More cheap paint? Should you care?

Hi friends! I am getting more and more requests to review inexpensive watercolors. It’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it LOL! There seem to be companies popping up like dandelions with new sets to try. Usually, I politely decline offers from brands who want to send me a product because I find it all so overwhelming. I made an exception when Meeden contacted me because I have had several requests from viewers to review their half pan sets. Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post.


I have also purchased products from Meeden on Amazon. I love their empty metal tins and half pans. They are good quality and inexpensive, just what I want to hold my hoard of watercolors! Last year I bought their watercolor fan palette (I paid $20 and it is $13 now!) and I am still using it. They contacted me because they just had seen the review I did on the fan palette and offered me some new watercolor sets to review.

About once a week I have a viewer ask me about these paints. Usually, it is the 48 half pan set for $30 on Amazon  *There is currently a $3 off coupon now if you want it for $27 But they also have a 24 tube watercolor set for $10

Review of MEEDEN 48 half pans (also available in 12 and 24 pan sets)


  • Price: $30 for 48 half pans in a sturdy metal cobalt/navy blue tin
  • Colors rewet very easily
  • Rich vibrant colors
  • Very Transparent for a budget watercolor
  • *Good lightfast ratings according to paint wrappers (however the pinks and browns are rated equally so I doubt they are truly accurate, take them with a grain of salt *=poor and ****=excellent rating scale)
  • The paint is extruded and very concentrated. If you find you don’t like the paint you can easily remove the bricks of paint and use the tin and half pans which would cost $20 anyway.
  • Colors glaze better than most student paints.
  • These paints lift well with a medium stiff brush, water, and paper towel blotting
  • The color selection is nice with a couple samey blues and pinks.


  • This set lacks a good Ultramarine blue which I think is essential to any painting palette. I’d also like a warm red that is not as orange as their Scarlet.
  • There is no room in the box to add extra pans
  • No pigment info

Bottom Line: I was surprised at how good these paints were. I think they are as good if not better than the Mungyo 48 half pan set that sells for $50. You can glaze without lifting but you can lift colors if you want. The paint is vibrant and transparent. It’s everything you want in a budget watercolor. At $30 you can’t beat it. Just plan on adding an ultramarine blue for a full range. Learn more here.

Meeden 24 watercolor Tubes Review


  • Price $10
  • Great selection of vibrant colors, all of the basic colors you need to get started are here.
  • Non-toxic- good for younger artists
  • No smell (often cheap tube watercolors have a weird odor)
  • Dry down well in a palette (most budget paints crack and fall out of palettes if dry)
  • Colors mix well (however sediment from added fillers are apparent in mixes)


  • Colors are streaky when used straight from the tube due to fillers and extenders.
  • They work much better if you let them dry in a palette before using.
  • You can see grainy sediment in some paints when you mix them.
  • No pigment info

Bottom Line:
Get these for your kids. The colors are bright and they can learn the basics of painting, brush control and mixing with no downsides. They are non-toxic and do not smell. They will use up this set before they would notice any of the limitations I mentioned. They are great paints for the price but I’d recommend upgrading colors as they are used up so you only end up buying colors you will actually use. I’d teach with these paints.

I also shared the Meeden Deluxe tin. I found out that I had the rails in upside down. It is heavy duty and a bit pricey but I’ll use it a bit and see what I think before I give an opinion. It’s fancy.

I have been getting people asking me if they should buy the Meeden 48 set if they have the Masters Touch, Arteza, Mungyo, etc sets and it’s a hard call to make.  I enjoy trying and collecting paint tins, it’s a sickness, I just like them. But my honest advice would be to get used to the set you have and then consider replacing a color as you use it up with a better student tube or artist tube of paint if you can afford it. Your quality of supplies will improve as your skill improves. It’s easy to assume the grass is greener and want to see if you are missing out on a bargain. The thing is there are a lot of great budget paints out there now. But you can spend more trying out all the bargain brands than you would if you just upgraded each color to artist grade as you used the first bargain brand up. Hey, I’m no one to judge, I enjoy those pretty little tins or cheap and cheerful color but if it wasn’t for viewers requesting tutorials and brands providing some of these sets for free I wouldn’t be buying all of these. Part of my business online is reviewing products so you can decide to save or splurge and uncover frugal gems or warn you against bum products. It’s fun to try so many new supplies, it’s like being a kid on Christmas but before you get swept up in the next new thing ask if it is better or different than what you have already. The Meeden half pans are a great value…if you need them.

Have a great day and til next time happy crafting!