How To Thin Acrylic Paint?

How To Thin Acrylic Paint?

Painting is a great way to create a work of art, but it can be difficult to achieve the exact color and consistency that you want. Luckily, there are many ways you can thin acrylic paint depending on what your needs are.

In this post, we’ll cover how to thin acrylic paint with water, glaze mediums, waxes, and more.

How To Thin Acrylic Paint With Water:

Water is probably the most common way to thin acrylic paint and it works for a variety of different mediums. Acrylic paints use some natural resins as binders, which makes them very resistant to water. This means that you will need to add some sort of additive to your cup before adding any water.

Here Are a Few Suggestions:

Add 1 tsp of white vinegar to your cup for every 2 ounces of paint you want to thin, then add water until it’s the consistency that you’re looking for. This method is good for using acrylics in their normal consistency with just a slight dilution to save some money or work faster.

The vinegar smell will fade as the water dries. Add 1 tsp of Liquid Soap to your cup for every 2 ounces of paint, then add water until it’s the consistency you’re looking for.

This method is probably best used when you need a more matte finish and/or if you want very diluted acrylics (similar to watercolor paints).

Add 1 tsp of Glycerin to your cup for every 2 ounces of paint, then add water until it’s the consistency you’re looking for.

This method works great if you want a slightly more matte finish and don’t plan on keeping the piece for too long because glycerin can make the paint degrade over time.

If you’re looking to thin a lot of paint at once, put your amount of paint into a larger container and slowly add water until you’ve reached the desired consistency.

Be careful not to pour too much water in at once so as to avoid creating bubbles as you mix it together.

How to Thin Acrylic Paint With Glaze Mediums:

Glaze mediums are a great option to add some shine and variety to your paint, but they can also dilute the color too much. Glycerin is a good additive if you want something that will stick with you for a long time and keep its’ luster.

Here’s How to Thin Acrylic Paint With Glaze Medium:

Mix 1 part glaze medium to 2 parts paint. Mix 1 1/2 parts glaze medium to 1/2 parts paint (for translucent look).

How To Thin Acrylic Paint With Wax?

Wax is sometimes used by artists as a way of keeping their paints from drying out or to create something called “scum”, which is a really nice way to create texture. To thin your paint using wax, just follow the directions on the container of waxes that you have.

How to Thin Acrylic Paint With Liquitex Flow Improver?

If you’re looking for a good medium that will help keep your acrylic paints from drying out then consider using Liquitex flow improver. It’s a water-based additive that will extend the drying time of your paint, create a matte finish and keep it from cracking or peeling over time.

Here Are Some Quick Directions On How To Thin Acrylic Paint With Liquitex Flow Improver:

Mix 1 part flow improver with 2 parts paint (or 4 parts water).Mix 1 part flow improver with 3 parts paint (or 6 parts water) for a less matte finish. Add the flow improver to your cup, then add drops of water to it until you’ve reached your desired consistency.

Be careful not to add too much water at once so as to avoid creating bubbles as you mix it together.

How To Thin Acrylic Paint With Liquitex Matte Medium?

Liquitex Matte Medium is a water-based additive that will give your acrylic paints a nice matte finish and extend the drying time. If you’re looking for something that dries quickly and with minimal sheen then this is a good choice.

Here Are A Few Quick Tips On How To Thin Acrylic Paint With Liquitex Matte Medium:

Mix 1 part matte medium with 2 parts paint (or 4 parts water). You can also mix 3/4 parts of matte medium with 1/3-1/2 parts of water for an even less glossy finish.

How To Thin Acrylic Paint With Spray On Varnish?

If you’re looking for something to do some quick, powerful blending then this is the method for you! If you want some extra protection for your piece (or don’t like the brushstrokes that often come with acrylic paints) then consider spraying on a layer of clear spray varnish.

Here’s A Quick Tutorial On How To Thin Acrylic Paint With Spray On Varnish:

Put your acrylic paint in a cup and slowly add varnish to it, stirring after every few drops so as to avoid bubbles from forming. The amount of varnish you add will depend on the finish you’re looking for. Add varnish slowly until it’s the consistency you’re looking for.

Set your cup aside with the lid on and let the paint dry overnight to avoid any bubbles or inconsistencies with how it dries in case there are bits of undissolved acrylic in your mixture.

Why We Need to Thin Acrylic Paint?

We need to thin acrylic paint for two main reasons. The first is that the consistency of your paints can affect how it looks on your canvas/paper whether you’re using them for solid colors or gradients. Thinning the paint with water, mediums and other additives will give you a more saturated color if that’s what you’re looking for or something more translucent for a subtle look.

The second reason we thin our paint is that it’s not good to use thick acrylic paints since they tend to clog and dry in your brush and even on your canvas/paper if you’re using them to create gradients with multiple colors.

That just about covers everything you need to know on how to thin acrylic paint. There are tons of additives, mediums, and varnishes out there that you can try on your next painting, but these are the most common ones.

With a little bit of trial and error, you’ll be able to find out what works best for you! I hope you enjoyed this article on how to thin acrylic paint.

If there are any questions about these tips or suggestions for future tutorials, please let us know by leaving a comment below, Thanks for reading.


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Blanche Luna
By Blanche Luna

I'm Blanche Luna, the CEO of Ppaint.co.uk. I first got into painting when I was 8 years old and my parents bought me a set of watercolors as an early Christmas present. It would be another 1/1.5 years before I'd actually use them, but even then, it was because my sister needed to borrow some for her art project. Painting was something that interested me too much! I grew up in New York City but fell head-over-heels for Manchester where I now live with my husband for five years. We have two cats who are really good at destroying things including our furniture and hardwood floors. I'm a women with an eye for design. I have a masters in interior decoration and did extensive research on paints when I was in college. I'm passionate about colors, so if you need someone to help you pick out paint colors or anything else for your home, do contact us!



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