Today we will answer another subscriber question: Do you need to add water to acrylic paint?
The answer is no, you do not need to add water to acrylic paint. In fact, you don’t “need” to any anything to acrylic paint. The only reason people add water or other mediums is to change the consistency of the paint or to alter the paint’s characteristics in some way.
When water is added to acrylic paint, the paint will become thinner and will flow and move around easier. Artist’s tend to overdo it though when it comes to adding water to acrylic paint. Your mixtures should be less than 30% water. If you add too much water to your paint, it will lose it’s ability to adhere to your surface. There is definitely much debate about this however. Some professionals and paint manufacturers agree while others say it perfectly fine to add as much water as desired. I tend to err on the side of caution and use less water in my mixtures. Whenever I want to thin my acrylic paints, I will use a medium that is specially made to thin acrylics (see below) and use water sparingly.
To thin your acrylic paints, it is advisable to purchase a thinning medium as these will not affect the adhesive qualities of your acrylic paint. I recommend a medium like GAC 100 by Golden which is ideal for diluting your acrylic paints without changing its properties. Below is a link to where you can purchase this product online from Dick Blick Art Materials at a discounted price. If you purchase via this link or the links below, I will receive a small commission. I thank you for your support of this site!
Use Golden’s GAC Mediums to achieve complete technical control over your acrylic paints and painting environment. GAC Mediums are the raw materials from which other acrylic mediums are created. Use them to modify the working characteristics and appearance of Golden Acrylics and other acrylic paints.
GAC 100: Universal Acrylic Polymer – useful for diluting and extending colors, as well as increasing flexibility and film integrity. Wets out solids more readily than other polymers, and is useful for artists making their own paints.