Why is my Acrylic Painting Shiny – A guide for beginners

Are you facing the issue of shiny acrylic painting? You have finished your painting and are shocked to see the excessive shine on the painting’s surface. If you are a beginner you might think about this unnecessary glow or shine in your artwork. It’s ok don’t fear.

In this blog post, we will deliver the factors that directly and indirectly denote the shine of acrylic paintings and also provide you with useful tips on this art tour. Acrylic paint is commonly known for its stability as well as its fast drying process.  However, let’s unlock the secrets of” Why is my acrylic painting shiny”.

Why is your acrylic painting shiny?

Acrylic painting gets extra shiny due to the texture of the brushstrokes, light conditions, the use of gloss items, the nature of paints, and the use of poor-quality paints.

Table of Contents

Recommended: Beginner's guide to the acrylic painting

1. The texture of the brushstrokes

The texture of the brushstrokes is the important factor that directly contributes to the shining of acrylic painting. If you apply the texture of paint with even or smooth, brush strokes may cause a glossy finish. On the other hand, applying the dry brush method can be effective in creating a matte finish.

2. Light conditions

Sometimes lights can also cause your painting to look shiny. Direct light like sunlight or artificial light may reflect with the paper or surface causing your painting to look extra glossy. To solve this issue, change the angle of the light or painting to see the actual gloss and shine, and then you can accurately finish your painting.

3. Nature of paint

Although acrylic paints dry with a matte finish some acrylic paints dry with a little bit glossy finish. Acrylic paints have an inherent nature that contains water, and shiny surfaces. Whatever you do with the paints, just make sure that it was designed for your working style and paints.

4. Low-quality paints

Quality also affects the painting. Low-quality paints contain fillers that can contribute to increased shine. Invest in high-quality acrylic paints that have high pigment. Use acrylic paints with a matte finish.

How do you make acrylic paint less shiny?

If you want your painting to look less shiny, here are some methods. Firstly, add a matte medium to your painting process. Mix matte medium in your acrylic paints that can help to reduce shine remember to add matte according to your wanted results.

Secondly, you can also use satin varnishing which helps to reduce glossy finishing. You need to apply it when you finish your painting and make sure to apply it on the surface. Also give it the proper time to dry.

Thirdly, use dry brushes.

Before applying paints you should need to prepare the surface of your painting with the mette or gesso primer. Put many layers if needed for a smooth and less glossy surface.

Finally, try to change the brand of your acrylic paints with better results such as Liquitex.

Interested in oil painting? Read beginner's guide for acrylic painting. 

What finish is better for acrylic painting, gloss or matte?

Which finish is better for acrylic painting depends on your personality as well as your creations. Each finish has its qualities and characteristics. Glossy finishing gives a bright, shiny, and reflective surface. It can sharpen your paint colors and also provide a deep richness to your painting. But it also helps to protect from dust, dirt, and UV harm.

On the other hand, matte provides a non-reflective surface that provides a flash of strong lightning and doesn’t look very glossy.

Is acrylic paint shiny when dry?

Yes, acrylic paint is shiny when dry it takes 10-30 minutes to dry. the reason is that it contains polymer emulsion that forms a tiny film when acrylic paint dries, it reflects light, and as a result, your painting looks shiny. But the main important thing is that it varies from brand to brand.

What makes acrylic painting shiny?

Here are some mediums that make the acrylic painting shiny:

  1. Glossy mediums
  2. Varnishing
  3. Multiple layers
  4. Paaint’s quality
  5. Wet look

What makes acrylic painting matte?

Here are some things that make the acrylic painting matte:

  1. Matte medium
  2. Water content
  3. The thickness of the painting layers
  4. Matte varnishing

Does varnish the acrylic painting shiny?

Yes, varnish makes the acrylic painting shiny. Varnishing creates a protective layer on the surface. As the wrapping makes any item protected from dust and as a result, the product looks shinier in the wrapper. There are two kinds of varnishing including matte and satin varnish. Satin varnish provides a rough surface but glossy varnish provides a shiny surface.

Use varnish according to the level that you want in your painting surface. If you apply varnish, it will increase the depth of your painting, intensify the colors as well and provide a high shine. But if you don’t want the glossy look but want matte, you should try satin varnishes.

How to fix an overgloss in acrylic painting?

If your painting looks shinier and you want to reduce it here are some steps to resolve this issue. Firstly, dry your painting completely. It can take 10-30 minutes or maybe 2 hours depending on the thickness of the paint. When your painting is completely dry, apply a matte varnish on the extra glossy surface.


Is acrylic paint glossy?

Yes, acrylic paint is glossy. it is naturally glossy and also has a reflective quality in acrylic paint. but you can mix gloss and matte to gain semi-gloss.

Is acrylic paint matte?

Yes, acrylic paint is matte too. It is also a matte look quality.

What are the names of gloss mediums for acrylic painting?

1. Liquitex gloss medium & varnish 
2. Golden gloss medium 
3. Windsor & Newton professional acrylic gloss medium 
4. Amsterdam acrylic medium gloss
5. Grumbacher acrylic painting medium gloss
6. Matisse polymer gloss varnish

Final Words

In the end, the purpose of the blog is to explore why your acrylic painting looks shiny Light is a factor that involves making the painting shiny another reason is the nature of the paint when it dries painting looks shiny. However, the use of gloss varnish, light conditions, and texture or brushstrokes also paint quality play an important role. Some people want more glossy and some want matte looks so there are many ways to control and adjust gloss and matte according to their preferences. Like matte mediums, dry brushes and vanish ways to gain a stain and matte look in your painting 

Ultimately the option between shiny and matte depends on everybody’s personality as well as their creative techniques. I hope this blog will help you in your artistic future. 

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