Reflections on a Topic: "Acrylic — Are You That Simple?"
- Category: Materials and tools
- Practices: Decorating, Decoupage
When I took up decoupage, I didn't have the slightest idea about acrylic. The only thing that rang the bell were labels on jars at the hardware store.
In the process of learning the technique of decoupage, when I dipped into a huge number of acrylic materials of different brands, I was wondering, how did they differ — the composition was the same: water+pigment (figuratively speaking). The world of amazing books opened in front of me. I would like to share with you these little discoveries. Perhaps they will help someone to choose materials for creativity. I just want to mention that some of the arguments are subjective, I came to them by trial and error. I deliberately do not name brands, it will not make difference, each artisan makes her individual choice. If there is a name of paint in the photo — it is only as an example.
So, let's begin!
Acrylic paint can be used in all kinds of creativity. But not always one kind of acrylic paint may be suitable for all techniques.
I personally divided acrylic in 4 "Blocks":
1. Construction acrylic.
Its huge plus is the price and volume. But don't forget that after opening a large container, the air goes in and over time it will simply dry up. The most disgusting thing is when small particles of dried paint fall "into a pot". And another huge minus — nobody thinks about ecology producing construction paints — they are composed of chemical elements that are not compatible with the notion that we are all accustomed to use, signing our works "absolutely safe". No one guarantees that the material will not yellow or flake off over time. It is desirable to use building materials as intended. Although I use them when working with large surfaces, but only with those which will not come into contact with food, will not participate in children's games.
And, of course, tinting. It is difficult to guess how much paint you'll need for a particular product. Although, I often hear — "if the paint remains, I'll throw it out, I don't mind." I do mind! :)
2. Economical materials.
They are better than building acrylic. At least, they are more environmentally friendly. As in the first paragraph, we are always attracted by price. But cheap is not always economical. Let's look at the other side. If the price is lower, hence the components are cheaper. This affects the opacity of the paint. Sometimes you have to put 4 layers to achieve the perfect background. Does it help to save money? I doubt it!
3. Art paints of domestic production.
I am ready to name undisputed leaders, though I promised not to do that — Ladoga and Master-Class.
Despite all the advantages of these materials, I would advise to use them only as intended. Why? The answer is simple — they are very thick! There are grooves when applied to the surface. And the color palette is artistic, designed for drawing paintings.
4. Decorative art paints
In my opinion, you should use these paints in your works. There is a huge color palette, components of a higher quality. Most of them have a great opacity of 2 layers. They are often suitable for all types of surfaces (this is what helps to save). There are downsides — the price and they are not always available in the shop next to the house.
Now, let's consider how to work with acrylic:
- If you want to draw paintings you have to use art acrylic, as I wrote above. It has a dense consistency so that the paints mix together well. Its thickness resembles fat sour cream.
- For painting on fabrics it is advisable to choose a specialized acrylic paint, elastic, with a high quality binding, which will not be washed off from fabric and will stand the test of the washing machine. The paint should not be thick, as artistic acrylic. This information can be found on a label. Attention! The acrylic is dense and therefore is suitable for painting heavy fabrics (cotton, linen, denim, etc.). For delicate fabrics, such as silk, it is better to use dyes for batik.
Tip: to secure the painting, iron it from the inside!
- If you are working with leather — it is very important that the acrylic is elastic, otherwise your product will "crack".
- For decoration of furniture, utensils, elements of decor and even for painting the walls — acrylic is the most ideal option, as it has no smell. The paint mustn't be dense, otherwise you won't manage to smoothly "lay" it on the surface, you will have to dilute it with water.
When decorating a surface, it is desirable to choose paint, which should not be tinted or intermixed. You will never mix the same shade twice.
When decorating items and furniture that will be on the street, pay special attention to the following point — atmospheric resistance and lightfastness. Otherwise, your work will eventually fail.
- If you work with acrylic paints on glass, it is very important to have a good primed surface. Often we are faced with the fact that the traces of a brush are almost impossible to remove. I advise to add a bit of medium diluent. Paint will lay better on the surface. Another option is to prime glass with sponges. If you don't need a background, then better choose the paints for stained glass painting or contours.
- PVC (or plastic) is the most unreliable, problematic material to work with, but it is the cheapest one. A lot depends on the brand of the paint that you will use and on surface preparation — clean surface thoroughly and polish it well for adhesion of primer and the material. Otherwise, all your efforts will be in vain. Once again — you can work with this material, but you will have to spend a little more time than usual. I forgot to say that there were special primers for plastic. I did not use them, but maybe they can really save the products from "destruction"!
- When working with ceramics do not forget that the product must undergo the process of "baking". So check with the manufacturer whether this acrylic can be "baked". Although I painted the pots and then subjected them to heat treatment, just fixed the surface with lacquer. But there is also a trick — if you want to frequently use the product of ceramic you'll better not skip the step of baking.
- When working with plaster and wood always prime the surface, otherwise the paint consumption will increase. These materials have a porous surface that absorbs paints. If you plan to use the stain for wood, brush or scorch the wood, then you can skip this step. There is also another kind of wood — thin plywood. We often use this material due to its price. I advise the following: before you begin, spray the parts with water and put under a press until they are fully dried. It can save your work from such terms as "the product slanted" (when the parts curve after applying the primer).
- Metal — you can only work with acrylic on primed surfaces. You can not prime with acrylic, only with special primers for metal surfaces (e.g. automobile primer), since this material rusts (do not forget that there is water in composition of acrylic), and eventually your work will become worthless. It is also preferably not to secure the work with acrylic compounds (they have a smell, you have to work in a ventilated area).
Acrylic is considered to be harmless, but I do not advise you to paint skin of a human with it (we all have a different perception, allergic reaction is possible) and galvanized items. It is also not desirable to cover with acrylic the items that will come into contact with food. Although I read many times that it's totally safe, but I would not advise you to risk, choose the materials very carefully. Complete drying of acrylic takes 5-7 days. That's how much it is necessary to hold the product before giving it to children.
I will also write a little bit about packaging...
Tuba has one minus — you can not stir! Acrylic tends to delaminate into components. Of course, jars with a wide opening are ideal.
Well, guess I told you everything I wanted. Maybe I missed something — ask me, I will try to answer all the questions.
In general, every artisan is used to work with their own brush, using their own technique, their own favorite material, their own favorite paints. Do not judge me harshly. I write for beginners about the nuances which they can come into. And, perhaps, partly to protect producers, which are not always to blame for our errors.
Sincerely yours, Svetlana :)