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Mix It Up - Mixing Acrylics For Different Effects

Acrylic paint is popular with painters for its versatility. The colours can be blended with other colours and with water to create a more textured or naturally-fading effect and acrylic paint works well on a whole host of surfaces, both indoors and out. Here we take a look at some of the many different mediums that acrylics can be mixed with.

Gloss Medium

Gloss medium, as the name suggests, gives acrylic paint a glossy finish and adds transparency. It also thins the paint, meaning it will cover more of your painting and will flow more easily from the brush.

Gloss medium can be used alongside a matte medium to create a satin-effect paint.

Matte Medium

The opposite of the gloss medium, a matte medium gives a non-reflective finish but still achieves some translucence. As with many mediums and additives, it can extend the paint and is waterproof once dry.

Mica Powder

This non-toxic mineral can be mixed with acrylic paint to add depth and texture as well as a shimmery quality. These powders can also be mixed with a variety of other mediums, so they shouldn’t pose any barriers to the other materials you choose to use.

Gel Medium

This one has varieties in matte and gloss but it serves a slightly different purpose. Gel medium thickens paint, allowing more of the brushwork to show up in the texture. It also makes the paint more adhesive, which means it can be used for collage pieces, too.

Texture Gels

These are a really good way to recreate specific textures. Available in several varieties to mimic different surfaces, they can also be mixed with a huge amount of other materials to create uniquely textured landscapes.


None of the things on this list are free, and if you’re low on funds there are some homemade alternatives that you could try.

Thickening paste can be made using water mixed with corn starch. Add 3 tablespoons of corn starch to 2 cups of water and bring to a boil on low heat. Stir the mixture continuously until it is thick enough to form a paste. Once cooled, this mixture is ready to use with your paints.

The versatility of acrylic paints is seemingly endless. As well as the things mentioned here, you might also try adding sand, glitter, or other grainy substances for different textures and effects. You can also experiment with different methods of mixing some of these elements, as some will produce different results to others and may suit your purposes better. Get mixing and see what you can come up with. Now order at the comfort of your home and get your print and frame online.

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