How To Make Acrylic Paint Look Glossy In Just A Few Simple Steps

Want to learn how to make any painting job appear shiny and new? When you’re using acrylic paints on various home decorating projects, the result appears to be quite flat. In some cases, the dried acrylic paint may look uneven which is often caused by using different types, colors, and layers of paint on the surface. Another culprit is due to the application of paint mediums which somehow alter the result.

To solve your dilemma, I suggest you use an acrylic varnish to help smoothen and even out the paint surface. A fresh new coat of acrylic varnish seals the surface and repels water, dust, and prevents other paint contaminants from building on the surface. An acrylic varnish not only makes any painted object look shiny and glossy but it also helps protect the paint surface.

However, using a varnish may slightly alter the appearance of your paint. At the end of the day, it is still up to you, your requirement or your preference, if you want to use a varnish on your painting project. In this tutorial, we’ll give you some tips and ideas on how to make acrylic paint look glossy.

Here’s What You’ll Need

  • Acrylic gel medium
  • Acrylic glossy varnish
  • Flat paintbrush with split end bristles
  • Container or jar
  • Water

Step-by-Step Guide:

Once dried, an acrylic paint produces a relatively small amount of sheen on the surface. However, if you prefer a shinier or glossier paint finish, we’ll show you how to achieve it. Just follow these simple and easy steps.

  • Before you start applying acrylic varnish on your paint project, consider using an isolation coat such as an acrylic gel medium. This helps separate the varnish from the original paint. In case you need to strip off the coating, the isolation coat will protect the paint from getting stripped off. However, before you apply this medium, you should be aware that material may alter the effect of your paint.
  • Use a brush to apply the acrylic gel medium evenly with one or two coats. You can apply multiple coats depending on how absorbent the surface is. Make sure you allow each coating to dry for at least three to six hours before you apply another layer. Allow the gel medium to dry at least 24 hours before you apply a varnish.
  • Once the surface is completely dry, you can start the varnish application process. However, make sure you work in a dry, clean, and well-ventilated room. Clean the dried painting first so that the surface is free from any dust particles.
  • Use a clean jar or container to mix the glossy varnish and add 25% water to the solution. You can follow the instructions on the label of the varnish. Stir the water and varnish solution slowly to avoid any bubbles forming in the mixture.
  • Place the item you need to paint on and lay it flat so that the surface is even. This prevents the varnish from spilling on the sides.
  • Get a big flat painting brush with split end bristles to paint over the surface. Dip the dry paintbrush in the varnish solution and apply it on the surface with even strokes. Keep your brushstrokes in the same direction and avoid overlapping the brush strokes. Hold the paintbrush at a relaxed angle. Do not over apply the varnish because it can cause the bubbles to form on the surface or create a hazy appearance.
  • Inspect the entire surface and look for areas that you might have missed. In case you missed some spots, apply a varnish over it.
  • Let the painted item flat and let it dry for a couple of hours. Once the varnish is dry, inspect the entire surface of the painted item. Check for areas that are not glossy or shiny and check if the sheen is even and smooth. If you prefer a shinier or glossier surface, you can repeat the same process.

If you are aiming for a high gloss painting effect, you can opt to use a glossy acrylic medium instead of a glossy varnish. Just mix the glossy medium directly into the acrylic paint palette. Blend it thoroughly for a smooth and even coating.

In case you prefer a glossier look, you can add a high gloss varnish and follow the simple and easy steps mentioned above. There are some products that are already formulated with a combination of glossy medium and glossy varnish to help achieve the result you are looking for.

Advantages Of Using Acrylic Varnish:

Here are some of the benefits you can get from applying varnish on your acrylic painting.

  • It helps even out and smoothen the sheen of your acrylic painting and holds the entire painting together.
  • A varnish is formulated with UV protection to prevent the paint from fading over time.
  • You can easily clean and remove the dust particles from the paint. A varnish prevents the dust and dirt from building up and getting trapped in the paint.
  • It’s easy to remove the varnish from the paint in case you need to eliminate stains in the surface. In case the varnish becomes yellowish over time, you can quickly remove it and reapply it with a new and fresh coating.

Why You Should Use Acrylic Varnishes

Acrylic varnishes can be both temporary and permanent. It comes in different types of finishes including gloss, high gloss, satin, and matte coating. A glossy finish enhances the colors of your paintwork, giving it a more vibrant and rich appearance.

Matte finishes do the exact opposite. They tend to soften the color of the paint and lighten the tone. However, you may work with any of them and combine the coating to get the sheen and effect you desire.

Applying a varnish is a good solution for addressing your dilemma on how to make acrylic paint look glossy. Plus, it’s simple and easy. Anyone can do it.

If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends. Should you have any suggestions or comments, drop us a message and we’d be delighted to hear from you.

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