Acrylic Paint Compatibility
Welcome to Liquitex Uncapped, a behind the scenes glimpse at all things Liquitex. Enjoy an exclusive look at how your favorite paints and materials come to life.
Heavy Body, Soft Body, Acrylic Gouache, Acrylic Ink, Acrylic Markers, Spray Paint, Liquitex Basics, and mediums are all very different, and yet, they’re all 100% compatible. Want to use Liquitex Spray Paint over an Acrylic Ink pour? Draw with an Acrylic Marker on a Heavy Body painting? No problem. All our formats are designed in the lab to offer you freedom to experiment and create. We believe that once you’re in the zone, you should stay in the zone. We are here to give you complete freedom to use any medium - no need to stop and check if you can mix or layer different products without impacting the result. That’s why we are obsessed with compatibility.
What is acrylic paint compatibility?
What do we mean by 100% compatibility? Compatibility refers to seamlessly working together without any problems. It’s about performance that isn’t negatively altered when two materials come together. It’s also about stability and permanence. When you're working with any Liquitex format, our 100% compatibility means that your art is stable and archival. It remains as you intended it, now and in the future, under normal gallery conditions, no matter which materials you used.
How are Liquitex acrylics compatible with one another?
When developing a new Liquitex formula, our chemists have a lot to think about, including pigment, consistency, delivery system, finish, stability and more. Therefore, each element of the formula is managed with extreme care. Each of the raw materials – from wetting agent to pigment – will affect compatibility. The elements are chosen, mixed and tested at each stage in the lab and combined with each of the other products in the range – both Professional and Basics - to ensure they don’t fight each other. This is done in a 50:50 combination, then painted out onto canvas to assess acrylic film formation. The acrylic emulsions must be both chemically and physically compatible so that there are no adverse interactions when mixed. Successful formulas have binder systems that are compatible but not necessarily the same.
You can combine paints from different brands and types and while they may appear fine at first glance. However, when you're crossing formats, consistencies and delivery systems, 100% compatibility is not easy to achieve. Think of it like baking or mixing a drink. Some combinations can appear fine initially, and then separate when you leave them for a bit of time.
Liquitex compatibility doesn’t extend outside our product range and doesn’t apply to oils and watercolor paints. Oil-based paints don’t mix with water-based paints like acrylics, and although watercolors are water-soluble, issues like pH differences can cause instabilities when mixed.
How is Liquitex different from other acrylic paint brands?
Don’t they all offer the same level of compatibility? What sets Liquitex apart is the width and scope of our range. No one else makes such a diverse range of acrylic formats and consistencies. Imagine how easy it would be to make two fluid paints that work together. But then imagine the complexities of ensuring that an ink and a spray paint work together. Each of our ranges delivers 100% combability across formulation chemistry – from Heavy Body to Spray Paint and Acrylic Markers.
Learn more about acrylic paint compatibility and see all our professional ranges in action.