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How Much Water Can You Safely Add to Acrylic Paint?

75 thoughts on “How Much Water Can You Safely Add to Acrylic Paint?”

    • Hi Michael – Thank you so much!! We love doing this type of research so much that we sometimes forget to think of it as hard work! But more seriously – we definitely appreciate hearing that articles like this are appreciated and valued. It makes it all worth the effort – truly.

      • so helpful
        and I have so much airbrush paint ,hope I can use a little
        do not airbrush any longer.
        great site thank you


        • Hi Linda –

          Glad the article was helpful! The Airbrush Colors should perform very similarly to the High Flow paints we tested, so feel fairly confident you should be able to use them in the same ways. Just follow the same guidelines if wanting to dilute them with water.


    • I never add water to Golden acrylics Colors.
      As I never à add water to my wine…
      I neverthless mix some Golden mediums to golden HB or fluid Colors. But never water.
      Consequently I use a lot of pure from the packing or container, Golden colors. My technique is applying colors withe squeegees on the canvas. Many layers wet on wet.

      • One of the wonderful things about acrylics is how it lends itself to so many different approaches – but also have to admit that your comment made me smile with its analogy to wine.

    • Hi Ann – Thank you for the warm words of appreciation, and for being such a dedicated fan of our products! It means a lot to us and we never take that for granted.

  1. The most important areas of testing, I’ve found, are those topics that “everyone knows”. When I’ve seen other acrylic painters add more and more water for glazing, I couldn’t help but wonder where the breaking point was. Thanks so much for sussing out that information.

    I can’t help but wonder what the long-term effects (decades or more) of high dilutions are, or how they stand up to the changes in the support over time due to temperature and hydration?

    • Hi CJ – First, thanks for the positive feedback and we couldn’t agree more, that it is often the handed down assumptions that might need as much focus as the great unknowns.

      Your questions are great ones. Luckily acrylics remain incredibly stable. in terms of their final properties, and while all things age and change, we wouldn’t expect these films to suddenly take a turn for the worse and lose flexibility or an increase in sensitivity. But there are some things worth noting. For example, as the acrylics become more and more matte in the process of dilution, they naturally become more vulnerable to dirt accumulation and surface abrasion, and without an isolation coat or varnish to protect them, future cleaning and repair would be a much more delicate process. So we would certainly be an advocate for adding those protective layers, although we also understand that that will alter the visual aesthetic of the piece. And finally, as the pigments become less completely bound in an acrylic binder, they start to assume some of the vulnerabilities of watercolor in terms of the potential fading of less permanent ones, or for any pigments more sensitive to exposure to the environment.

  2. Thank you. In my conversations with other artists about acrylics, one of the main criticisms besides the rapid drying, was the complicated additives and the lack of using “good old water” to work the paint. In workshops I learned and held fast to the information concerning the hydrophilic nature of acrylic paint. So, now, you’ve expanded that information (and the limits) which is a breath of fresh air and a great vindication of the flexibility one has with acrylics, especially Golden.

    • Hi Stephen – Its great to hear that this article helps confirm what you already intuitively felt, not to mention provide some ‘vindication’! And hopefully, as it is shared and makes its way to a larger audience, it will be able to change the misperceptions around acrylics, which truly remains one of the most versatile mediums one can use.

  3. Wonderful article. I thinned down acrylic for years but would only say I used some water to thin the paint because so many frowned on it. I also paint on fabric using only water to thin. had problems. Now if someone starts whining about water being a poor additive, I can say, “Go read the article on the Golden site.” Thank you

    • Hi Gloria – Thank you for the comment and warm feedback. Also great to hear that you feel you now have a place to point people to. It’s true that there are a lot of misconceptions out there and we will continue to do what we can to help provide solid information.

  4. I usually work with watercolour on paper but I am able to do the same, get the same feel, with Fluid on canvas. Preparing the canvas with correct Gesso is crucial and took a lot of testing. Thank you so much for this thorough information!

    • Hi Stefan – You are so welcome! Definitely Fluids and High Flow colors can be used in just that way, thinning them down to make watercolor-like washes. We are so glad that you found the information useful.

        • Hi Jane – It sounds like you are asking which gesso you should use under thinned down paints? If not let us know. In general our regular Gesso will serve most needs and is what we sued in our testing. However, if you wanted something that was closer to painting on watercolor paper, you can look at our Absorbent Ground which you would apply on top of our gesso to allow for watercolor-like stains and bleeding, softer edges:


          Beyond those two, however, you are also free to use almost any of our Gels or Pastes as a ground for acrylic washes. For example, Light Molding Paste offers a unique sponge-like texture, while Fiber Paste forms a hard but still absorbent surface similar to unbleached paper-pulp. Overall, matte products will provide more tooth and absorbency then gloss ones, and experimenting with both – or even blending the two – can give you a range of possible effects. Hope that helps, and if you have any other questions just let us know.

          • Golden’s light molding paste is easily becoming my favorite ground (over gesso) for acrylics, and watercolors, even more than absorbent grounds, which I still like 😊 I did have a question, how much watercolor paint can I add to an acrylic paint and still not need to apply a special isolation coat etc to the final painting? There’s something very nice, usually anyways, that happens with an acrylic color for me when I add a dab or so of watercolor paint. Thanks so much!


          • Hi Adan –

            Thanks for the question. First off, just to let you know, we consider any percentage of watercolors added to acrylics to be experimental, but it sounds like you are comfortable with that. In terms of amounts that can be added before seeing water sensitivity and color lift, there is really no way to know – different brands and different colors will all have different levels. So some testing will be required on your part. The best way is to add varying controlled amounts of watercolor to, say, a clear gel, let fully dry, then use a wet Q-tip moistened with water to see if color lifts up. You might also test how an isolation coat does, as well as whatever varnish you might use if needed. Basically the same testing you see in the article. That said, if we had to give a likely maximum amount, it would be in the neighborhood of 10-15% at most. But again, the actual results could be variable and dependent on things that we have not tested ourselves, so in the end would still be considered experimental.

            Hope that helps –


    • Hi Alessandro. Thanks! And it’s incredibly nice for us to have customers that find this work valuable, and are dedicated to our products. In a very real sense, we couldn’t do what we do without the support of people like you.

  5. Thanks for the article. It is really well done. It reaffirms my current process, where the use of water or some form of medium has more to do with feel and look, and less to do with worrying about whether or not I am going to have a technical issue.

    • Hi Hal – Glad you found the article useful and that it confirms your approach. A lot of what we set out to do was exactly that – to give artists like you a bit more confidence when working with thinned down acrylics.

  6. Glad to read. Not been in the habit of ‘varnishing’ or applying a protective coating to finished works, but in light of your work I may well do so as you seem to think it advisable to stop any long term degeneration of colour

    • Hi Patrick – We feel that varnishing is always a choice and, as much as protecting the painting, it still needs to work aesthetically as well. You might like this video that explores that question: Should you varnish your painting? In general acrylics, it is true, are more vulnerable to dirt and abrasion, especially if very thinned down, but the colors should not degenerate unless using less lightfast ones and placing them in strong light. But if concerned, it is true that varnished paintings are certainly better protected in the long run and something we do believe in, regardless of how one might paint.

  7. Your article is informative and is in agreement with what I have learned through trial and error. I have been flooding and pouring water-thinned acrylics onto large watercolor papers, using flow and fluid acrylics and liquified gel mediums. This winter, I began painting with liquid watercolors and using disperse pigments in Aquazol—along with my acrylic process described above—in various combinations. It all works well for the first pass, which I let dry.

    The problem is how to fix or isolate that initial layer, so I can continue with a second pass and additional layers painted over that. Can you recommend some way to lock in the watercolor and pigments without disrupting the original painted layer? I realize it may not be possible and using watercolors is a fatal flaw. Or maybe not?

    • Hi Jeffrey –

      The best way would be to use a solvent based acrylic to lock things down. We would recommend our Archival varnish, which we use a lot as a way to lock down watercolors or lessen the water sensitivity of inkjet prints and allow for additional layers to be applied on top. Three layers might be needed depending on how sensitive the watercolors are, so you might want to test. Once that is dried you could then continue with acrylics, or even apply a layer of, say, Fluid Matte Medium as a form of translucent ground. Any additional watercolor at this point might feel very different, but you can do some tests. Just understand that the sandwich of layers get increasingly complicated the more different mediums you use. So I think the best would be to use the watercolors in those initial layers, apply Archival Varnish on top of those sections, then continue with acrylics from there.

  8. I hope you can answer a question here.
    I am especially interested in your article because 2 days ago, I watered down a modeling paste (not Golden) and it flaked all over the place.
    I’m hoping that Golden has something that I can apply over the dried, frail paste that will stabilize it.
    I was thinking matte medium.
    Unfortunately, I applied the stuff over a huge number of cardboard elements, and removing it would
    be too time consuming to even be worthwhile.
    Thanks for the excellent article.

    • Hi Jen – I saw that you are also working with one of our Materials and Applications Specialists and unfortunately my advice would be similar to hers. Once there is a failure between a coating and the ground underneath, applying an additional coating on top will rarely solve the adhesion issue. At least in a very longterm durable way. You might get enough additional stability for a short term need, but there would be no guarantees. So starting fresh, unfortunately, is the best option if this is meant as a permanent or semi-permanent piece. If you opt instead to try and stabilize the remaining pieces more, your best bet would be using a very fluid acrylic (such as our Fluid Matte Medium, with possibly a little water added, or our High Flow Medium) which could hopefully soak through or under enough to anchor them a little more.

  9. This is a very informative article, thank you. Could you let me know if you know of, or have any information about the long term stability of water diluted acrylics? I tend to premix my paints or washes to a certain consistency in large amounts to reuse at a later time across repeat projects but I find there’s increased separation with paints premixed with water. My suspicion is that I should be using deionized water to avoid molecular binding over time. My experience is that the matte medium especially is susceptible to falling out of solution. I’m usually using the additional medium as you were to keep a better ration of binder while still thinning.

    Anyways, thanks for any help in advance!


    • Hi Dan -Given how thin your dilutions sound, and simply the inherent nature of pigments to settle out of watery mixtures, we do not think that deionized water will do all that much, although particularly hard water could also make things slightly worse. Ultimately, however, we think your solutions lie elsewhere. If you haven’t already, give our High Flow Acrylics and High Flow Medium a try as they are already optimized to be stable a much lower viscosities and actually have similar pigment load as our Fluid and Heavy Body lines. So they are not simply ‘watered-down’ Fluids, but a truly highly pigmented ink-like paint. It will not be as thin as water, but you might also find that you do not have to add as much water to begin with in order to get the effects you want.That said, and as I mention in the article, pigments and matting agents will settle over time the thinner the mix gets and there is no easy way around that. The High Flow is likely as thin as one can get most pigments to stay in suspension, at least over the course of a working session, but we still advise gently shaking the bottles before each use. It’s a form of humble bow to the laws of gravity.

      We wish we had a better solution for you – no pun intended. And at least take comfort in the fact that all painters working with thin washes, from Helen Frankenthaler on, have had to deal with similar issues.

  10. Hello,

    I just want to make sure I understand your article correctly. So, as long as my ‘water’ consists of 10 parts water to 1 part acrylic medium, I can add any amount of this ‘water’ to a paint without ill effects?

    For myself, I’d have trouble eyeballing a 1:10 ratio. Could I just pull or drop a dollop of medium into a mix with water and be generally safe?

    I’ve been so programmed NOT to water down my paint with water, so this is great news — that I can feel free to use your acrylic paints in a watercolor-like/washy fashion without fear.

    I’m also wondering if the rules around retarder are still accurate, or if you could add as much as you needed. (I don’t use it, but I know people who add more than 15% and have had no ill effects, at least in the short term.)

    • Hi Lisa – Yes, that is, in a nutshell, the implications of the testing. Another way to think about it is that the paints thinned down 1:20 with water did quite well, which means that the binder in those paints was diluted by a similar amount. By doing a 1:10 mix of medium to water you are basically guaranteed to have twice as much binder as the 1:20 paint, so that should build in enough wiggle room to be safe. If ever nervous, one can always do a 1:5 mix which, especially if using the High Flow Medium, will still feel very fluid.

      In terms of eyeballing, all my tests were done in volume ratios, so you could do 1 tablespoon medium and 10 tablespoons water, or use the ratio of 1.5 Tablespoons medium to 8 oz. of water, 3 tablespoons to a pint, etc.. If you use distilled water, and clean containers, you can make up more than you need for one session as well. It should keep fine, but if using Fluid Matte Medium you might want to gently shake the bottle before use to make sure the matting solids are in suspension.

      On the retarder front, we do still recommend a 15% max addition as being safe, but it is also true that if working directly on an absorbent surface like paper or canvas, either raw or gessoed, you can get away with higher levels as it will be pulled down into those substrates and not get trapped in the paint film. And you can also get away with a bit more if working with very thinned out washes – again because the retarder will tend to evaporate away. The main concern is having it linger in the paint and causing increased water sensitivity or preventing the film from fully locking down until it can evaporate away. If nervous working with retarder you can always just use the Glazing Liquid, which has the 15% already built in, and use that to your heart’s content as well as you can never exceed the recommendation!

      Hope that helps and happy painting!

      • Hi Sarah,

        Your above comment is with regards to the retarder, but I have a similar query about the OPEN Thinner. I can see in the additives page that it says:

        “Retarder is an additive used to increase the open (drying) time of acrylic paints. Useful for wet in wet techniques and reducing skinning on the palette. (Item# 3580)

        OPEN Thinner is a water-based additive for thinning the consistency of OPEN Acrylic Colors and Mediums without altering drying time. It also maintains and adjusts the workability of OPEN colors on palettes, and can be used as a thin-bodied retarder with Heavy Body or Fluid Acrylic colors. Because OPEN Thinner contains no binders, it does not form a film and should only be 25% or less of mixtures with acrylic colors and mediums (one part OPEN Thinner to three or more parts paint or meduim). (Item# 3595)

        For more information on OPEN Thinner see the Product Information Sheet.

        Neither Retarder nor OPEN thinner contain binding agents. To ensure adhesion, it is recommended that the addition of Retarder not exceed 15% (1:6), and OPEN Thinner should not exceed 25% (1:3) when mixed with colors or mediums. ”

        And in the tests above you said that:
        In all our testing adhesion was never an issue, even at 1 part paint to 100 parts water.”

        So, is the limit on the thinner more to do with the issue of the additives being trapped in the paint film rather than adhesion concerns? However the information you have regarding GOLDEN open says that “OPEN Thinner should not be used in thick applications. Applications of more than 1/16″ may result in:

        Excessively long drying periods
        Persistently soft, higher tack feel
        Translucent layers that remain cloudy”

        Does this mean that paint that is thin due to more thinner being used will have the same issues, but will eventually dry too?

        • Hi Richard – You basically have it correct. The big concern with retarders is that they can get trapped in thick films, causing all those issues we mention, and as long as they are still present you get a lot of water sensitivity, which would mean much more color lift. It is also why we note, towards the end, that OPEN Acrylics are a different case in many ways because of the inherently longer open time and water sensitivity. That said, a lot will also have to do with the absorbency of the surface you paint on. For example, if working directly on paper or raw canvas, you could probably get away with more OPEN Thinner than we recommend since the retarders will be drawn down as well as evaporating up. But we think its best to avoid overloading with retarder. If you want to incorporate them into your thinning, then work with our Glazing Liquid, which has the recommended max of 15% and you can thin that down further if needed.

  11. Good Day/Evening, Ms. Cathy.

    Does the 1:20 ratio you have mentioned also hold true for your mediums such as GAC100? I managed to purchase a sample of the rarely-manufactured pigment Egyptian blue (PB31) and would want to use your medium to make an Egyptian blue acrylic paint. But because I was only able to purchase a small amount, I want to make the formula last for as long as I could.

    • Hi Clarence – Yes, the 1:20 ratio would include GAC 100. Also, if you are trying to make acrylic paint from a dry pigment, we recommend looking at our article, Just Make Paint, which covers some of the steps and issues to be aware of:


      At the most basic level, and assuming there are no wetting-out issues, you could simply start by blending the Egyptian Blue with GAC 100 to make a strong dispersion. A 1:1 ratio by weight is a place to start but adjust as needed to get a creamy paste. Then you can add that concentrated dispersion into whatever medium or gel you want to use as the base of your paint. Because of the thinness of the dispersion, you will want to choose a medium/gel thicker than you want for the final product. For example, use the Extra Heavy Gel for a Heavy Body type consistency, or try the Soft Gel for something more fluid. If you run into issues or have questions, of course, let us know. but overall once you have your paint made, you should be able to thin it with water at the 1:20 level, but of course because of the variability of a handmade paint, it is worth testing before committing to anything of importance.

  12. I just recently watched the 2003 documentary film “Agnes Martin: With My Back to the World”. She is shown applying very thin watery-looking washes of color which she says is drying very fast, to a large canvas that she had gessoed herself. On a work table against one wall are large jugs of Golden paint.

    Thank you for this information. It has completely changed my understanding of how your paints can be safely applied.

    • Hi Susan. I LOVE that film and know exactly the scene you are talking about! And so glad this has broadened your understanding of what might be possible to do with our paints and still feel things are durable. Happy painting!

  13. Hi. Can I use pre-gessoed canvases in this way? They have less “tooth” than gesso applied on paper or boards. Perhaps add an additional layer of Golden gesso to the canvas?

    • Hi Betsy –

      We always like recommending adding a coat of high-quality gesso on top of any preprimed canvas as a way to know that you have a good and consistent ground to paint on. We definitely know that our own gesso should be fine with applications containing a lot of water, and indeed, most of the testing we did for this article had a layer of our gesso underneath as we felt this was closer to what artists will experience. If you have any other questions, simply let us know – or email help@goldenpaints.com.

  14. I appreciate the work you put into this article. However I do not agree that you can add water to acrylic paints when used on non-porous surfaces (even gessoed canvas). Your tests were not over 10 or 20 years – this is when the paint can crack or flake. Follow what is recommended by the manufacturer (most are ok with 30% water). I do agree you can use as much water as you like when painting on absorbent surfaces such as paper (like watercolor). Here’s one article that explains it clearly: http://rfasupplies.com/dont-use-water-to-thin-your-acrylics-a-review-of-acrylic-mediums/

    • Hi Mary – Thank you for sharing your thoughts and concerns. We totally agree that on truly nonabsorbent surfaces, like glass, metal, and some plastics, good adhesion would require proper surface preparation, the addition of mediums, and often the use of special primers. And we do state in the article that the results and our recommendations were limited to the use of our acrylics on top of our gesso.

      In terms of adhesion to our gesso, this research and article were meant to counter the frequent misinformation we often find around thinning acrylics. We cannot, of course, speak for other manufacturers and did not test their paints, but as one of the major manufacturers of acrylics with an unmatched 40-year record of research in this field, we do stand behind these findings in regards to our own products. While it is true these specific tests were recent, keep in mind we have worked with artists and tested applications involving thinned-down acrylics over many decades and have not had the cracking or flaking you mention.

      Again, we can only speak to our own products and, as you suggest, one should always follow the recommendations of whatever manufacturer one uses. These just happen to be ours 🙂

      • Thank you so much for this article Sarah. I paint on cradled birch panels, and use my Golden acrylics like watercolours, very thinned down…. even leaving drips run down in the painting. I love that effect. After the painting is completed and dry, I varnish it with Golden Archival spray. Will that guarantee that the paint will continue to adhere to the panel ?
        Thank you,

        • Hi Karole –

          You don’t mention if the birch panels have a ground on them or not. I am assuming so, in which case we would have no concerns about the adhesion of the acrylics. As our testing showed, even very dilute mixtures adhered well to acrylic gesso. However if using a lot of water, then one should protect against SID (Support Induced Discoloration) which you can learn about here:

          Blocking Support Induced Discoloration

          As for the varnish, it will certainly help protect the washes from dirt and dust and should eliminate any water sensitivity, while of course providing protection from UV. But in general, varnishes will not solve adhesion issues but again, in this case, I don’t think that is even a concern.

          One note, in case you are painting directly on raw birch, while adhesion would still not be an issue, we would be concerned about how the piece ages since it is so intimately tied to the life of the wood which will inevitably age as well, changing color and potentially having some surface checking – which are thin cracks that can develop along the grain due to expansion of the wood fibers in response to changes in humidity. For more on that see here:

          Surface Checking and Plywood, Is It a Concern?

          The above is not meant to cause undue alarm, we just like making people aware of potential risks even if they are small.

          Hope this is helpful and if have any other questions just ask!

  15. Thank you so much for this article and research! I get so anxious when I hear “recommendations” about watering down my paint, even though I never have issues with it. I have spent ages trying to find research that is evidence based so I can feel good about selling and exhibiting my work despite using watered down paints. This has helped me to feel so much better about experimenting and doing what works for my process!

    • Hello Emily,
      You are very welcome. We are happy to help, and are glad this article has given you confidence to add water to your acrylics with a spirit of freedom! Enjoy!
      Greg Watson

  16. This is such a great article! I just want to make sure I’m reading this right since I also have been so scared of over watering my paint! Paint:water ratios (no medium added) 1:5 very safe, 1:10 quite safe, 1:20 generally ok.

    “ If you simply want to take the guesswork out of it, you can always blend a minimum of 1 part GOLDEN Acrylic Medium, like our Fluid Matte Medium, Gloss Medium, GAC 100, or High Flow Medium, and 10 parts water. Then thin to your heart’s content. “

    I have Golden Wetting Agent, can it be used to take out guesswork like those other mediums?

    Thanks so much!

    • Generally you are reading it correctly, but we cannot speak for all acrylic paints on the market, so testing for your own application first is best.

      Wetting agent is not a medium, but an additive, so it contains no binder and will not add binder to your mixture. Wetting Agent helps paint absorb into a surface better.

      If you have any other questions, please feel free to email us at help@goldenpaints.com.

  17. Brilliant article and valuable resource, thank you!! I too immediately thought of Agnes Martin’s diaphanous washes and also of Mark Rothko’s stain-like applications (in acrylics, as well as oils, the latter being another subject). My wish would be for a matte protection that did not alter the final paint appearance, yet afforded protection from scuffs, etc. I like working with very matte finishes, as per Ad Rheinhardt, albeit in acrylic, but always worry about potential damage in handling and display. Glass is out of the question as the super-matte finish would be compromised.

  18. Thank you for this informative post. I am researching this topic because I am experimenting with applying powdered ochre pigments to cloth using diluted medium (the cloth will be embroidered but not laundered). I have GAC 100, and I would like to dilute it with water, mix it with pigment powder, and apply that to the raw cloth (without a coat of gesso first). Do you see a problem with the medium/pigment flaking off later on? I also have your fabric medium, but it doesn’t seem to mix well with dry pigments, so I’m looking for other options.

    • Hi Ruth –

      When you say that you have our “fabric medium” are you referring to our Silkscreen Fabric Gel or GAC 900? That will simply help me know what else you have tried. That said, the fact that this is not meant to be laundered probably means you would be fine using other mediums. And yes, you can definitely get away with watering down the medium easily 1:1 with water and still have good adhesion. GAC 100 should be able to wet out any earth pigments very easily. You might try starting out making a workable paste using just water and pigment and then, afterwards, slowly adding in GAC 100 to make a very concentrated dispersion. You can quickly test the ratio of GAC 100 to the pigment paste by brushing some of the dispersion onto a piece of paper or cloth and letting it dry and seeing if it powders or easily rubs off. To make measuring and repeatability easier, and if you have a scale, try starting with a 1:1 ratio by weight of GAC 100 to the paste and adjust from there. Once you have the dispersion made, you could certainly thin further with just water or if needing to extend it out to get, say, more transparency, make a “medium” of 1:1 water and GAC 100 or, for something more water-like, try High Flow Medium in place of GAC 100, then add as much of that as you like. As you can imagine, there are a lot of variations you can play with and I would encourage you to do some playing with test samples. Finally see the following Tech Sheet for more information about using Golden Acrylics with Fabrics:


      Hope that helps and if you have more questions, just ask!

      • Thank you so much; this is super helpful and I will try your suggestions. In answer to your question, I previously used the GAC 900. And maybe with the 900 I could try mixing the pigment first with a bit of water to make a paste, in the way you described doing with the GAC 100. I’m guessing though that the diluted GAC 100 will work well for me. As you point out, testing is important, and I can try it with both mediums. Again, many thanks.

  19. Thank you for this reply Sarah. (I replied to your post about 10 days ago but my reply has not been posted.) The fabric medium I used before was GAC 900. I did not dilute it and it had a somewhat sticky, plastic-y feel to it. I would be willing to try diluting it, since I have plenty left in the jar, but I also have GAC 100 on hand so I would like to try working with it (diluted) as well. I will try making samples with both according to your suggestions, which I very much appreciate. I’m looking forward to trying this out.

    • Hi Ruth –

      Sorry about these delays. For some reason, the system thought your responses were spam – silly computer! Anyway, yes, do try diluting it – thinner is better in this regard as you will have a softer and less plasticky feel. Obviously more water the more transparent things become, but you can dilute a good degree and still have good adhesion.

      And don’t forget that GAC 900 is meant to be heat set, which will also give it a soft hand. Check the tech sheet aI pointed to on using Golden Acrylics with fabric for guidelines on that. Also check this video as well:


      Best regards,


  20. Thank you for this information! I always heard it was not safe to add more than 30% water to acrylic paint because it weakens the binder. Knowing about the pH level and the effects on biocides is also very useful. Is it safe to use soda ash (sodium carbonate) instead of household ammonia to the paint/water mixtures?

    • Hello XiXi.
      You are most welcome for the information. Ammonia will evaporate out of the paint layer during drying. Soda Ash does not evaporate out during drying. This could lead to a powdery or crystallized residue on or in the acrylic paint layer. Therefore, we would not suggest swapping out ammonia for soda ash.
      – GAC

  21. Hi there!

    Has a similar test been done with Oils (Williamsburg); how much solvent can you add? Because just as with water an acrylic, the same advice is often given for oils, because of the ‘sinking in’ of the oil; which for the acrylic will be its acrylic binder as well…

    Are oil paint films weaker than acrylic ones of the same thickness?

    How do they compare?

    All my best,

  22. I have seen similiar MEME some place (Vallejo?).
    (Not “adhesion”, but “physical resistance”.
    But it is said to be related to polyurethane component for acrylic-polyurethane primer product.
    — — —
    Of course the “adhesion MEME” is commonly seen.
    I think the “Thinning will weak adhesion MEME” is just for unprimed situation.
    Higher surface tension by water make it hard to wetting the workpiece. Thus weak the adhesion, but has little meaning for already primed ones.
    (For Vallejo, the unprimed workpiece might be PS plastic.


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