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Acrylic Arts and Crafts Paint Projects

Updated on January 28, 2019
Tricia Deed profile image

My hobby is painting portraits with acrylics. I find these paints to be versatile and easy to use on craft projects.

Portrait Painted with Student Grade Acrylics

A simple acrylic portrait of a young girl with flowers in her hair.
A simple acrylic portrait of a young girl with flowers in her hair. | Source

Introduction to Acrylics

When I first started to paint with acrylics I did what is typical of painting. I bought the student grade acrylics and recommended tablet paper, made sketches of portraits or landscaping and started painting. However, as you gain knowledge and confidence of painting with acrylics many other projects come to mind and you wonder if acrylics can be used.

As you view the shelves in the art display section of the store there are many different types of paints for different applications. The first step is to acquaint yourself with their suggested utilization.

It is easy to spend a lot of money. Stop! Buy small sizes, cheap, and different brand names. Why? Because you are not quite sure of what you will be doing. Experiment with the smaller containers and practice with the contents. This will give you a chance to familiarize yourself with the tints and the synthetic brushes. Try different brands until you find your favorite. After experimenting you will be able to justify buying small or large tubes or bottles.

Acrylic Paints and Synthetic Brushes

A table display of tubes and bottles of acrylic paints, and a pocket holder of synthetic brushes.
A table display of tubes and bottles of acrylic paints, and a pocket holder of synthetic brushes. | Source

Paint Grades

Ink Acrylics:

This tint is a liquid with a fluid consistency and therefore is used for pen and ink drawings and rubber stamping. The transparency of this liquid lends itself to water coloring. It can be mixed with other acrylic paints or thinned to make spray applications. Other uses include air brushing, fabrics, and photography.

Soft body Acrylics:

This paint is thicker than the ink acrylics and lighter than the heavy body acrylics.

The soft body has a creamy consistency and can be used on small or large arts and crafts projects.

Thick Body Acrylics:

This paint has the consistency associated with oil paints. It is smooth and thick. It also has more pigments which makes deeper colors and textures.

Student Grade: This is recommended for beginning artists as they will produce many paintings in order to learn and refine their skills and techniques. It is easy on the budget. This paint may be thinned to create water color effects or layered many times to have the thick texture of oil.

Professional Grade: Designed for the experienced artist and is more expensive. As the pigment content increases so will the price of the product.

Acrylic Enamel:

This paint like all the other acrylics is water based and dries quickly. It presents a glossy finish and may be used on glass and ceramics. It may also be used on any number of outdoor products e.g. buildings, murals, autos.

Acrylic Resin:

This paint can be used in any outdoor project. Artists also like adding acrylics to resin and pour paint creative art projects Canvas paintings, poured, and jewelry making are three popular arenas.

Painted Bottles

Bottles with acrylic painted designs.
Bottles with acrylic painted designs. | Source

Themes and Surface Types

The advantage of these paints is their versatility to paint on any type of surface. Some paints may be used just as they are or may need a protective coating to help seal and protect.


  • Portrait
  • Figure drawing and painting
  • Landscape and scenery
  • Still life, architecture, textiles
  • History, religion, Mythology
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Graphic arts e.g. cartoons, animation, print making, illustrations

Indoor and Outdoor Painting Surfaces:

  • Canvas and fabrics
  • Specialty papers, cardboard, poster board
  • Collage
  • Human body
  • Wood
  • Glass and mirrors
  • Clay,ceramics, rocks, stones
  • Metal
  • Assorted objects e.g. driftwood, auto parts, pipes, etc.

Still Life Painting

A still life of a pitcher a glass of juice,  and a shallow bowl of apples..
A still life of a pitcher a glass of juice, and a shallow bowl of apples.. | Source

Sealers, Additives, and Mediums

Before beginning to paint any surface, research and experiment with different painting methods and techniques until you are satisfied with the results . Use as many small or sample size containers, cheap, bargain, and any brand of acrylics in order to discover which tint or brand is offering the overall appearance that you wish to have in your art or craft project.

Sealers, primers, additives, glues,and fixing agents vary with the type of project being painted. There is the choice between purchasing or making your own.

I am happy to prepare my paper canvas with a layer of white paint or another tint.. Canvas users choose to use gesso. The reasons for preparing the surface is to help the adhesive agent guarantee that the paint will remain on the chosen surface.

After my painting has been completed I let it rest to dry and then spray it with a fixing agent to protect it from humidity. As time passes no one wants to see their masterpiece chipping, fading, peeling or disappearing into the no-repair file.

Mediums help to thin or thicken, add or diminish shine, extend or shorten drying time, and change textures. Much of this can be accomplished with your individual painting style and techniques. Mediums may be purchased or make your own.

As you practice with the cheap stuff your creative being will help you to develop your personal techniques. It is worth the time to experiment. There are many lessons to be learned. During this process it will be discovered exactly which sealers, mediums, additives, or fixing agents are absolutely essential to complete your project and have it last for many years..

Creating a masterpiece of your work takes time and effort. We live in a world of push button speed; however, the artist cannot be rushed when working on an original project. If all is a success mass production will do the rest.

Brick Wall Mural

Two male bicyclist painted on a red brick wall of a building.
Two male bicyclist painted on a red brick wall of a building. | Source

Outdoor Acrylics Paints

Acrylic Resin Paints

Outdoor projects will last for many years, but they will need to be restored or repainted every now and then. The sun, rain, and other weather conditions will cause peeling, fading, lifting, and crinkling.

Add longevity to your outdoor projects:

  • Clean, sand, prime or seal the surface before painting..
  • Use agents which have mold and mildew preventatives.
  • Consider the environment which surrounds the location
  • Product quality and color of paints
  • Fixing and coating agents for final protection of finished product
  • Proper use of tools
  • Correct painting techniques
  • Attention to details

The heat from the sun and moisture from the environment are the two worse elements of destruction. Paint during outdoor temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees. If possible, block your working area from the wind and breezes or paint on quiet and still days. Dust and dirt will cause damage. Seal your work with a top coat for added protection.

All acrylic paints may be used for outdoor projects but depending on the project consider acrylic resins and enamel acrylics.


Write down every procedure, paint, protective coatings, and tools used to create your masterpiece.Take a photo to add another source of memory. This list will be helpful for future maintenance and repair.

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    Post Comment
    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      2 weeks ago from New Delhi, India

      A well written and informative article about acrylic painting. I have keen interest in art and artwork. I have done lot of oil and fabric painting. Would love to try acrylic painting as well.

      Thanks for sharing this excellent article!

    • Sheila Tomah profile image

      Sheila Tomah 

      2 weeks ago

      I use a lot of acrylics in my craft projects.

    • Guckenberger profile image

      Alexander James Guckenberger 

      2 weeks ago from Maryland, United States of America

      I love acrylic.


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