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Readers Respond: What Tips Do You Have for Acrylic Painting?

Responses: 10

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What tips do you have for someone learning to paint with acrylics? What do you wish you'd know when you first started acrylic painting? Share your favorite acrylic painting tips with us here.

Another Free Palette

I have many different palettes. My latest is a disused phone book. I paint fast & rip the pages out when they are messy & start a new page often!
—Guest Loma

Biscuit Container Palette

There's no better palette than the plastic from biscuit containers or small cake containers. This is because it is divided into lots of separate compartments and also each compartment has a floor in grids. This means that when mixing and shading, you have the two shades at opposite sides of a compartment and as you drag them towards each other, the grids divide them naturally up into a number of shades. This is also very good with dye-based mediums.
—Guest Thomas Kent

To Give Added Shine and Extend the Paint

I use PVA glue and mix it with the acrylic paint it also gives a texture finish if needed. It's also cheap to buy from a supermarket in 500ml containers. It makes the paint go much further and does not affect the drying time, but to much will alter your colour tint.
—iddy666

Stop Acrylic Paint Drying Too Fast

I soak kitchen towels in water, then put these on an old plate. Then I use ordinary kitchen greaseproof paper over the top of this, as a palette. This helps stop the paint from drying out too fast. I also wrap clingfilm over the plate if I am interrupted. Another tip is to spray the paint often with water.
—Guest Basil

Available Cheap Palettes

I use egg cartons for my paint. I cut them in half if using less paints than egg carton size. If interrupted when painting, I have the lid available to pop down keeping my paint moist until my return.
—hra2

Disposable Palette

The plastic disposable trays from TV dinners work well for painting. I place the paint in each section and they never mix by mistake.
—Guest bglazier

Muted Colors

I used to toss felt tip markers when they were weak. It's time consuming enough without fighting with your materials. But now I save them to impart delicate tones and shading.
—Guest lingcod9

A Cheap/fFee Palette

I've started using Styrofoam pizza bases as palettes -- just throw them away when you've finished with it!
—JamesOapostropheNeil

Dissolving Acrylic Paint

When this first became available in the UK about mid 60's it was reported that acrylic paint could be dissolved with Methylated spirits, including cleaning a brush which had gone hard. We never read of that now. I know it works.
—Guest Geoff Gilham

Hide Mistakes

If I make a horrible mistake or some part of a painting won't work right no matter what I do, I paint it out with titanium white and in a few minutes can start over again. It must be titanium white not zinc white, as it's the opaquest white.
—Guest Josie

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