Matte medium is one of the most versatile add-ins 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 and reduce sheen, and the more you add, the thinner and more transparent the color will become. 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. Our top picks below will help you find the best matte medium for your project needs.
1. Liquitex Matte Fluid Medium
This Liquitex fluid is an excellent all-purpose medium for acrylics. When added to paint, it will increase flow for a lower viscosity that extends color without affecting stability. It appears semiopaque when wet, but it dries clear to reduce surface gloss; note, however, that it should not be shaken or vigorously over-brushed or it may result in a foggy finish. This matte medium can also be used as a lightweight collaging glue or diluted with water and applied with an atomizer to fix pastel, graphite, or chalk.
2. Golden Matte Medium
A favorite multiuse medium, this product from Golden can be added incrementally to acrylic paint to reduce shine and create a satin finish. This polymer emulsion will increase fluidity and transparency to create thin, even layers. It’s great for experimenting: add it to acrylic paint in different proportions to manipulate texture and finish. Matte medium can also be used on its own as a translucent ground, a fixative for collage and mixed media, or a temporary varnish.
3. Mont Marte Acrylic Matte Medium
Mont Marte’s matte medium will extend acrylic paint without reducing adhesive qualities or color strength. A fluid medium that will lower viscosity for smoother paint application, it’s great for creating thin glazes and washes but is not designed to be used as a final varnish.
4. Nasco Acrylic Matte Medium
This Nasco matte medium has been designed for use in classrooms, providing an economical choice in a bulk quantity. Add to acrylic paint to decrease gloss for a matte finish.
5. Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
Unlike liquid matte options, this Liquitex gel will extend color volume and transparency without changing paint consistency. It dries to a satin/matte finish. With a texture similar to that of heavy-body acrylics, gel medium will increase viscosity in thinner paints for better retention of brush and knife marks. Since it contains acrylic resins, it will improve adhesion and durability, making it ideal for creating collages with heavier objects, and as a thicker medium it will dry more slowly, allowing longer working times.