How to Make Acrylic Paint Thicker? – Ultimate Guide

Written By James Donald
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Over 12 years of experience in the painting industry. Feel free to contact us with painting-related queries or comments.
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Acrylic paint is popular among artists. It is versatile, dries quickly, and is easy to use. Sometimes, you need to make acrylic paint thicker for your projects. This guide will show you how to do it.


Why Make Acrylic Paint Thicker?

Thicker paint has many advantages. It gives texture to your paintings. It can create a 3D effect. It also helps when working on different surfaces like canvas or wood.

Materials Needed

  • Acrylic paint
  • Palette knife
  • Gel medium
  • Modeling paste
  • Talcum powder or cornstarch

Methods to Thicken Acrylic Paint

1. Using Gel Medium

Gel medium is a popular choice. It thickens paint without changing the color. Here are the steps:

  1. Squeeze some acrylic paint on your palette.
  2. Add a small amount of gel medium.
  3. Mix them using a palette knife.
  4. Add more gel medium if needed.

2. Using Modeling Paste

Modeling paste is another option. It adds texture and body to the paint. Follow these steps:

  1. Put acrylic paint on your palette.
  2. Add modeling paste to the paint.
  3. Mix well with a palette knife.
  4. Adjust the amount of paste as needed.

3. Using Talcum Powder Or Cornstarch

Talcum powder or cornstarch is a household item. It is easy to find and use. Here is how to do it:

  1. Place some acrylic paint on your palette.
  2. Add a small amount of talcum powder or cornstarch.
  3. Mix thoroughly with a palette knife.
  4. Add more powder or cornstarch if needed.

4. Letting The Paint Dry Out

This is a simple method. It involves letting the paint dry naturally. Follow these steps:

  1. Squeeze out some acrylic paint on your palette.
  2. Leave it exposed to air for a few hours.
  3. Check the consistency periodically.
  4. Mix the dried paint with fresh paint if needed.

Tips for Thicker Paint

  • Use a palette knife for mixing. It helps get a smooth texture.
  • Start with small amounts of thickener. You can always add more.
  • Test the paint on a scrap piece before applying it to your project.
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Common Mistakes to Avoid

Here are some mistakes to avoid when thickening acrylic paint:

  • Adding too much thickener at once. It can make the paint lumpy.
  • Not mixing thoroughly. It can result in an uneven texture.
  • Using the wrong type of thickener. Some materials can change the color or finish of the paint.

Other Uses for Thicker Acrylic Paint

Thicker acrylic paint is not just for canvas. It can be used on various surfaces:

WoodCreates a rustic look.
MetalAdheres well and adds texture.
PaperGives a unique, raised effect.

If you are interested in painting on different surfaces, check out the best paint for ceramic pots. It provides some great tips for using thicker paint on ceramics.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Thicken Acrylic Paint?

You can use a gel medium or modeling paste to thicken acrylic paint.

What Is The Best Thickening Agent?

Gel mediums and modeling pastes are the best agents for thickening acrylic paint.

Can Cornstarch Thicken Acrylic Paint?

Yes, cornstarch can thicken acrylic paint, but it may affect the paint’s longevity.

Is Gel Medium Safe For Acrylic Paint?

Yes, gel medium is designed for use with acrylic paint and is safe.


Making acrylic paint thicker is easy. You can use gel medium, modeling paste, or even household items like talcum powder. Experiment with different methods to find what works best for you. Remember to test your paint before starting your project.

For more painting tips, you might also be interested in the best paint for styrofoam. It offers excellent advice for working with various materials.

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