Can You Mix Alcohol Ink With Acrylic Paint? Possibilities!

In most cases, you can’t mix alcohol ink with acrylic paint.  Alcohol ink and acrylic paint mixture don’t give the desired outcome in most painting styles. 

That being said, the mixture might play well in a few styles if you have the required skill. 

Whatever it is, in this guide, we’ll be diving deep into alcohol ink and acrylic paint. Therefore, if you’re someone who wants to use alcohol ink on acrylic paint, this guide is for you!

Why Can’t You Mix Alcohol Ink with Acrylic Paint?

You won’t get the desired result by mixing alcohol ink with acrylic paint. Instead, you may notice the alcohol inks crack, fracture, or uneven coverage. Below are the details explained.

1. Different Viscosity

Alcohol ink is basically a transparent liquid with very low viscosity. On the other hand, acrylic paint is opaque with higher viscosity. When you mix the two, the consistency of the mixture will be somewhere in the middle. With this altered viscosity, you might not get the perfect result you’d expect.

2. Improper Blending

Due to the difference in chemical composition and thickness, the mixture of alcohol ink and acrylic paint becomes inconsistent and full of lumps. If you’re lucky, the lumps might dissolve after some time.

You can also try to blend them with a soft brush. Yet, there’s a high chance the lumps won’t dissolve, making it impossible to apply the mixture on a surface.

3. Cracks and Uneven Coverage

Even if you successfully apply the alcohol ink and acrylic mixture on a surface, the paint might flake off after drying. When you apply layers of alcohol ink on acrylic paint, the paint will crack or wrinkle, delivering an unattractive finish.
Besides, the coverage will be uneven as alcohol ink is thin and less intense than acrylic paint.

4. Reworkability

As alcohol ink dries in a waterproof form, you can’t rework your artwork with water or other paints. You must use alcohol to reactivate alcohol ink.
Acrylic paint has no such issues and can be easily reworked with water.
However, using alcohol on acrylic paint isn’t recommended as it might dissolve the paint. So, a mixture of the two will be challenging.

Can You Use Alcohol Ink Over Acrylic Ground?

And when it comes down to painting, pigmented acrylic suspension fluid doesn’t play well with alcohol dyes. That said, some artists use alcohol ink on an acrylic ground in marble painting.
This combination can also play nicely in a few abstract painting styles. Dropping alcohol ink on top of the acrylic paint layer gives a marble effect that looks stunning if the color combination is right.

As you use alcohol ink on top of acrylic, the binders and pigments of the paint separate, and some artists like the resulting effect. Also, the alcohol ink thins out the acrylic paint, which is useful for techniques like creating a wash. 

Check out this video to see the outcome when alcohol ink is used over acrylic paint.

What Makes Alcohol Ink and Acrylic Paint Different?

Here’s a quick rundown of the differences between alcohol ink and acrylic paint-

Differentiating factorsAlcohol InkAcrylic paint
SolubilityNot soluble in water once driedSoluble in water
ThicknessThin, watery consistencyThick and opaque
Color SourceDyesPigments
Drying TimeLess than 20 minutes20 to 30 minutes

Although you’re discouraged to mix alcohol ink with acrylic paint, acrylic paint is highly versatile. You can mix different brands of acrylic paints, you can apply the paint on different types of surfaces, and whatnot. You can use acrylic paint on a mailbox as well. Just make sure you know to do things in the right way, that’s it!

How to Use Alcohol Ink on Acrylic Paint? – 3 Different Ways!

As mentioned before, mixing alcohol ink with acrylic paint isn’t an option unless you’re making marble paintings. 

And artists use different ways to add alcohol ink to acrylic paint. Let’s take a look.

1. Dropping over Paint

In case you don’t know, there isn’t any specific shape in marble and most abstract paintings. So, what most artists do is, after finishing the acrylic painting, they add a few drops of alcohol ink on areas they think are suitable. 

And by nature, when alcohol ink is dropped over acrylic, the ink spreads, which looks good. 

2. Blowing the Ink  

Artists pour a small amount of alcohol ink over the acrylic paint and then put a drop of Isopropyl on top of the ink. And then, they blow the ink in different directions with the help of a thin straw.

However, this isn’t a technique for beginners, as it requires incredible color sense. 

3. Spritzing the Ink

In this technique, the alcohol ink is poured into a spritzing bottle and then spritzed onto the painting. 

For best results, alcohol inks must be spritzed over dried acrylic paint. However, depending on the need, one might use it when the paint isn’t dried too. 

The spritzing technique paints scenes like the night sky and all. 

Can You Mix Alcohol Ink With Resin?

Yes, you can mix alcohol ink with resin, and when it’s done well, it gives an incredible marbling effect that will attract every eye. 

Having that said, not all alcohol inks are suitable for resin; some might react differently and change colors. Ranger, T-rex, and Rupert are some brands that make excellent alcohol inks suitable for water-resistant surfaces like resin.

It’s best to avoid mixing pink and red color types of alcohol ink with the resin, as these colors might disappear once the resin cures. 

However, it depends on both the ink and resin quality.  But if you want to be on the safe side, make sure to pick inks that are specially designed for resin.

Also, note that acrylic paint is not food-safe, so, be careful if you’re planning to include acrylic-painted things with food-grade applications.

How to Mix Alcohol Ink With Resin? 

There are several ways to mix alcohol ink with the resin, one of the most common ones is direct mixing.

As the name suggests, in this technique, the ink is directly mixed with resin before it’s poured into a mold or anything else. 

Here is how to mix alcohol ink directly with resin − 

  1. Take a cup or a bowl; it depends on the resin you’ll use. And pick something to mix the ink with the resin; a small wood stick or a knife should work.
  2. Pour the resin into the cup or bowl and then add a small drop of alcohol ink into it. And mix well. You should note that when the resin is on the bowl or cup, it’ll look darker than it would when poured into a mold or painting. 
  3. After mixing, if you think the color is light and want a little more opaqueness, add one more drop of ink and mix. Keep repeating the process until you get the color you like. 
  4. If you want the resin to be fully solid colored (Fully opaque), then consider using a very little amount of non-metallic base white mica powder with the resin. 
  5. To ensure the resin has the right color, you can take a small amount of resin and lay it flat on a white surface to check. 
  6. Once you’ve got the desired color, pour all the resin where you want it to be, leaving it for 72 hours at least. Usually, resin requires 72 – 96 hours to cure properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can you add alcohol ink to acrylic paint?

It’s safe to use alcohol Ink on acrylic paint, which has completely dried. However, in some abstract and most marble paintings, alcohol ink is also dropped on top of the wet acrylic paint. 

Does alcohol break acrylic?

Yes! Many people use alcohol to Clean acrylic paints, which can lead to micro fractures in the painting. As a result, with time, the entire painting will start to crack. 

What surfaces can you use alcohol ink on?

Alcohol inks work best on non-porous surfaces such as varnished wood, ceramic, metal, glass, alcohol ink paper, synthetic paper, metal, Yupo paper, etc. 


So, can you mix alcohol ink with acrylic paint? You can’t directly mix alcohol ink with acrylic paint together. Doing so will cause the paint to form clumps which will make the painting look disastrous. 

You can use alcohol ink as a top layer when the acrylic paint is on the canvas. 

Or, you can drop the ink on top of the acrylic paint to create marbling effects. Also, you can spritz the ink on top of dry acrylic paint. 

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