What Is An Acrylic Paint? Acrylic Paint Ingredients
What Is An Acrylic Paint?
Acrylic paint is a quick-drying medium made of pigments suspended in a polymer emulsion and various other ingredients such as plasticizers, silicone oils, and stabilizers. It is typically water-based, but becomes water-resistant once dry.
The finished product can resemble a watercolor, gouache, or oil painting depending on how it’s diluted or modified with gels, mediums, or pastes. Acrylic paint is also used in house paints as a latex, which is a suspension of polymer microparticles in water.
Interior latex house paints often consist of a binder, filler, pigment, and water, while exterior latex paints may be a co-polymer blend.
The best exterior water-based paints are 100% acrylic due to its elasticity, however, many different combinations of binders such as vinyl and PVA are used to match market demands.
History Of Acrylic Paint?
Acrylic resin was invented by Otto Röhm and quickly transformed into acrylic paint. German chemical company BASF developed the first usable acrylic resin dispersion in 1934, which was patented by Rohm and Haas.
The synthetic paint was first used in the 1940s, combining some of the properties of oil and watercolor. Leonard Bocour and Sam Golden then invented a solution acrylic paint under the brand Magna paint in the late 1940s. These were mineral spirit-based paints.
As water-based acrylic binders were introduced as house paints, artists and companies began to explore the potential of the new binders.
Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and José Clemente Orozco were some of the first artists to experiment with acrylic paint because of its durability. This led to the production of Politic Acrylic Artists’ Colors in Mexico in 1953.
In the UK, Lancelot Ribeiro pioneered the use of acrylic paints in the 1960s due to his impatience with the slow drying time of oil paints and lack of brilliance in their color potential.
He began using the new synthetic plastic bases that commercial paints were beginning to use, and received help from manufacturers like ICI, Courtaulds, and Geigy. The companies supplied him samples of their latest paints in quantities that he was still using decades later.
In 1956, José L. Gutiérrez produced Politec Acrylic Artists’ Colors in Mexico, and Henry Levison of Cincinnati-based Permanent Pigments Co. produced Liquitex colors. These two product lines were the first acrylic emulsion artists’ paints, with modern high-viscosity paints becoming available in the early 1960s.
Meanwhile in Australia, Vynol Paints Pty Ltd (now Derivan) started producing a water-based artist acrylic called Vynol Colour in 1958, followed by Matisse Acrylics in the 1960s. Golden then came up with a waterborne acrylic paint called “Aquatec”.
In 1963, George Rowney (part of Daler-Rowney since 1983) was the first manufacturer to introduce artists’ acrylic paints in Europe, under the brand name “Cryla”.
Acrylic Paint Ingredients
Acrylic paint is a simple type of paint that is made up of three main ingredients: pigment, an acrylic binder, and an acrylic vehicle. The pigment is what gives the paint its color, and it can be either natural or synthetic, organic or inorganic.
The binder, known as an acrylic polymer, holds the pigment in place and forms a protective film once the paint has dried. The vehicle in acrylic paint is water, which combines with the binder to form a polymer emulsion.
As the water evaporates, the paint dries to a clear polymer film that contains particles of colored pigment. In summary, acrylic paint is composed of pigment for color, an acrylic binder for holding the pigment and forming a protective film and the acrylic vehicle which is water that acts as a medium for the binder and pigment to mix and dry to form a clear film.
Understanding Acrylic Paints
Acrylic paint is a water-based paint that is composed of a balance of pigment, acrylic polymer and water. When applied to a surface, the water in the paint maintains its liquidity and prevents the particles of acrylic polymer from hardening immediately.
However, as the paint dries, a chemical reaction takes place in which the pigment suspended in the acrylic polymer particles fuses together and starts to dry. This process is known as evaporation. After the paint has dried, another chemical reaction occurs in which the pigment is trapped in a hexagonal structure composed of clear polymer particles.
This creates a stable, water-resistant film that is permanent and vibrant in color, which is known as setting. Understanding the science behind acrylic paint can help artists and painters to use it more effectively and achieve the desired results.
Why Are Acrylic Paints So Popular?
Acrylic paint has become increasingly popular over the past 70 years, due to its versatility and quick drying time. Its uses include painting on canvas, wood, and other surfaces and it can be used for a variety of techniques such as blending, layering and impasto.
The ingredients in acrylic paint are simple, consisting of pigment, binder, and vehicle, and its flexibility and elasticity make it resistant to cracking and fading over time. Additionally, once dry, acrylic paint is permanent and lightfast, ensuring that the colors remain true for years to come.
Whether you are an experienced artist or just starting out, acrylic paint offers many benefits for all types of creative projects.
The Pros Of Acrylic Paints
Acrylic paints are a great choice for artists because they dry quickly, allowing you to keep working without interruption. They are also water-based, making them easy to clean up with just soap and water.
They can be used on a variety of surfaces, including canvas, paper, plastic, metal, glass, wood and stone. Additionally, acrylics can be mixed with other materials to create different textures and effects and the drying time can be adjusted.
Once dry, acrylics are water-resistant and maintain their vibrant colors without yellowing over time. They are also flexible, so they won’t crack or peel. Furthermore, acrylics are non-toxic, solvent-free, low-odor and non-flammable.
The Cons Of Acrylic Paints
Acrylic paints have a fast drying time, requiring the artist to work quickly. Removing dried acrylic from brushes, palettes, nails and skin can also be difficult.
Additionally, the colors of acrylic paints can darken as they dry, resulting in a finished painting that may not match the original intent. Some art collectors and galleries consider acrylic paint to be less valuable compared to oil and watercolor paints.