What Can I Add to Acrylic Paint to Thicken It Up?


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What home remedy thickens acrylic paint?

It is not uncommon for an artist to complain that acrylic paint is too runny. These paints vary from brand to brand and sometimes he will find one that is too fine to work with. The question is, then, what can be added to make it thicker?

While he may be tempted to mix a regular household product with his paint, there are a few factors to consider. Let's explore why this nifty painting hack may not work as well as you hope.

The problem with painting tips

Artists will try almost anything when it comes to their painting. We also tend to be, say, cheap. This leads us to think of all kinds of ideas to solve problems with our materials. Trying to thicken acrylics is no exception.

For the thrifty artist, it may be a good idea to turn to a common household product known for thickening things. Cornstarch and flour are two that often come to mind. After all, they do a fantastic job when you need to thicken a sauce, right?

While it is true that things like this may seem like an inventive painting trick, we must consider the long-term ramifications. The main concern here is the effect on the longevity of the paint. These tricks may work today, but you want your paint to last a long time. Adding an unknown item will compromise the archival qualities of your painting.

Also, you should think about the feasibility of your paint with these non-traditional additives. Artist paints are made with a specific formula, and for acrylics, part of that determines how they mix with water.

Even if you are trying to thicken the paint, you may want to thin it or add a wash over it. Adding water to acrylic that contains starch or cornstarch can result in an awful, slimy paste that may not be pleasant to work with.

The third and final consideration is the negative effect on the color of the paint itself. Paint tricks like this can alter the hue, for example, change from red to pink, and it can happen immediately, as it dries, or anytime in the future.

The best way to thicken acrylics

This argument against DIY painting tricks should convince you to avoid them. But what can you use? The simplest answer is one of the acrylic media designed for this purpose.

To be safe, spend a little money on some texture gel or modeling clay. Make sure this is the one that works with acrylics, as some mediums are formulated for other types of paint. These are made with the same resins and other ingredients that are used in acrylic paints. This removes all the concerns that we have discussed from the equation.

Check the label to see if the gel or paste dries transparent or opaque and if it has a matte or glossy finish. You should also indicate whether the medium will influence the color of the paint you are mixing it with. Some pastes look white, but dry and clear; others contain fillers that influence the intensity of the paint color.

Texture gels or pastes are water-based, so it's easy to clean your brushes or knives after use. You can mix the texture gel with your paint or use it to create the texture first and then paint over it. There are also some that you can create yourself.

Several manufacturers of acrylic paints produce these pastes, with a price linked to the brand. Something like Winsor and Newton's play dough in their cheaper Galeria acrylic line can be a good place to start. You will not have to invest a lot of money, but you will gain experience in using it and see for yourself how it affects your paintings.

Enjoy The Video Tutorial about How to Make Acrylics Thicker

Source: Chris Breier

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