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3D Acrylic Painting Techniques Blog

Blog > How to Make Paint Thicker

April 16,, 2016 - by Ruth Collis

Hot to Make Paint Thicker

Odds and ends questions on thicker paint.............................

Thick gel medium mixed with paint color

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Simple Sculptural Rose

How to get paint thick?

Buying a clear gel medium or paste that is already thick and then adding your paint color to it is the best way of how to make acrylic paint thicker. Mediums made specifically for art are guaranteed to be much more archival than home made mixes or products you get from home improvement stores that can crack, especially in moving or shipping.

How to Paint a 3D Sculptural Rose free online course by Ruth Collis

Examples of thick paint art:

Thick acrylic painting can be immensely fun when using a common tool such as cake decorating tips to make a multitude of sculpted shapes and that will stay in a permanent fine art form. 

Paint Super Simple 3D Poppies

How long for acrylic paint to dry?

5-15 minutes for just acrylic paint without any thick gel medium added and then depending on how thick it is. If you get it on your clothes, of course you have only a few seconds to get it off, as it sticks to fabric really well. If you use a thick gel medium, acrylic paint drying times could take a day to a few weeks to dry. See the coupon at this link here for making these 3D poppies out of thick paint which tells how to double your drying times to get inch high acrylic paint dry and workable overnight. This can be a fun technique of applying paint thickly.

Paper Peel painting with opposite colors

Easy things to paint with acrylics:

Peel Painting is a super easy technique anybody can do and requires no drawing skills and gives immediate fun results. You just squish paint together and peel apart to reveal these cool texture lines. See more and download a free guide at

Acrylic mediums
There is now a plethora of acrylic paint mediums out there from all the technology advancement in the arts, from thick gels and pastes to fluid and crackle mediums. See this page for an explanation on some of what they do:Acrylic Mediums Explained


Can you paint acrylic over oil?

No. Oil can't dry fast enough for acrylic paint and cracking could result.


Can you paint oil over acrylic?

Yes. Painting oil over acrylic will work if the acrylic is completely dry first. Acrylic is a firm enough surface and foundation for oil to be applied. Gesso is often an acrylic base for oils to stick well to. Here is oil over acrylic super heavy gel medium where the acrylic gel adds the amazing 3-dimension, and the oil adds the buttery rich color all in one painting I call "Best of Both Worlds" that was made in 2012 and still looks great:

Oil painted over acrylic for dimension and richness
Oil painted over acrylic base
Oil painted over acrylic

How to dilute acrylic paint?

Using another fluid type medium is best for thinning since you don't want to lose too much binder by using water. You can use water, but too much could result in poor adhesion. You could always use a fluid acrylic paint or ink to begin with. I like these acrylic inks that are pearly.


Can you paint when its raining?

What an odd question! Yes, it could make the most wonderful drips, like this one done here in the bathtub with some water trickling down. No paint gets on the ground that way and can be the most quiet place away from noise. I think this question may have been meant for house painting though. More humid climates make it harder for wall paint to dry. But fine art painting can be the best activity on a rainy day. Since acrylic paint dries fast, it is a good choice. You can heat the room to help it dry faster, or try a big clean fan.


"Fingerprint Reeds"

(In Corporate Collection)

'Fingerprint Reeds," drips on abstract acrylic painting

Painting over acrylic paint...

You can use all kinds of rich thick texture to cover over mistakes, and acrylic paintings you don't like, or even rips and tears in a canvas you might have gotten a discount on. This 48x60 giant cave painting was done with all kinds of hand and finger impressions.

'Fingerprint Reeds," drips on abstract acrylic painting

How to get gloss paint off clothes?

Ha, you have 3 seconds to run to the bathroom and scrub with a toothbrush and water! Or you can wear an apron or clothing made for getting paint smudges on, or you can try Winsor & Newton Brush Cleaner & Restorer, but it's not guaranteed.

Ruth Collis, Sculptural Painting Instructor

Ruth Collis

Sculptural Painting Instructor

See how to save great money on the cost of gel mediums, get 3 times as much than what is sold in the stores, and also learn how to make this 3D Simple Sculptural Rose, all for free in signing up here at the link or click on the picture below.

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