Which acrylic paint set is best?
For anyone who feels the need to express themselves creatively, painting is one of the most satisfying hobbies around. You can choose from various types of paint, but acrylics are often the easiest to use because they quickly dry and are easy to clean. They work well no matter your skill level, so you can create projects as simple or complex as you like.
A top pick is COOL BANK’s Acrylic Paint Set, which features an array of paints plus canvases and other supplies you need to start painting right away.
What to know before you buy an acrylic paint set
Student vs. professional
Acrylics are suitable for any skill level but some sets are designed specifically for students, while other sets are meant for professional painters or those with more experience.
Acrylic sets for students typically feature paint with a greater amount of filler to balance out the pigment. This makes them more affordable, although the paint shades aren’t very bright or vibrant.
Professional acrylic sets feature a higher concentration of pigment so the colors are more vivid. There’s a wider selection of shade options, and they generally last longer because a little bit goes a long way. Professional acrylics don’t lose their vibrancy over time, either.
If you’re new to painting, an acrylic set with several basic shades is usually your best bet. More experienced painters prefer larger sets, which offer a wider range of shades.
The best shades to have in a set depends on personal preference and the style of art you create, but some basic shades to look for include:
- Titanium white
- Ivory black
- Raw sienna
- Burnt umber
- Alizarin crimson
- Cadmium red
- Phthalo blue
- Ultramarine blue
- Cadmium yellow
What to look for in a quality acrylic paint set
A paint’s permanence refers to its durability and ability to resist fading once applied to paper or canvas. An acrylic paint set highly rated for permanence allows you to create artwork that holds up well for years.
American Standard Test Measures (ASTM) International, one of the largest international standards organizations in the world, rates paint on a scale of I to III, with I being incredibly permanent and III being not very permanent. Some paint manufacturers may use these ratings to let you know about a paint’s durability, but others may utilize their own system. Read the fine print to make sure you understand how permanent a set of acrylics is.
A paint’s viscosity refers to its thickness. If you prefer acrylic paint that shows brushstrokes and allows you to mix colors readily, opt for a set with high viscosity. For dry-brush techniques or watercolor effects, use an acrylic set with lower viscosity paints.
It’s easier to thin paint than to thicken it, so if you’re new to using acrylics, it’s best to start with higher viscosity paints and adjust as necessary.
A big selling point of acrylic paint is its fast drying time—but you don’t want the paint to dry out on your brush as you’re working. Look for an acrylic set that stays wet for up to an hour. You can usually work them for several hours after application, which increases their flexibility.
In addition to the number of shades included in an acrylic set, pay attention to the amount of paint in each tube. If you’re trying a new brand, smaller containers with approximately 2 ounces per tube are better. Once you know you like a brand’s formula, you can upgrade to larger tubes.
Some acrylic paint sets include other tools and supplies in addition to the paint itself. These are ideal for beginners since you have everything you need to start painting in a single set.
You can find sets that come with brushes, a palette, canvases, palette knives, sponges and other tools. If you opt for one of these all-in-one kits, look for one with a case that keeps all the pieces organized.
How much you can expect to spend on an acrylic paint set
You can pay $10 or less for a basic set of acrylics that contains nothing but paint. For $15 to $30, you get a wider range of shades and even some brushes and canvases. If you’re willing to spend $50 to $100, there are kits with up to 72 shades or sets with fewer shades but accessories such as canvases, a desktop easel and brushes.
Acrylic paint set FAQ
What are the benefits of using acrylic paints?
A. Acrylic paints are suitable for use on a variety of materials, which makes them more versatile than other types of paint. They’re water-based, which allows for easy cleanup, and they dry quickly. Most acrylics are nontoxic.
Can you use acrylic paints with oil paints?
A. Acrylics and oils don’t really play well together. You usually can apply oil paints over acrylics, but acrylics don’t work well over oils.
What’s the best acrylic paint set to buy?
Top acrylic paint set
What you need to know: This comprehensive kit with paints and tools is excellent for both new painters and old pros.
What you’ll love: It comes with 24 acrylic paints, canvases, an acrylic pad, paintbrushes, a palette and sponges. It includes a gift box. The formula is nontoxic and blends well.
What you should consider: The paints are a bit thinner than some buyers expected.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top acrylic paint set for the money
What you need to know: This is a budget-friendly set for beginners that features all the basics.
What you’ll love: It includes 24 different shades. The paints are nontoxic and dry quickly. The set comes with 12 brushes and a mixing knife.
What you should consider: The paints can be somewhat difficult to blend.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This is an acrylic set that features a wide array of colors for anyone who wants variety.
What you’ll love: It comes with 60 vibrant colors and includes a durable storage box with removable shelves. Paints blend and spread easily. The formula is nontoxic.
What you should consider: Some tubes arrive with faulty lids.
Where to buy: Sold at Amazon
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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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