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Monday, August 4, 2014

Acrylic Paint Review

I am not a professional artist, but I've been at this for awhile so I thought I'd share my opinions on some acrylic paints that I've tried. I don't have an airbrush, so I can't address these types of paints.

Games Workshop Paints:
I bought this at my local hobby shop. It comes in a little bitty bottle for a hefty price (I want to say this was like $3-$4, a lot for so small an amount). It doesn't dry quickly, which is a plus for eyelashes, and it has a nice, thick quality to it. It is important to thin it because it is so thick. I find the pigments to be really strong, and I like to use this one for eye liner. I don't use it for super fine lines because it takes a lot of thinner to be useful for that.

I give them a 4/5 for vibrant colors, but it loses a point due to price point.

Walmart brand cheap paints (Folkart and others):
These things are great starter paints. They are mostly water, so if you thin them too much they lose their color. They dry very quickly. I use a little retarder to make them last longer. I liked to use these for most applications until I got an upgrade to acrylics with better pigment.

I give them a 2.5/5. Great starter paint, but you will notice the difference when you upgrade.

Martha Stewart acrylics:
These are surprisingly good. Not too thick, not too thin, so they are good for various applications depending on how much thinner you want to use. These are my default paints, and I like to use them on my pony repaints. They have good color and don't dry too fast.

I give these a 3/5. They are a step above the Folkart paints, but for the price you may as well save up a little bit more and go for an artist grade paint. They are definitely better quality than the folkart paints.

JoAnn Fabrics brand paints:
Not terrible. Slightly better than Walmart brand paints, so you get what you pay for. This brand does make an awesome affordable gloss, which I highly recommend. 

2.5/5 for the acrylics, 4/5 for the gloss (it takes a couple coats for maximum effect)

These are artist-grade paints. They are perfect. They do require a lot more thinner than the cheaper acrylics because they are thicker, but I really can't complain. The colors are more vibrant even when thinned. They were more than worth the funds. I haven't done a whole lot with them beyond some pony repaints for practice, but I'm looking forward to working with them on a face up.

So far, these babies get a 5/5.

Paints to avoid:

Spray paint- This shit is permanent (mostly, and I assume you can remove it if you really try and/or seal really well before you spray) and can damage resin. I've heard good and bad lately, but it's not a risk I'm willing to take.

Nail polishes- Same as with spray paint. I've heard too many horror stories to even chance this.

Paints with thick glitter in them- They won't look right on the doll, and the glitter will be way out of scale on the tiny area you're working on. They can also clump and look cheap. Avoid.

So there you have my little paint review. I hope it's helpful. ^_^


  1. I've used Golden and Utrecht fluid acrylics on my vinyl babies, and it tends to work about the same as thinned acrylic paint right out of the bottle. Artist-quality, and if you get them on sale like I do, the price couldn't be better! All you need for those pesky eyelashes is a really fine brush and a steady hand. :3

    1. That's awesome! Thank you for the recommendation!


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