Best Acrylic Painting Mediums: Everything You Need to Know

When diving into acrylic painting, understanding the various mediums available can significantly enhance your creative process. While there are numerous mediums out there, this guide focuses on a few of the essentials you need to get started with traditional acrylic painting. Below are six top-rated products that professional and beginner artists alike can rely on. Let's get into it!

Best acrylic painting mediums
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Golden Matte Mediums

Acrylic matte mediums

Golden Matte Mediums are highly regarded for their ability to extend acrylic paints while promoting even flow and leveling, maintaining the film's stability, and decreasing gloss.


  • High-Quality Acrylic Polymer: Ensures stability and durability.
  • Versatile Application: Can be used to create clear ground or mixed with acrylic paints.
  • Custom Finishes: Mix with gloss mediums to achieve a satin finish.

Benefits: Golden Matte Mediums are perfect for artists looking to reduce the glossiness of their paints without compromising the color intensity. They are ideal for extending the paint and increasing translucency, making them versatile for various painting techniques.

Application Tips:

  • Tape Sealing: Apply a light layer over tape to prevent paint bleed.
  • Layer Protection: Use to protect watercolor layers in mixed media projects.
  • Mixing: Blend with paints to reduce shine without affecting color strength.

Golden Matte Mediums are highly valued for their ability to enhance the consistency and application of acrylic paints. They are effective in preventing paint bleed when using tape for sharp, clean edges by forming a barrier that stops paint from seeping underneath. Additionally, they protect watercolor layers, allowing for more layering and experimentation without damaging the initial work. These mediums are also ideal for collage and image transfer techniques, providing flexibility and stability across various applications.

Liquitex Gel Mediums

liquitex gel acrylic mediums

Liquitex Gel Mediums are made from 100% acrylic polymer emulsion, forming durable films when dry. They are known for their flexibility, resistance to chemicals, water, abrasion, and ultraviolet radiation.


  • Thick Consistency: Ideal for impasto, relief, or sculptural effects.
  • Versatile Use: Can be mixed with acrylic paint to alter handling characteristics, appearance, or volume.
  • Durable Film: Provides excellent protection and longevity.

Benefits: These gel mediums are perfect for artists looking to add texture and volume to their paintings. They help in extending paint, creating glazes, and achieving a variety of effects.

Application Tips:

  • Collage Adhesive: Works well as a glue for collage materials.
  • Texture Creation: Mix with heavy body paint for impasto effects.
  • Gloss Adjustment: Combine with matte mediums for a custom finish.

Liquitex Gel Mediums are known for their ability to modify paint texture and extend drying time, making them a go-to choice for artists looking to enhance their creative process. The gloss gel medium is perfect for mounting watercolor paintings onto wooden boards, achieving a strong bond and a professional finish. It's also praised for hydroabrasion on porcelain and bone china, creating detailed designs without damaging brushes. Mixing gel medium with modeling paste is another popular technique, creating flexible, textured art that showcases the medium's adaptability.

Golden Soft Gel Mediums

Best golden soft gel gloss acrylic mediums

Golden Soft Gel Mediums are moderately pourable and hold slight peaks, making them ideal for glazing and other techniques requiring transparency.


  • Moderate Viscosity: Easier to mix with paints compared to heavier gels.
  • Versatile Medium: Suitable for glazing, isolation coats, and collage.
  • High Clarity: Dries to a clear, flexible, and durable film.

Benefits: These mediums are perfect for artists who need a versatile gel that can be used for glazing, creating isolation coats, and adhering collage materials. The clarity and flexibility of the medium ensure that the artwork retains its vibrant colors and durability.

Application Tips:

  • Isolation Coat: Mix with water to seal the surface before varnishing.
  • Glazing: Use for adding transparent layers of color.
  • Collage Work: Ideal as an adhesive for mixed media projects.

Golden Soft Acrylic Gel Mediums are known for enhancing texture and adding layers to paintings. They allow artists to transform flat designs into rich, multi-dimensional artworks by using various tools and techniques. These gels are perfect for creating isolation layers, which protect paintings and ensure their longevity. The flexibility and transparency of these gels make them ideal for glazing, offering subtle transitions and maintaining the vibrancy of the colors. They are also used for adhering watercolor paper to boards and as a finishing coat to reduce absorbency and enhance the painting's surface.

Liquitex Fluids Acrylic Mediums

Best Liquitex acrylic fluid mediums

Liquitex Fluids Acrylic Mediums are celebrated for their versatility and ability to enhance the performance of acrylic paints. These mediums extend the volume of your paint while maintaining its vibrant color, offering a range of creative possibilities for artists.


  • Versatility: Extend the volume of acrylic paints while maintaining color intensity.
  • Enhances Flow: Improve the flow and leveling of acrylics, ideal for detailed work and smooth blending.
  • Multi-purpose: Suitable as adhesives in mixed media projects and for creating glazes and thin layers.


Liquitex Fluids Acrylic Mediums provide artists with a versatile tool that enhances the fluidity of acrylic paints without diluting the color. These mediums are perfect for both traditional and experimental art forms, offering improved flow and leveling for smoother application. Their multi-purpose nature also makes them excellent adhesives for mixed media projects, ensuring a seamless integration of different materials.

Application Tips:

  • Glazing: Mix the medium with acrylic paint to create transparent layers that add depth and luminosity to your work.
  • Blending: Use the medium to improve the blending properties of acrylics, allowing for smooth transitions between colors.
  • Adhesive: Apply the medium as a glue for collage elements, ensuring a strong bond and a flexible, durable finish.

Liquitex Fluids Acrylic Mediums are praised for their transformative impact on acrylic paints. They make the paint more fluid and easier to manipulate, which is essential for achieving fine details and smooth color gradients. The ability to create transparent glazes opens up new possibilities for adding depth and richness to paintings. Additionally, their use as adhesives in mixed media projects is invaluable, providing a strong yet flexible bond that integrates various materials seamlessly. Artists find these mediums indispensable for their versatility and their ability to enhance the overall quality and durability of their work.

Golden Acrylic Glazing Liquid

Best acrylic glazing mediums

Golden Acrylic Glazing Liquid is designed to extend the drying time of acrylic paints, making it ideal for glazing and blending techniques.


  • Extended Working Time: Allows for longer blending periods.
  • Smooth Application: Enhances the flow and leveling of paint.
  • Versatile Finish: Available in gloss and satin finishes.

Benefits: This medium is perfect for artists who require more time to work with their paints, allowing for smooth blending and layered glazing techniques.

Application Tips:

  • Layered Glazing: Apply thin layers to build up color depth.
  • Blending: Use to extend the open time for seamless color transitions.
  • Underpainting: Ideal for creating smooth underpaintings with extended working time.

Golden Acrylic Glazing Liquid is perfect for artists looking to create transparent layers and extend the open time of their paints. This medium enhances the ability to blend and shade, providing a consistent, professional finish. It's particularly beneficial for creating realistic water effects in landscapes or adding depth to various elements in a painting. Artists appreciate its ability to maintain the paint's integrity while allowing for intricate details and smooth, even application. This medium is a staple for achieving luminous, multi-layered glazes that bring artwork to life.

Golden Acrylic Retarder

Best acrylic painting retarder

Golden Acrylic Retarder slows the drying time of acrylic paints, giving artists more flexibility in blending and working with their paint.


  • Drying Time Extension: Significantly slows down the drying process.
  • Improved Blending: Allows for smoother transitions and blending.
  • Easy to Use: Can be mixed directly with acrylic paint.

Benefits: This retarder is perfect for artists who find acrylic paints dry too quickly. It extends the working time, making it easier to blend colors and achieve smooth gradients.

Application Tips:

  • Blending: Mix with paints to extend open time for blending.
  • Detailed Work: Use for intricate areas where more time is needed.
  • Custom Mixes: Combine with other mediums for tailored drying times.

Golden Acrylic Retarder is a game-changer for artists working with acrylics, particularly in hot or dry environments where paints tend to dry quickly. This medium extends the working time of acrylic paints, allowing for more blending and manipulation on the canvas. It's especially useful for slow painters who need more time to perfect their work. By mixing the retarder directly with paint or applying it on the canvas, artists can achieve smoother transitions and more refined details without the rush of quick-drying paint.

Acrylic painting mediums comparison

Comparing the Best Acrylic Painting Mediums

When comparing the top acrylic painting mediums, Golden Matte Mediums are ideal for reducing gloss and achieving even paint flow, making them perfect for extending paint and enhancing translucency. Liquitex Gel Mediums offer thick consistency, great for texture and volume, while Golden Soft Gel Mediums provide moderate viscosity, suitable for glazing and collage work. Golden Acrylic Glazing Liquid excels in extending drying time and creating smooth glazes, whereas Golden Acrylic Retarder is essential for artists needing more working time to blend and refine their acrylic paintings.

Selecting the right acrylic painting medium depends on your specific needs and artistic style. Understanding the unique features and benefits of each medium can help you make an informed decision that enhances your creative process. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, choosing the right medium will provide the foundation you need to bring your artistic vision to life. Good luck!

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