The Waving Flag: Painting Tips #5a - Matting Acrylics With Talc

Monday 19 September 2011

Painting Tips #5a - Matting Acrylics With Talc

Back in May I wrote about my discovery that cosmetic talc could be used as an effective matting agent for acrylic paint. After using it for three months I thought I would comment on what I’ve learnt.
  • I’ve settled into a pattern of filling one of my palette wells with dry talc.  This is so much more convenient than opening a bottle every time. 
  • I use a wet brush to pick up some talc and mix it with the paint.  I’ve also found that it’s not necessary to clean the brush beforehand.  The talc sticks to the paint and the talc left in the well stays clean.  This is a very useful property
  • I’ve also found that the easiest way to matt a portion of paint is to add two or three  “dipped brushfuls” of talc.  I stop adding talc just as the paint starts to look like a paste.  I then thin the mix with just enough water to make the paint flow again.
This method has worked with paints from Vallejo, Rackham, Miniature Paints, Coat d’Arms and various craft paints.  I’m so used to doing this, that I curse myself when I forget (and end up with a shiny layer of paint).

It’s really far too early to tell if this affects the adhesion properties of the paint in use but I haven't experienced even the slightest issue so far.

Finally, I’ve have treated whole bottles of paints but I’ve been careful not to add too much talc. I tend to add just enough talc so that I only have to add a final touch extra when the paint is on the palette.  I’ve also erred on the side of caution and added some matt medium after the talc just to maintain the fluidity of the paint in the bottle.  By the way the matt medium does not flatten the paint on it’s own: I tried that first!

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