What Paper Is Good For Acrylic Paint? List of 6 Papers To Enhance Your Painting

If you want to express your painting skills with acrylic and bring out your whole potential, the paper you choose should be compatible with the paint.

But going for an ideal paper looks like a challenging task without guidance. That’s why we have this blog for you to ease your concern and help you out with selecting a perfect paper. 

When it comes to acrylic painting, the paper you choose should be heavy weight and possess a textured surface. Some of the excellent papers include acrylic paper, watercolor paper, mixed media paper, canvas paper, heavy-weight cardstock, and drawing paper.  

Thanks to the representatives of Nippon Paper Group and Liquitex for collaborating with our team of professional artists and painters to collect information for the blog post below.

What To Consider Before Choosing The Right Paper For Acrylic Paint?

You can’t just randomly pick up a paper and start drawing on it. You have to take into account several factors if you are willing to try out your skills to your full potential. Here’s how to select a paper for acrylic painting. 

  • Weight & Thickness

Go for a heavyweight paper to prevent deforming and ensure it can withstand the moisture and weight of the acrylic paint. 

Look for a paper with a weight of at least between 250 and 300 grams per square meter (gsm) or higher.

  • Texture

Don’t ignore the texture of the paper surface, such as smooth, rough, or textured. It depends on your artistic style and requirements.

A rough or textured surface can provide more grip for the paint and create interesting effects, while a smoother surface enables you for finer details.

  • Absorbency

As you know, acrylic paint is water-based, and it is crucial to choose a paper that has good absorbency. The paper must be able to hold the paint without excessive bleeding or feathering. 

Avoid papers that are too porous or too slick because they may not interact well with acrylics.

  • Acid-Free and Archival Quality

Well, if you wish to preserve the longevity of your artwork, select an acid-free paper that is labeled as archival quality. 

These types of paper prevent yellowing and deterioration over time which in turn preserves the vibrancy of your acrylic paintings.

  • Sizing and Priming

Sizing refers to a protective coating applied to the paper’s surface, which works in preventing the paint from sinking in and provides promising adhesion. 

Pre-primed papers have a layer of gesso applied, which creates a suitable surface for acrylic paint. Going for such options can save you time and effort in preparing the paper for acrylic painting.

What Paper Is Good For Acrylic Painting? 6 Types Discussed 

I’ve mentioned some of the best papers for acrylic paint to choose from. You can go for any of them without being worried about spoiling your painting. Here’s a list of good papers for acrylic paint. 

  1. Acrylic Paper

It is one of the primary choices when it comes to painting with acrylic. It is a good choice for beginners as well as professionals. 

It has a heavyweight and textured surface that can handle the thickness and consistency of acrylic paint. 

A good thing about this paper is it is usually acid-free and prevents the paint from bleeding or seeping through.

  1. Watercolor Paper

Watercolor paper for acrylic paint is another good choice. Be sure you pick up the heavyweight paper with a rough or cold-pressed texture.

But let me tell you that some watercolor papers may have a sizing that can repel acrylic paint, so I recommend you test a small area before using it extensively.

  1. Mixed Media Paper

Mixed media paper is my personal choice and a good paper for acrylic painting. It is versatile and can work well with a variety of other mediums as well.

It has a sturdy surface that can tolerate the weight and texture of acrylics. Again go for a heavyweight version of mixed media paper that is labeled as suitable for acrylic paint.

  1. Canvas Paper

Canvas paper is a type of paper that mimics the texture and appearance of canvas but in a paper form. It can be a good surface for regular painting styles. 

It has a surface that provides a nice tooth for acrylic paint. It is available in various weights and can be a cost-effective option for acrylic painting.

  1. Heavyweight Cardstock

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, heavyweight cardstock can be used for acrylic painting. 

It comes in varying sizes, so pick up the one with a thickness of at least 300 gsm (grams per square meter) to ensure it can deal with the acrylic paint without warping or bleeding.

  1. Heavyweight Drawing Paper 

Some heavyweight drawing papers can tolerate acrylic paint quite well. It is best to choose drawing papers with a weight of 100 gsm or more, as lighter papers may buckle or warp when saturated with acrylic paint. 

Using acrylic paint on sketchbook paper also falls into this category. 


Can you use hot press paper for acrylic paint?

Yes, hot-pressed paper can be used for acrylic paint. It possesses a smooth surface that allows for finer details and smoother brushstrokes. However, it may require a primer or gesso to enhance the paint adhesion.

What paper is best for acrylic paint?

Heavyweight, rough, and acid-free paper that is specially made to uphold acrylics is ideal. Acrylic paper or canvas paper with a weight of 246-300gsm works well. It has good absorbency and durability and prevents warping.

Can I use acrylic paint on normal paper?

Yes, you can use acrylic paint on normal paper, but it may cause the paper to warp or deteriorate over time. So it is always recommended to use thicker paper or prime the surface with gesso to protect it.

Is acrylic paint permanent on paper?

Acrylic paint is relatively permanent on paper when used with appropriate techniques. However, the paper needs to be heavy and acid-free. Properly sealed and stored artworks can have long-lasting durability.


So, what paper is good for acrylic paint? By understanding the different types of paper available, such as canvas paper, watercolor paper, and mixed media paper, you can make informed decisions based on your specific needs and desired outcomes. 

Each type offers unique advantages and can enhance the visual impact of acrylic paintings in its own way.

The choice of paper for acrylic paint is a personal one, influenced by individual priorities, artistic style, and intended purpose. So, don’t hesitate to explore different options, take risks, and enjoy the creative process. 

Try out different options and techniques to discover which paper best complements your style and techniques. 

Additionally, seeking advice from fellow artists, attending workshops, or consulting art supply professionals can provide valuable insights and guidance.

Jose Scott

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