How To Mix Pigment Into Acrylic Paint? Complete Guidance

Do you want to customise existing colors or prepare your own acrylic paint? In both cases mixing pigment powders in the paint with the right consistency is crucial.  

Knowing how to mix pigment powder into acrylic paint is both an art and a science. To achieve the perfect blend, you’ll need to follow a few simple yet essential steps. 

In this blog, I’ll provide you with a precise and easy-to-follow method that guarantees satisfying results.

Understanding The Types of Acrylic Paint Pigment Powder

Acrylic paint pigments come in various forms, each offering unique characteristics and effects. Here are some common types of pigment powders used for acrylic paint:

  • Inorganic Pigments

These pigments are derived from minerals and offer strong and stable colors. They are commonly used in acrylic paints due to their lightfastness and durability. Some examples include titanium white (PW6), iron oxide colors (PBr7), and chromium oxide green (PG17).

  • Organic Pigments

These pigments are made from carbon-based compounds and provide a wide range of vibrant colors. They tend to have excellent transparency and work well for creating glazes and subtle effects. Examples include phthalo blue (PB15), quinacridone magenta (PR122), and Hansa yellow (PY3).

  • Natural Earth Pigments

These pigments are sourced from natural materials like clay, rocks, and minerals. They often provide earthy and muted colors. Examples include raw sienna (PBr7) and burnt umber (PBr7).

  • Interference Pigments

These pigments are formulated to produce iridescent or metallic effects. They appear to change color depending on the angle of light, adding a dynamic element to the artwork.

  • Fluorescent Pigments

These pigments are intensely bright and vibrant under ultraviolet (UV) light. They are often used for special effects or in artworks designed for blacklight environments.

  • Pearlescent Pigment

Similar to interference pigments, pearlescent pigments produce a shimmering effect but tend to have a more subdued, pearly appearance.

  • Metallic Pigments

These pigments contain actual metal particles, such as bronze or aluminum, which create a reflective metallic sheen in the paint.

  • Luminescent or Glow-in-the-Dark Pigments: 

These pigments are capable of absorbing and emitting light, making them appear to glow in the dark after being charged by a light source. They are also used for producing neon effects with acrylic paint.

  • Specialty Effects Pigments

Manufacturers continue to develop new types of pigments to achieve unique visual effects in acrylic paint, such as color-shifting pigments and thermochromic pigments that change color with temperature variations.

How To Mix Pigment Into Acrylic Paint? Step By Step

Mixing pigment into acrylic paint is a fun and creative process that allows you to produce custom colors and effects for your artwork. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get the desired results:

Materials You Will Need

  • Acrylic paint (in the color you want to modify)
  • Pigment powder or acrylic pigment paste (available at art supply stores)
  • Palette or mixing surface (a smooth surface where you can blend colors)
  • Palette knife or paintbrush (for mixing)
  • Empty containers or paint pots (optional for storing your custom mixtures)
  • Protective gloves (optional to avoid getting pigment on your hands)

Step 1: Choose your acrylic paint color

Select the acrylic paint color that you want to modify. I suggest you start with a white or neutral base color, as it allows the pigment to show its true color. However, you can pick up any color you want.

Step 2: Decide on the pigment color

Select the pigment powder or acrylic pigment paste that you want to use. Decide on the intensity of the color you want to achieve. 

Keep in mind that a little pigment can go a long way, so start with a small amount and add more as needed.

Step 3: Mixing the pigment

  • If you’re using pigment powder:

Take a start with a small amount of acrylic paint on your palette. Gradually add a small pinch of pigment powder to the paint. Remember that pigments are highly concentrated, so a little goes a long way.

Use a palette knife or a paintbrush to mix the pigment into the acrylic paint thoroughly. Make sure there are no clumps in the mixture. If there are any lumps or clumps, you should fix these lumps first.

  • If you’re using acrylic pigment paste:

Squeeze a small amount of acrylic paint onto your palette. Add a small dab of acrylic pigment paste to the paint. The paste is already concentrated, so you won’t need much.

Employ a palette knife to meld the pigment paste into the acrylic paint until it’s fully incorporated.

Step 4: Test the color

Before applying the custom color to your artwork, the best practice is to test it on a separate surface. This way, you can see how the color looks and make any adjustments if needed. You can use a scrap piece of canvas or a piece of paper for this purpose.

Step 5: Adjusting the color

If the color is not exactly what you want, you can make further adjustments by adding more pigment or paint until you gain your desired hue and intensity.

Step 6: Store any leftover mixture

If you have some custom color mixture left and want to use it later, you can store it in a clean and airtight container or paint pot. Make sure to label the container with the color’s name and the date of mixing.

How To Select The Best Pigment Powder For Paint?

Selecting the best pigment powders for paint depends on the specific requirements and characteristics you are looking for in your paint. Different pigments offer unique properties such as color intensity, opacity, lightfastness, and compatibility with various paint mediums.

Keep in mind that some pigments are more expensive than others due to their availability, production processes, or unique properties. Additionally, if you’re making paint for artistic purposes, the color range you need may vary based on your requirements and the subject matter you’re working with.

Before purchasing pigments, ensure they are suitable for the type of paint you want to create (e.g., oil, acrylic, watercolor) and follow safety guidelines when handling potentially toxic materials. It’s also a good idea to buy pigments from reputable suppliers to ensure quality and purity.


Can you add pigment powder to acrylic paint?

Yes, you can add pigment powder to acrylic paint to enhance color and create custom shades. Mix small amounts gradually for best results and stir well to spread the pigment thoroughly.

Can mica powder be mixed with acrylic paint?

Yes, mica powder can be mixed with acrylic paint to add shimmer and metallic effects. Blend it slowly to avoid clumps and achieve a smooth consistency.

What is dry pigment powder?

Dry pigment powder is a finely ground colorant material without any binding agents. It’s used to create paints, inks, and dyes by mixing with appropriate mediums.

How to mix TLP pigment?

To mix TLP (Timeless Liquid Pigment) pigment, begin with a small amount and gradually blend it into your chosen medium, such as acrylic binder or oil, until the desired color intensity is achieved. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for promising results.


I hope the instructions discussed in the post on how to mix powder pigment into acrylic paint will equip you with enough understanding of this easy-to-learn skill.

Successfully mixing pigments into acrylic paint requires patience, practice, and a solid understanding of color theory. By using quality pigments, mastering the color wheel, and practicing with intention, you’ll be well on your way to creating stunning and vibrant artwork.

Jose Scott

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