You Asked – Thickening Acrylic Paint

Today’s question comes from Jeff

Jeff Writes:

“I work with acrylics. I enjoy painting thickly with Impasto only the various gels and other thickening mediums are becoming too expensive for me at this time. Are there any other ways to add body to acrylic paint? Perhaps with substances one might find around the house? I read in various book that one could mix joint compound, sawdust, plaster, corn starch etc. with acrylic paints.  “

Do you have any information that might help Jeff?  Please leave your response in the comments box below.


  1. says

    I have used fine sand. It makes the paint thick, but of course always leaves some visible structure. But it works pretty fine. Never forget to clean the brushes extra carefully though, because otherwise the sand ruins them.

  2. Jennine says

    You could try a product called Whiting which is available from some hardware stores and some art stores. Also, jolting compound will work to a degree, but only if you use a little and bear in mind that it dries very quickly.

  3. alawi says

    You can use a little bit ” TALCUM POWDER”, It is fine and greasy.check that and send me what you will find.

  4. Jack Strada says

    Go to or guerra paint, something like that. They sell two products. Thickener 1 and thickener 2. A few drops will turn acrylic into thick viscous puddy, or whatever thickness you desire.

  5. says

    I have been using water and detergent to thin acrylics. Found OXYclean product can do wonders for brush cleaning. mess cleaning, clean attire and carpet regardless of paint type – even oil!

    I am far from a professional.I have trouble with faces even at a distance. I have Essential Tremor which makes fine detail hard to do. I use pens over paint often.. Have several pen sets. My wife, Betty, is expense concerned but that’s life. I like some ideas posted above. I will use many. Thanks for the help so far.

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