How to Make Acrylic Paint More Opaque?

How to Make Acrylic Paint More Opaque

Acrylic paints are available in three distinct varieties: opaque, translucent, and transparent. Compared to opaque paint that obstructs light and directs attention to the hue of its color, translucent color admits only a tiny amount of light, while transparent paint lets in more. These hues offer an array of possibilities – from having your viewers look directly at the course or permitting them to admire a soft ambient lighting effect.

Working with translucent colors can give stunning results. However, it is best to create opaque acrylic paint to add value and visual appeal to your artwork. Achieving opaque colors may be daunting for some artists, but techniques like layering/glazing or adding fillers are available to help you create the desired effect.

If you are wondering how to make acrylic paint more opaque, we have listed some tried and tested methods for you. But first, you need to understand the unique properties of acrylic paint.

Properties of acrylic paint

Acrylic paints are known for their fast drying time, wide range of colors, and relatively low cost. But unlike oil paints or watercolor, acrylics are water-soluble. They will thin out when mixing colors with water and become less opaque. This is why starting with a thick, heavy body of paint is essential. The wider the paint, the more opaque it will be.

How to Make Acrylic Paint More Opaque

If you’re a painter, you likely already understand no less than three different ways to make your work opaque. However, this article unlocks eight distinct approaches to help ensure an excellent and one-of-a-kind result for all your creations. Get ready to take in astonishingly eye-catching acrylic paintings from these new methods.

1. Mix your paint with white color to increase opacity

Whenever I want to make my acrylic paint opaque, I add a little Titanium White – the white paint with the highest opacity. Liquitex is my go-to brand for acrylics. However, you can also find this hue in most painting supplies.

Mix your paint with white color to increase opacity

Introducing white paint to your initial shade will subtly adjust the hue. Please try adding small amounts to dial in and maintain a color near the original.

One of the primary disadvantages of using Titanium white is that it will alter and lighten hues. Too much can turn an intense color into a faded, washed-out version of itself.

You can increase the base color to bring the mixing paint closer to its original hue. This will help restore your desired tone without diminishing the opacity by adding Titanium white.

2. Increase opacity with layers

Acrylics can be utilized in various ways, yet they are intended to be layered. Each layer should appear through the preceding level with varying degrees of visibility. Over time, each layer works in conjunction with the previous one to create a stunning effect. Ou can build up an opaque result by layering your abstract paintings.

Furthermore, applying multiple coats can easily adjust the opacity of transparent colors to your preference. Even if it is on a duskier background, this layering technique will produce brighter and more vibrant results.

Experiment with layering Phthalo Green, Lemon Yellow, and Quinacridone Magenta to create a beautiful blend of colors. This unique combination will make your yellows brighter and more prosperous than ever before.

3. Mix mediums to achieve opaque acrylic paint

You can also make yellow acrylic paint more opaque by adding acrylic mediums. Mediums are liquid acrylic polymers that maintain the acrylic’s properties while increasing its thickness and transparency. Mixing acrylic paint with a medium will make it more durable, water-resistant, and longer-lasting.

How to Make Acrylic Paint More Opaque

The Liquitex range has one specifically made for it. However, this doesn’t work as effectively with other acrylic paint brands. The acrylic mediums are primarily designed for the fluid ink range. However, it can also be used in all of Liquitex’s fields.

Acrylic painting mediums are highly effective as they effortlessly extend the paint’s transparency without compromising its color or stability. Moreover, you can use this if you’re running low on original paint but still want to achieve impressive results.

4. Use Schmincke opaque medium

The Schmincke Aero colors are best enhanced when combined with this specially-formulated medium. It is especially effective on inks and heavy fluids, creating an opaque effect. These unique inks respond sensitively to adding the medium, producing exactly what you need.

Only add a small amount of medium to your paint for the most pleasing results. A mere 5% is sufficient; any extra will lead to an undesirably lightened hue. This thing ensures that you do not interfere with the final color palette.

5. Use different paint colors to make the painting opaque

Another excellent way to create transparent acrylic Paint opaque is by mixing either semi-opaque or opaque colors with them. The number of colors used will depend on the desired opacity. To simplify this process, create and store an opaque color before starting your painting project.

You can create a completely opaque finish by blending lemon yellow and cobalt blue. If this mixture is painted over black paintwork, the outcome will be perfect opacity.

6. Dilute paint to achieve transparent acrylic paints

Painters should always dilute their paint using water earlier to create the perfect viscosity. This ensures that thick acrylic paint will be less noticeable, making an attractive outcome. Even though some colors are already translucent, transparent, or opaque on a given scale, adding water can further increase this effect.

This technique is free, and the paint will stick to the painting surface without fail. Nevertheless, remember that it may take longer to dry than usual.

Utilizing mediums to make acrylic paint transparent, there is no need for excess moisture or long drying times. The application process will be effortless and ensure the result is silky smooth, like natural transparent acrylic paint.

7. Opt for high-pigment paints or artist paints

Are you after a high level of opacity? Artist paint colors with increased pigment levels may be the ideal choice for your creation. Utilizing superior quality or artists’ grade acrylic paint colors will provide more pigment quantity. This intensifies the color and ensures complete coverage of the color underneath.

You can achieve perfect opacity by combining two different acrylic artists’ paints. Mineral-based pigments will make the hues appear more opaque, while carbon-based colors will intensify their potency. With this recipe for success, your masterpiece will indeed emanate a striking vibrancy.

8. Change the paint color brand

Finally, it is worth noting that acrylic paints from different brands will offer varying levels of opacity. Consider switching out one of your colors for something similar to another brand for more excellent opacity. Although this strategy is often considered a calculated gamble, it can be an effective solution for those with sound color knowledge.

By visiting various manufacturers and inspecting the containers, you can assess the opacity of each color. Some brands design extra opaque paints and designate this attribute with letters or symbols on their containers. You can quickly discover which stains are more heavily pigmented by keeping your eyes peeled for these markers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make white acrylic paint more opaque?

Yes, acrylic paint can be made more opaque by adding acrylic medium to the white acrylic paint. Additionally, you can mix it with either opaque or semi-opaque colors to make it more opaque. Alternatively, you can use artists’ paint colors with high pigment levels for more excellent opacity.

How do acrylic paints compare to other colors in terms of opacity?

In general, acrylic paints offer more excellent coverage and opacity than watercolors. The acrylic paint’s high pigment content helps to ensure that the color applies evenly and consistently. Additionally, acrylic paint is less prone to fading over time than other paints, such as oil and latex.

Can you make acrylic paint see-through?

Yes, acrylic paint can be made transparent by diluting the acrylic color with water. Additionally, acrylic mediums can make acrylic paint more transparent. The ideal viscosity is often achieved with a 50/50 acrylic paint and acrylic medium ratio.

Why is my acrylic paint not opaque?

Not all paint brands are the same when it comes to opacity. While some paints offer transparency, certain pigments such as naphthalene, quinolone, and hansom can be more translucent.

How to get the ideal medium for making acrylic paint opaque?

As there are countless brands, only a few produce mediums of high caliber. Fortunately, Liquitex stands out as they consistently deliver on their promises.

What can you learn from an acrylic paint transparency chart?

Acrylic paint transparency chart
Acrylic paint transparency chart

Acrylic Paint Transparency Chart Table

Paint Name Transparency Opacity
Titanium White Transparent Opaque
Lemon Yellow Transparent Semi-Opaque
Cadmium Yellow Light Transparent Semi-Opaque
Cadmium Red Light Transparent Semi-Opaque
Alizarin Crimson Transparent Semi-Opaque
Ultramarine Blue Transparent Semi-Opaque
Phthalo Blue Transparent Semi-Opaque
Phthalo Green Transparent Semi-Opaque
Burnt Sienna Transparent Semi-Opaque
Raw Umber Transparent Semi-Opaque
Burnt Umber Transparent Semi-Opaque
Payne’s Gray Transparent Semi-Opaque
Black Transparent Opaque

Note: Transparency and opacity may vary depending on the brand and manufacturer of the acrylic paint. This table is meant to serve as a general guide.

An acrylic paint transparency chart can provide valuable insight when learning the opacity of particular acrylic paints. This information is invaluable for anyone who wishes to create art, as it can help determine which acrylics are best for achieving the desired outcome.


How to make acrylic paint more opaque? Acrylic paint is an incredibly versatile medium, allowing you to shift between opaque and translucent colors quickly. One must combine paints with specialized mediums to make acrylics truly transparent. Even novice painters can achieve stunningly clear effects in what would otherwise be difficult-to-achieve transparency with a few simple steps. If you cannot complete the desired opaque color, you can apply other strategies for a satisfactory outcome.

Sara Pittman, an expert in crafts and handmade creations, is renowned for her distinct and intricate designs. Her work masterfully combines traditional methods with contemporary aesthetics, producing stunning and practical pieces. Sara's exceptional craftsmanship can be seen in every project she undertakes, whether it involves knitting, crocheting, quilting, or embroidery. Her writing mirrors her enthusiasm and expertise, offering readers valuable insights and guidance for their own crafting endeavors.