We all have acrylic paints in our stash but we don’t always know how to use them and get the best results. Using acrylic paints can seem complicated but if you follow these 5 tips you will create beautiful projects with no problem.
First, it’s important to use the right brushes. Acrylic paint brushes are synthetic and can be used with other mediums like gesso. Don’t compromise on the quality of the brushes and buy the simple kids brushes or brushes that are meant for watercolors or oil paints.
The quality of the paints is important too, but that doesn’t mean you need to buy expensive paints. You can use inexpensive brands as well. The consistency of the paints changes with different types of paints. Basically, there are two types: heavy body, which is thicker than the more liquid regular paint. Experiment with both types and see which type you like. The most important thing to remember is that acrylic paint is a pigment mixed with polymer emulsion. If you add too much water you can break the emulsion and the paint will not hold. The best way to thin out the paint is to use a translucent thinner made for acrylic paint or very little water.
Mixing paint to create new colors is a precise process. It’s good to know the color wheel and mix small quantities. Remember that mixing too many colors can result in mud. Use white and black to brighten or darken colors. Mix the paints with a brush or a palette knife and remember that some paints dry darker.
Prepare your surface
Preparing the surface you’re working on can make or break your project. It’s very important because it helps the paints “stick” to the surface and stay on it. It also allows the color to show and the finish to pop out.
Wood – Sand smooth with fine grit sandpaper, wipe off sawdust.
Glass – Thoroughly wash in warm, soapy water to remove dirt, dust and grease film. Then rinse in warm water and let it dry.
Canvas – Wipe primed canvas clean; if unprimed, apply 2 coats of gesso primer or acrylic paint.
Plastic – Clean with soap and water. You will need special plastic paint, though—“regular” acrylic paint doesn’t stick to plastic very easily.
Don’t put too much paint
Too much paint on the brush can cause the brush to bend when you’re applying the paint. It’s also harder to apply the paint, especially on small surfaces. You should load the brush with paint only until the middle and not all the way to the metal. It’s better to add paint than to have too much. Match the size of the brush to the surface you need to cover. Instead of loading the brush with a lot of paint use a larger brush.
Now that you’ve mastered acrylic paints you can start creating!
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