How to Finish an Acrylic Painting: A Comprehensive Guide + Tips and Tricks

How to Finish an Acrylic Painting: A Comprehensive Guide + Tips and Tricks

A Comprehensive Guide with Tips and Tricks to Finishing Your Acrylic Painting

Acrylic painting is a popular medium for artists of all skill levels. It dries quickly, is easy to clean up, and offers a wide range of colors and textures. However, finishing an acrylic painting can take time for beginners. 

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps to finish an acrylic painting and offer tips and tricks to help you achieve a professional-looking finished product. From preparing your surface to adding the final touches, we will cover everything you need to know to finish your acrylic painting confidently. So, this guide will help you take your acrylic paintings to the next level, whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out.

What is an Acrylic Painting?

Acrylic painting is a type of painting that uses water-based pigments that are suspended in a synthetic polymer medium. It is a relatively quick-drying medium, making it suitable for indoor and outdoor painting. It is often considered a versatile medium that can be used for different painting styles, such as traditional, contemporary, and abstract. 

The paint can be applied with a brush, palette knife, or airbrush and can be thinned with water to create a wide range of effects, from transparent to opaque. It can also be used to create a variety of textures and finishes, such as smooth and glossy to rough and matte. 

5 Best Ways to Finish an Acrylic Painting

Add a Final Coat of Varnish 

A final varnish is a clear coating that is applied to the surface of the painting to protect it from dust, moisture, and UV light. It also enhances the color and vibrancy of the painting. Different varnishes, such as gloss, satin, and matte, are available, so you can choose the one that best suits your artwork. This is the best method for finishing acrylic paintings.

Apply a UV-Protective Spray

A UV-protective spray is a clear coating that is applied to the surface of the painting to protect it from UV light. It is especially useful for paintings displayed in areas with high levels of sunlight.

Seal The Edges

Sealing the edges of the painting will prevent the paint from chipping or flaking. You can use a transparent acrylic medium or a sealant to do this.

Add a Frame

Framing your acrylic painting can give it a finished and polished look. It will not only enhance its overall appearance, but it will also provide additional protection. You can choose a frame that complements the style and colors of your painting.

Add a Layer of Gesso

Gesso is a white paint often used as a primer for acrylic paintings. Adding a layer of gesso can help to even out the surface of the painting and give it a smooth finish.
Note: Before applying these finishing techniques, ensure that your painting is arid and clean. Also, always test the finishing method on a small area of your artwork before applying it to the entire surface. Nobody wants to ruin their beautiful work!

Techniques to Easily Finish an Acrylic Painting (Tips and Tricks!)

Before Applying a Final Coat of Varnish

  • Make sure your painting is arid and clean before applying the varnish.
  • Read the label on the varnish for any safety instructions, and use protective equipment if necessary.
  • Do a test patch of the varnish on a piece of paper or canvas to see how it will affect the sheen of your painting.
  • Use a large synthetic flat brush or wash brush to apply the varnish in thin, light coats.
  • Don’t over-brush, as this can cause the varnish to dry with a gray finish.
  • Leave the painting to dry for 72 hours to 2 weeks before applying additional coats of varnish.
  • Sign your name on the painting before applying the final coat of varnish.

Adding a Frame

  • Measure the dimensions of your painting and purchase a picture frame that will fit it properly.
  • The style of your painting should match the style of the frame. A classic wooden frame would be appropriate if you have a traditional painting, while a modern one would look better in a sleek metal frame.
  • The color of the frame should complement the colors in your painting. A black or white frame will be a good option if your artwork has a neutral color palette.

Protecting Your Artwork with Glass or Acrylic Covers

  • Measure the dimensions of your painting, including the frame, if you have one.
  • Purchase a glass or acrylic cover that is the appropriate size and shape to protect painting appropriately.
  • Carefully place the glass or acrylic cover over the painting, ensuring it is centered and straight.
  • Use mounting hardware to secure the cover for the painting. This can include clips, screws, or adhesive strips.

Why is it Important to Finish Acrylic Paintings?

Finishing an acrylic painting is an essential step in the painting process as it helps to protect the painting from damage, enhances its appearance, and preserves its longevity. A final coat of varnish or sealant can protect the painting from dust, UV rays, and other environmental factors. It also gives the painting a glossy or matte finish, depending on the type of varnish you choose.

Final Thoughts

Finishing an acrylic painting is an essential step in the painting process. It not only enhances the appearance of the painting but also protects it from damage and preserves its longevity. Following the techniques and tips outlined in this guide, you can efficiently finish your acrylic paintings and create a beautiful and polished final product. 

If you're looking for professional help to finish your acrylic painting, you can reach out to us at Memorialize Art. We have a team of experienced artists who can help you finish your acrylic painting. We also create a wide range of acrylic paintings tailored to your requirements.

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