Acrylic medium is a versatile product for use with acrylic paint and in mixed-media projects. A liquid that’s milky when wet and translucent when dry, it can be added to acrylic to increase fluidity; the more you add, the thinner and more transparent the color will become. This makes it particularly handy for glazes and blending. It can also be used to create a clear ground on canvas or paper in place of gesso, and it works as an adhesive for use in collage and image transfers. Most acrylic mediums come in two finishes: glossy and matte. Since acrylics tend to have a glossy finish to begin with, choosing a matte medium to mix in with your paints can make a significant difference in your work’s final appearance. Whether you simply want a matte finish or are looking to play around with several effects, we have recommendations for some of the top acrylic matte mediums. Read on.
1. Golden Fluid Matte Medium
Golden’s matte medium is extra smooth, which makes it easy to mix with any acrylic. It creates a paint that flows on your surface and self-levels for seamless glazes and dissolved edges. It also extends the drying time of your paints, so blending of colors is easier. A little goes a long way, and once dry, your paint will have a soft matte finish. As a bonus, Golden’s matte medium is also one of the lower-priced options
2. Liquitex Professional Fluid Medium, Matte
One advantage of Liquitex’s medium is that, unlike additives such as retardants, the binder within them means that you can add as much medium to your paint as you’d like without affecting the paint’s adhesion or structural integrity. It can also be mixed with some water for an even more fluid painting experience. This multiuse product not only gives matte qualities to any acrylic paint but can be used to fix hard media like pastel, graphite, and chalk, and it works well as an adhesive in collage work.
3. Golden Open Acrylic Matte Medium
The “open” in the name of this acrylic medium refers to Golden’s Open line of acrylic paints, which are specially formulated to remain wet and workable for up to 10 times longer than standard acrylics. This is helpful for artists who do a lot of blending or want to use oil paint techniques, or those who paint en plein air. While this matte medium is specifically made for use with Open acrylics—extending their working time even longer—they can work to slow the drying time of any acrylic while producing a matte effect.
4. Grumbacher Artists’ Acrylic Matte Medium and Varnish
Grumbacher’s high-quality medium is pricier than the competition—and a little thinner—but it is mighty. The multifaceted medium can be used to prime, glaze, or varnish and can even act as an effective collage adhesive. Apply sparingly to maintain some of the body of unadulterated paint, or use more for clean and even glazes. You’ll be left with an impressively clear, consistent matte finish that still makes your colors look alive—you won’t have to worry about dullness. The only downside is that it is sold only in eight-ounce jars.
5. Winsor & Newton Professional Acrylic Matte Medium
This is a relatively viscous matte medium, which makes it great for using with heavy-body acrylics or for adding texture to your paintings. Still, you can add water to increase flow. Used out of the bottle, it still extends color volume and transparency without altering the consistency of your paints. We also appreciate the squeeze-bottle design, which comes with a tip whose opening size you can adjust. Note that due to its density it will dry more slowly, allowing longer working times. Choose from a 250- or 500-milliliter bottle.