How to Make Acrylic Paint Look Like Oil

Acrylic paint is one of the most popular mediums for artists. It’s inexpensive, great to work with, and dries quickly. But if you’re like me, sometimes it can be hard to get that look people associate with oil paintings. This blog post will cover how to make acrylic paint look like oil!

How to Make Acrylic Paint Look Like Oil

Many artists are drawn to the look of oil paint because of its depth and richness. Recently, acrylic paints have been developed that mimic this look without harmful fumes or long drying time. Acrylic paint can look like oil with a few simple steps.

Required Tools and Materials

  • Acrylic paint
  • Palette knife
  • Dish soap (preferably biodegradable)
  • Turpentine

A Detailed Guide on How to Make Acrylic Paint Look Like Oil

Step 1: Check Before Start

Before you begin, make sure that your acrylic paint is not dry. It would be best to ensure that the paints are of uniform consistency. Otherwise, the mixture will be streaky. Mix three parts of water with one part dish soap in a separate container.

Use this solution as thinner for your acrylics by adding small amounts at a time (about two tablespoons) into your paints with a palette knife, then stirring it continuously until it has reached the desired consistency. Do not add too much thinner, or the paint may become too runny and difficult to control when working on top of the canvas.

Step 2: Apply Three Coats Onto Canvas

After mixing the paints with water and adding slight amounts of thinner, you can begin painting on your canvas. Begin by applying three coats of the acrylic paint mixture onto the canvas. Make sure to thoroughly mix the colors before you apply a new layer because it would be difficult to combine colors that have already been used.

Step 3: Mix Oil Paint and Turpentine

Mix oil paint and turpentine in a separate container until it has reached the consistency of paste. The amount of paint depends on how big your project is, but it is recommended to use about half a tube for every 20 x 30 cms (8 x 12 inches) of surface area. Mixing oil paint and turpentine is an essential art technique that every artist should know. It is a crucial step in how to make acrylic paint look like oil.

Mix Oil Paint and Turpentine

Step 4: Apply Oil Paint Mixture on Acrylic Painting

After applying three coats of the acrylic paint mixture, wait for the surface to dry completely. It usually takes about two days for the character to become slightly tacky before it becomes ready for another layer of paint.

Once you feel like the first coat is set enough to have no sticky parts anymore, you can begin working on your painting with oil-based mediums. You can use either a brush or a piece of cloth (such as cheesecloth) to rub oil paint onto your work until it has achieved an even coloration.

Step 5: Remove Excess Oily Residue

After the oil paint has settled on your canvas, use a clean paper towel or cloth and thoroughly wipe off the excess oily residue until only faint traces are left behind. How often you wipe depends on how thickly you applied the paint mixture, but if done correctly, it should take about two times of wiping to achieve the desired results.

Step 6: Remove Acrylic Layer Completely Using Turpentine

After applying oil paint and removing most of the oily residue, you can now use turpentine (or any water-soluble solvent such as mineral spirits) to remove the acrylic layer altogether underneath.

How much turpentine should you use? It depends on how thickly you applied your first coat of acrylic paints, but it is recommended that you use one or two cups for every 20 x 30 cms (8 x 12 inches). How thoroughly and frequently apply turpentine also varies depending on which mediums were used and their thickness, but usually, around 1-3 applications are enough to remove all traces of oil paint.

Note: Be careful while using turpentine and other solvents near an open flame as they are highly flammable. These steps will help in how to make acrylic paint look like oil.

Use Turpentine  and Other Solvents

And that’s how you make acrylic paint look like oil! You can create beautiful paintings with a realistic oil-like appearance by following these simple steps. Have fun experimenting with different techniques and colors to create unique pieces that impress your friends and family.‚Äč

Tips and Warnings


  • Experiment with different techniques to see what works best for you.
  • Remember that practice makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged if your paintings don’t look perfect at first. With time and patience, you’ll be able to create beautiful pieces of art that look like oil paintings.


  • Make sure to use a clean, flat glass container for creating this type of paint. The paint won’t work if you mix it in a dirty or clear container.
  • Acrylic paint is a liquid form of acrylic that can be used to create oil paintings with carrier oils and other additives. It’s not meant as an alternative to traditional oil paints.
Make Sure to Use a Cleaner

Can You Mix Linseed Oil With Acrylics??

Linseed oil is a drying oil that is extracted from the flax plant. It has been used for centuries as a medium for painting due to its ability to produce a durable, water-resistant finish. When mixed with other paints, linseed oil can help create an or translucent effect, depending on the ratio used.

You can mix linseed oil with acrylics to create an oil paint look. However, it is essential to note that linseed oil will make the acrylics more flexible and less prone to cracking. As a result, you may need to apply a protective sealant to the finished painting to ensure it does not fade or discolor over time.

Can You Paint Oil Over Acrylic?

You can generally paint oil over acrylic; however, the resulting painting may not be as successful as if you had painted the acrylic over the oil. This is because oils have a slower drying time than acrylics and will likely create a layer of dust on top of your acrylic painting as it dries. Additionally, oils are more likely to be yellow than acrylics are, so the colors in your painting may change over time.

 Add Linseed Oil to  Your Acrylic Paint

That said, there are ways to make your acrylic paint look like oil paint. One method is to add linseed oil to your acrylic paint. Linseed oil will make your paint dry more slowly and add a slight yellow tint to it; however, this can be desirable depending on the look you are trying to achieve. Also, linseed oil can be mixed with acrylic paint in a 1:1 ratio without changing the consistency of the paint too much.

Another method is to paint your acrylic over an underpainting layer of oil paint. You can also do this by adding fine powders made from pigment used in oil paints, such as titanium dioxide or calcium carbonate, to your acrylic paint so that it dries more slowly. Many artists have had success using these methods and achieving an effect similar to that of painting with oils.

What Kind of Brushes Should I Use to Paint With Oils or Acrylics?

Many artists paint with both oils and acrylics. If you are starting, it may be helpful to purchase a set of each type of brush. This will give you a variety of shapes and sizes to work with. Generally, brushes made for oils are softer than those made for acrylics.

Oils allow more time to blend colors and create subtle transitions, so a more delicate brush is better for this type of painting. On the other hand, acrylics dry more quickly, so a stiffer brush is better for retaining the stroke’s shape.

Are There Any Disadvantages to Using This Type of Medium?

One disadvantage of using oil paint over acrylic is that oil paint takes a lot of time to dry. This can be a problem for artists who need to work quickly or on a series where each painting needs to be completed promptly.

Additionally, oil paint is often more expensive than acrylic paint. This may not be a concern for professional artists, but it can be essential to consider the cost difference between the two types of paints for amateur artists on a budget.

Using Oil Paint Is Expensive

Despite these disadvantages, there are many reasons why an artist might choose to use oil paint instead of acrylic. Oil paint can provide a more realistic appearance than acrylic and can create a wide variety of textures. It is also less likely to crack than acrylic paint.


Follow this article on how to make acrylic paint look like oil. When it comes to painting with acrylics, many people believe that the best way to achieve an oil-like finish is through using oils. However, other techniques for achieving this effect do not require you to use expensive materials.

For example, you can mix a small amount of linseed or walnut oil into your paint and then apply it like any other color on your palette. Of course, you will need to allow the paint mixture to dry before continuing work on the canvas.

Jennifer Branett
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