Everything You Need to Know Before You Buy an Acrylic Paint Kit

Expressing yourself through art is an enjoyable pastime. Branching out to try new media is important for growth. If you have never worked with acrylic paints before, buying an acrylic paint set is a good starting point.  

What supplies do you need to get started painting with acrylics?

Acrylic paints are widely available and the selection can be overwhelming. You will need the following to get started: 

  • Acrylic paint. If you purchase an acrylic paint kit, you should expect to receive several colors of acrylic paint that you can blend together to make even more colors. At the very least, you should get red, blue, and yellow.
  • Paintbrushes. Stiff paint brushes are required to work with oil paint and much softer brushes are needed for watercolors. Any type of paintbrush can be used with acrylic paint, however. Different paintbrushes create different strokes and finishes. 
  • Palette. You need a palette to get started with acrylic paints. You can use the palette to mix your acrylics with other colors and to thin them out with a little water if desired. 
  • Canvas. You will need several blank canvases to get started with acrylic painting as well. Acrylic paints work best on canvas, but can also be applied to wood or paper.
  • Varnish. When your masterpiece is finished, you will need to apply several coats of varnish to seal your painting. 

The best choice is to look for an acrylic paint kit that has everything you are looking for in one place. 

What are the best acrylic paints for beginners?

Acrylic paints come in two grades, student and professional. While professional paints have a wide array of hues and richer pigments, starting off with student grade paint is best. Once you understand how to work with the paints, you can purchase the more expensive professional-grade paint. 

Do you need to thin acrylic paints before use?

Whether or not you thin acrylic paints is a personal preference. You can spread thick paint with a palette knife for a heavy-handed look. or you can thin your paint up to 50 percent with water for a translucent finish. Acrylic paint is water-based and very versatile. 

How do you prepare a canvas for paint?

Unlike oil paint, acrylic paint can be applied directly to unprimed canvas. The raw canvas will suck up a lot of paint, however. It is best to prime the canvas with a thin coat of white or off-white acrylic paint before starting your piece or to purchase pre-primed canvas from your local art supply store. 

Whether you are trying to channel your inner Bob Ross or learn from the Old Masters, painting with acrylics can be a fun way to expand your artistic range. For more information about painting or an acrylic paint kit, reach out to a local art supplier.