The worst part of painting is quite possibly the cleanup process. One way to make it snappier: Get yourself a disposable palette. These specialized pads of polycoated sheets allow you to mix and blend paint freely without disintegrating their fibers. Once you’re done with a painting session, you simply tear off the sheet and toss it in the trash. Of course, disposable palettes are not the most eco-friendly material, so you might not want to use one every single time you paint. But they can be a convenient alternative to carrying a weighty palette to class or to the field or running sink water as you attempt to scrub out stubborn stains. Browse our favorite disposable palettes below.
1. Strathmore 300 Series Palette Paper
Strathmore’s paper is uniformly smooth, provides a durable surface for mixing, and is affordable enough for you to use and toss without a care. The rectangular white sheets measure 12 by 16 inches, providing space to mix multiple colors while keeping them separated. The 41-pound paper resists warping and leaking and doesn’t curl at the edges, partly because this 40-page pad is tape-bound on two sides—which also means your sheets won’t budge if you’re painting outdoors.
2. New Wave Grey Pad
Slightly pricier than our top pick, this 50-sheet paper pad is smartly designed for comfort. Each sheet features a hole for a thumb, as well as an irregular shape to rest lightly against hand and arm, so artists can hold the entire pad as they would a traditional palette. At about 11 by 16 inches, it offers plenty of space for mixing color on each page. The papers are glued along three edges to maximize stability and protect the sheet below, and they are thick to prevent bleed-through. Notably, they present a neutral gray surface to help you perceive true colors; this shade is also less harsh on the eyes than white when you’re out in the field painting under direct sunlight.
3. Bellofy Palette Painting Pad
This disposable palette pad is smaller than others on our list, making it an excellent option when you’re on the go. Each sheet measures 9 by 12 inches and features a thumbhole as well as a small indent so you can hold it like a true palette. It is not as comfortable as New Wave’s product but still gives painters good control over their mixing surface. The 24-pound paper has a slightly glossy, ultrasmooth surface on which brushes simply glide, and the sheets can take a lot of liquid without getting soggy. This pad comes with 50 sheets, all bound together on one side.
4. Jack Richeson Grey Matters Paper Palette
Jack Richeson’s sheets are relatively pricey, and each pad comes with just 30 sheets. But they’re also among the most durable you can find on the market, as well as the largest. Each 16-by-20-inch sheet can be used for one session or easily cut up to make smaller palettes. The 43-pound paper is virtually soak-proof: load your paints with oil, thinners, gels, pastes, and other media and the sheets still won’t rip or bleed. Like New Wave’s product, these sheets are also neutral gray to enable more accurate color mixing.
5. Canson Disposable Palette Pad
A bit more expensive than Strathmore’s paper, but not as costly as Jack Richeson’s, Canson’s palette pad is another all-around excellent option. The coated sheets tolerate a lot of fluid and are bound on two sides to present a perfectly taut and secure work surface. We find that they actually help you conserve materials, as leftover paint is exceedingly easy to scrape off and save for future sessions. You can even reuse the paper and continue to rewet it (though that kind of defeats the purpose of a disposable).