Ways to Make Your Acrylic Paint Opaque

Have you ever struggled to get your acrylic paint to fully cover a darker color, resulting in a less-than-satisfactory finish? You’re not alone! Many artists have encountered this issue when working with acrylic paint.

However, there are several techniques you can use to increase the opacity of your paint and achieve the desired coverage. Some examples are mixing paint with white, using white paint under colors, and experimenting with different techniques.

Ready to take your acrylic paint projects to the next level and achieve full, opaque coverage every time? Keep reading to discover 10 easy methods for making your acrylic paint more opaque. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, these techniques will help you get the desired results.

Ways to Make Your Acrylic Paint Opaque

10 Ways to Make Your Acrylic Paint Opaque

Are you having trouble with your acrylic painting techniques? Are you finding it difficult to make your acrylic paint opaque? Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. Here, we’ll discuss 10 ways to make your acrylic paint opaque.

Method 1: To increase opacity, combine paint with white

Hey, let’s talk about one of the simplest ways to make acrylic paint more opaque: mixing it with white paint. Now, we know what you’re thinking: “But won’t that change the color of our paint?” Well, yeah, it will lighten it up a bit.

But if you’re having trouble getting a solid, opaque coverage, especially over darker colors, adding some white paint can really help. Plus, it’s a quick and easy method. Just grab a palette knife and mix in small amounts of white paint until you get the desired opacity.

Method 2: Use white paint to cover up your colors

Another technique you can try is using white paint as a base for your other colors. This can create a “canvas” of sorts, making it easier for your colors to appear more vibrant and opaque.

To do this, simply apply a thin, even layer of white paint to your surface and allow it to dry completely before adding your other colors. This method can be especially helpful when working on a larger project with multiple colors.

Method 3: Make Opaque Paints with Color

Now, let’s talk about how certain colors can naturally have more opaque properties than others. Colors like titanium white, Mars black, and cadmium yellow are often more opaque than other colors.

So if you’re having trouble getting a solid coverage with a particular color, try mixing it with one of these more opaque colors. It can help to increase the overall opacity of your paint.

Method 4: Mediums Aid in the Opacity of Paint

Okay, we’ve discussed mixing colors and using white paint to increase opacity, but what about mediums? Now, for those who may not know, mediums are substances that can be added to paint to alter their properties. They can make it dry slower, change the finish, and more.

And some mediums, like opaque mediums, can help increase your paint’s opacity. Now, keep in mind that it’s best to start with small amounts of medium and adjust as needed. And be sure to mix it thoroughly to ensure even distribution.

Method 5: To Increase Opacity, Use Layers

You can try layering your paint to increase opacity. Now, there are two main layering techniques: wet-on-wet and wet-on-dry. Wet-on-wet is when you apply paint to a wet surface, while wet-on-dry is when you apply paint to a dry surface. Both techniques can create a more even, opaque coverage of paint. Just be sure to use thin layers and allow each layer to dry completely before adding the next.

Method 6: Paint Dilution Has an Impact

Another factor that can impact the opacity of your paint is consistency. Thin, watery paint is less opaque than thicker paint, and adding more medium or water can dilute the paint and decrease its opacity.

So if you’re trying to achieve a fully opaque coverage, it’s important to find the right balance of paint dilution. Start with a small amount of medium or water and adjust as needed. And be sure to test your paint on a separate surface before using it on your main project.

Method 7: Brand Paint Color Swap

Have you ever noticed that different paint brands can have variations in pigment density? Well, this can affect the opacity of your paint. Some brands are known for producing more opaque paints, like Golden or Liquitex. So if you’re having trouble getting solid coverage with your current paint brand, it might be worth trying one of these brands to see if it makes a difference.

Method 8: Make use of High Pigment or Artist’s Paints

You may have heard of artist-grade paints, also known as “professional” or “studio” paints. These paints are generally higher in pigment density than student-grade paints, which means they are more opaque and can provide better coverage, especially over darker colors. Remember that artist-grade paints can be more expensive, but if you’re looking for a higher-quality, more opaque paint, it might be worth the investment.

Method 9: Use Gesso

Another method you can try is using gesso as a pre-painting primer. A mixture of paint pigment, binder, and chalk creates a smooth, absorbent surface for your paint to adhere to. It helps to make acrylic paint more opaque and can be especially useful for covering darker colors. Just be sure to apply it thinly and evenly and allow it to dry completely before painting.

Method 10: Experiment with Different Techniques

And finally, remember that there’s no “perfect” way to make acrylic paint more opaque. It may take some trial and error to figure out what works best for you. Different methods may work better for different types of projects or situations, so don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works best.


Learn more about acrylic paints:


In this article, we’ve covered 10 simple methods for increasing the opaqueness of acrylic paint, including mixing it with white paint, using white paint as a base color, using color to make paints opaque, using mediums, layering, switching paint brands, dilution, using an artist or high pigment paints, using gesso, and trying out various techniques.

We hope these techniques have been helpful and that you feel more confident in making your acrylic paint more opaque. If you have any other tips or experiences with making acrylic paint more opaque, we’d love to hear about them in the comments!

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