Acrylic paints are a marvel of technology. Since this painting medium became available to artists in the mid-20th century, it has become a favorite for its intense hues, versatility and ease of use.
Acrylic paint is an emulsion that dries flexible yet impervious to moisture. With the addition of various mediums, it can emulate watercolor or oils and can be thinned into a watery dye or thickened to a density that allows an artist to build it into a three-dimensional shape.
There are loads of different additives one can add to change the texture and properties of acrylic paint. This versatility is one of the fun things about this incredible paint, but it gets pretty confusing when you start looking at all the products available.
There are products to make your paint thinner, products to make your paint thicker, products to change the texture and products to affect the basic characteristics of your acrylic paints.
Here are some fun products to make acrylic paint your go-to favorite.
Acrylic Paint Thickeners and Texturizing Products
There are tons of acrylic texturizers you can purchase to change the thickness or visual appearance of your paint. There are mediums that are so stiff you can carve into the dried paint or products that contain things like fibers, sand or glass beads.
They may be a clear gel, milky white that dries clear or a basic, white color. When dried, the finish may be matte, satin or gloss, so make sure to check for the finish you prefer.
Acrylic Paint Thinning Or Glazing Products
You can certainly thin your acrylic paint with water, but if you get a bit too generous with the H2O, you run the risk of it losing the ability to properly bind to your support.
If you’re painting on a porous surface like paper, this may not be problematic. However, if you’re painting on other surfaces or attempting to glaze over other layers of paint, you may run into problems.
These additives are available in matte, satin and gloss finishes and may be a clear gel or a milk-white emulsion that dries clear.
Acrylic Retarding Products
If your paints seem to dry too quickly for you to blend them, this is the product for you! If you like to fiddle around with your paints or find that doing detail work with thicker paint is cumbersome, this product slows the drying time, so you’ll never feel rushed.
If you’re working in a very hot, dry climate, this is a perfect additive. It also helps keep the paint from skinning on your palette.
Acrylic Dispersant Medium
Often called a flow medium, this additive breaks the water tension of your paint to improve flow, absorbency and blending. It does not lessen the opacity or strength of your paint. Perfect for the new pour-method of painting.
Acrylic Textile Medium
If you’ve ever tried painting with acrylics on fabric, you know that when the paint dries, your fabric is stiff and unyielding. If you want your finished work to remain flexible, this medium is the perfect choice.
Using textile medium with your acrylic paints allows the pigment to penetrate the fibers of the fabric. Your paint remains flexible, permanent and won’t run, bleed or crack.