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How to Dilute Acrylic Paint with Water and Acrylic Binder?

If your acrylic paint is too thick for your painting project, you need to dilute it. The viscosity of acrylic paint can be changed using two variables:

Water breaks down the connection between the individual pigments caused by the binder. As a result, the paint can be diluted, so that it can be applied almost transparent like water paint. More water causes the paint to sink deeper into the painting surface and create a dull surface.

Adding too much water, however, is also not advisable: too many water particles pull the color film too far apart, which can cause cracks or inequalities in the acrylic paint.

To paint watercolor-like, a color mixture consisting of 30 to 50 percent is tolerable.

For the typical pasty paint application, you should instead change the viscosity of your acrylic paint with medium or binder.

Dilute acrylic paint with medium

Medium is nothing but an acrylic binder. This addition to the color changes the viscosity of the mixture without splitting the connection of the individual color pigments to one another. Much more, can you imagine the addition of medium so that the number of pigments in the color mixture is distributed to an increasing total amount of color?

Due to the thinning of the acrylic paint by the medium, the color draws less into the painting surface (compared to dilution with water), but rather stays on top of it and then dries to a high gloss.

A color mixture consisting of 30 to 60 percent medium is not a problem as long as the acrylic paint is highly pigmented.


Acrylic paint needs to be thinned to create fluid paintings that flow over the paint base. Here are mixtures of 50 percent color, 30 to 40 percent medium and 10 to 20 percent water is an excellent guide.

The result can then look like this:

Dilute acrylic paint with water and acrylic binder

Also, when painting with a brush, spatula, or squeegee, the diluted acrylic paint can be used to apply the paint like a glaze. This makes it possible to paint even the softest transitions that are necessary for photorealistic painting.

Last but not least, the need to dilute an airbrush color should be addressed. The spray nozzles are excellent and have a diameter of 0, X mm. Even the intended airbrush colors are sometimes too viscous or have too large a pigment. If you add binders to the paint, you can increase their fluidity, so they do not stick to the spray gun.

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