Thinning Acrylic Paint: Comparing Different Options

Thinning Acrylic Paint

You want to thin your acrylic paint, but you are worried about compromising the quality of the paint? In this tutorial you will learn how to get a lovely liquid paint that does not lose quality.

Thinning acrylic paint with water

Acrylic paint is a water-based painting medium that is soluble in water when wet so that it can be diluted with water. When it comes to thinnability several variables are involved, such as the quality of the paint, the painting surface, and if you use a special paint medium (and what kind). Some sources recommend not to mix acrylic paint with more than 50 percent water. Beyond that the polymer in the acrylic paint can break up and lose its linking properties, causing the paint coat to break apart.

To be on the safe side, many manufacturers recommend that when painting on a non-absorbent surface such as primed canvas no more than 30 percent of water should be used to thin the acrylic paint. If you paint on an absorbent surface, you can use more water as its fibres (unprimed canvas, paper or wood) will hold the pigment and absorb the excess water. If you use less than 30 percent water, there is no need to worry about a negative effect on the binding qualities of the paint.

Experiment with acrylic paint

To drastically change the viscosity of the paint while maintaining its chemical integrity, you can thin the paint with one of the many different thinning mediums available for acrylic paints.

The following mediums are particularly popular for thinning acrylic paint:

Liquitex Pouring Medium

Liquitex’s famous product is a favourite especially for liquid painting techniques such as acrylic pouring. The high quality of this medium will thin your colour without affecting its brilliance. Liquitex Pouring Medium dries out colorless and does not dampen the color.


Floetrol for Thinning Acrylic Paint

Floetrol was originally designed for DIY purposes: It shortens the drying time of the paints and makes them easier to apply. This also has a positive effect on the paint artists use. The color qualities are in no way inferior to those of Liquitex.

With Floetrol you get a little more for your money because it is sold in a larger unit. Anyone who wants to save a buck should look into the possibilities with Floetrol.

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