Pentrista Empty 18 Well Plastic Palette Main Image

REVIEW: PENTRISTA 18 Well Empty Plastic Painting Palette

I was opening my second PENTRISTA Empty18 Well Plastic Painting Palette, when it occurred to me that other people might be interested in it.  I liked it enough to buy a second one and will probably buy more, so it obviously has some good qualities.  Most people won’t need as many empty palettes as I do, but I think this one has some very nice features.

It’s just an empty palette. You have to add your own paint. It isn’t that fancy to look at. Sturdy molded, white plastic. No snaps for closure or rings for holding. Some debossing on the lid mainly for looks. 

The built-in closure snaps securely, but is easy to open.

And if you don’t want to pull out the tubes every time you paint, this palette is a nice size. Not mini – it doesn’t fit in the palm of your hand, but it can easily be held.  It would stick out of most pockets, but would fit into most of them, and would fit into medium sized purses or bags.

Pentrista Plastic Palette exterior

And then you open it.

Pentrista Plastic Palette Interior

There are 18 half pans.

PENTRISTA Palette Features

Feature One: There is more space between the pans than in most sets, so less chance of paint splashing into a neighboring color and contaminating it.

Feature Two: It has a wide empty space for adding more pans, sponges, clips and other bits and bobs that are handy to have on hand. The box is too short for most watercolor brushes but you could fit travel brushes or most water barrel type brushes.

Pentrista Plastic Palette Inserts

Feature Three: The half-pans are clipped into trays, six to a tray.

The trays lift out. Nice if you are working in small spaces. You can take out the paints you’re using at the moment, and set the larger palette out of the way.

The pans fit snugly in the trays, and aren’t easy to shake free. So if you drop the palette or tray, you aren’t as likely to see your pans go skittering across the floor, under chairs, or go flying through the air never to be seen again.

I have to admit — that was a big plus for me.  It’s possible that I’m a bit of a klutz.

But what if you want to change pans or remove them to add more paint? Flip the tray over, stick a finger into the hole between the slats, and push out the pan you want removed.  Easy-peasy.

The pans in the set are roughly standard size, but I think just a bit larger. If you put a standard pan into the tray, it is looser and will fall out of the tray if you flip it upside down.

Feature Four: The 10-well mixing plate will detach from the lid.  It snaps in securely, and does take a little work to remove it but again, in a small working area, you can move the mixing plate close, and set the larger palette aside.

It also means if you’ve been painting and don’t want the wet paint to contaminate your pans, you can remove the mixing palette and let the paint dry.

Those debossed rectangles from the top of the lid become embossed rectangles inside. You could use those for mixing along with the rest of the lid, but then you’ll want to keep the palette open until the paint is thoroughly dry.

I’m always getting new paint, but sometimes I also mix my own colors. If it is a mix I use often, it’s nice to make up a whole half-pan’s worth instead of mixing it every time.

This is the case with my Sketching Stuff Set from Da Vinci Paint. Even though I had the half-pan set, there were several mixes I used so often that I bought the tubes, and made up pans of the mixes. I moved the Da Vinci half pans into the Pentrista palette, along with some mixes I had already done.  When I get the chance, I’ll fill up the other pans with some purple, green and orange mixes that I love with colors from the Sketching Stuff Set.

Feature Five: The empty palette costs under $10 USD in the U.S. (as of this writing).

I haven’t decided yet which colors I’ll put in my new Pentrista palette. It won’t be long before it’s full!


PENTRISTA Empty18 Well Plastic Painting Palette, 7 x 3.5 inch

Da Vinci Sketching Stuff Colors

Links of Interest

REVIEW: Sketching Stuff™ Watercolor Pan Set from Da Vinci Paint Co.


I bought these Pentrista Empty palette sets. I liked them and felt others might like to know about them. I received no other considerations, though this post may contain affiliate links which help support Doodlewash. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

Recommended1 recommendationPublished in Art Supply Reviews

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