The Best Acrylic Paint for Arts and Crafts
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Not all acrylic paint is created equal, and the wrong product can completely ruin your art or crafts. Here’s the best acrylic paint brands so your project turns out perfect the first time.
I absolutely love acrylic paints, and use them a lot in my crafts here on Color Made Happy. If I had to choose just one paint to keep on hand for hobbies and crafts, acrylic paint would be my choice hands down!
It’s so versatile, easy to paint with, and relatively inexpensive to get started with. Over the years of making crafts and art I’ve experimented with a bunch of paint brands, and found that there are definitely differences between them.
Hopefully this guide to the best acrylic paint will help you make the right choice for your next project.
What Can You Use Acrylic Paints For?
It might come as no surprise that I use acrylic paint quite often since I love making crafts, especially painted ones. I’m also a huge fan of rock painting, and rely on good quality acrylic paints to help them turn out.
One of the best parts of keeping acrylic paint on hand in your craft room is that it can be used for almost anything. It’s (mostly) washable, water soluble, and typically non-toxic, which is perfect for kids and beginners.
Prepped right, acrylic paint can be used on almost any surface including paper, cardboard, wood, plastic, metal, glass, rocks, and even fabric! Of course, acrylic paint is also a great medium for painting on canvas, too.
I do recommend sealing paint projects made with acrylic if you plan to handle them a lot, though, since it can be chipped off smooth surfaces.
What Are the Best Acrylic Paint Brands?
My favorite brands of acrylic paint are Mont Marte, Arteza, FolkArt, Artist’s Loft, Golden, and Liquitex; each one has different pros and cons, and some work better than others for different projects, but overall these are my go to options.
Mont Marte Acrylic Paint
Best for: Small Project or Painter
These paints are great because you can get a huge range of colors in a pack without a huge investment. If you’re planning a small art project or shopping for kids who like a lot of colors, this brand is a good value for variety.
The paint itself is thick and creamy in texture, which means great coverage when painting. It also doesn’t streak easily, so it’s great for paintings and beginners.
One downside to these paints is that the tubes are smaller than most standard sized acrylic paints; on the upside, it also means less waste if you don’t paint often and have a problem with paints drying out.
- Large variety of colors at a value price
- Paint goes on thick and smooth
- Colors dry vividly
- Small containers
- Box isn’t great quality, so you will likely need an organizing solution
- Usually sold in packs; best if you need a variety of colors and not just one or two
Best for: Crafts and Good Coverage
Arteza is another acrylic paint brand that comes in tubes instead of bottles. Like the Mont Marte paints, Arteza also has larger volume tubes available in multi-color value packs. One thing I really like about the packages of Arteza paint is the box itself; it’s sturdy and both stores and organizes your paint colors.
Where Arteza acrylic paint really shines is in the coverage department, and it’s easily one of the best value brands when it comes to good paint coverage overall. I like using it on craft projects, especially ones that involve painting on uneven surfaces (like ornaments) because the paint is thick.
- Paint goes on thick; great for crafts
- Box doubles as a storage container
- Value packs have a lot of color and size options
- Paints are sold in different container size options; be aware that this brand sells paint in three different volumes
- Mostly sold in sets
- The Classic colors are often on the darker side, you will probably need an additional bottle of white paint if you prefer lighter pigments
Best for: All purpose value
FolkArt acrylic paints have been around for a long time and there’s good reason they’re still in business. What they do exceptionally well is the range of color options available; most of which can be bought individually in stores. They also have sets online that are perfect for beginners.
Besides color variety, FolkArt paints are also available in different finishes including matte, satin, and gloss options. The paints are also fairly thick, which makes them good for craft projects and beginner painters.
- Great for beginners stocking a craft room
- Stickers on the bottle caps make paint easier to organize and find
- Excellent color variety and finish options
- Paints can dry out if you’re not careful about sealing the lid
- Some may find the paint too thick; it can be thinned with water
- Takes awhile to dry
Artist’s Loft (by Michaels)
Best for: Those who need an affordable, mid-range acrylic paint
Not to be confused with the large economy packs of acrylic paint you can buy at Michaels, Artist’s Loft acrylic paint is Michael’s own mid-range artist brand. It’s better quality than the value brands and packs listed above, but slightly more affordable than high-end acrylic paints.
One thing I really like about this brand is the color range. You can buy multi-packs of small tubes, but I like the large 4oz bottles that are sold individually. They’re perfect for bigger crafts, painting projects, or an enthusiastic artist.
Keep an eye out for sales on this line to really make the most of your crafting budget.
- Great coverage
- Good paint thickness
- Large container sizes available individually
- Not a lot of multi-pack options, especially if you want bigger containers
- Best for hobbyists and kids; not quite professional quality
- Some colors don’t cover as well as others
Best for: Projects that need a professional, heavy body acrylic paint
Golden is a great, high quality acrylic paint brand that’s often used by professionals and artists. Although it’s designed for multi-surface, its thickness lends especially well to painting objects and craft projects.
The colors that Golden offers are absolutely stunning and can easily be mixed together to create new hues without worrying about everything turning brown.
The biggest downside, of course, is the premium price tag. Beginners might not find it worth it to splurge on professional quality paints, but experienced artists will feel the difference—especially when painting intricate art pieces.
- Thick paint with great pigmentation and coverage
- Goes on smooth and is easy to work with
- Colors don’t change as they dry
- Bigger investment (but a little goes a long way)
- Different paint options might be overwhelming for a beginner; these paints are designed with experienced artists in mind
- Not a lot of multi-pack assorted options available
Liquitex – Editor’s Choice
Best for: Beginners and professionals who want a realiable, great quality, and afforable acrylic paint option
Although the real difference between Liquitex and Golden acrylic paints really comes down to personal preference, for the average creator Liquitex is the better option overall. A little more viscous than Golden, Liquitex acrylic paints can be used for virtually any art or craft project.
First of all, they have some great options when it comes to value packs that can give you an assortment of basic colors for a bundle price. I find this especially handy when I’m painting on canvas or doing colorful painting projects.
As for the paint, it’s the perfect texture for fine art and crafts, and easy to spread without streaks. It’s also extremely high quality; designed not to change color as it dries or fade your artwork over time.
Finally, what really seals the deal with my recommendation of Liquitex as the best overall acrylic paint is how user-friendly it is to use.
Complete beginners won’t need to fuss with this paint; it’s perfect right out of the tube. It achieves this without leaving out experienced artists and professionals; Liquitex paint mixes extremely well, has a professional array of color options, and offers containers in a variety of sizes.
Whether you’re new to acrylic painting and want a great quality paint, or are looking to upgrade from a value option, I recommend giving Liquitex a try.
- Bright, beautiful pigments in an array of colors
- They offer multiple lines of paint, including the more budget-friendly “Basics”
- Paints are all medium viscosity, which is versatile for a variety of projects and makes combining colors easier
- There is a handy starter pack available to get you started with basic colors and brushes
- Basics line is cost-effective and straightforward, but professional line has more options that may confuse or price out beginner artists
- Most of the multicolor paint packs are the smaller .74oz size tubes
- Some colors (like yellow) are lighter and may need multiple coats
Tips for Choosing Best Acrylic Paint Brand for Your Project
I can’t stress enough that it’s not always the best move to go out and buy the most expensive acrylic paint for every project. When you’re new to painting, or working with kids, a good quality value brand might be all you need. The same goes for bigger projects that require a lot of paint, like furniture painting or murals.
That being said, here’s some tips to keep in mind when choosing the best acrylic paint:
Avoid Extreme Value Brands
This includes brands like Apple Barrel and Craftology. They’re watery, which means you’ll end up using more (not really saving money) and run the risk of ruining your art.
Do You Need Quantity or Variety?
If you need a lot of different colors in small quantities, go with Mont Marte, Artist’s Loft, Golden, or Lquitex paints; they all offer variety packs of smaller tubes. These are perfect for paintings or smaller projects.
Are You Mixing Paints?
Some brands mix better than others, so keep that in mind if you want to do a lot of color mixing. The same goes for available mediums; some brands (like Liquitex) offer a nice variety of mediums that mix well with their paints so you can use the same paint for different craft projects.
Do You Like Thick or Thin Paint?
Thicker paint is great for craft projects that need full coverage and no drip. Medium viscosity paint, on the other hand, is more all-purpose. Keep in mind that most high quality paint (even the value brands) should be somewhat thick. Since acrylic paint is water soluble, thicker paints can be watered down, too.
What Colors Do You Want?
Although there are some standard paint colors, most brands have their own range of color options and multi-packs available. If a brand has the specific color you’re looking for, that might be a good enough reason to pick that brand, especially if you’re inexperienced with color mixing.
Practice and Experiment
Try out different brands on a variety of mediums to see what you prefer! A lot of the time, paint brand really comes down to personal choice. Practising your painting techniques will also help; the paint can only do so much when it comes to an even coat or streak-free motif.