Today we're sharing our tutorial on mixing and storing your own Natural Acrylic Paint with our Natural Acrylic Medium! Why should you make your own acrylic paints?
For years, we've been receiving requests for a natural acrylic paint alternative from customers who were tired of chemical sensitivities from fumes, skin irritation, and concerns about the environmental damage that conventional acrylics can cause. Conventional acrylic paints contain petroleum-based acrylic polymer emulsion (essentially plastic), toxic preservatives and additives like thickeners, defoamers, wetting agents, surfactants, and stabilizers, and pigments that are heavy-metal based or petroleum based. And, despite these dangerous ingredients, these paints are legally allowed to be labeled "non-toxic" due to labeling loopholes.
In contrast, our Natural Acrylic Medium is free from those harmful additives, stabilizers, heavy metals, and other toxic chemicals. You can finally paint with confidence knowing your handmade Natural Acrylic Paint is safe, high-quality, and environmentally friendly.
1. Gather Supplies
- Natural Acrylic Medium
- Earth & Mineral Pigments
- Palette Knife
- Glass Palette
- Paint Brushes
- Paper, canvas, or other painting surface
- Aluminum Tube
2. Scoop the Medium onto the Palette
Scoop onto the palette the amount of Natural Acrylic Medium for the amount of paint you want. The amount of medium you use will be the amount of paint you will end up with. Either pour the medium out of the jar, or use your palette knife to help scoop the medium out of the jar.
If you are using a glass palette, try placing a white piece of paper underneath the palette so as you mix the color, you can see the accurate color of the mix you will be making.
3. Mix the Medium and Pigment
Scoop the pigment out of the bag and onto the acrylic medium. Measuring spoons or teaspoons work great for this. If you pour it out of the bag, be very careful so that you don’t accidentally dump the whole bag. You can always add more pigment but you can’t remove any once added.
When mixing the medium and pigment, there is no set recipe for deciphering how much to mix. For a darker and less translucent paint, add more pigment. For a more translucent and less vibrant paint, add less pigment to the medium. You can test the paint color as you mix or you can make an amount to store and add various pigment amounts each time you use the paint to get whatever desired effect you may want.
The color we are using is Ultramarine Blue.
Blend together both the pigment and the medium making sure that the pigment is broken down and evenly dispersed. As you blend the paint feel free to test the paint on a separate paper to see if it is the color you want. If not, add more pigment to increase the vibrancy and to make it more opaque.
The most important thing when storing your paint for future use is to make sure that it is stored in a container with the least amount of air possible. An aluminum tube is suggested for storing but you can use anything from empty medicine bottles, small jam jars and other little jars; as long as air can’t get in. However, with jars, remember that the more air you’re sealing into the container with the paint, the more your paint will dry out as well so try to store the paint in a container that wont have plenty of excess air inside.
6. Create a Crease
Create a crease/fold where the paint stops to help you know where to flatten the rest of the tube from.
Flatten the rest of the tube from the crease you made in step 6, to the back of the tube. Push the paint towards the front of the tube while flattening. A ruler or palette knife can be used to help flatten.
Fold the tube forward from the end. You want to only fold a small amount of the end because we will be folding the rest inward and this will help the seal stay closed.
Crimp or press the folded end down with your pliers. You want to make sure that it is flat. The flatter it is, the better the seal is and less air will escape and also paint wont squirt out the back when you squeeze the tube.
Repeat steps 7 & 8 until the fold has reached the part of the tube with paint.
You can test the paint during the original mixing in step 3 & 4 or you can make a tube of paint and every time you paint you can add the desired amount of pigment to it and mix on a palette.
Here is an example of the color being tested. This color is more translucent and light because of the amount of pigment added.
11. More Pigment
In this image, more pigment is being added to a bit of the previously mixed paint.
12. Color Differences
You can see the difference between the colors depending on the amount of pigment added to the medium. The top color has less pigment added and the bottom two lines have more pigment added. The paint can also be thinned by watering it down with water on the palette.
13. Clean Up
Clean up your supplies with a light soap and water and let them air dry. The longer you wait to clean them, the more of a chance that acrylic paint will dry on them and it will be harder to clean off.
Label any tubes you mixed so you know what colors you have. And there you have it, handmade Natural Acrylic Paint; enjoy!
More of a visual learner? Watch the video version of this tutorial here!