How Much Water and/or Medium Can I Add to Acrylic Paint?


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How much water do I mix with acrylic paint?

Acrylic paint is water-based and therefore soluble in water when wet, so water can be used to dilute it. When it comes to how much can be thinned, several variables come into play, such as the quality of the paint, the surface area, and if you are using support (and what type). Some sources advise not to mix acrylic paint with more than 50% water. If you run out of it, the polymer in acrylic paint can break down and lose its adhesive qualities, causing it to peel or chip at some point or the paint to lift when you paint subsequent coats.

Certainly, many manufacturers suggest using no more than 30% water to thin acrylics when painting on a non-absorbent surface, such as a primed canvas. When painting on an absorbent surface, you can use any amount of water as the fibers of the unprimed canvas, paper, or wood will retain the pigment in the substrate and absorb excess water. Using less than 30 percent water eliminates any problems related to a negative effect on the binding properties of the paint.

Experiment with acrylics

It's good to experiment and see for yourself what happens to acrylic paint with different amounts of water added. Make a color chart and label the wash samples with the different proportions of water or types of media used. You will notice that after thinning beyond a certain point, the paint begins to droplet and break down into small pigment spots as it dries. This shows that the water caused the acrylic polymer to lose its binding properties, causing the pigment to disperse. With good quality materials, you can use a lot of water with your paint to achieve different effects. Premium professional grade acrylic paints can hold more water than lower grade student paints because professional-grade paint starts with a higher ratio of pigment to binder.

Excessive dilution

If you want to significantly thin your paint with water, it is possible to use more than 50 percent, according to Nancy Reyner, author of "The Acrylic Revolution." On her painting blog, Reyner says that she sometimes uses a ratio of 80 percent water to 20 percent paint in what is called "over-thinning" paint. The reaction of this paint depends on the surface on which it is painted. She says it's best to use high-quality paints on a surface that, if printed, is made with professional acrylic plaster and use filtered water to remove impurities.

Mixing acrylic paint with more water makes it act like watercolor paint and gives it a more matte finish. If you are new to glazing, take a small container and put in some paint and 50% water (judge by volume), then mix the two well to get an idea of ​​the amount of water. Unlike watercolor, since acrylic is not soluble in water when it dries, you can paint over layers of enamel without disturbing the underlying layers.

Painting with mediums

To dramatically change the viscosity of the paint while maintaining its chemical integrity, dilute the paint with one of the many media available to the acrylic painter.

You can use many different media (icing, texture paste, etc.) with acrylic paints to give different effects, such as thinning, thickening, adding texture, glazing, or delaying set time. You can mix as much acrylic medium as you like because acrylic media contains the same resin that makes paint stick. Golden, for example, describes his media as "colorless paint."

However, some acrylic media, such as retarder media and flow improver, are actually additives and do not have the same acrylic binders as paints and other media, so you must follow the instructions on the container when using them. Mix them with your paints. The Golden Acrylic Retarder instructions warn that if you add too much to your paint, it will not dry out.

Enjoy The Video Tutorial about is it ok to add water to Acrylic Paint?

Source: Lachri Fine Art

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