Dabble in painter’s alchemy by using a retarder medium in conjunction with your acrylic paint. A retarding medium slows the drying of acrylic paint so you can paint in better detail, attend to unfinished areas, and easily blend colors on the canvas without the threat of your paint drying up. Browse our selection of the best retarders below so you can achieve maximum canvas flexibility with your acrylic compositions.
1. Grumbacher Acrylic Retarder
Grumbacher’s product is a stellar do-it-all paint medium. This retarder slows down the drying process to help you finesse paint blending and detail work. This pocket-sized tube contains about 5 ounces of paint retarder. A colorless additive, it will not compromise the integrity of your acrylic paint. Mix this retarder with acrylics on the palette, or apply the medium directly onto the surface of your work.
2. Liquitex Professional Slow-Dri Blending Medium
Available in a range of sizes from 4 to 128 ounces, Liquitex’s blending fluid is lightweight and nontoxic, and it dries to be both water resistant and non-yellowing. Formulated to extend drying times by up to 40 percent, this slow-drying medium can also be used as a fixative to increase gloss and shine.
3. Sax True Flow Acrylic Drying Retarder
Sax’s drying retarder lengthens the drying process up to three times. The solution comes out crystal clear, so it won’t alter the original paint color. Packaged with a squeeze-top for easy dispensing, this product is available in a 16 ounce bottle. Useful for wet-on-wet techniques, for reducing skinning on the palette, and for slowing the dry time of paint to execute detail work, this medium is versatile and high quality.
4. Vallejo Acrylic Paint Retarder
Among model and mini makers, Vallejo is a trusted brand. Its acrylic paint retarder is useful for applying layers of wet paint, for keeping paints from skinning over, and for increasing the transparency and viscosity of acrylic paints. This solution comes in a 17-milliliter bottle with a squeeze top for easy mixing.
5. Tamiya USA Paint Retarder
Another product for model makers, this retarder is formulated to work with Tamiya’s acrylic paints, which are solvent based, rather than water based. Compatible with both glossy and grainy surfaces, it makes the paint dry more slowly for a smoother, more uniform finish, whether you are spraying or working with a brush. Note that because this product is solvent based, it is not suitable for use by children.