acrylic paints for crafting

I’ll start by saying this should be titled “MY experience with acrylic paints for crafting” because that is all I am bringing to the table. I don’t know which brands are considered best by the general crafting community. I don’t know how long paints are “supposed” to be kept, when it is recommended to discard them (I never throw out a bottle of usable paint), and I don’t know the general rule of thumb for deciding their quality. If they’re usable, I use them. I have some very old bottles of acrylic paint, collected from a long history of crafting. Once in a great while, I open a color and it’s just a solid block of plastic. That’s some old paint. Out it goes.

I keep my paints in a large drawer behind me as I craft. I have a lovely craft room where I spend a lot of time. This picture is a few years old, and the counter is unusually uncluttered (must have had company coming…), but it gives you a good idea of the layout. As I sit at the desk, my paint drawer is behind me and easily accessible. The paint drawer is the one just below the tall stack of smaller drawers to the right side of the picture.

craft room>

I have nice deep drawers for my paints. The two drawers at the top of this picture are my glitter drawers.

acrylic paint

I dab a bit of paint on the top of each paint bottle lid so I can immediately see exactly what I have.

The bottles along the right side, front and back of the drawer, are “leftover” paints from making Putz houses. This paint was made for particular Putz projects and is a 1:1 mixture of acrylic paint and white glue. To that, I add a tiny bit of Floetrol (paint additive/conditioner) and some sand for texture. The Floetrol helps the paint resist cracking, which can be an issue on corners when you’re painting a house and then try to give a corner of the building a tighter crease after it’s been drying for a while. I bought some small plastic bottles and use them to save this extra paint for future use.

acrylic paint

Most of the paints I have are 2-ounce bottles. Since I’ve amped up my Putz house production, I have been buying 8-ounce bottles.

acrylic paint

I recently bought a sample bottle of Kilz Tribute Acrylic Paint. The sample size is 8-ounces and costs $4.98 on Amazon. The paint is high quality, smooth and silky. And the price is lower than many of the craft acrylic paint options for the same amount of paint. Find the best art and craft materials like epoxy resin and more on this website here.

acrylic paint

You can go to Amazon and search < Kilz Tribute acrylic paint > to find what is available. Click on a color and it will take you to the page, where you will see other paint colors available. Most have the option of buying a sample bottle for $4.98.

I have since bought several more colors of Kilz acrylic paint. If you use a lot of acrylic paint, Kilz (or other brands of acrylic house paint) could be a good option. Check prices of craft paint for comparison. Some colors are cheaper than the Kilz, but many are not, particularly specialty color blends. I am sure other brands of house paint have similar sample bottles available. This is Kilz “Restful Retreat.”

acrylic paint

I went to the Home Depot website and they have 8-ounce sample bottles of acrylic house paint from $3.27 up. Depending on brand and color. Check out your favorite home improvement store for their selection. Be sure you’re looking at acrylic paint and not oil-based paint. When trying a new brand, I would suggest buying one sample and giving it a try before buying more.

When I find that an older bottle of paint from my collection has thickened, I add Floetrol to the bottle and mix well. Just a half teaspoon or so can make a lot of difference. Sometimes it takes more. The Floetrol revives the paint, thins it a bit and makes it flow well. If you don’t have a paint conditioner, you can use water. Works quite well. Just add it sparingly until you find the right amount.

When you use a color you just plain love, keep a record of it. The brand, the color number and the name. Add a picture if you’re saving info digitally. Add a dab of the paint color if you are saving the info on paper. You may want this information some day. And, if your paint bottles look like some of mine do, one day it may be difficult to get this info from the original bottle. Believe me, I have more than one bottle that looks like this (straight out of the paint drawer, no extra paint added!)…

paint bottle

A word about cleaning paint brushes… I keep small plastic bottles of water at hand. I use some nut containers that I had. I add two or three drops of Dawn dishwashing soap to each bottle of clean water and use those to clean my brushes.

paint water

After painting, I wipe the brush on cardboard or paper, getting rid of as much paint as possible. Then I clean it in the first bottle (my “dirty water” bottle), dry the bristles on paper towels, then clean it in the second bottle (the “clean water” bottle). The Dawn gets the brushes cleaner than using plain water. I have been surprised how much difference it makes. Because I add sand to my Putz house paints, my brushes take a beating. I have noticed they are easier to clean with the addition of Dawn to the bottles.

If you have questions, please ask. I am happy to share what I have learned.

You can see my Putz houses and other Christmas ornaments in my Etsy shop.

All proceeds from my Etsy shop benefit Kenya Mercy Ministries. They work with the urban poor of Nairobi, Kenya, particularly the children and their families who live in Kibera, the largest slum in Africa. Thank you for your part in helping these children when you purchase items from my shop!


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