Can I use acrylic paint with Powertex?
Acrylic paint is plastic based so I was cautious to add it to my Powertex artwork. Soft plastics don’t tend to play well with Powertex and they can peel away from Powertex surfaces. Have you ever peeled dry Powertex from your plate or gloves?
After some experiments I found that acrylic paints are a great way to layer bright colour on textured Powertex surfaces. I don’t recommend mixing acrylic paint into Powertex to colour it though. I have had mixed results with different brands but most will not mix in properly. This did make for some interesting results though when I mixed paint into Transparent Powertex!
Which acrylic paint to use with Powertex?
I have tried a variety of different brands of acrylics with Powertex. Generally the more expensive the paint the more pigment it contains so a little goes a long way. I found some cheaper craft paints didn’t always hold their colour well over time.
But higher quality acrylic paints can be expensive. A good compromise for me has been to invest in a small number of student grade acrylic paints and my favourite colours in acrylic inks. You can always try mixing your own colours too. My current favourite is the Daler Rowney brand of acrylic paints and inks as they are easy to find and are often on offer.
Using fluid acrylics and inks
I love to use fluid acrylics and acrylic inks with textured art. The benefit is that they run around the textures to create beautiful patterns. Use a brush to paint or drip the colour onto the surface. Some fluid acrylics can be used in spray bottles which is a great way to apply colour to large areas, create drips and blend layers.
Acrylic inks can be costly so if you are on a tight budget, try adding a little water to your regular paint to get something that drips. I have a long time love of Daler Rowney FW acrylic inks, the Turquoise and Flame orange are delicious!
Do I need to use varnish?
Of course a coat of UV protection varnish is a good idea too. This will protect your colours from fading and give your art a great finish.
Textures can be a bit of a pain to varnish so I choose to use a spray varnish on very textured pieces. Spray varnish has its own issues though and must be used in a well ventilated area or outside. (If you use it regularly it’s probably worth looking into getting a mask for use with aerosols.)
You can paint on a fluid varnish if you prefer. It’s recommended to use 2 or 3 thin coats rather than one heavy layer. Make sure your art is completely dry before you add your varnish and leave for 24 hours between coats. I’m still trying different brands but have recently found Liquitex products.
Top tips for acrylic on Powertex
- Apply on a dry Powertex surface.
- Try acrylic inks on an Ivory Powertex base layer.
- Drip darker colours into crackles and into textures for lots of depth.
- Start with two colours maximum to avoid a muddy mess.