How to Make Acrylic Paint Thicker

Michael Daly
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Gel Mediums Can Get Your Acrylic Paint Thicker

You might need to thicken your acrylic paint for some or some other reason. Maybe you’re painting puffy paint flowers with a lot of water or you’re layering paint colors to get a certain effect.

Either ways, you may have ended up with watered down paint that’s too thin to use. The good news is that here are several ways you can use to thicken paint to get the texture and consistency you want.

One effective way that I use to thicken my paints is by using gel mediums. It’s an additive product available in an endless list of colorful options that’s mixed with paint to create a thicker texture.

To thicken paint, while keeping its transparency, simply mix a small amount of gel medium with your preferred paint color. Gel mediums are available in a range of viscosity from thin to very thick.

The higher the gel medium ratio, the thicker the paint. Experiment with various ratios to get the paint consistency and transparency that you want.

Modeling Paste Is A Great Alternative To Gels

There are more ways than one to thicken acrylic paint. The most preferred method when using acrylic paints is using modeling paste. This is because it is easy to medium to create the paste and more importantly, it is easy to paint with.

Modeling paste is water-based and is essentially made up of concentrated acrylic paint. You can make your own modelling paste or buy it at an art store.

When you buy modeling paste, you simply need to add warm water to it to get a paste the consistency you need.

Mix the paste and water in equal proportions to get the consistency you’re looking for.

An alternative you can use as a thickener and cleaner is hairspray. It is more effective than white glue, and it is affordable. It can also be found in every house hold.

To use it, spray a small amount on a paper plate. Then dip your brush in it. This method works best with paint that has already been cleaned. For brushes that are in bad shape, you will need to clean them first with white school glue and water. The hairspray can be used as a cleaning agent for dried paint.

If you want to add a bit of shine to your model, you can also add a small drop of hairspray to the finish layer of paint.

DIY Options To Thicken Acrylic Paints

If you are a proud owner of acrylic paints, you should know that these paints are water based. If you’re a watercolorist or you prefer working with watercolor, you already know that water is a great tool to help you make your mixture fluid and smooth but to give you a harder edge, adding a little bit of acrylic paint to watercolor is always a good idea.

But have you ever thought of adding a little bit of watercolor to your paint?

Acrylic paints are unlike watercolor paints. Watercolor adds transparency, which makes the pigment look softer and the paint look lighter. This is very different from acrylic paints that are quite opaque, which makes the colors look more vibrant.

A typical jar of acrylic paints usually comes with about half of water and half of pigment. The amount of water varies depending on the manufacturer’s recommendation.

If you like to use watercolor in your painting, you may want to consider adding a little bit of it to your acrylic paints. This way, you can add more water to your mixture and you will have a softer edge when using your brush to paint the canvas.

If your acrylic paints are a little too hard and thick, you can add a little bit of water, about two to five percent. This may make the paint a little too thin.

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