How To Make Acrylic Paint: A Comprehensive Guide

Making your own acrylic paint is a great way to save money and get the colors you want. In this tutorial, we will answer common questions about how to make acrylic paint, including what supplies you need and the steps involved in the process. We’ll also provide some helpful tips to make the process go more smoothly. So whether you’re a beginner or an experienced painter, read on for all the information you need to know about making your own acrylic paint!

Advantages to DIY Paints

There are several reasons why you might want to make your own acrylic paints.

Perhaps the most obvious one is that it can be cheaper than buying premade paint from the store. This means that if you’re just starting out with painting or have limited resources then this might be a good option for you!

You also have more control over the colors and other properties of the paint. DIYing gives artists more control over their artwork by allowing them to mix colors precisely how they want them without having limitations imposed by commercial manufacturers’ palettes (which often contain only a few options).

When you make your own acrylic paint, you’re using pigments that have been specifically chosen for their quality and permanence, so the paints will last longer than commercially made ones (which often contain fillers and other chemicals).

In fact, many professional artists choose to mix their own paints because they know that the results will be more reliable in terms of color and longevity.

Another advantage to making your own acrylics is that you can customize them to suit your needs. For example, if you need a particular type of paint for a special project, you can create it yourself using ingredients that work best for what you’re trying to do. This level of flexibility is hard to find with commercial paints.

Finally, homemade acrylics offer an environmental benefit: by making your own paints, you’re reducing the amount of waste that would otherwise go into landfills or other disposal sites.

How to Get Started

If you’re interested in making your own acrylic paints, here’s what you need to do:

Gather Your Supplies

The first step is to gather the supplies you’ll need. This includes paint bases, pigments, solvents, and a container to mix everything in. You can find a more detailed list of what you’ll need below.

Weigh Out the Pigments

Once you have all of your supplies together, it’s time to weigh out the pigments. The ratio of pigment to the base will vary depending on the type of paint you want to make, but for most basic acrylics a weight ratio of around 20% pigment to 80% base is a good place to start.

Mix the Pigments and Bases

Now it’s time to mix everything together! Start by adding the base to the container, then slowly add in the pigment while stirring constantly. You may need to adjust the ratio of pigments and bases depending on how you want your paint to turn out, but this basic recipe will give you a good starting point.

Store Your Paint

Once your paint is mixed, store it in an airtight container and label it with the date so you can keep track of how long it lasts. It should stay fresh for around six months if stored correctly.

Types of Pigments

Organic Pigments

These are made from plants or animals and can be either natural (such as those found in berries) or synthetic (produced artificially). They’re often used for food coloring, but they also make great pigments!

Mineral Pigments

Some minerals have striking colors that lend themselves well to making paint. A few examples of common mineral pigments include titanium dioxide (TiO₂), which is white; iron oxides, such as red ochre; and carbon black (C). These types of materials tend to have better lightfastness than organic ones because they don’t contain any carbon bonds which break down over time due to sunlight exposure.

Paint Bases

The acrylic paint base is the foundation of your paint. It’s what gives it its opacity and determines how flexible (or brittle) the final product will be.

There are two main types of paint bases: acrylic polymer emulsion and vinyl acrylic emulsion.

Acrylic polymer emulsion is the most common type of paint base, and it’s made from an acrylic resin that has been dissolved in water (or another solvent). The acrylic polymer emulsions used for paints typically contain polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC) or polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), but they can also include other polymers like styrene-butadiene copolymer (SB latexes) and ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymerization products such as EVA terpolymers.

Vinyl acrylic emulsion paint bases are similar to their counterparts except that instead of being made with PMMA alone, these bases have other monomers mixed into them such as styrene, vinyl acetate, and butadiene.

These bases have a higher viscosity than acrylic polymer emulsions because their particle sizes are smaller. They tend to be more expensive as well due to the cost of producing such small particles (less than 0.01 micrometers) using conventional methods like grinding or milling processes used in manufacturing paints today.


The solvent is what you’ll use to thin out your acrylic paint. It’s important that it be miscible with water because otherwise, the two liquids won’t mix together properly and there will be an uneven distribution of pigment throughout the mixture – this can lead to uneven colors in your finished product!

There are a variety of solvents that can be used to thin out acrylic paint, but the most common one is water. Alcohols like isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and ethanol can also be used, but they have a higher evaporation rate so it’s important to keep an eye on your paint as you’re working with it – if it starts to get too thick, add more solvent!

Adding Mediums

You can also add mediums to your acrylic paints in order to change their properties. For example, adding gloss or matte medium will give your paint a shiny or dull finish, respectively; while adding a retarder will slow down the drying time so you have more time to work with it. Experiment with different combinations to see what works best for the effects you’re trying to achieve!

How to Make Acrylic Paint: Step By Step Tutorial

Supplies You’ll Need

The first step in making your own acrylics is to gather all the supplies you’ll need for this project. You don’t have many options when it a bunch of materials, but there are some things that will be essential no matter which method you choose:


These are the colors that will form the basis of your paint. They can come from a variety of sources such as a tube or powdered paints, natural earths and minerals, or even homemade dyes made with vegetables like beets or onions.

Some artists prefer to use store-bought pigments because they want more control over their color palette while others enjoy experimenting by combining different types together (i.e., mixing an indigo blue pigment with a yellow ochre one).

Acrylic Base

This is what holds everything else in place and gives the paint its consistency; it’s usually either polymer emulsions or water-soluble resins that you can buy at any art supply store.


This is used to thin the paint and make it more flexible for use.

Container to Mix Everything In

It can be anything from a small jar or cup to a dedicated paint pot or palette. Make sure the container you choose is big enough to fit all of your ingredients and has a spout for easy pouring.

Other Supplies

In addition to the supplies listed above, you’ll also need some basic tools like stirring sticks, measuring cups and spoons, and an airtight container to store your paint in.

Steps Involved In The Process

Now that you have all of your supplies, let’s go over the basic steps involved in making your own acrylic paint.

Step 1

The first step is to choose the colors you want to work with. This can be done by either mixing different pigments together or selecting ones that are already premixed (in which case you’ll need to know their lightfastness ratings). Once you’ve decided on the colors, measure out each pigment according to how much paint you want to make.

Step 2

Next, add the acrylic binder to your container and begin mixing in the water until you have a thin consistency (this will vary depending on how thick the paint is supposed to be). Then start adding the pigment, a little at a time, while constantly stirring. Use a brush or palette knife to mix the ingredients together until they are fully combined.

Keep adding pigment and stirring until you reach the desired color saturation; then let the paint sit for an hour or two so that the ingredients can blend together properly.

That’s all there is to it! Your new paint should last for several months if stored in a cool, dry place. Now go forth and create beautiful works of art!

8 Tips For Making Acrylic Paints At Home

Here are a few helpful tips that can help you when making your own acrylic paints:

  1. If you’re using premixed pigments, it’s important to know their lightfastness ratings before adding them to the binder; otherwise, they might fade over time. You should also be aware of how much pigment needs to be added for each color so as not to use too little and end up with an ultra-light shade (or vice versa). Mixing with acrylic mediums such as gels or pastes instead of water will give you better results because these products contain binders which make them more stable over long periods without cracking or peeling off. The proportions used will depend on what consistency the paint needs to be for your project but generally speaking, it should be about 20% pigment/80% binder (e.g., if you’re making brown acrylics then use one part burnt umber).
  2. If using earth pigments that have been ground into a fine powder (such as indigo or lapis lazuli), it’s helpful to sift them through something like cheesecloth before adding them in order that they don’t clump together when mixed with water and binders. It also helps ensure an even distribution of color throughout your paint mixture which gives better results overall.
  3. Take care not to add too much water as this could dilute your paint and make it runny or difficult to apply evenly on canvas; conversely, if there isn’t enough then the pigment won’t mix well with other ingredients which means that some areas of color will remain darker than others (a phenomenon known as ‘mud’). This can be avoided by using only enough fluid so that all parts are equally wetted but without excess liquid pooling at one end of the palette knife blade.
  4. If making a large batch, it might take several hours for everything to thoroughly blend together so patience is key here! Keep stirring until no lumps appear in the mixture and then allow it time to sit before applying any more mediums such as gels or pastes.
  5. Acrylic paints dry quickly which means they’re great for projects where you need an immediate result or when working on something that needs to be finished soon (like a painting). They also tend not to last us long so if using them often, make sure there is always plenty stocked up in your studio.
  6. If making only small amounts at once, consider storing them in ice cube trays or even plastic cups with lids; this will help prevent drying out between uses and keep everything fresher longer! You can also freeze extra paint for future use too!
  7. When adding binder ingredients like gums or acrylic mediums, always start with a small amount and increase gradually until you reach the desired consistency. This prevents the paint from becoming too thick or difficult to work with and also helps it last longer once dried.
  8. Finished paint can be stored in airtight containers for several months without any problems; just make sure not to add any wetting agents like water which could cause them to spoil more quickly.

Final Words

We hope you found this tutorial helpful and that it provides the information you need to start making your own acrylic paints! As with anything, practice makes perfect so don’t be afraid to experiment a little until you get the hang of things. Remember, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to art so just go with what feels right for you and enjoy the process.

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