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‘Sticky’ acrylic paints

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Helpful notes on acrylic paint from Ilaekae of the ConceptArt forums. I went searching after noticing that my acrylic-painted Sculpey dinosaur was still sticky after a week.

I think what you’re questioning isn’t a “drying” problem as much as it is a natural tendency for many plastics to be “sticky” or “soft” to the touch. The copolymers used in painting don’t become “hard” the way an oil painting or varnish does, especially in heavy straight applications, but have a through-and-through softness that is normal to the medium. That’s why your fingernail mark pops back out to some degree, and why you can make a mark in the first place. This causes problems with dirt and nicotine/smoke in the air collecting on the paint surface faster than with varnished pieces and oils. It also causes MAJOR problem if acrylic paintings are stored face to face, or pushed up against each other front to back. NEVER stack paintings on canvas panels on top of each other–the weight of the pile will make them stick together enough to damage them when you try to separate them. This isn’t as big a problem when additives (sand, glass beads, dirt, etc.) are added to increase the texture/thickness of the paint since it breaks up the slick uniform surface.

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Written by krysjez

October 23, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Posted in Painting, Tips

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