Making your own acrylic paint is fairly simple and a great way to save money. It will also enable you to achieve beautiful vivid colours as you won’t be adding any fillers or extenders to your paint.
Be aware though that Acrylic binders dry quickly, so you will need to work fast if you want to store it for future use in an airtight container.
Alternatively, you can mix small amounts of acrylic paint for immediate use.
You will need…
- Plastic or glass container for mixing
- Coloured Earth Pigment
- Pallet knife or glass muller
- Flat non-porous surface such as glass
- Artists Acrylic Medium
- Wooden mixing stick or chopstick for mixing the paint
- Empty airtight containers/tubes if you wish to store the finished paint
There are various types of acrylic medium available (gloss, matt, gel, liquid, translucent, white) which are all suitable for mixing with pigments but it’s worth remembering that their characteristics will influence the look and feel of the finished paint.
Note: Measure and record all of your quantities and mix ratios. Different pigments may need different quantities of binder so it’s good to have a record for when you need to repeat the process. Also if you are using multiple pigments in a paint you will want to know for the future should you want to remix the same colour.
- Place pigment onto a flat, non-porous surface. Traditionally this would be a ground glass or marble surface but any stable flat non-porous surface can be used. To ensure there are no lumps grind with a pallet knife or a glass muller if you have one. If you want, you can create a paste by adding a small amount of water. This will help keep the pigment together whilst grinding.
- In your mixing container, mix together the pigment and Acrylic Binder. Refer to the instructions that came with the acrylic binder for mix ratios.
Don’t forget that you can mix several different pigments to make your own unique colours. Mixing can be done either at the dry pigment stage or by adding additional pigments to an existing acrylic colour. Be careful not to add too many different pigments though, this will result in a muddy coloured paint.
The paint is now ready to be used. Either store in an airtight container or use the paint immediately.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy paint for craft purposes, you may like to look at our guide to making PVA Glue Paint.