Painting and knowing how to get rid of brush strokes acrylic paint is an art that requires constant practice and skill to master. Once mastered, you will avoid some pitfalls, such as getting brush strokes while painting. Although painting with brush strokes is a type of acrylic painting, not everyone desires it. Instead, most people opt for smoother finishes.
It isn’t always easy to avoid brush strokes when painting acrylics. This thick paint dries quickly, leaving you with little time to make changes to your work. For beginners, this can be a nightmare.
The good news is we can help you avoid this painting mistake with acrylics. This post will teach you how to get rid of brush strokes with acrylic paint.
What is Acrylic Paint?
Before we jump to the main topic of discussion, it is crucial for beginners to understand what acrylic paint is and its behavior. Acrylic paint is a fast-drying formula containing a binder, acrylic vehicle, and pigments diluted in silicone oils, defoamers, acrylic polymer emulsion, or stabilizers.
It is a thick, water-based paint that solidifies when dry. Acrylic paints differ according to their dilution and modification. Some can come out as watercolor or oil paints, having their characteristics and features.
Acrylics can bond to different surfaces, such as canvas and paper. Painters can use mediums like water and gel to modify the hardness, texture, and appearance. When thinned with mediums other than water, the paint appears deep and glossy. With water, the paint dries to a matte finish.
Acrylic paints are divided into artist and student. As the name suggests, artist acrylics are for professional use. They contain several pigments that resist reaction from exposure to sunlight and water.
Student acrylics have a lower pigment concentration. Examples of student acrylics are heavy body acrylics, fluid acrylics, gouache, craft acrylics, acrylic glass paint, enamel paint, etc.
Different Acrylic Painting Techniques
Acrylic painting involves the use of bright colors and good brush strokes. Depending on the technique used, you can achieve the desired result when painting acrylics because you can mix it with different mediums to create various effects.
Painting techniques include;
This involves using a sponge to create an irregular pattern. The painting technique was popular among the impressionists when they wanted to convey a message. It is hard to mess up your painting with this technique.
Glazing is the art of applying a thin and transparent over acrylic to create a rich and glassy texture. Glazing is not so different from painting on glass.
This technique is over five centuries old. It entails creating a group of dots. Once an engraving method, modern painters use this painting style to create various shades and dimensions.
Dabbing is a painting method where the artists apply acrylics lightly in a repetitive motion using a brush. This method adds more depth to your painting and gives you more freedom.
This painting method is mostly used when you are about to finish. It requires small, fine brushes to give you better control and apply those details needed to enhance your work.
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How to Remove Brush Strokes When Painting Acrylics
A painting may look beautiful at first but turns out different from what was envisioned along the line because of the presence of brush strokes. If not planned, brush strokes can leave you feeling sad and regretful. However, there’s still hope that you can eliminate them.
If you have tried different tactics to get rid of the brush strokes to no avail, the following methods can help you eliminate this error.
- Paint on a Flat, Smooth Surface
If you plan to paint on a canvas, ensure you use pre-gessoed canvasses. A canvas is a bit pricey but worth it if you want to attain smoothness. The second option is to apply several coats of acrylic gesso on the canvas or wood. Sand in between coats to get an ultra-smooth texture.
- Use a Soft Brush
The bristle of a brush determines how streaky the paint will become. Using a stiff bristle paint brush with acrylics will leave streaks on your work. This type of brush is better suited to oil painting.
For acrylic painting, a soft synthetic brush is better. It will give you the smoothness that you desire. Sometimes, determining the degree of a brush’s softness is challenging. The best way to go about this is to experiment a little.
Remember that expensive brushes don’t translate to the best. Ultra-cheap ones aren’t either, which is why you need to experiment.
- Apply Opaque Paints
Transparent paints require several coats to produce a good coverage and result, increasing the chances of having brush strokes in your work. Opaque colors don’t need as many coats as their transparent counterparts, minimizing the chances of having streaks.
If you are using transparent acrylics to paint, don’t try to discard them for opaque paints. Add white to the color to make it less translucent.
- Adopt a Better Painting Technique
With acrylics, the method of application and approach is crucial. Painting in thick layers will certainly guarantee streaks. But, when you paint thin with a soft, clean brush, you avoid having strokes.
Also, dip the brush in water before dipping it into the paint. This will help it to move conveniently across the surface. Don’t make it to be dripping wet to avoid diluting the color. Should the water be excessive, wipe it on the table’s edge.
You should only apply paint that’s enough for the area. If it’s excessive, clean it with a damp cloth while wet. Acrylics dry slightly darker. So, minimize the amount of paint you want to apply.
- Consider Fluid Acrylics
Recall we mentioned those fluid acrylics have low pigment concentration. That isn’t the only characteristic. These acrylics are thinner and move smoothly on the canvas. As a result, they don’t retain brushstrokes.
This type of acrylic is a much-preferred option to heavy body acrylics. While both contain the same number of pigments, fluid acrylics aren’t as thick as the former. Therefore, they dry faster.
- Paint Using a Flow Improver
A flow improver or flow aid reduces the viscosity of acrylics. It is an additive that interrupts the water’s surface tension in the paint and thins it without impacting the color. Flow improvers also reduce the drying time of the paint to allow you to blend out the strokes.
Flow aids are mixed with water. Before use, ensure you read the label on the bottle to get the perfect mixing ratio. Adding too many improvers can affect the drying time and stick of the paint.
- Thin Your Acrylic Paint with Water
Thin your paint with water to better the flow and glide over the canvas. Avoid using too much water because it can make the paint loosen its stickiness. Additionally, it can dilute the paint’s color. Use only as much water as required.
- Load up the Brush
Swiping a bare brush over wet paint will cause streaks to appear on your canvas. Load the brush fully with acrylics (only the bristle part should be loaded). If the paint is somewhat thick, swipe it over the palette to smoothen it.
- Blend the Paint with a Soft Brush
Blending is a crucial aspect of painting. It isn’t easy to blend with acrylic paint since it dries pretty fast.
Use a soft brush to blend out the acrylic as soon as you notice brushstrokes on your canvas. Blend lightly to avoid packing too much paint. We recommend you use a softer brush different from the one you’re using to paint to blend.
We also recommend you mist the paint and the painting material before you begin blending. Use a mister as it would regulate the amount of water that will drop on the color.
- Don’t Apply So Much Pressure When Painting
Applying intense pressure to the painting will leave brush strokes and damage the brush. A light touch is enough. If you see white patches, you need more paint on the bristle.
- Don’t Brush Repeatedly Over the Same Area
This is one of the biggest reasons you have streaks in your work. Brushing repeatedly will cause stokes to appear. Avoid over-brushing. If you want another coat, allow the area to dry before adding.
FAQ on How To Get Rid Of Brush Strokes Acrylic Paint
- How do you get rid of brush strokes when painting?
You can get rid of brush strokes when painting by using the right brush, adopting good painting techniques, painting in the same direction as the wood grain, and lightly sanding between each coat.
- Why does my acrylic paint have brush strokes?
Most times, your acrylic paint has brush strokes because it is thick. Paints, such as acrylics, need to be thinned to produce a better finish. Thick paints dry slow and are hard to control the flow.
- How do you make acrylic paint look flat?
The easiest way to make acrylic and other paints look flat is by sanding them with 300-grit sandpaper. You can also opt for a Scotch-Brite pad, but be careful when using it to avoid removing excessive paint.
- Should I wet my brush before acrylic paint?
Wetting your brush before applying acrylic paint is an excellent way to avoid visible brush strokes. Before that, thin the paint by mixing it with a bit of water. Once it is fluid enough, you can begin painting.
- How do you fix smudged paint?
You can fix smudged paint by sanding the area until even. Wipe the area with a clean cloth and reapply paint.
Conclusion: How To Get Rid Of Brush Strokes Acrylic Paint
These tips will help you to get rid of brush strokes when using acrylic paints. Painting requires consistent practice. It is only by that you can achieve the desired results. Watch out for the brush you use, as it massively influences how your work will come out.