Before You Start: Quick Tips for Acrylics

There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes, but why not prepare yourself a little bit for what’s ahead—especially if this is your first time painting with acrylics. Now at this point in my life, I have only painted with acrylics twice. But these 13 Tips for Working With Acrylic Paint have info in them that I wish I had known eight months ago when I stayed up late Christmas Eve just to finish painting my dad’s gift… that was a coffee night for sure.

After reading through these 13 tips, I thought a few stood out.

“1. Always keep a container of water next to your painting palette where you can rest the tips of any brushes you’re not currently using. This will prevent acrylic paint from hardening in the bristles and ruining your brushes.”

Note to self: stop leaving wet paint brushes out all night for Future Me to worry about. It is nearly impossible to get all of the paint out of a brush once that paint hardens overnight.

“8. Make sure the lids and tops of your acrylic paints are screwed on tightly at all times so the paint doesn’t dry out. This is a simple (and obvious) solution to keep from wasting a whole lot of paint at once.”

Do you know what does waste a lot of paint at once? When your paint cap is basically glued shut from the paint hardening and then when you try to twist it open, the entire tube splits, bleeding indigo into your hands. Now that’s wasteful.

“11. When mixing your paint colors, avoid mixing too vigorously—this may produce bubbles which could lead to cracking later on.”

If you are mixing paints in a way that can legitimately be described as “vigorous,” then it’s time to put that coffee down.

And one final tip from me — don’t overthink, just get started.

Don’t slow yourself down by trying to memorize every how-to article you can find. Just start painting and learn along the way.

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4 thoughts on “Before You Start: Quick Tips for Acrylics

  1. Melissa! This blog is going to be SO helpful in my life. Recently I have decided that I want to be a entrepreneur more than anything when I graduate and create furniture/ crafts. Looking forward to your posts!

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  2. Melissa, I painted with Acrylics all through high school and I wish I had this list at the time! The tip about not making bubbles is new to me, and I will definitely keep that in mind the next time I get out my supplies! Also, the one about water is very relevant. Brushes get ruined so quickly, and quality ones are very expensive, so preserving them is crucial. I’m excited to see where this project takes you!

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    • Letting paint dry in the brushes is my downfall… which is why I make sure to buy cheap kind. Since you have more acrylic experience than me, maybe you can give me some tips in the future. And let me know if you do start any painting projects!

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