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3 Acrylic Paints That Won’t Break the Bank

August 11, 2010

I have a lot of surface area to cover lately, and I’m going through acrylic paint by the square foot.  Here are three acrylic paint brands that won’t break the bank.

  • CHEAP: Blick Artist’s Acrylic

4.65 fl oz tube (137.52 mL) priced at an average of  $4.91 – $6.45 per tube based on color, at dickblick.com.  These are very smooth and blend well; they have a lightfastness rating and list the chemical components of the pigment on the tube.  Slightly glossy finish.  These handle as well as any professional grade artists paint available.  Made in the U.S.A.

  • CHEAPER: Winsor & Newton Galeria Acrylics

200 mL (6.76 fl oz) is big and a flat rate price of $5.15 for most colors at dickblick.com.  The permanence and lightfastness is rated for each color.  I get a lot of mileage out of these paints.  They come in many traditional colors; good opacity.  More of a matte finish.  Made in France.

  • CHEAPEST: FolkArt by Plaid

2 fl oz (59.16 mL) bottle priced from $.80 – $1.50 per bottle.  These craft, economy paints have a bit of a runny, syrupy texture; they are thin but also tend to brush out very smoothly, probably from some leveling agent in the paint that helps the paint smooth out after it is brushed on.  These are made for crafts and decoration, so they are made to 1) stick to something, whatever America is trying to paint, and 2) look good while stuck to something.  These paints come in matte and glossy finishes, mixing them with acrylic mediums is not recommended but I have sealed them with gloss medium and other sealants brushed over the exterior.  For the smoothest application use two thinner layers of paint rather than a heavy single application; paint a layer and let it dry before the second layer.  This is helpful if you want maximum opacity and color saturation.

I have actually had these out perform more costly artists paints; I knew a guy that used these low cost craft paints exclusively for large canvases of his own Manga style art work to create really great large scale paintings.  The metallic shades of these paints are particularly fun and have outperformed more costly artists paints; I recommend two coats.  Be careful with any of the glitter paints, the paint binder seems rubbery and may react strangely with water, other paints and acrylic mediums; test them before you use the glitter varieties in conjunction with other paints.  Made in the U.S.A.

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