Best brand of Acrylic Paint?

I see some of you are using paint, what’s your favourite brands? The paint I have are is of poor quality. Do you use varnish over wood?

It depends on what you are using it for…
I use cheap craft acrylic to “stain” my Baltic birch. I also use it for color fill. Works perfectly fine for these applications…


You need to make sure the paint is formulated to work on the substrate you are using–not all “acrylic” paints will work on all materials.

If you are working with leather, Angelus is quite good. I’ve also used it on wood, too.

Apart from leather specific paint, usually the better brands you will find at art supply stores, next step down is places like Michaels… If you’re lucky to be close to an “Artist & Craftsman Supply” store, GO! It’s a great chain & really good prices.

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Best paint? Or best for the price?
I quite like the Utrecht Artists’ Colors, but they are not cheap.
Liquitex Basics is cheap, and it works fine.

The cheaper the paint, the less pigment there will be in it.
I don’t use varnish. Sometimes I prime with Gesso.


I like Liquitex, but do check the ingredients no matter what the manufacturer. Even Liquitex has some colors with chromium etc. (Usually yellows)

You asked about varnish, I have cut through shellac with no problems, but I mix my own shellac from shellac flakes and everclear. Works great, smells good, and is non toxic (or at least only as toxic as everclear is.)


Best paint - I plan to sell some of my pieces. I know I’m not the cheapest but I want the quality and build reputation on that

I know will start with a lower cost paint due to cost but I still want a good quality until I can upgrade

I don’t want cheap. I have the cheap stuff. Cheap is noticable

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The TL:DR is to look for professional series paints, not student series paints.

Here’s a nice little breakdown:

that’s a good point. Some of the classic toxic pigments include Barium, Chromium, Cadmium, Cobalt, Manganese, Zinc, Lead…

here’s a paper from the University of Illinois at Chicago for anyone who wants to get further into it:


Oh thank you!

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When I need to coat any of the proofgrade plywoods I use Rust-Oleum 2X in the rattle can which includes the primer & I get a beautiful coverage. Since proofgrade plywood is so smooth the paint coverage come out so smooth & it dries in about 20 minutes. I have not had much luck with any paint on the draft board.


It also depends on what you want the paint to do as they can come in different consistencies. For example, I liked the effect on one of my puzzles when I used really cheap Walmart paint, which was thin enough to allow the engraving to act as kind of an underpainting, giving it some extra tonal values. But I wanted better quality.

Golden (which is great paint) has a hi-flow, I think they call it, that gives the effect I like. But it’s really expensive. I tried the Hobby Lobby house brand, which has about the same flow rate/consistency, but less pigment, so cheaper, and I like it.


to paint the draftboard well, you really want a separate primer and paint. Since paint and primer serve different needs, the all-in-one products like rusto 2x can only really do so much. Where they work well, as you have seen, is on uniform surfaces that don’t need sealing… like the sealed,finished proofgrade material. To get good coverage with it on unfinished porous material like draftboard, it will give much better results if you use it as if it were separate products: one or two light coats as the “primer” (with drying time in between) and then additional light coats (with drying time in between) as the “paint”.

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