How to dilute acrylic paint?

How to dilute acrylic paint?

Acrylic paint is very popular due to its characteristics. This dye is easy to apply and dries quickly. An important feature of this composition is the ability to apply to various types of surfaces, including wood, metal, plaster. This paint is not suitable for some types of plastic, although it is not often used in everyday life..

The advantage of this dye is the ability to adjust the consistency. We study options for diluting acrylic paint.

Features of paint

Acrylic paints are distinguished by their high environmental friendliness and fire safety, the absence of a pungent odor. They do not emit toxic substances during application and use. Therefore, they are often used for painting surfaces in medical institutions, children’s rooms and public places. These paints are often called water-based paints due to the water content in the chemical composition..

They are considered waterproof: after drying, a strong film forms on the surface that does not allow water to pass through. These compounds can be used as facade paint to renovate a variety of designs..

The surface painted with acrylic paint retains its color for a long time, it does not require additional maintenance due to the impermeability of dirt and dust to the deep layers. Shades do not fade in the sun, the composition does not crack in the cold, retains properties during temperature changes.

Consider the main components of acrylic paints.

  • An indispensable component is a pigment, which is an insoluble powder. It gives color to the composition, it is synthetic and natural in origin. The lightfastness and hiding power of the paint depends on the quality of the pigment..
  • Acrylic resin is used as a binder. It retains the pigment in the film surface formed after drying.
  • The paint contains water or an organic solvent that affects the viscosity level.
  • In addition, the composition contains fillers and additives used to obtain specific qualities of the paint (for example, stabilizers ensure long-term storage).

The quality of a paint is directly related to the ratio of the amount of fillers, pigments and binder. Permeability and water absorption depend on this. The composition and quality of acrylic from different manufacturers differ, more detailed information is contained on the containers with paint.

Acrylic paint is a thick mass that must be thinned before application. This is done to facilitate further application and obtain an even layer..

Thinning is also necessary if the paint has dried due to improper storage..

Solvents and thinners: what is the difference?

Often, beginners do not see the difference between a thinner and a solvent, believing that they are the same concept. But to get the desired result when diluted, you need to know that the quality of the resulting mass depends on the choice.

  • Solvents serve to liquefy and strip the composition from instruments. When a solvent is added, properties (for example, quality, drying speed, ease of application, surface reflection after painting) usually change for the worse. The solvent is used to remove dried stains from the surface..
  • Thinners are pigment-free substances already present in the base. The thinner has no effect on the properties, it changes the color saturation, the density of the paint. By using a thinner, you can give the surface a translucent effect and change the texture. Due to the water content of acrylic-based enamels, aqueous thinners are used..

When deciding what to opt for, think about what effect you want to achieve when painting, what surface you are going to work with.

  • If you need to paint walls, ceilings indoors, it is better to thin the paint with a water-based thinner..
  • If it is necessary to paint wood, furniture, you should choose thinners that improve the interaction of paint with a wooden surface..
  • If you are going to paint metal, you can use solvents..

What to do if the paints are dry?

Anyone can face such a problem. The paint dries up for various reasons. This can be a container that is not tightly closed, which has caused the water to evaporate, and also improper storage. It is impossible to return to the previous state, you can only make the composition suitable for further staining, but with a loss of quality. Reconstituted paint after drying is not recommended for important areas.

First you need to find out the cause of dryness.. If the substance has dried up due to non-compliance with storage conditions, then it cannot be restored.. Dried paint after the expiration of the shelf life is undesirable to use, although you can try to restore.

Dried paint due to water evaporation can be restored by following the instructions.

  • First you need to carefully rub the dried paint until a powder is formed..
  • After that, the powder is poured with boiling water to warm up the mass..
  • After a while, the water is drained, the mass should remain hot.
  • After draining, the mass is again poured with boiling water and mixed.
  • The paint is ready as soon as the mixture is warm enough.

It should be noted that after reconstitution the mixture will not be homogeneous. Alcohol can be used to restore material that has turned into a tight ball. To do this, dry paint is poured several times with alcohol, but this method leads to a loss of quality..

How to breed thick formulations?

It doesn’t matter what you are going to paint. Acrylic is used for painting walls, floors, ceilings, artistic painting of furniture, metal products. It can be used for outdoor and indoor use. Many artists use acrylic dyes to create their own paintings due to:

  • ease of application;
  • the ability to vary the tone;
  • saturation and density.

The lack of odor and the release of toxins is often a decisive factor when choosing the right paint. Thick acrylic paint is sold in stores, it is difficult to work with such a consistency. Working with a thick substance, it is impossible to achieve a good result: instead of a flat base, you will get a relief surface, on which traces of the tool used for painting will remain.

To avoid such situations, acrylic should be thinned with special thinners or solvents before use. Acrylic tends to dry out if the container has been opened for some time. The water evaporates, making the remaining mixture thicker.

In this case, before reuse, make sure that the material has an acceptable consistency for the job. If necessary, the colorant must be thinned with a solvent or thinner..

The choice of dilution material should be based on the desired result and the purpose of the paint. Acrylic paints are divided into areas of application. For example, there are facades for exterior and interior work, numbered acrylics for painting. Each type is characterized by its own properties, therefore, as a material, you can use a water-based thinner or an acrylic solvent.

The instructions prescribe information regarding the thinner recommended for the selected paint.. Before starting the dilution procedure, carefully read the instructions.. There are several ways to dilute, depending on the choice of dilution material. Let’s consider the main methods.

Dilution with water

One of the important components of acrylic paint is water, so acrylic paints can be thinned with water. The difficulty lies in the fact that the water must be purified and prepared. This complicates the task: solvents and other diluents from the store do not need additional preparation. The water should be cleaned of possible solid impurities, it should be cold. The water temperature should be 18-20 degrees. Purified cold water is needed so that the diluted mass is applied without lumps, it is homogeneous and uniform..

After preparing the water, you should start selecting the required dilution ratio. Compliance with the selected proportion becomes especially relevant if you need to use several cans of the same paint.. After dilution, the shade changes, if you do not monitor the accuracy of proportions, you can get several shades of the same color. To get a good result, you need to know the exact amount of water..

You will need a clean bottle and pipette to determine the correct proportion. The technology “by eye” is unacceptable: after the surface has dried, it will be possible to observe a discrepancy in shades. The selected container for measuring the amount of water should make it possible to determine the exact amount of material taken.

Shade testing should be done before staining. This is due to the fact that paint shades before and after drying may vary. It is recommended to apply the selected shade options on a test surface or in an inconspicuous place on the wall (ceiling, product) and wait until it dries completely. Then the test results are compared to choose the most suitable option. As soon as the optimal shade is selected, you can proceed to the next stage – dilution of the remaining paint.

Do not open several cans of the same color at the same time. Open acrylic paint dries faster, its density changes.

Even if you initially add the same amount of water, you can get different shades. After all, while you finish the first jar, part of the water will evaporate from the second open one, its density will change, and hence the color.

Depending on the desired result, professionals use different proportions of acrylic and water.

  • ten – undiluted paint. This is a thick substance, it allows you to create embossed surfaces. Usually it is used to implement design solutions when creating a volumetric surface. It is harder to work with such paint, it is difficult to apply to the surface, the material consumption when applied to the surface is large.
  • eleven – the same amount of water and material, the most optimal option for finishing work. The shade is even, uniform. No tool marks remain on the surface due to the absence of paint blobs. The disadvantage is a fairly high paint consumption.
  • 12 – the substance dissolves quickly in water, forming a homogeneous composition. It has a liquid paint consistency. The composition is easily applied to the surface, typed on the tool. The best application option is a smooth, even surface. This paint is often used to change the tone of the previous layer, for example, to lighten dark tones (the same color, but more liquid) or darken a lighter tone (a different color is used).
  • 15 – a liquid composition to achieve specific goals. Differs in high permeability. A similar composition is used to emphasize the surface structure, color complex geometric elements..
  • 1:15 – the most liquid composition. It is a mixture dyed in the selected color. A similar composition is used to implement color transitions..

Do not think that the proportions described above are mandatory norms. If necessary, you can independently choose the best option for the ratio of water and substance in order to achieve the desired effect from painting and shade.

Using thinner and thinner

Many acrylic manufacturers recommend special thinners that have a similar structure to paint. Sometimes the paint is diluted with a solvent, but this material changes the properties of the acrylic and the painted surface. You get faster drying of the painted layer, but you lose quality. You can find out how you can dilute acrylic from a particular manufacturer if you read the instructions for its use..

An important consideration before paint application is the surface treatment with a deep penetration primer. It will strengthen the structure of the base, acting like glue, and the paint will better lie on the prepared surface, adhering to the fine crystal lattice that the primer forms upon drying.

Depending on the tool that will be used for painting, there are recommendations for diluting the solution..

  • If you paint the surface with a brush or roller, your paint should resemble sour cream in consistency..
  • If a spray gun is used for coloring, the substance is diluted to such an extent that it resembles fat milk. This is done so that it is easily sprayed over the surface with a uniform and uniform layer..

The solvent or thinner should be added to the composition gradually in small portions. In this case, the mixture is constantly stirred until it becomes homogeneous. It is important not to allow the composition to delaminate into separate layers or paint curling. Do not neglect the thoroughness of stirring: the evenness and thickness of the applied layer depends on it..

Regardless of what exactly you are going to dilute acrylic paint, the instructions remain the same..

  • Prepare dilution containers in advance (they should hold the required amount of paint) and special rulers for measurements.
  • Pour the paint from the can you are going to dilute into the first container..
  • Measure the height of the substance level with a ruler, mix the composition thoroughly.
  • Pour the diluent into another container, and the height of the level should also be measured.
  • After preparation, you can begin to dilute the paint. To do this, slowly and carefully add the solvent to the paint, stirring the mixture constantly. The mixture must be homogeneous.
  • To achieve the desired viscosity, the mixture can be filtered.

Depending on the purpose of the paint, there are devices that help to assess the quality of the resulting mixture. For example, to paint cars, paint must meet strict parameters. A viscometer can be useful to calculate viscosity..

For information on the difference between a thinner and a solvent, see the following video.

The nuances of using a solvent

There are no special rules for the use of a solvent: it all depends on the purpose of the painting. Allocate the preparation of the material to change the qualities of the original substance or wash. A prepared acrylic remover is used to remove the substance from any surface, but it will not help remove paint from the skin. If your hands or any other part of your body gets dirty during staining, use a simple soapy solution to clean..

Manufacturers produce special additives for thinning acrylic, which add new properties to the composition. This could be getting a matte shade, adding shine, or changing the overall condition of the mixture. You can familiarize yourself with the purpose of a solvent or diluent in the list of information from the manufacturer, which is indicated on the packaging..

An important nuance should be noted: the fresher the diluent, the better the paint thinning result.

  • A small amount of thinner should be added to maintain color saturation. A large amount of thinner is added to achieve a transparent effect..
  • If you plan to paint surfaces with a spray gun, you should purchase special thinners for dilution. Their composition will create the most optimal mixture for spraying in an even layer..
  • The use of solvents and thinners can change the shade, strength, external qualities of the paint after application and drying on the surface.

Solvents affect the drying rate of the coating; when choosing a suitable product, you should pay attention to the climatic conditions of work.

Helpful hints

You can cope with such a task as diluting paint on your own. The main criterion in this matter is the correct selection of the substance for dilution. You should use clean water that does not contain various impurities. Dilution of paint does not occur without checking the result, so it is worth choosing an experimental surface for testing in advance. There are a few nuances worth considering..

  • When diluting acrylic paint, you need to dose water: getting rid of its excess will be problematic.
  • If you find the presence of a film on the surface after opening the container, you should carefully remove it. The presence of a film in the substance can lead to the formation of lumps and the appearance of characteristic marks on the surface when painting..
  • The choice of tool depends on the area to be painted. For small surfaces, you should opt for a flat brush, for a large area, it is recommended to use a paint roller or spray gun.

  • To achieve good paint quality, you need to shade the borders of the painted adjacent stripes..
  • Do not apply the material in a cross pattern..
  • Applying paint in two layers will help to achieve better paint quality and a smoother shade..
  • After completing the work, it is imperative to clean the tools from paint residues. Dried stains are difficult to remove. This paint cannot be soaked like other types. The tool should be washed in soapy water or use a special acrylic solvent for cleaning..

If the paint on the tool dries up, it will not be possible to return it to working condition. Have to buy a new one.

Acrylic paints are considered versatile, they are suitable for outdoor and indoor use due to their good resistance to weather conditions and temperature changes. Many people choose this type for good coverage, durability, these types of paints and varnishes are able to decorate surfaces for several years.

Washable acrylic paint is rarely chosen for stained glass. There are several ways to dissolve paint that has dried. If it is frozen, acetone, for example, will help to revive it. You can also dilute the paint that has thickened using a solvent purchased from a hardware store..

About the author