Color: Gray, clear, or white
  • Size: 9”x12” 12”x16”, 16”x20”
  • Price: $$
  • Reversible: No

New Wave’s palettes are large, tempered glass palettes and can be purchased in a 9”x12”, 12”x16”, or 16”x20” size. They come in clear, gray, or white colors.

These palettes are too large to hold comfortably while painting, so if that’s your style you might want to find something a little smaller.

They are perfect for the artist who likes to paint big and needs a lot of space for color mixing!

Pros:

  • Oil paint can easily be scraped from glass with a clean razor blade.
  • Large size perfect for color mixing for large paintings.

Cons:

  • Too large to be held while painting.

AMACO Paragona Glass Palette

AMACO Paragona Glass Table Top Palette with White...
  • Made of shatter resistant tempered glass
  • The smooth surface of glass causes less brush wear

  • Material: Glass
  • Color: Clear with white backing
  • Size: 14”x20”
  • Price: $$
  • Reversible: No

The AMACO Glass Palette is another large tabletop palette, measuring at a cool 14×20 inches.

This palette is made of clear shatter-resistant tempered glass and comes with white vinyl backing, making it easy to distinguish colors.

One of the benefits of a glass palette is that it helps to diminish wear and tear on your oil brushes.

Pros:

  • Glass palette is easy on brushes.
  • White backing helps to simplify color mixing.

Cons:

  • Too unwieldy to be handheld. 

New Wave POSH Wooden Palette

Sale
New Wave POSH Table Top Wooden Artist Palette |...
  • Handcrafted: Our wooden artist paint palettes are handcrafted in Pennsylvania, USA. From design, to...
  • Material: Hard white maple wood provides the paint palette surface with delicate grain lines that...

  • Material: Wood
  • Color: Natural Stain
  • Size: 12”x16”
  • Price: $$
  • Reversible: No

One of the benefits of a wooden palette over a glass palette is that they tend to be lighter and therefore easier to hold. This palette is 12×16 inches and is another good choice for a tabletop palette.

It is made of hard white maple wood and comes with silicone footings that help to keep the palette situated on any flat surface.

It is sealed with a water, solvent, and medium-resistant finish and can be safely stored in a freezer as needed.

Pros:

  • Lightweight.
  • Silicone footings help to keep traction.
  • Water, solvent, and medium resistant.
  • Crack and chip proof and nonyellowing.

Cons:

  • Too big to be held comfortably while painting.

Jack Richeson Grey Matters Paper Palette

Jack Richeson Grey Matters Paper Palette (50...
  • Acid-free palette paper, 50 Sheets at 9" X 12"
  • Smooth mixing surface against grey paper for a neutral back drop on which to view colors

  • Material: Paper
  • Color: Gray
  • Size: 9”x12”
  • Price: $
  • Reversible: No

This paper palette pad can be purchased singly or as a set of two or three. The palette contains 50 9”x12” sheets of gray, acid-free palette paper, as well as a color mixing guide.

The neutral background helps to create accurate color mixes.

Pros:

  • Disposable palette pads.
  • Includes color mixing guide.
  • Paper doesn’t curl or buckle.
  • Gray color helps artist to better decipher values.

Cons:

  • Less space to mix colors on than a tabletop palette.

Pro Art Oil Palette Paper Pad

  • Material: Paper
  • Color: White
  • Size: 9”x12”, 12”x16”
  • Price: $
  • Reversible: No

This paper palette pad comes with 50 sheets of plastic-treated disposable paper that can be purchased in a 9”x12” or 12”x16” size.

This pad does not come in the traditional palette shape, so there is more space for color mixing.

Pros:

  • Disposable paper makes clean up a breeze.
  • Cost-effective choice with 50 sheets.

Cons:

  • No thumb holes can make palette paper challenging to hold while painting.

Acrylic 3-Piece Palette Set

3pcs Acrylic Paint Palette Clear Art Palette for...
  • ✅ What You Get: You will get 3pcs acrylic transparent palettes: 1pcs 11.8 * 9.8-inch rectangular...
  • ✅ For Adults & Kids: Transparent palettes of different sizes and shapes are suitable for everyone,...

  • Material: Acrylic
  • Color: Clear
  • Size: 11.8”x9.8” rectangle, 11.8”x7.9” oval, and 9.8”x5.9” oval
  • Price: $
  • Reversible: Yes

This set of three palettes is made of acrylic and comes with a small oval palette, a medium oval palette, and a large rectangular palette. They are transparent, nontoxic, reusable, and easy to clean. 

Pros:

  • Transparent.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Nontoxic.

Cons:

  • Very thin material.

Sienna Plein Air Palette

Sale
Sienna Plein Air Supply/Palette Box (CT-PS-120)
  • Removable tempered glass palette, storage, and folding brush holder
  • Designed to sit on the front legs of the tripod and sets up in seconds

  • Material: Wood box with tempered glass palette
  • Color: Brown wood, clear glass
  • Size: 13.75”x14”
  • Price: $$$
  • Reversible: Yes

The Sienna Plein Air Palette comes with a removable palette made of tempered glass as well as a tripod with four rubber bumper feet.

This set is an excellent choice for the traveling artist who needs a portable palette as it comes with a storage box that can be used to hold brushes and paints. 

Pros:

  • Easy to travel with.
  • Convenient storage box.

Cons:

  • Can be heavy to carry. 

New Wave u.go Plein Air Palette

New Wave u.go Plein Air | Anywhere Pochade Box,...
  • Materials: The u.go Anywhere Pochade Box is made using Baltic Birch wood, while stainless steel and...
  • Design: Rare earth magnets are used for closure, panel/canvas holder, removable side wall for...

  • Material: Wood box, plastic palette
  • Color: Beige wood, white palette
  • Size: 6”x8”, 8.4”x11.25”, 11”x14.5”
  • Price: $$$
  • Reversible: Yes

This plein air palette includes an easel and a storage box, and comes in three different sizes. The box is made of baltic birch wood, and the hardware is all made of noncorrosive metals.

The palette is formulated from plastic, and oil paints can easily be removed with the use of solvents. This is a lightweight system that is perfect for the on-the-go artist.

Pros:

  • Box is crack and chip resistant and nonyellowing.
  • Lightweight yet sturdy easel.

Cons:

  • Works best with thinner canvases, canvas boards, or oil paint paper.

Masterson Sta-Wet Super Pro

Sale
Masterson Sta-Wet Super Pro Palette by Masterson...
  • The Sta-Wet Super Pro Palette is for all paints and all painters
  • Includes a double-sided palette for use with oil, acrylic  or watercolor

  • Material: Plastic
  • Color: White
  • Size: 10”x14”
  • Price: $
  • Reversible: No

This 10”x14” Sta-Wet palette can be used with multiple mediums and has an airtight storage box for keeping paints from drying.

For use with oils, you will need to provide your own oil palette paper. 

Pros:

  • Airtight storage enables you to keep paints from drying.
  • Designed for use with multiple mediums.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with palette paper.

Mr. Pen Wood Palettes

Mr. Pen- Wooden Paint Palette, 2 Pack, Artist...
  • The Package Includes 2 Wood Painting Palettes
  • Size: 14inches x 10 Inches

  • Material: Wood
  • Color: Tan
  • Size: 14”x10”
  • Price: $
  • Reversible: Yes

This economical set comes with two lightweight wooden palettes that are a little bit larger but are designed to be held by both left- and right-handed individuals.

These palettes do require the application of a finish (such as shellac) before using them with oil paints.

Pros:

  • Lightweight. 
  • Handheld.
  • Affordable.

Cons:

  • Need to have a finish applied before use with oil paints.

Healifty Rectangular Wooden Palette

Healifty Wooden Paint Palette Square Oil Painting...
  • Oil Painting Palette Wooden Color Square Professional Oil Acrylic Paint Drawing Palette Art Supplies
  • With a thumb-hole which edges are slanted to prevent hurting fingers while holding it.

  • Material: Wood
  • Color: Brown
  • Size: 7.87”x11.81”
  • Price: $
  • Reversible: Yes

This is a smaller, square-shaped, handheld palette that is coated in oil. If you have smaller hands or like to paint small, then this is the palette for you.

Pros:

  • Slanted thumb hole for ease of use.
  • Smooth, oil-coated surface.

Cons:

  • Smaller palette not ideal for lots of color mixing.

Acrylic Transparent Nonstick Palette

Acrylic Artist Paint Palette 11.8 x 7.9 inches...
  • Highly Transparent: 11.8 x 7.9 inches NOTICE!!! There is a protective film on one side of the...
  • Widely Used: can be used for watercolor, oil painting, propylene, gouache and other pigments color...

  • Material: Acrylic
  • Color: Clear
  • Size: 11.8”x7.9”
  • Price:
  • Reversible: Yes

This set of two clear, handheld acrylic palettes is an excellent reusable choice that won’t break the bank. The palette holes are polished for a smooth and comfortable thumb hold. 

Pros:

  • Curved thumbhole for comfortable hold.
  • Reasonably priced.
  • Can be used by both right- and left-handed artists.

Cons:

  • Protective film can be challenging to remove.

Bella Bora 20 Well Palette

Bella Bora Plastic Palette for Oil, Watercolors &...
  • 16 Paint wells: 4 square, 4 circular and 8 small circular.
  • Plastic palette for holding oil, watercolor or acrylic paints

  • Material: Plastic
  • Color: White
  • Size: 13”x10”
  • Price: $
  • Reversible: No

This is a classic, no frills plastic paint palette with 20 wells for holding different colors. This palette is simple, affordable, and washable.

Pros:

  • Different sizes and shapes of wells for color holding and mixing. 
  • Washable.

Cons:

  • Dried paint can be challenging to remove.

Hulameda 20 Piece Disposable Palettes 

Hulameda Paint Tray Palettes, Plastic Paint...
  • ★【Premium Paint Palette】 - It’s made of plastic high quality, sturdy, durable. Our palettes...
  • ★【Paint Tray Multiple Uses】 - Paint tray widely used in party, school project, art classes &...

  • Material: Plastic
  • Color: White
  • Size: 6.7” diameter
  • Price: $
  • Reversible: No

These come in sets of 12, 28, or 40 plastic paint tray palettes. They are lightweight, washable, and stackable, making them a great option for children’s art classes. 

Pros:

  • Sturdy.
  • Comes in bulk sets.
  • Great for children’s classes.

Cons:

  • Small wells not ideal for color mixing.

Alternative Palettes for Oil Painting

While purchasing a premade palette is always a good choice, there are alternatives for those who are looking to save a few bucks or to simply reuse items that you may have laying around your home.

Old Dinner Plate

Any old glass or ceramic plate will do! It will be easier to clean oil paint off of the plate while it is still wet, but you can always use solvents to remove dried paint.

Laminated Cardboard

Laminated cardboard repels moisture and grease, making it a good option for an oil painting palette. 

Wax Paper

Wax paper can easily be taped to a piece of flattened cardboard for an easy makeshift palette.

Final Thoughts

Oil painting palettes traditionally come in glass, wood, plastic, or paper varieties.

The glass, wood, and plastic versions are reusable and can be cleaned either through washing, the use of solvents, or using a razor to remove paint from the surface.

The paper varieties are disposable, and each sheet is generally only used once. 

Oil painting palettes range in price from under a dollar to over $100. Some palettes are of the no-frills variety and are simply a surface for holding and mixing paint.

Other palettes come with storage boxes, easels, and color mixing guides.

You don’t even really need to buy a palette at all; oil painting palettes can be created from items found around your own home, such as wax paper or an old dinner plate.

If you’re using a reusable palette, you should keep it clean as you work, and clean it immediately after painting in order to keep it in good shape and increase its longevity.

Last update on 2022-05-18 at 23:39 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Cara

Cara

I am a writer and an artist taking opportunities every day to transform my dreams into reality. I love learning new things and am always creating and innovating. I worked as an Art Instructor, teaching painting and art techniques to artists of all levels and ages. I have hosted countless paint parties and taught children’s art classes both in my home as well as an art teacher at a Montessori school.