GESSOES, MEDIUMS
& VARNISHES

For every technique,
every surface

Professional acrylic gessoes, mediums, additives and varnishes - to prep your surfaces all the way through to protecting your finished work.

Each medium is uniquely formulated to deliver a different result. From gloss gels to experimental texture effects and finishes, each lets you adjust your paint to suit your practice.

See the range below

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MEDIUMS

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Gessoes

Prime your surfaces and add tooth, ready for paint application. Our professional gessoes create the perfect absorbency, texture and archival ground on supports of all types - from canvas to metal. You have the choice of five specialized formulas: clear, white, gray and black if you want to select by color, while Super Heavy Gesso gives texture and acts as a stronger foundation for structural work.

Fluid
Mediums

When you want to lower the viscosity of your acrylic paint or extend it's volume, choose a fluid medium. Rather than using water to thin color down, these dedicated formulas maintain your paint structure so it dries normally, stays robust and keeps its archival permanence. Select from six professional fluid formulas in a choice of surface sheens and specialized results. From glazing to gloss boosting, adapt your paint to your practice, while Slow-Dri Medium and Palette Wetting Spray keep your acrylics workable for longer.

Gels &
Pastes

When you want to thicken your acrylic paint, make it go further or give it a structural texture, choose one of our gels or pastes. These professional formulas maintain your paint structure so it dries normally, stays robust and keeps its archival permanence. Select from 10 formulas in a choice of weights, surface sheens and effects. From mattifying gels to modeling pastes, adapt your paint to your practice, while Slow-Dri Gel keeps your color workable for longer.

Effects

You have the ability to customize acrylic color in infinite ways with our effects mediums. Professional formulas alter the behavior of your paint, add texture and prepare it for specific techniques, while keeping its acrylic film strength intact. Created in the lab, these 12 mediums cover all bases. Want to add irridescence? Get a viscous texture? Use an airbrush? Pour? Or paint on fabric? Effects mediums and colors can be mixed in any way you like to achieve bespoke results.

Additives

Our professional additives are used to permanently adjust the chemistry and character of your acrylic color. Made without acrylic binders, these four formulas are very different to the rest of the mediums family. Most mediums contain high proportions of acrylic resins, but additives do not. Instead, they offer unique changes - from the aerated, sponge-like effects of Liquithick, to Flow-Aid's water-like fluidity which makes it ideal for watercolor techniqes, staining and flow art. When you don't want to change your colors opacity levels but find you need longer working time, Slow-Dri Additive - in gel and fluid formats - helps you extend it by 40%.

Varnishes

The final part of the process? A varnish to seal and protect your finished work from dirt, dust and UV damage. To help you find the ideal format, we make 11 professional acrylic varnishes to use on all types of artwork, inside and outdoors. Choose from different surface sheens, application methods - spray or brush-on - and permanent or removable options. Our iconic Soluvar range allows you to periodically lift the varnish and reapply a fresh coat, while Gloss Spray increases color saturation and is ideal for heavily textured or vertical applications.

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TIPS & TECHNIQUES

Useful guides for using gessoes, mediums and varnishes

Gessoes, Mediums & Varnishes FAQs

Other artists have asked us...

  • Which Liquitex medium should I use for the best pour?
    We would recommend working with Liquitex Pouring Medium as it is designed specifically for this purpose, with a slow surface drying time to give a high gloss, crack-free finish.
  • What is an additive?
    A good question. Additives are used to adjust the chemistry of acrylic paints, but they are very different to the rest of the mediums family. Most acrylic mediums contain high proportions of acrylic resins, but additives do not. With most acrylic mediums, you can add as much as you like to your color without weakening the stability of the acrylic film, while additives will dilute the strength of the acrylic film. This means that you need to be more careful about how much you mix into to your paint or it will have issues around drying, tackiness, separation and durability. Our four additives offer really useful individual benefits, so just make sure you follow the directions for use before starting to work with them.
  • What is a medium?
    Mediums are made with acrylic resin for adjusting how the paint works, feels and looks. They can be used to prepare your canvas, change the texture, adjust the flow, alter the working properties of the color or protect your painting. Because they include acrylic resin, mediums maintain or add to the stability of the paint film, and can be used in any amount desired.
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