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Acrylic Craft Paint and Infinite Possibilities for Decorating, Arts and Crafts

Updated on October 6, 2014
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Acrylic Craft Paints

One of the most versatile item you can keep in your craft stash is acrylic craft paints.

It doesn't matter whether you are an artsy person who loves to paint on canvas or paper. It doesn't matter if you're a crafty person who likes to embellish boxes, journal covers and create paper mache sculptures. It doesn't matter if you are a DIY budget home decorator who looks to stencil wall borders, dress up cabinet doors and spice up your place settings with hand-painted wine glasses.

Acrylic is a type of plastic, basically. Here are some great things that makes working with acrylic craft paint fun and easy:

- dries in less than 30 minutes; if you do a thin coat on porous materials, it can dry in just minutes

- It's compatible with latex or any water-based paint

- It can be thickened with thickening agents, or thinned with water to almost an ink or water paint-like consistency

- It adheres well to most substances, though it occasionally needs a little help for slick surfaces like plastic or metal by sanding them or applying a primer. There are even acrylic paints that let you paint on fabrics and glass.

- It comes in a wide variety of colors and is easily blended or mixed.

- most quality acrylic craft paints are fairly opaque, and thus you use fewer coats, and you can easily cover up mistakes.

If you like to make things and decorate your world, acrylic craft paints are a must. Here are some of my favorite projects for acrylic craft paints.

Amazing Transformative Powers of Acrylic Paints - Give anythying a total makeover

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These two picture frames are not a set. The larger one is made of plastic, the smaller made of wood. The larger cost .99 cents and the smaller cost .59 cents at a thrift shop. With a little acrylic paint, some tape and brushes, they have been completely transformed, ready to be a gift for someone.

How it was done in 10 simple steps:

1. Sand the frames (yes, even the plastic).

2. Wipe them clean with a damp cloth and some all purpose cleaning spray.

3. Dry them.

4. Paint two base coats and let them dry for about 10 minutes.

5. Use painter's tape to block off section.

6. Paint second color in the blocked off sections; carefully pull off painter's tape and let it dry.

7. Block off another section for a different color.

8. Paint the section, peel off tape, let it dry.

9. Hand paint, stencil, rubber stamp or otherwise embellish a corner

10. Take them outdoors and spray them with a non-yellowing, UV resistant clear acrylic sealer to protect them and let them dry.

Now, just think of the possibilities!

Look around the thrift shops, the dollar stores or even your own attic-- what can you transform like this? Paint your flower pot or an old vase to match your home décor. Paint an old hat box or some old gift boxes to make a lovely stack of storage boxes for a shelf. Paint the cover of your scrapbook. Paint on ordinary candles to spruce them up for the holidays-- either directly on the wax, or on the outside of glass candles.

Put painted items on display, give them as gifts or make them to sell at craft fairs or on websites like E-bay and Etsy for extra money.

Craft paint can spruce up just about any old items you might have or find.

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This country style cabinet painted white looked just a little too bland in its room. Some acrylic paint and stencils changed that in the space of an afternoon.

The design was chosen in keeping with the country theme, but could have been different depending on the room's décor.

For example, if the room had an Asian look to it, imagine this cabinet painted high gloss black and a dragon symbol or lotus flower stenciled on the door.

If you wanted to decorate it for a child's room, you could stencil on a teddy bear or duckling.

If you had a retro 60's or 70's style room, a funky geometric repeating pattern with day-glow green or hot pink would have made a spectacular showpiece.

That's the fun thing about stencils-- you can make a lot of different complex designs without even knowing how to draw.

Learn to Paint Artistically - Practice with acrylic craft paints

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Learning to paint artistically can be a great hobby. It can also seem like a very expensive hobby, which discourages many would-be painters.

You go to the craft store and find stretch canvas for $30 and tubes of paint that cost $20 a pop. You find beginners kits for $50 and they don't even include much-- you still have to buy supplemental items to get started. Yikes! You just wanted to learn how to paint! Maybe when you get good you'll be willing to plunk down the cash, but you know that when you first learn you are not going to produce much worthy of hanging on the walls.

You don't need to plunk down a fortune on painting supplies, though! At least, not all at once.

Start out with simple, inexpensive acrylic craft paints. You have three options for supports to paint on:

Watercolor paper

Your final choice is scrap wood and cardboard! They make perfect practice supports, and when you're done you can give them a clean coat of plain white latex primer from the local hardware store and use them over again!

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Just look at this painting made on a piece of leftover shelving wood. The best part is that the other side is painted with an autumn image, so the board gets flipped over when changing up the seasonal décor.

You don't have to go bankrupt to learn to paint. A few bottles of acrylic craft paint, some halfway decent brushes and something to paint on gives you all you need to practice your painting skills and techniques. After a while, you can start purchasing better quality artist paints and brushes, and invest in things like gesso and stretch canvas when you are ready to create your masterpiece.

In the mean time, you can have lots of fun becoming a better artist.

These techniques can totally transform your home and are incredibly easy to learn.
These techniques can totally transform your home and are incredibly easy to learn. | Source

Faux Finishes

Make something cheap look expensive

Have you ever wanted a pure granite counter? What about a gorgeous solid marble table top or floors? Maybe you prefer the rustic look, and wish you could give some of your furnishings a distressed appearance with crackle paint or patina? What about your wall-- would a brick face or sandstone blocks be just the right touch for surrounding your fireplace? Or making your basement concrete floor look like hard wood?

You can do it all with craft paint. Faux paint can make an ordinary surface look like it's aged, or like it's made of a richer, more expensive material.

Faux painting is actually a lot easier than it looks. Those mottled patterns that resemble natural stone don't require painstaking hand-drawn designs, you make them by dabbing on layers of paint with a sponge, a rag or plastic bag. The crackle, peeled paint look is not achieved with a fine brush, but with a substance you paint on the surface before you add your coat of paint. It makes the paint shrink and crack as it dries. Wood grain can be imitated quickly and easily by running a small wood and rubber tool known as a 'wood grainer' through wet paint.

Spice up your holiday décor - Acrylic Craft Paints can brighten any holiday

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Like that spooky cuckoo clock? It was made out of cardboard-- an old recycled box and some hot glue. It's the paint that makes it go from 'blah' to 'ahh'. This clock gets more compliments at Halloween than some of the more expensive store-bought ornaments.

Think about all the holiday decorations you can make out of recycled materials:

- paint up old milk cartons and oatmeal containers. Cut a hole in them for electric candles and you have lovely luminaries and lanterns.

- use your favorite holiday cookie cutters and some air-dry clay to make ornaments to paint for your tree

- get plain ornaments from the dollar store and add some pizazz with paint

- freshen up your old, fading ornaments with a new paint job

- recycle your old light bulbs by painting them up as ornament bulbs. Hot glue a ribbon around them to make a hanger for the tree.

- make cheap, plastic Easter eggs look fancy. Sand and paint them, then pile them in a basket for a table centerpiece

- make paper mache jack-o-lanterns

- paint up your own birthday and holiday gift wrap

- paint decorations on your windows. The paint washes off plain glass with regular glass cleaner (just don't let it drip onto your window frames).

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Paint Clothing

Design your own fashions without knowing how to sew!

Did you know there is a medium at the craft store you can buy that mixes with your acrylic paints to make them fabric paints?

Using acrylic paints to paint on jackets, clothing, hats, etc. is another great way to recycle old stuff for pennies and turn them into something unique. They make a real statement when you wear them. If you prefer, give them as gifts or sell them. Hand-painting even a simple t-shirt and leggings makes your clothing look expensive and stylish.

Baby clothing in particular is great for hand-painting. Kids grow out of clothes too quickly; you don't have to feel bad about spending a lot of money for things they'll barely wear. Just dress up some plain things you find on sale with a little bit of paint.

If you don't like freehand painting, you can use chalk to trace patterns, use stencils or use rubber stamps to achieve the looks you want.

What other fabrics can you add some custom-designed paint jobs to so they really make a statement?

- curtains and drapes

- throw pillows

- plain chairs and sofas

- shower curtains

- sheets, comforters, bedding

- throw rugs and area rugs

- pot holders

- tea towels

A little embellishment can be a great way to tie all your designs together.


Check out the queen of craft painting here...

Learn Donna Dewberry's easy techniques and you can decorate your own home like a painting pro, or start your own crafting business.

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