How To Make Acrylic Paint More Opaque? 10 Effective Methods

Are you struggling to give your acrylic paint artwork an opaque appearance and achieve that vibrant, rich, and solid color on your canvas and other surfaces?

If yes, try out the following methods which are practically proven as I’ve applied them several times in my personal Art Gallery and found them effective.

How To Make Acrylic Paint More Opaque? 10 Methods

There can be multiple ways to control the opacity of your paint but going for the one that works is tough to find.

Well, don’t worry, I gonna ease your research and discuss some practical methods on how to make acrylic paint more pigmented or opaque.

Use Titanium White Paint

One of the most effective ways to make acrylic paint opaque is by using Titanium White paint.

Titanium White is a highly opaque pigment that can significantly increase the opacity of your colors. Simply mix it with your desired hue to get the opacity level you want.

Keep in mind that adding too much Titanium White can lighten the color, so I recommend you adjust the ratio to gain the right balance.

Layering Technique

Layering is another technique to increase the opacity of acrylic paint gradually. Apply thin layers of the paint and allow each layer to dry before adding the next one.

As you build up layers, the paint becomes more opaque. However, it is a good practice to use a brush with soft bristles and avoid overworking the paint to prevent any unwanted texture or streaks.

Heavy Body Acrylics

Choosing heavy-body acrylics can improve the opacity of your paint. Heavy-body acrylic paints contain a higher concentration of pigments, resulting in more coverage and opacity.

These paints have a thick consistency, that is ideal for impasto techniques and retaining brush strokes.

When using heavy-body acrylics, remember to mix them well and work quickly, as they tend to dry faster than other acrylic paints.

Add Talcum Powder

For a cost-effective opacity booster, add talcum powder to your acrylic paint. Talcum powder acts as an extender and filler, increasing the volume of the paint while maintaining its properties.

To use this method, mix a small amount of talcum powder with the acrylic paint until you get the level of opacity you want. Be cautious not to add too much, as it may affect the paint’s consistency and drying time.

Use Gesso as a Primer

Applying gesso as a primer is a great way to enhance the opacity of your acrylic paint. Don’t tell me you don’t about Gesso. It is a thick, white acrylic-based primer that creates a smooth surface for painting.

When applied to your canvas or surface before painting, it provides a solid base that helps the paint stick better and appears more opaque. Apply gesso with a brush and let it dry thoroughly before applying your acrylic paint.

Opt for Opaque Pigments

Choosing acrylic paints with naturally opaque pigments can save you the effort of making them opaque. Colors like Cadmiums, Cerulean Blue, and Oxides have inherent opacity.

Using these colors as a base can make your mixtures more opaque and save time and effort. Make sure you know very well how to mix pigment into acrylic paint.

Acrylic Mediums

Acrylic mediums, such as matte or gel mediums, can be added to acrylic paint to increase its opacity. These mediums are made to thicken the paint without altering its color, resulting in a more opaque finish.

Mix the desired medium with your acrylic paint to the desired consistency and opacity level. Try out different mediums to find the one that works best for your specific project.

Mixing Complementary Colors

Mixing complementary colors can create opacity through color neutralization. Combine colors from opposite sides of the color wheel, like red and green or blue and orange.

The resulting mixture tends to be more muted and opaque compared to primary color combinations. This method enables you to control the opacity while achieving unique color variations.

Use an Opaque Underpainting

Creating an opaque underpainting can serve as a foundation for subsequent layers of acrylic paint. First try out a monochromatic layer of paint, usually using white and a touch of black or another color.

This underpainting provides a solid base to build upon and increases the overall opacity of the finished artwork.

Apply Multiple Coats

Applying multiple coats of acrylic paint can gradually build opacity. Take a start with a base layer, then add subsequent coats and allow each layer to dry thoroughly.

As you layer the paint, the colors become more opaque, and any underlying layers will be less visible.

To ensure a smooth surface, lightly sand each layer before adding the next.

How To Make Paint Less Transparent?

If you want your paint to appear less transparent, you can add opaque white paint or a paint medium that increases opacity. You just have to mix in small amounts gradually. This is necessary as you want to control the level of transparency while maintaining the color’s integrity.

How To Make Acrylic Paint More Thick?

There are multiple ways to make acrylic paint thick. You can add acrylic gel medium or modeling paste to it. These additives increase the paint’s viscosity and give it a thicker consistency.

How To Make Cheap Acrylic Paint More Pigmented?

If you have bought a cheap paint and looking for ways to give it some intensity or make it more pigmented, you can try a few techniques:

• Add a white or light-colored base layer before you apply the paint to enrich its vibrancy.

• Mix the acrylic paint with a higher-quality paint or a pigment-rich acrylic medium.

• Use less water when diluting the paint, as water can weaken pigmentation.

• Layer the paint and don’t forget to let each layer dry well before applying the next for a more intense color.

• Invest in artist-grade acrylic paints, as they tend to have better pigmentation.


Opaque acrylic paint is a type of paint that provides solid coverage and hides underlying layers. It doesn’t allow light to pass through, unlike transparent paint.

To make acrylic paint look foggy, you can add a matte medium or water to dilute the paint slightly. Moreover, apply thin and uneven layers to the effect you want.

If you want to make your acrylics appear opaque, the best thing you should do is use a quality paint that contains pigments.

Your paint may not be opaque due to using transparent or semi-transparent colors. In addition, you might be using the wrong painting techniques. Adding white or opaque pigments can enhance opacity.

To enhance paint opacity, reduce water during mixing, opt for opaque pigments, and apply thicker layers of paint. Layering colors helps achieve the desired level of opacity for your artwork.


I hope the techniques discussed on how to make acrylic paint more opaque prove helpful for your artwork. By emphasizing the use of suitable pigments, employing proper layering methods, and understanding the role of additives, you can confidently find the best strategy for getting an opaque look.

Jose Scott

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