It is typically not recommended to mix oil paints and acrylic paints together.
However, you can paint oil over acrylic, but never acrylic paint over oils.
Acrylics are water-based, and oils are oil-based, so they each have different compounds and different needs, in terms of drying time and setting. When you combine acrylic and oil together, they usually don’t blend well together. This can cause the canvas to breakdown and the quality of the painting to erode over time — not great!
I personally don’t recommend mixing acrylic paint and oil paint just for the fact that they are so different, I don’t want my painting to get ruined. These two types of paint are so different from another that the texture, color etc. makes significant modifications to your masterpiece. It’s simply not worth it.
Can I Mix Acrylic with Any Other Type of Paint?
Yes, as long as the paint you will mix it with is water based. For example, you can mix Acrylic paint with Latex paint. Though the two terms are sometimes interchangeable, acrylic and latex paints are slightly different.
Acrylic paints are generally known as artists’ paints, sold in more expensive tubes. Latex paints are generally known as house paints, sold in larger quantities, from pints to gallons. Because both are water-based, you can mix them.
Most artists do not want to use house paint for fine arts because it doesn’t last as long as artist’s acrylic, but you may want to mix acrylics with latex to get the exact color or texture you need for a specific project. There are decorative applications for mixing the two, such as painting indoor murals or furniture.
Do You Need to Add Water to Acrylic Paint?
The short answer is no. Acrylic paints come ready to use and does not require water to use. Although you might want thin your acrylic paints for a specific painting technique or if they have dried out, you can add water to try and restore them and/or thin them down.
However, paint thinners can help you achieve a different look, feel, consistency, and even color. Acrylic paints can have the appreciate of water colors or oil paints depending on how you thin or thicken them.
To add water to your acrylic paint, I recommend the following steps:
- Mix water into your paint
- Take a brush and mix it with the paint
- Continue mixing until you’ve evenly distributed your water with the paint
If you’re still not getting the desired consistency, slowly add a paint thinner and mix slowly.
I highly recommend this acrylic paint thinner. You can use one of these substances in place of water for a more controlled thinning of your paint. These will keep your paint from drying out too fast and thin it in the process.
What Is Better to Paint with Oil or Acrylic?
For my paintings I always use Acrylic paint, just because the colors are so vibrant, versatile and the dry time is pretty quick. Here are some helpful tips to help you decide which paint to use.
Oil paints are known to have survived hundreds of years, but they can discolor and require more treatment long term. However, oil paints also have more pigments, which create richer undertones you can’t accomplish with acrylic paints.
Acrylics may also darken slightly as they dry, while oil paints do not. Acrylics are known for bright, rich vibrant colors that oil paints don’t offer.
The main difference between oils and acrylics is drying time. Acrylic paint can dry within 15 minutes to an hour. Oil paints can stay wet for days or weeks, making the cure time much longer.
If you are a quick painter, then acrylics might work better for you since your project will be almost dry by the time you are done.
If you paint rather slowly or take breaks during your project, then you might get frustrated when your acrylics dry mid painting. Some people who paint at a rather slower paint choose oil paints just for that reason. Although you can always add in a mixing or wetting agent to re hydrate your paint, if it dries out before you’re done with your painting.
I always prefer acrylics since the drying time is convenient for me and I tend to paint pretty fast. If I need to modify something in my painting later, I can always go back and use a mixer or paint over it.
Oils mix easily together, while acrylics can be more challenging. Acrylics dry very quickly, while oils can take several days to fully dry.
I always recommend cleaning your brushes quickly after you’re done painting with acrylics—waiting too long can cause the bristles to become dry with paint. On the other hand, cleaning up with plain old water is a snap compared to oil paints.
One thing to keep in mind is that oil painting supplies are more expensive than acrylics. Acrylics are a better option for students with limited budgets, while oil paints are better for seasoned artists.
Would You Do Better with Acrylic Paint?
If you’re concerned about toxicity of the paint, acrylics are a great option if you have children or small pets. An acrylic starter set will cost less than $20 for 12 colors, and brushes are inexpensive as well. You can use synthetic hair brushes and simply clean them with fresh water.
You’ll save a lot of money with acrylics, and you can still get a great final product. I have been painting with acrylics for over a decade and they are still my favorite kind of paint.
The colors are fun, vibrant and not too expensive. All of my paintings are still in excellent condition, reassuring me the paint is great quality. I would start out with an acrylic paint set if you are a beginner, and if you don’t like them you can always switch to oils.
Always remember to have fun with your projects, and don’t forget to check out my Recommended Products Page for all you acrylic painting needs. happy Painting!