Can You Mix Different Brands Of Acrylic Paint?

Yes, mixing water-based acrylic paints from different brands is okay, but you might get some odd results. The consistency, lightfastness, longevity, opacity, sheen, etc., will be affected, and you might not get the expected results.

In some rare cases, the paint won’t mix properly and create lumps.

So, let’s deep dive into whether can you mix different brands of acrylic paint. Will the results depend on the type of acrylic paint? What do the manufacturers say? Let’s find out!

Is It Okay to Intermix Different Acrylic Brands?

Many artists often intermix brands to get their preferred pigmentation. In most cases, it doesn’t affect the outcome. However, you’ll notice some minor changes in the opacity and durability of the paint.

Speaking of mixing different brands, know that you can’t just randomly mix two or more paints; there are limitations. You can’t mix enamel and acrylic paint, for example.

Below are some difficulties you might face when mixing different acrylic paint brands. We have also provided some easy solutions to avoid such inconveniences. Let’s have a look.

Uneven Blending 

To keep the paint stable, most manufacturers maintain a high pH level for their paints. Which means acrylic paints are mostly alkaline. However, some manufacturers tend to lower the pH level for different reasons. 

When you mix a high-pH paint with a lower one, the resulting mixture becomes lumpy due to pH shock. Hence, it becomes difficult to apply the paint evenly on a surface.

How to Resolve?

Typically, if you leave the paint for a while, the lumps will dissolve. In case the paint remains the same, you should take small amounts of paint in a bowl and stir it continuously until you get rid of all the unwanted lumps. 

Altered Paint Consistency 

Although all acrylic paints are water-based, the viscosity of paints from different brands isn’t the same. You can find heavy-body acrylic paints with high viscosity and some thinner ones with low viscosity.

If you mix the two types from different brands, the mixture will have a different consistency somewhere in the middle of these two types of acrylics. So, you might not get the same texture you’d expect from a heavy-body or thin-body acrylic. 

How to Resolve?

Try to mix acrylic paints of the same viscosity. Avoid using heavy-body paints with thinner ones as it decreases the thickness of heavy-body paints; if you’re willing to discount the consistency of the paint, thin out the heavy-body acrylic paint using a liquid medium like water. 

This way, you can mix it with any thin-body acrylic without worrying about paint texture and thickness.

Reduced Durability and Lightfastness 

As you might know, there are two types of acrylic paints available in the market: artists’ and students’ grades. Student-grade acrylics are often cheaper as they have cheaper pigmentation and more fillers. In short, these are lower-quality acrylics.

When you mix student-grade acrylic paint of one brand with professional artist-grade paint of a different brand, the quality of the artist-grade paint might become lower. As a result, the paint mixture becomes less durable.

It also affects the lightfastness of the mixture, so the paint might fade in the presence of sunlight and intense electric lights. 

How to Resolve?

Avoid mixing artist-grade acrylic paints with student-grade ones. If you’re willing to do so, choose student-grade acrylics from well-known brands like Liquitex or Golden. To overcome the durability issue, these brands usually use the same high-quality pigments for different paint types.

The Paint Might Flake Off 

While mixing acrylic paint from two different brands, you must pay attention to the quality. Low-quality paints contain more polymer and less pigmentation. The binders and preservatives used for such paints can’t withstand environmental changes for long.

As a result, mixing low-quality paints from different brands with a well-known high-quality brand will lessen the adhesion capacity of the mixture. Consequently, the paint might flake off from the surface after some time. 

How to Resolve?

Before you mix the paints, check the ingredient list and the amount of base, binders, and additives. Don’t blend the paints if the difference is too prominent.

Change in Drying Time 

Some artists prefer using slow-drying acrylic paints as they give more time to the artist for blending colors. Mixing any type of acrylic paint from a different brand will affect the polymerization of the paint and change its drying time.

Typically, the mixture dries faster, nullifying the purpose of using a slow-drying acrylic paint.

How to Resolve?

Use two slow-drying paints from different brands so that the drying time remains the same. Otherwise, you can make the mixed acrylic paint dry slower using a retarder or adding other slow-drying mediums.


Mixing thin cheap-quality acrylic paint with thick high-quality ones might result in wrinkles. Typically, artists’ grade acrylic paint is thick and takes a long time to dry. As mentioned, mixing a thinner paint of a different brand will change the drying time. If the base layer dries before the upper layer, the paint will wrinkle.

How to Resolve?

While mixing paint from different brands, make sure the consistency of the two paints is even. You can thin out the paint with water to change its consistency as per your needs.

Changes in Sheen 

You might have noticed that acrylic paints from different brands provide different finishes. For example, Liquitex acrylics provide a satin-like glossy finish. Whereas, Atelier interactive acrylic paints dry to deliver more of a matte finish.

Intermixing between these brands will give unpredictable finishes, which you might not prefer.

How to Resolve?

Once you’ve applied and dried the intermixed paint, you can varnish the painted surface to unify its sheen. Also, adding a glossy or matte medium will give your preferred finish to any surface.

How to Test the Compatibility of Different Acrylic Paint Brands?

Before mixing acrylic paints from two different brands, you should do a compatibility test to avoid unwanted results. Here’s how you can test the paints for compatibility-

Step One – Pour and Mix 

Take a bowl and pour the paints in your preferred ratio. Try to mix similar kinds of acrylics for better results. If you’re mixing heavy-body acrylics with thinner ones, add some water to the heavier paint to avoid lumps.

Properly mix the paints with a brush and check for lumps or other inconsistencies. If the paints don’t blend oil or turn into a sandy mixture, avoid using them for your art project. Otherwise, proceed to the next step.

Step Two – Apply on a Surface 

Now, apply the mix on a surface to test their pigmentation and quality. Check the mixture on a scrap of the surface you’ll be using. Apply thin layers and let them dry. 

Step Three – Test the End Product

For slow-drying acrylics, note down the drying time and see if there’s any noticeable change. Check out the dried paint for wrinkles or cracks. Does everything look fine? In that case, you can freely mix the two brands for your next project.

Why Do People Want to Mix Different Brands of Paint?

One key reason why artists tend to mix different brands is to use leftover paint. If you’re using paints from different brands, a huge amount of paint may be left when you’re done. Instead of wasting them, mixing the paints of the same color seems to be a great idea to many.

If you work with miniature paintings, you may know about Citadel paint. Did you know that Citadel paint is acrylic? You can know about it more from the linked source.

However, let’s get back to the discussion. Another common reason for mixing different paint brands is to get the perfect shade. Different brands use different ingredients to produce the same hue. Hence, there might be a subtle difference between two colors.

Mixing the two colors from different brands can help the artists to get their expected shade which might be impossible to find otherwise.

Frequently Asked Questions 

 Can you mix Liquitex Basics with professional?

According to the official Liquitex website, all Liquitex paints are intermixable. So, you can mix the basic Liquitex paints with more professional ones. As for other brands, the site doesn’t put any restrictions on mixing paints from other brands.

However, make sure you don’t blend cheap acrylic paints with high-quality ones, as it might ruin the paint due to adverse chemical reactions.

Does the brand of acrylic paint matter?

Yes, the brand of acrylic paint matters as different brands offers different paint quality and types. The mediums, binders, and pigments used for a brand might not match with the others.

Some brands experiment with chemicals and binders to improve the paint quality. On the other hand, cheaper brands use harmful ingredients and heavy metals that are harmful to the human body.

Can you mix craft paint with acrylic paint?

Yes, you can mix craft paint with acrylic paint, but it will change the consistency of both paint types. As the amount of liquid base is higher in craft paints, such paints have a runnier consistency. 

On the other hand, regular acrylic paints are somewhat thicker, especially artist-grade ones. Hence, while mixing the two paint types, you should maintain a 1:1 ratio for a perfect blend. 

What are the three kinds of acrylic paint?

There are three main types of acrylic paints based on the viscosity or thickness-

  1. Heavy-body acrylics: This type is the thickest with a buttery texture. It offers better handling, a smoother finish, and enhanced durability.
  2. Soft- or thin-body acrylics: With a yogurt-like consistency, soft-body acrylics are more suitable for mixing with mediums. 
  3. Fluid acrylics: As the name suggests, fluid acrylics have a runny consistency and creamy texture perfect for creating fine details and smooth effects.

Final Words 

Can you mix different brands of acrylic paint? Now you know the answer. We strongly recommend doing a compatibility test before you mix different acrylics. Many professional artists often intermix acrylic brands to create the perfect hues.

You can go through the online forums to find out what experts are saying about intermixing brands. As per our observations, most artists mix different acrylic brands without facing any major issues.

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