Looking for a way to add a little extra luster to your acrylic paintings? Rather than purchasing a new set of paints, try spicing up your existing materials with an iridescent medium. Mix it with your acrylic base color, and your paint will not only have an iridescent shimmer but will also become slightly more transparent on the canvas. What’s more, the mix-in will slow the drying of your acrylics so you’ll have more working time, but it won’t compromise the stability of your pigments. Each product offers different levels of sparkle, drying time, and mixing ease. Ahead, find our favorite iridescent media for acrylic paints.
1. Liquitex Iridescent Effects Medium
Though this product can be mixed into your acrylic pigments, one by one, and painted on as you craft your masterpiece, it’s most often recommended as a base or a topcoat. When used, it will give your masterpiece that glistening and shine that it might not otherwise have when dry. As the medium makes acrylic paint a bit thinner and more malleable, we suggest using it if you are seeking a way to make your acrylic more fabric-friendly. Additionally, the Liquitex medium is designed to maintain the integrity of your paint pigments so that the original opacity is preserved even as the paint itself becomes thinner. The medium does have an odor, so be sure to use it in a well-ventilated area.
2. Winsor & Newton Acrylic Iridescent Medium
Winsor & Newton’s Galeria Acrylic Iridescent Medium is especially stellar when you’re painting with an airbrush. Consider using it on small models or figurines after detail painting has been done for a final, airbrushed coat. This medium’s price tag is considerably lower than others, so it’s a great budget option for nonprofessionals. Be aware, however, that the flexible container is hard to open and very easily spilled, so be careful or its beautiful luminance could wind up on the floor.
3. Golden Iridescent Acrylic Paint
Though the price tag is a bit higher than most, this iridescent medium from Golden Fluid is ranked among the best. The product boasts the consistency of a thick liquid, just slightly looser than acrylic paint itself, causing your pigmented iridescent mixture to thin a bit while still retaining its vibrance and tone. If you use this product alone, it will go on clear but will dry closer to light silver (hence the iridescence). So be sure to test the sheen, wet and dry, before applying.
4. Crafters Workshop Shimmery Goodness
Crafters Workshop Shimmery Goodness is slightly thicker than other brands’ offerings, so it’s put to best use when mixed into your acrylic paints from the get-go. Though it can still be applied on top of an already dried artwork, it may lighten what will show through from underneath. Packaged in a screw-top jar, it’s quite easy to work with, allowing you to paint with ease.
5. Pebeo Iridescent Medium
For putting a pearlized sheen on glass, porcelain, metal, or the like, consider using this medium instead of other, similar choices. Ideal for painting china or dishware, this medium is both dishwasher safe and nontoxic and will retain the initial painted pigment, even when it’s baked onto your pieces.