Acrylic Painting Supplies – The Basics
Acrylic painting supplies for when you first get started. These are some basic painting supplies that are a great, budget-friendly place to start. Many of these tools are optional but you will find them helpful in your painting journey.
Have you ever wanted to paint, but didn’t know where to start? Or maybe you’ve started, but feel like you’re doing something wrong? This post is for beginner painters who want to learn about the basic supplies needed for painting in acrylics.
Here, I’ll list the supplies and give a little bit of information about each one. By the end, you’ll know what to get especially to follow along and successfully learn how to paint in acrylics!
Painting Supplies the Basics
Let’s get started with the Paints.
I created a post on comparing paints for beginners and shared my results. You may be surprised! Best Acrylic Paints for Beginners
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.
This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking a link I may make a small commission at no added cost to you.
I enjoy using both the Matte and the Plaid FolkArt Multi-Surface acrylics, they have a more satin sheen than the regular acrylics though I still use those as well.
In stores, I am finding it easier to find the Matte in stock but you can order the Multi-Surface from plaidonline.com.
The Multi-Surface can be painted on wood, glass, and metals. It is self-sealing.
For Lettering on my signs I like to use the 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 for the past few months I have been adding the Golden Fluid Acrylics to my collection and I am in love!
Have you already seen the Basic Brush Strokes post? If not just click here.
The Fluid Acrylics are the smaller bottles, they come in larger sizes too. I get mine at Dick Blick.
Click here to see 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. For more on how to clean your brushes visit this here.
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.
Painting Tools & Other Supplies
My main cleaning supplies for my acrylic brushes are this brush basin and Masters Brush cleaner.
Loew Cornell has a brush basin where the lid can be a palette, which is handy.
I use Richesons Grey Palette Paper with my Plaid FolkArt or other bottles acrylics. When I use the Golden Heavy Body acrylics I have been using my Mastersons Stay Wet palette. This palette keeps your paints from drying out and you can cover it to preserve the paints you have out if you have to walk away and come back to your painting.
Note: I do not use this palette with the Enamels for Glass, if you watch any of my painting tutorials I tell you why.
Paper to Practice on Or a Painting Journal
I have a few sizes of these Mixed Media pads from Canson. I love to use them for practicing a new design or demo a design for my students. They are excellent for keeping your painting as a journal of your progress. You can use both sides of each page if you desire making them very economical.
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 use 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-based 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…
You can build this!
DIY Cottage Studio/Tiny House/She Shed
No matter what you call it, you can’t deny everybody would love their own little getaway space to create, work or just relax in. We built this ourselves and created a set of plans for you to follow so you could too!
That is the full list of my most used supplies and tools. I hope this is helpful to you all and….
I really need to get some time set aside to do some painting with your tutorials. I must have 50 colors of FolkArt paints!
Yay, so many color choices! You should have fun with all that. 🙂
Haven’t painted something have drawn or from a pattern, am bit apprehensive of any skill in that way. Plus my hands don’t work well due to arthritis, twisted fingers and in my wrists, no feeling in fingertips, numbness in right hand/ arm from nerve damage.
Typing is getting to be more difficult but I try to figure out other ways to do things, hate giving up activities I enjoy so much. I used to draw things when I painted and had gotten better at it so will need to work on that aspect.
My Dad was landscape oil painter but I don’t seem to have inherited that talent.
How long have you been painting? What did you start out painting? Am always in awe of people who can draw landscapes or people/animals, i.e. Am very glad I found your blog, interested in seeing how you paint objects.
Have wonderful rest of week.
HI Ms Pam. I recently found your website…via YouTube, looking for a tutorial/”go-by” to gain a little experience in painting leaves and hydrangeas in acrylics. I have painted for many years, but some health issues, COPD, have scared me off oils/solvents/thinner fumes and now I’m ‘learning’ watercolors and acrylic techniques. I lean to landscapes and florals in my painting, but I have done some animals. I had basically quit painting when our church decided to have a talent show, and my wife was approached about me joining in…so I gave in. The show went well, and the lady that approached my wife, asked her if I would consider joining their art club; which I did…with some wifely advice re: “it’ll do you good and help you too!’. I felt if I was going to paint, it would be best to work with such a group…:D Turns out I’m the only guy in the group…but being 80, they all look out for me …Anyway, like your site, and wanted to tell you so…
Thank you, Allen. I appreciate your kind words and you have such a smart wife!
Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent of painting. I have never been much of an artist but now that I’m getting older and not working anymore I am dabbling in different types of hobbies to keep busy. I have been doing a lot of different things with drift wood and now I want to try painting,. your site is awesome and I just wanted to Thank You for sharing so much information, especially the tutorials, they are so much fun and very helpful.
Do you use Esso to prepare the surface for painting? What color do you prefer?
I do use Gesso when I paint on canvas, even the ones that state they are pre-gessoed. Canvas is very thirsty and will suck up your paint making you use more to get depth of color. I like Art Alternatives gesso or Golden. I don’t like Liquitex as it makes for a rough surface. Thank you for asking, I need to add this to the list here.
What is Cardinal Red? I have not seen this for sale so I am thinking that you made a mix. If so how?
It is an actual Plaid FolkArt Color but any really good warm red will work.