How to Make Acrylic Paint Not Streaky

Streaky paint is a common problem for beginners and experienced artists alike. When you’re tired or frustrated with painting, it’s easy to give up and say it doesn’t matter. However, some techniques can help avoid streaks in acrylic paint. In this blog post, we will share the methods on how to make acrylic paint not streaky.

The first thing to do would be to use the correct type of brush. A stiffer brush will work better than a softer one because its bristles won’t splay as much when pressure is applied. You also want to ensure your canvas or paper isn’t too wet; if it’s too wet, the fibers will become loose and create more texture, leading to streaking problems. Read on to know more!

How to Stop Acrylic Paint From Getting Streaky

10 Ways on How to Make Acrylic Paint Not Streaky:

Here are some ways how to make acrylic paint not streaky.

1. Liquid Clear-Gel

Prepare to work in an area with good ventilation because this stuff stinks. However, it is a must-have for all acrylic artists. You can use it to create a super-glossy look or fill in those pesky pores on your painting’s surface. Liquid Clear-Gel is a medium that makes the acrylic paint more opaque and glossy while also filling in pores on the painting’s surface.

2. Work on a Rough Surface

To prevent the paint from running, mix and blend your colors with a rough surface. It is best to find an un-stretched canvas or another painting that is already painted with acrylics. If you do not have one, then an old postcard or the cardboard part of a paper hamburger will work fine. Once you are done painting with your acrylics, allow it to dry overnight.

3. Spray Bottle

If your picture is still wet, you can mist it with a spray bottle to prevent the paint from running. However, if it is not wet, you don’t need to do this unless you want your painting to have a thin, glazed coat.

4. Frisket Masking Fluid

Masking fluid is a liquid that dries quickly and leaves a rubbery film on the surface of your picture. You can get this from any art shop or online store. Cover the whole design that you do not want to be painted with your acrylics when you use it. Afterward, paint whatever parts that you desire and leave it to dry overnight.

5. Grout Sponge

Grout sponges are great for making an interesting texture effect on an acrylic painting’s surface. Getting a grout sponge meant for grouting a shower or a tiling wall is best. To use it, you will need to wet the yellow side of your grout sponge and then dab it onto the acrylic paints until you get just enough texture for your painting.

6. Cotton Swab

If you accidentally put too much paint on your bamboo skewer, then you can use a cotton swab to clean it off. Just soak the tip in some water and rub it in circular motions until the excess paint is gone.

7. Baby Wipes

If all else fails and you want to eliminate your mistake before it dries, then baby wipes are great for cleaning up after yourself. To use one, just soak the wipe in some water and dab away your mistake before it dries onto the surface of your painting.

8. Plexiglass Sheet

If your acrylic painting is near done, use Plexiglass to cover the surface. The paint will run on a completely flat layer, but if the layer has a texture like a rough or glossy area, you can assume that it will work.

9. Blow Dryer

Use a blow dryer to set your picture and prevent it from running during the drying process. Please do not hold it too close or let it run for too long because this may warp your painting’s surface and damage the colors on your picture.

10. Low-Tack Tape

When you are done with your acrylic picture, protect its surface by covering it up with low-tack tape. This works better than cling wrap because it is easier to peel off and does not leave a residue on your painting’s surface.

Things to Consider When Making Acrylic Paint:

Things to Consider When Making Acrylic Paint

1. Type of Acrylic paint:

There are a few different acrylic paints, some with heavy bodies and some without. It’s best to use the type that has the most similar consistency to what you’re going for.

2. Thickness of your layers:

This is important because it makes a difference depending on how many coats you apply over each other.

3. The color of your paint:

This is very important because it will affect the final outcome of what you’re trying to achieve. For example, if you’re looking to create shadows and highlights, white or light grey acrylic paint will result in more contrast than just black for both.

4. Tools that are used:

The kind of tools you use will affect the outcome as well. For example, a bristle brush will have a different effect than a round synthetic flat brush.

Different Types of Acrylic Paint:

1. Heavy Body Acrylic Paint:

One of the most common types, it is thicker in consistency and will be used for making darker colors that are opaque. This type of acrylic paint can also be diluted to make more translucent paint. It’s important to note that these paints dry faster than most others.

2. Light Body Acrylic Paint:

This paint is more consistent in thickness with watercolor, being very close to the consistency of distilled water. Also called watercolor or just acrylic, light body acrylic paints are better for making subtle and not opaque colors. Unfortunately, these paints dry slowly, which can be annoying.

3. Soft Body Acrylic Paint:

This paint is much thinner in consistency when compared to other types, even watercolor. Because of this, the color will be very light when dry and subtle when mixed with different colors. It can’t make bold or dark colors, but it does work well for highlights and details.

4. Fluid Acrylic Paint:

This paint is the thinnest and runs efficiently. It’s good for creating special effects like washes and glazes. Because it moves quickly, it can create a mottled effect when mixed with other colors.

How to Stop Acrylic Paint From Getting Streaky?

How to Stop Acrylic Paint From Getting Streaky

This problem can be solved by mixing in a little bit of medium or thinning down the paint with a solvent like water. It can also be solved by adding polymer clay to the paint and drying it (this technique is suitable for fake blood). One way to ensure your acrylic paint won’t get streaky is to mix it with a little bit of gesso.

Gesso is a primer that you paint all over the surface of whatever you’re going to draw or paint on. You can buy it in a tube or a tub; some brands are better than others. You can also make your own gesso at home.

The best way to ensure your gessoed surface stays smooth is to let it dry for a few days or, even better yet, let it dry overnight. And then you have the perfect surface that will keep your paints from getting streaky!


To make acrylic paint not streaky, it’s essential to use the correct type of brush. So the next time you want to work with an acrylic painting project, try using a synthetic or nylon hair-type brush instead of one made out of natural hair, which can easily be too thick and create streaks in your finished product.

You may also need less water than normal when working with this kind of brush because you’ll be able to control how much is on the bristles more effectively without streaking as well.

Finally, remember that you should always start at the top left corner of your canvas and work toward the bottom right! We hope this blog post on how to make acrylic paint not streaky has been helpful. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Elizabeth Davis

Elizabeth Davis

Elizabeth is a creative writer and digital editor based in the United States. She has a passion for the arts and crafts, which she developed from a young age. Elizabeth has always loved experimenting with new mediums and sharing her work with others. When she started blogging, she knew that DIYquickly would be the perfect platform to share her tutorials and tips. She's been writing for the blog from the beginning, and her readers love her helpful advice and easy-to-follow instructions. When she's not writing or editing, Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

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