When it comes to painting I have my tried and true stash that I use just about every time I paint. When I post a painting tutorial I usually list what brushes I use and the paint colors but this is a basic list of most of my tools. I try to refer students back to this page from tutorials as well so they can see exactly what I am talking about for other items.
FYI: I have a downloadable check list you can print in my Resource Library. More on that below.
Lets get started with the Paints.
In Decorative Painting I got my start with Plaid FolkArt bottled acrylics and I still primarily use them to this day but there are other brands that work well too.
Right now I am loving the Plaid FolkArt Multi Surface acrylics, they have a more satin sheen than the regular acrylics though I still use those as well. The Multi Surface can be painted on wood, glass and metals too.
For Lettering on my signs I like to use Delta Ceramcoat brand (also sold by Plaid) , it just seems to flow a bit easier from the brush without adding water but it has great pigmentation.
You can find these at most hobby/craft stores like Hobby Lobby, Michaels and JoAnn’s.
If you don’t live in the U.S. here is a link to International Distributors: Plaid Online International
Just this past year I have delved into Fine Art, namely Impressionism and for that I have been using Golden Artist Acrylics. I have been using mostly the Heavy Body ones but the past few months I have been adding the Golden Fluid Acrylics to my collection and I am in love!
The Fluid Acrylics are the smaller bottles, they come in larger sizes too. I get mine at Dick Blick.
My go to brushes for decorative painting and sign making are the Donna Dewberry One stroke brushes. They work great for my stroke work and hold up excellently when cleaned properly (any brush needs to be cleaned properly to last, I will share that in another post)
The sets are a good price on Amazon and as I said before they last a good long time if treated right. The set I have been using lately is over 2 years old and going strong. For Filbert brushes which I use for Daisies, Hydrangeas and some leaves I like the ones HERE.
Cleaning Tools & Supplies
Many times I use a picture frame with glass in it, a styrofoam plate (not eco friendly so I have stopped using them for the most part) or the Palette Paper. But for the most part lately I have been using my Mastersons Stay Wet palette. I use this most with the Golden Acrylics though I use it also for the FolkArt acrylics too if I know I will be painting on a subject for a long period of time. This palette keeps your paints from drying out faster than you wish.
Note: I do not use this palette with the Enamels for Glass, if you watch any of my painting tutorials I tell you why.
For transferring any design to my painting surface I use graphite paper, the marks will come off readily with the magic rub eraser. The graphite paper gets used over and over again so not a lot of investment here.
Transfer paper also comes in white for using on dark surfaces. For beginners laying out the design before starting on your project can make painting go smoother. Even if you hand draw, it works best for me to draw it out on paper then transfer it to my surface.
Glass Painting Paints
I did say you can paint on glass with the Multi Surface paints but my ‘go to’ paint for painting on glass are the Plaid FolkArt Enamels, just so you know and I use the glass specific brushes though many use the regular brushes as well.
When I paint signs or furniture I seal it with Rustoleum Spar Urethane Waterbased Sealer Click here to see it. This comes in several finishes but I typically use Satin but if a sign is going to be in extreme weather I use Gloss as it is better at shedding water.
One thing I need to be very clear about, DO NOT use an oil base sealer on acrylic paints. It will cause the acrylics to lift and chip, making a complete mess of your sign. One of the main things I have found with the Spar Urethane is it does not amber or yellow like Polycrylic can and will. Many Polycrylics claim not to yellow but trust me, they do. I have painted signs for 15 years now and they have always yellowed.
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Now the next item is completely frivolous but oh so enjoyable! My studio cottage…
Click the photo and it will take you to plans to purchase to create your own Cottage Get Away!
That is the full list of my most used supplies and tools. I hope this is helpful to you all and….