How To Make Acrylic Paint Matte? 10 Easy And Effective Ways

Acrylic paint is known for its versatile and vibrant colors, but sometimes you may prefer a more subdued and matte finish for your artwork. 

To transform your acrylic paint from a glossy sheen to a desirable matte texture, the key lies in using the right materials and applying the appropriate techniques. So how to make acrylic paint matte?

Well, it can be done by using matte medium, gels, and powder. In addition, using talcum powder, baking soda, matte varnish, chalk paint and even sanding has also been proven to work well. 

However, it is necessary to use these products, solvents, and agents accurately and mix them in the right proportion for promising results. 

Here I’m with you to help you in this regard, with over 20 years of experience in the field of acrylic painting I’ve tested and explored various consistency for different methods to get that perfect matte finish with acrylic paint. 

I have compiled all this knowledge in the post below. 

Can You Make Glossy Acrylic Paint Matte?

Yes, it is possible. Transforming glossy acrylic paint into a matte finish involves modifying its reflective properties. 

This can be done in many ways like adding matte additives or mediums or employing some technical ways like sandpaper or burnishing tools. 

10 Methods To Make Acrylic Paint Matte 

I’ve discussed simple and easy ways to get a matte effect with your acrylic paintings. I’ve applied these ways many times and also suggested them to my juniors and fellow artists. 

They really work effectively if you have a strong grip on their accurate application. Don’t panic, just read below for step by step guidance. 

  1. Add Matte Medium 

The best way to make acrylic paint matte is by adding a matte medium. It is a type of liquid compound used to thin down the paint and enhance its volume, leading to matte effects.

The first thing is to opt for a matte medium that is compatible with acrylic paints. 

Some popular options include Liquitex Matte Medium, Golden Matte Medium, and Winsor & Newton Galeria Matte Medium. 

So how do you make acrylic paint matte with this medium? Add the matte medium to your paint in a ratio of 1:1 or as per the manufacturer’s directions or you may change the ratio according to your requirements.  

Mix the paint and medium thoroughly to assure that the medium is evenly distributed.

Now, apply the paint as you would normally. The matte medium should give the paint a flat, matte finish.

  1. Apply Matte Powder

Matte powder is also known as matting agent or silica powder. It is generally a fine powder substance that can be added to acrylic paint to acquire a matte effect. 

It comprises particles that create a rougher surface, diffusing light and reducing the glossiness of the paint.

Just sprinkle a small amount onto wet paint or mix it with a painting medium or varnish before application. 

It can have a more noticeable effect on the paint’s texture compared to the matte medium.

  1. Add Matte Gel

A matte gel is a thick and gel-like substance that can be mixed with acrylic paint in order to get a non-glossy finish. It is also one of the best ways to dry acrylic paint with a matte finish.

It is similar to matte medium but has a thicker consistency and provides more body and texture to the paint. 

The matte gel can be used to extend the paint, increase transparency, or create impasto effects. You can apply it directly onto the surface or mix it with paint for a matte result. 

  1. Apply Matte Varnish 

Another ideal option for making acrylic paint matte is utilizing a matte varnish.

As an artist, you must be well up with the importance of varnishing in protecting a painting from harsh external conditions. 

So while applying a clear coat varnish as a mandatory final touch, why don’t you select a matte one? 

It will enable you to get a matte finish as well as protect your artwork for the long term.  

Some well-known options include Liquitex Matte Varnish, Golden Polymer Varnish with UVLS Matte, and Winsor & Newton Galeria Matte Varnish.

  1. Use Matte Spray 

If you’re looking for some quick options to make acrylic paint matte, here comes the role of a matte spray. 

This type of aerosol compound is specifically developed to eliminate sheen from your acrylic painting. 

In addition, it gives a final look with protection against various harsh elements.

  1. Mix Chalk Paint

Chalk paint is a type of paint that has a matte and velvety finish with a soft, chalky texture. It is prepared by combining traditional paint with a fine powder, that is made of calcium carbonate, giving it its unique texture and finish.

You can blend a small portion of chalk paint into the acrylic paint gradually until you are satisfied with the level of the matte finish. 

I tried this technique twice and both times, I put the ratio of chalk paint to acrylic 1:2 and the result was quite impressive. 

It should be addressed that introducing chalk paint might also impact the hue of the acrylic paint, so I recommend you test the blend on a small portion of the surface first before applying it to a bigger area.

  1. Add Talcum Powder

Talcum powder is a mineral powder made from talc, a soft mineral that is often used in cosmetic products, such as baby powder and other personal care items. Here is how to make gloss paint matte with talcum powder:

Mix a small amount of the compound into the acrylic paint. The higher the quantity, the more the matte effect. So take a start with a small amount and add more as needed.

It should be noted that adding talcum powder to acrylic paint may affect its texture and consistency. 

It may also change the color of the paint slightly, so be sure you use this product in smaller quantities. 

  1. Use Burnishing Tool

It is a tool that is commonly used to create a smooth and polished surface on various materials including wood, metal, or paper. 

This tool consists of a hard, smooth object, such as a bone folder, burnishing bone, or agate burnisher.

It is really an interesting and fun way to create a matte or satin finish by altering the acrylic paint’s surface texture. 

Here’s how you can use a burnishing tool to gain a matte effect with acrylic paint:

Once the painted surface is thoroughly dried, rub the burnishing tool over the surface with a soft hand using circular or back-and-forth motions. 

Apply consistent and moderate pressure to produce friction between the tool and the paint. The objective is to smooth out the brushstrokes and give rise to a more uniform surface.

Once you’ve gained the matte effect and you’re satisfied, clean the surface of any residue left by the burnishing tool. 

You can use a soft and lint-free cloth or a slightly damp cloth in order to wipe away any debris or excess paint.

  1. Sand The Surface

Sanding has also proved to be very effective in getting a matte finish. Here is how to sand acrylic paint for a matte effect.

It is must to begin with a fully dried acrylic painting. Assure that the paint is completely cured and hardened before proceeding.

Next take the necessary materials like fine-grit sandpaper (around 320-400 grit), a sanding block or sanding sponge, a soft cloth or sponge, and water.

Now start sanding the surface of the painted area using fine-grit sandpaper. It is advised to apply light pressure and sand in a circular or back-and-forth motion. 

Periodically check the surface to assess the level of matte effect you are struggling for. If you’re happy with the results, proceed to the next step. If you want a stronger matte finish, continue sanding.

After you’re done with the sanding process, clean the surface to get rid of the remaining debris and dust. 

  1. Add Baking Soda

Baking soda is a common household item and let me tell you it is not only for baking your breads, it has wide applications and if you’re looking for how to make paint matte DIY methods, baking soda is one of the best options. 

But how to make matte paint with baking soda? Well for this, you will need acrylic paint, baking soda, a mixing palette, and a palette knife. 

Squeeze a desired amount of acrylic paint onto the mixing palette. Gradually add slight amounts of baking soda to the paint and blend them thoroughly with the palette knife after each addition. 

An ideal amount should be two spoons of baking soda in three normal cups of acrylic paint. 

It should be put in mind that the more baking soda you add, the more matte acrylic paint you will get. 

FAQs About How To Make Acrylic Paint Matte

How do you make acrylic paint less shiny?

For this purpose, you can add a matte medium to your paint. You can find a variety of acrylic matte mediums or additives in art supply stores or online on Amazon. These specially formulated products are intended to make acrylic paint less shiny.

What can you add to paint to make it matte?

You can add matte medium or varnish, matte gel, and powder to get a matte effect with your paint. Moreover, you can even mix alternative products like baking soda, talcum powder, or chalk paint. 

Does acrylic paint dry matte?

It depends on the type of paint. Some acrylics are synthesized in a way that they dry matte while others are formulated with a glossy finish. You find both kinds of paint in the market. 

How do I make acrylic painting less glossy? 

If you want your painting less glossy, just sand the final dried painting lightly. Moreover, you can mix matte agents in your paint available in many forms and offered by various brands.  

Final Verdict

I expect your queries on how to make acrylic paint matte is now cleared and you are satisfied with the guidance shared above. 

You can easily transform the paint into a matte final appearance by employing any of the discussed techniques and if you find any type of difficulty, you can comment below.

I’ll respond as quickly as possible to answer your questions. Best Wishes!

Jose Scott

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