How to Make Acrylic Paint More Opaque?

Make Acrylic Paint More Opaque

Did you know that acrylic comes in different varieties? They are three versions, transparent, opaque, and translucent paint. The opaque paint usually blocks light from passing through the paint and highlights the color instead of the light. It is practically the opposite of the lighter transparent paint and allows enough light to pass through. Translucent acrylic is somewhere in between and only allows very little light to pass through.

If your goal is to keep your audience captivated with your art, it is better to use opaque acrylic paint. At least, that is what most artists prefer to use. Opaque acrylic paint not only makes your art attractive but also gives it value. There are many ways to make your acrylic paint more opaque, although most people find it a bit of a challenge. We will show you how you can do this yourself.

What Do You Need To Make Acrylic Paint More Opaque?

One of the things that make acrylic paint a favorite among artists is its flexibility. You can make it lighter or, in this case, more opaque compared to other paint mediums. You also don’t need to spend a lot to get the correct viscosity you want. The first thing you need to do before you begin making your acrylic paint more opaque is get the right tools ready. You will need to get your acrylic paint ready. When buying acrylic paint, check the label to see which of the colors are transparent or opaque.

You can use some unique mediums to make your paint more opaque. Also, mixing acrylic paint with gesso works. There is also the method of mixing colors with a small amount of titanium white coat. The reason why people make acrylic more opaque is so it can be used to correct mistakes and also shape objects. Here are ways to make your acrylic paint opaque.

1. Use Acrylic without Diluting It

When you mix acrylic paint with water or acrylic mediums, it usually destroys the pigment, and as a result, you end up with a milder version of the paint. Although this is good considering that artists mix acrylic to make it more fluid, but if you intend to get a more opaque effect, you will need the acrylic paint in its undiluted form.

2. Use Opaque Mediums

Although not many brands focus on making mediums for increasing the opacity of acrylic paint, you will still find a couple of them in the market today. Some brands have included some unique ingredients to help make acrylic paint more opaque, and you can get one within your budget without breaking the bank. The type of opaque acrylic medium you use also depends on your paint type. For fluid acrylics, you can go for the Schmincke Opaque Medium. It will give your acrylic paint a more opaque effect, but fluid paint gives you the best results. When mixing your paint with the Schmincke medium, make sure you add the right amount to get your desired opacity.

3. Paint Additional Layers

Another way you can create a more opaque color is by adding more paint layers. Adding more paint to a previous layer naturally interacts with it and makes it more opaque. However, there are some precautions attached to this method. The rule of thumb here is never to add too much paint. Also, ensure that the previous layer is thoroughly dried before applying the next coat. If you fail to do this, the paint will crack. Learn how pigments work before trying this method, and we recommend you try understanding the color chart. If you don’t do this, even if you add multiple layers of, let’s say, a green color, you still won’t get a darker effect.

Although this method is also suitable, it will most time take time to get the desired results. You will need patience and should be ready to sacrifice the time on your hands. When you paint over layers, you have to wait for each paint to fully dry before adding another layer. In this case, the choice of acrylic paint you use counts. We suggest you get the fast-drying acrylic to shorten the waiting time.

4. Paint Over White or Carbon Black Colors

Using titanium white to make acrylic paint more opaque is the easiest way to accomplish this. Titanium white happens to be the most opaque color you will find today, and you only need a small portion of it to mix your acrylic paint.

However, the proportion you add is the tricky part, and you should avoid adding too much. Remember that adding white color to paint gives more pastel colors because white has a tint effect.

So, you need only a tiny amount of titanium white. You can test the mixture before applying the paint to your art piece. You can also create an opaque effect when you paint a white or black coat first before using the primary colors you are working with. This will bring focus to the colors because they will be brighter and highlighted. It won’t in any way affect the opaque paint.

Instead, what it does is block the color under it from affecting the opacity. Before using this method, allow the previous paint layer you already applied to dry correctly. You should only add another layer of titanium white paint if you intend to apply transparent acrylic paint. Common mistake artists make, and it is one you should avoid when painting over color. So, make sure that the white dries entirely, and then you can use carbon black to make your paint more opaque.

5. Use Heavy Body Paints

You can use heavy body paints to get your desired opacity. Most times, these paint types are usually opaque and vicious because of their pigmentation. Although the heavy body paints can give an opaque effect, they may not completely give the increased opacity you need on their own. It can, however, help to reduce the problem of excess paint transparency.

If you are considering getting one, we suggest you get the Liquitex Professional Heavy Body Acrylic Paint. When using heavy body paints, one thing to note is that you shouldn’t mix them with other colors. They don’t blend easily with other colors, but you can use them to paint the bottom layer. If you plan to mix this paint type, we recommend you carefully pick out the range of colors that will comfortably blend. Also, another precaution to note when using heavy body paints is that they don’t mix well with mediums. When you add mediums to it, you will get a lighter or more transparent acrylic paint instead.

Liquitex Professional Heavy Body Acrylic Paint for Opaque

6. Make gesso your primary ingredient

Artists make use of gesso for priming their canvas. However, if you choose to use gesso for increasing opacity, you have two options. The first method is to apply 3 to 4 coats of the gesso before painting. The gesso will prepare the canvas and also make the color more vivid. The second method is by mixing your gesso with acrylic paint. The components in the gesso can increase the opacity of your paint.

7. Mix Two Colors for Opacity

You can also make your colors more opaque by doing the natural way of mixing colors. Colors typically interact, so you can mix them to get different shades of a particular color. For instance, when you mix colors like orange and violet, they bring out a more potent effect. Mixing colors allows you to control the level of opacity you want to get. You can also mix colors with white to get a more opaque color.

Did you know that mixing colors not only makes the acrylic paint more opaque but also produces transparent and lighter colors? However, that’s another topic as our primary focus is on how to make acrylic more opaque.


Making acrylic paint more opaque shouldn’t be difficult now that you know these easy methods. If you don’t want to go through the mixing process, you can get a perfect opaque paint to work with. Several brands make this type of acrylic. You can get the Golden High Flow Acrylic Opaque Set, a fluid paint, and you can use it directly on your art piece to get that opaque effect. Instead of using a particular medium to make your acrylic paint more opaque, we recommend you get the best acrylic opaque medium, the Liquitex Ultra Matte Medium. This medium gives an ultra-medium opaque finish while at the same time thinning and expanding the volume of the paint. You should know that it will take a couple of tries to become perfect at getting the right opacity.

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