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How To Start Painting For Beginners

how to paint for absolute newbies
You don’t have to be Vincent Willem Van Gogh, Oscar-Claude Monet, Andrew Wyeth, or John Singer Sargent to enjoy painting. Anybody who has the desire can start painting. It may not be Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa or Grant Wood’s American Gothic, but it is your unique creation, your masterpiece.

With the right type of paint and brushes, you’re halfway there. If you’ve been around an artist, you’ll know the precision with which they choose their paint supplies. Working with the right material is almost as important as painting the masterpiece.

It’s fascinating to watch artists select the right brush. For a novice, the variety of brushes are overwhelming. Most beginners have no idea why the one brush is different from the one next to it on the shelf; to a novice, the brushes look the same.

Have you wondered how many potential artists never painted their masterpiece, because they crushed the idea without even trying? Perhaps they walked into an artist’s shop highly motivated to turn around and run away confused and overwhelmed with all the paints, brushes, and artist supplies on the shelves.

If you have a desire to paint but have no idea where to start, then this guide should help you get started.

What Do I Need To Begin Painting?

All artists, including beginners, need necessary art supplies. Many novices mistakenly buy the cheapest and purchase one of everything. Refrain from buying the whole spectrum of inexpensive items; instead, buy quality and the few essential basics.

The quality of the paint, brushes, and, paint surface influence the outcome of the painting. An established artist who paints with inadequate quality supplies will have a masterpiece that won’t last. The paint could crack, fade, or shift color; brush strokes may be mediocre and streaky, or the painting surface could crack or warp.

If you’re uncertain if you want to paint, and want to experiment first, keep in mind inadequate quality supplies may be more challenging to control. It may even put you off painting for life. It doesn’t mean you have to buy expensive art supplies; there are enough inexpensive alternatives to experiment with for a beginner painting.

Start with these art supplies and expand as you gain experience. Experiment with different paints and brushes while you’re learning how to paint. Then gradually add the items you prefer using.

  • The popular four types of paint are oil, acrylic, watercolor, and Gouache. Each type of paint has its characteristics.
  • Brushes come in different shapes, sizes, and handle length. Each type of brush as its function from broad strokes, applying wash layers, to round brushes for intricate details.
  • Painting surface. The secret of painting surfaces is if it was primed or not. The type of paint also limits what surface to use. Canvasses work well with oil and acrylic, for example, but not with watercolors.
  • Palette and palette knife. It’s good practice not to work directly from the paint tube or jar, but to squeeze the paint onto a palette. Use the palette with a palette knife to mix colors.
  • Paper towels. Use paper towels to clean the palette knife after mixing colors. Paper towels absorb paint and are very handy to quickly clean paint from a brush, to dry the brush between dips, remove excess paint from a surface, or to blot paint.
  • Paint thinning solutions. The type of paint prescribes the thinning solution used to dilute the color.
  • Protective clothing. Painting could be messy, and some paints may be tough to remove from clothes. Wear an old coat or shirt over your clothes.
  • Cleaning materials. It’s vital to work with clean paint brushes. Each type of paint requires different cleaning solutions. Here’s info on cleaning up after using acrylic paint.

The type of paint prescribes the paint supplies required. It influences the surfaces to paint on, the tools to apply the paint, and the cleaning methods.

Paint Supplies for Beginning Oil Painting Artists

  • Oil Paint. Compare colors in different brands. You’ll notice color tones differ. Start with primary colors and mix the rest of the colors needed. You could start with: Titanium White, Payne’s Grey, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, and Viridian.
  • The palette for mixing the paint. Use a palette with disposable pages, a glass surface, or a ceramic plate. Make sure the surface is large enough to mix all the required colors.
  • Initially, round paint brushes in small, medium, and large sizes will suffice. Later experiment with different brush tips and purchase the ones you prefer. Natural hair brushes maintain their shape after multiple uses but are expensive.
  • Painting Surface. Although canvas is the traditional choice for oil paintings, hardboard or any other surface work too if primed correctly. Purchase a primed canvas or prime the surface with gesso.
  • Turpentine or mineral spirits to clean the paint brushes. Paint thinning solutions are toxic and should be kept away from children. Avoid using turpentine in a closed environment; make sure there’s ample air flow.
  • A jar with coil inside for cleaning the brushes. Fill the jar with turpentine and swipe the brush against the coil to remove the paint.
  • Newspaper or old rags. After cleaning the paint brush, wipe it dry with newspaper or old rags. Keep the bristles of the brush together and wipe from the back of the brush forward.
  • Linseed Oil. To thin oil paint without losing its vibrant color, use linseed oil. It’s the equivalent of using water for acrylic and watercolor paints.

Paint Supplies for Starting To Paint in Acrylic Paint

  • Acrylic Paint. The paint comes in various sizes and containers. The 2 oz tubes or jars are adequate and a nice size to test multiple brands. You could start painting with these ten colors: Titanium White, Ivory Black, Burnt Sienna, Dioxazine Purple, Phthalo Blue, Phthalo Green, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Orange, and Cadmium Yellow. Alternatively, buy a set of Acrylic Paint instead of individual colors.
  • Novices may start with mid-sized brushes and expand as necessary. Use round pointed paintbrushes for detail and the flat rectangular brushes to cover large areas and blend paint. Synthetic bristle brushes clean easier than natural bristles and work well with acrylic paint.
  • Palette Knife. Use the palette knife to mix the colors and to clean the surface of the palette. A palette knife is also a painting knife that creates a specific texture with acrylic paint.
  • Paint surfaces. Acrylic paint works well on most surfaces prepared with acrylic gesso: canvas, MDF (medium density fiberboard), heavyweight paper for acrylics, or watercolor paper. Student grade watercolor paper is an expensive surface for practicing.
  • Artist Palette. Gone are the days that a wooden palette is the artists only choice.  An artist palette should be comfortable to use and big enough to squeeze out the required paint.
  • Jar with water. Acrylic paint dries quickly. To keep brushes subtle wash the brush with water after use. When taking a break, insert the paintbrushes in a jar to avoid the paint drying between the bristles.
  • Old rags or paper towel. Dry the paintbrush thoroughly when you’re finished painting.
  • Spray bottle with water. Mist the paint to keep it moist and prevent it from drying too quickly on the artist palette.

Necessary Paint Supplies for Watercolor Painting

  • Watercolor paint. The paint is inexpensive and is available in tubes, pans, or liquid. For beginners, a watercolor paint set provides a range of colors.
  • Watercolor brushes are synthetic, soft, with long hairs. Use a flat brush to lay the wash and round brushes for painting detail.
  • Watercolor paper. The heavier the weight of the watercolor paper, the thicker the sheet and the more water it absorbs before buckling. Use a 90lb paper when experimenting with paint and techniques. Generally, 140lb watercolor paper works well after stretched. The 300lb paper is as thick as cardboard, the priciest, and best quality. Cold press paper isn’t completely smooth but creates texture that is popular for watercolor paintings.
  • Two large water containers. Painting with a clean brush is of utmost importance with watercolor painting. Clean the brush after each color. Use the second container to wet the brush before applying the color.
  • The colors dry differently than how it looks on the palette. Apply ample paint to the palette for laying washes and for mixing purposes.
  • Water and soap. When done for the day, wash brushes with soap and running water.
  • Paper towels or rags. Dry paintbrushes thoroughly with a paper towel or clean cloths. Reshape the brush tips before storing it in an upright position.

Paint Supplies for Gouache Painting

  • Gouache paint. Black, white, red, blue, and yellow are the essential primary colors. All other colors and variants can be mixed, combining these colors. The six- to twelve-color painting for beginners’ kits may benefit novices who want to focus on how to paint and don’t want to mix too many colors initially.
  • Synthetic watercolor brushes are soft enough to paint with Gouache. Start with a broad brush for painting large areas and applying washes. One fine round brush and a larger round brush would be enough in the beginning to paint detail.
  • Painting surfaces. Watercolor paper, thick drawing paper, Bristol boards, wood, and illustration boards are great painting surfaces. Although gouache paint works better on canvas than watercolor paint, it’s not an ideal painting surface.
  • Water containers. Use water to clean brushes. Keep brushes in water to prevent drying of paint while painting.
  • Mix Gouache paint on a palette using a palette knife. A disposable paper palette or ceramic plate is an inexpensive option for beginners learning how to paint. For lighter colors, mix the paint with water or white pigment.
  • Paper towels or rags. Dry brushes thoroughly after cleaning before storing. Use paper towels to dry brushes after dipping in water and before applying the paint.

What Type of Paint Should A Beginner Start With?

Each type of paint has its benefits and disadvantage; one kind of paint isn’t better than the other, only different. Beginners painting should experiment with oil, acrylic, watercolor, and Gouache to decide which medium they prefer.

Watercolor paint is probably the cheapest of the four types of paint. Dry layers of oil and acrylic paints, however, aren’t disturbed when painted over.

Oil Paint and Acrylic Paint

Oil paint colors are intense, giving you a rich, lustrous result. Oil paint takes weeks to dry. In cold, wet winters it may even take longer. For beginners, a slow drying paint gives them ample time to experiment. They have enough time to change aspects of their painting.

Additional care is needed to transport oil paintings during the drying stage. The art takes up space while drying. Acrylic paints, however, dry quickly, within minutes or a few hours, which is convenient for storage and transport purposes.

Fast drying acrylic paint requires working fast and accurate. There’s not much time to rectify mistakes, whereas oil paintings you have the freedom of time. Both allow for painting over the dry paint.

Despite the variety of paint colors available, most artists find they mix specific colors to create the right nuance.  Oil paints blend easily. The slow drying oil pants allow artists to use the same paint days later or to mix a slightly darker or lighter shade you need. It’s not as easy with acrylic paints.

Acrylic paints cost less than oil paints. Oil paints tend to be expensive but may last longer. Acrylic paint is an excellent choice for beginners who paint fast and aren’t interested in mixing too many variations of color. Oil paint may be more expensive, but it is more flexible to use. Novices may linger over their painting and take their time in mixing the paints. There’s less wastage. While learning how to paint, beginners may miscalculate how much paint they need. The slow drying oil paint gives the artist time to use the excess on another canvas.

Acrylic paints are versatile and mimic oil paints and watercolor paints. Over time acrylic paint colors grow darker.

Watercolor Paint and Gouache

Gouache is also called watercolors with chalk or opaque watercolor paints. Although both, Gouache and watercolor paints are water-based paints with gum Arabic as the binder agent, the addition of white pigments changes how gouache paint reacts.

When painting over a dry layer of oil or acrylic paints, the lower layers aren’t affected. Gouache and watercolor paint layers, however, may lift or blend when painting over a dry coat.

The transparency of watercolors allows light through, which reflects off the white paper. The layers of transparent colors create the intricate beauty of watercolor paintings and textured effects not possible with gouache paint. Gouache paint contains white pigment or chalk, causing an opaquer color than watercolor paints. The light is absorbed and doesn’t reflect in the same manner as with transparent watercolor paint. Gouache paintings have a matte finish that photographers like.

Where watercolors are famous for its washes, gouache paints have larger pigments and in higher concentration than watercolors, creating the opaque effect. Gouache washes aren’t as transparent as watercolor washes.

Unlike watercolors, if an artist changes their mind painting with oils, they can easily scrape off the paint or paint over an area. Once the watercolor is applied on the watercolor paper, the section is no longer white. Although watercolor washes off, it is challenging to control the flow of water. Watercolor painting requires some planning to decide which areas of the paper stay white. The white of the paper is used as “white paint” instead of white colored paint.

Gouache paint is thicker than watercolor paints and easier to control and to cover up mistakes. The thicker paint with more pigments results in stronger colors than color washes created with watercolor paint.

Both use water to mix and dilute the paint colors. Gouache also uses white paint for mixing lighter colors. Lighter colors require more water (or white paint) than the darker shades. Where watercolors are always painted from light layers to darker, gouache paint is versatile.

Painting with watercolor is an inexpensive option for beginners. Correct mistakes by applying a wash layer or start over by rinsing the paint off under running water. Watercolor paint is water-based and dries the fastest of the four kinds of paint. The paint pigment stains the paper and isn’t easy to remove when dry. Gouache paint isn’t absorbed into the paper but deposited as a layer on top of the paper.

Illustrators and the graphic artist may prefer Gouache paint to watercolors. It’s easier to control and can create solid color blocks that aren’t always possible with watercolors. Gouache, however, dries fast like watercolor paints, limiting the artist’s painting time.

Gouache paint works well with watercolor and acrylic paints. Use watercolors to create translucent washes and acrylic over the Gouache paint to accentuate a detail.

Miscellaneous Tips For The Beginning Painter / Artist

Clean Your Brushes

Clean paint brushes after each paint session. Fast drying paints like acrylic, Gouache, and watercolor paints should be washed off the paintbrush immediately. Acrylic, Gouache, and watercolor paints rinse off with water. Oil paint, however, requires turpentine for cleaning the brushes.

Mix Colors

Buy primary colors and mix the rest. Although you’ll prefer specific colors, each painting has its unique nuances and tones. It’s impossible to possess all the colors displayed in nature, but it’s easy to mix all the variants with primary colors.

When mixing colors, avoid mixing more than two or three colors. Too many colors create a muddy hue. When the color looks right, stop mixing.

Palette Paint Order

Always lay out the colors on the palette in the same order. It saves time, which is vital when painting with fast-drying paints. With the vast array of mixed colors on the palette, it’s easier to find a specific color without becoming frustrated with the holdup of searching for a color.

Student versus Artist Grade Paint

Student grade paints are inexpensive compared to professional or artist grade paints. Artist grade paints, however, contain a higher concentration of pigments and last longer. Student grade paints use more fillers and often lower grade pigments. The artist-grade paint could be double to three times the price of a similar color in student grade.

Acrylic paint becomes slightly darker in color when it dries. The reason is the binder, acrylic polymer which is white and becomes translucent when the paint dries. Student grade paints contain more white filler than the artistic grade, hence the more significant color shift. Cheaper brands use more fillers and less pigment resulting in more considerable changes of color.

Brands Differ

The same color may slightly differ from brand to brand; it could have a more yellow or blue undertone. Test the various brands and decide which you prefer.

Posture Care

Paint brushes with long handles are ideal for painting on an easel. Painting from a distance don’t overexert your posture, and it allows you to see the whole canvas while painting. Short handled brushes work ideally for a closeup, detailed and precision strokes.

An easel fixed at the correct height will support your posture and avoid unnecessary forward bending. A stand-up easel allows the artist to sit and paint if standing becomes too tiring.

Protective Clothing

No matter how neat and tidy you are as a person, painting is messy. Wear an artist overcoat or other protective clothing, like an old shirt or coat, to avoid paint stains on your clothes.

Avoid Caked Brushes

Some paints dry quickly. During a painting session, soak brushes in the appropriate solution to avoid dry paint sticking to the bristles. Caked paint may transfer onto the painting surface or to paint on the palette resulting in brownish, dirty looking colors.

Reuse Paint

Reduce waste and reuse excess paint on palettes. Store palettes with oil paints in the freezer for reuse. Water-based paints will last longer with lids; add water when ready to use.

Protect Watercolor Paintings

Watercolor needs glass to cover it when hanging. Avoid hanging watercolor paintings in direct sunlight; the colors may fade faster. Gouache paintings also require protective glass or layer of varnish.

Primed Canvas

Avoid working on unprimed canvas. You’ll waste paint that soaks into the canvas and weakens the canvas. Priming your canvas saves costs and allows the artist to create a texture they want.

Beginners Painting Fun

Learn the basic techniques of how to paint, but don’t let it limit your creativity. Painting for beginners should be fun. Be patient. Like any other skill, practice improves technique. Experiment with paint types, brushes, and paint surfaces; versatility is part of the attraction and pleasure of painting.

Awesome Interactive Tools To Explore The World of Color

Whether you are a kitted out professional or an at home amateur, photography and image manipulation are among the most popular hobbies in the world. This passion to explore color has lead to the flourishing industry of online photo sharing that is now a huge part of the web and social networking. Facebook is the largest online photo sharing site and credits a large amount of its success to image sharing and tagging to strengthen users social networks.

With so much photo sharing services a common part of student life, here are 5 online tools that dig a little deeper than just tagging a friend.

Jump In And Explore Color:

MulticolrMulticolr Search Lab

Multicolr Search Lab lets students select a specific color or selection of colors up to a maximum of five. It will then retrieve images from Flickr that match the color map selected. This can be a great alternative search method to typing keywords, and is a fantastic image exploration tool as small changes can bring entirely different results.

Fractus MosaicImage Mosaic Generator

Image Mosaic Generator is a very basic tool to use but creates a really impressive final product to explore color. Most people would be familiar with image mosaics, where  many small images are collaged by color and pattern to form a single large image. With Image Mosaic Generator, it is simply a matter of uploading the large image you want to mosaic. The app will then collect and arrange random photos to create the final image.

There are more complex tools that will allow you select the library or photo type to use for the mosaic, but they are inherently more time consuming to produce. These mosaics are great for creating tributes to certain people or a creative way of presenting holiday photos.


Panoramio is a long time photo sharing service based on photo geo-location rather than keywords or tags. It means students can explore maps of the earth or their local area and see photos that have been taken in certain locations. It is a great way to explore maps as well as find photographs from around the world.

A Panoramio (a Google product itself) layer can also be enabled in Google Earth to further enhance the feeling of exploration.

Tag BrowserFlickr Tag Browser

The Flickr Tag Browser is a really fun way to explore images. Type in a word and the browser will bring up a postcard of related images. It will also surround the images with related keywords to further enhance the search. This is a great way to find images when you are not quite sure what you want. The interface has also been created in a very interactive fashion so that younger students will find it simple and enjoyable to use.

Google Search By Image

Google image search has been around for a long time and is a very popular way to scour the web for photos. Around 3 months ago Google updated the search function so you can drag and drop an image into the search bar and return images that match the visual look. This is great when students are looking for the original source of an image or for images that are similar in appearance.

There are so many brilliant tools out there to manage, manipulate and search images… What does your class use to explore color? Even if you are normally into painting did you find the article helpful?

Acrylic Paint: What’s the Best Way To Clean Up After Painting?

You get all of your supplies out, ready to start a new painting, only to find that you have the last project’s acrylic paint everywhere. Acrylic paint can be stubborn to remove, especially when it dries on your clothing, paintbrushes, or your palettes. This article will discuss how to clean up acrylic paint no matter where it ends up within your art station.

Avoid Trouble to Begin: Don’t Let Acrylic Paint Dry

Acrylic paint is one of the most commonly used mediums for painting. Unlike oil paints, acrylic is famous for is its ability to dry quickly. However, this same quality is one of the reasons many artists let their paint dry onto surfaces.

The Sooner You Can Clean, the Better

Because acrylic paint dries so fast, it is crucial to get it cleaned up as soon as you can. The last thing you want to do is let it dry completely; otherwise, the paint may be forever stuck to your brushes.

If you do need to step away before you clean the area, keep the areas with paint wet. Acrylic paint is water-soluble, so keeping water on it can delay the drying process.

Paintbrushes are the most important items to keep dried acrylic paint off of in your artist toolbox. Acrylic paint can seep in between the small, porous bristles and essentially glue them together.

Cleaning Tips for Various Situations

Paintbrushes, palettes, and clothing are the most common areas for acrylic paint to be let to dry accidentally. Here is how to clean up acrylic paint off of them. 

How to Clean Acrylic From Brushes

Paintbrushes with acrylic paint on them can be the most challenging to clean, especially if the paint hardens to the bristles. The last thing you want to do is ruin expensive paintbrushes by making the paint get crusty and damage the bristles.

Synthetic Brushes

If paint hardens onto a synthetic paintbrush’s bristles, it can do a lot of damage. Synthetic brushes are made with nylon or polyester, so it is best to avoid any harsh chemicals or paint thinners as they can damage the bristles. The best way to clean a synthetic paintbrush is to use natural cleaners. 

Here is how to clean synthetic brushes if the paint is still wet:

  1. Gently wipe any excess paint off of the brush. Be careful not to pull too hard; otherwise, you may pull out the bristles. 
  2. Rinse the paintbrushes in lukewarm water to remove the excess paint. Avoid using hot water because the heat will cause the hairs to fall out. 
  3. Wipe the paintbrush on a cloth to remove any leftover paint.
  4. Pour a little bit of a gentle dishwashing liquid into a container with water. Lather up the paintbrush within the container to thoroughly clean all of the paint from the bristles. 
  5. Rinse the brushes in water to remove soap and gently shake to remove the water.
  6. Shape the strands back to their original shape.
  7. Let the brush dry on a flat surface at room temperature. If you wash multiple brushes at once, make sure not to dry them too closely. It is important not to let paintbrushes dry with the bristles down; otherwise, the brush will dry misshapen.

Natural Brushes

Brushes made with natural brushes are much easier to clean. They can withstand chemical washes, so you will have an easier time removing any dried paint in the bristles. Though natural brushes can be a bit more pricey, they are well worth it. If the paint on your brushes is still wet, repeat the same steps as synthetic brushes above. 

Paint thinner is one option to get dried-out paint from natural brushes. Dip your paintbrush in a container with paint thinner, and swirl it around. Repeat the process as necessary until all of the excess paint is off of the bristles. 

You may also use cleaners specialized in removing acrylic paint. Winsor & Newton Brush Cleaner & Restorer is an excellent option to remove any pesky crusted-on acrylic paint.

cleaning up acrylic paint can be challenging
Artist painting at easel in studio

How To Clean Acrylic Paint From Clothes

As soon as you notice the paint, clean up as much as you can while it’s still wet. After removing the paint, you can put the clothing into your washing machine. Add a gentle detergent and place your temperature settings on “cool.” Warm water can cause the stain to heat-set.

If you cannot use your washing machine right away, place the clothing in water until you can. The best thing you can do is keep the paint wet and keep it from drying.

Do not worry if the paint has already dried; you have a few options to get it removed from your clothing.

Try Hairspray

Surprisingly, hairspray is an excellent method to get stains out of clothing – even acrylic paint. Hairspray contains alcohol which can assist you in removing pesky stains. Typically, cheaper hairspray brands will have the highest alcohol percentages.

Soak the area with paint with the hairspray completely until the spot softens. Allow it to soak into the site for several minutes. Then, wipe off as much paint as you can get. Run lukewarm water over the area, and place it into the washing machine.

Use Fingernail Polish Remover or Acetone

Fingernail polish works great not only to remove polish but also to remove acrylic paint. If you are worried that the acetone may harm your clothing, test a small spot that’s hidden first.

Soak a cotton ball or cloth with the acetone and press it over the paint. Gently hold it onto the stain to allow the acetone to soak in. After the paint loosens, scrape the small pieces off and wipe them away. Rinse off the acetone and place it in the water.

If All Else Fails, Try a Stain Remover

There are multiple commercial stain removers on the market that can assist in removing acrylic paint stains. With some stain removers, you will only need to use them as pretreatment, while others can go directly onto the stain. Read the directions on your chosen stain remover carefully.

Grandma’s Secret Spot Remover is one of the best nontoxic stain removers. This stain remover is chlorine, bleach, and toxic-free but works great to remove tough stains.

How To Clean Your Palette

Many artists keep their brushes taken care of and let their palettes amass lots of paint spots. Luckily, there are methods to clean just about any palette material.

Cleaning a Wooden Palette

When using a wooden palette for acrylic paint, try only to use the amount of color you intend to use. Though this can be a little challenging for artists to do sometimes, it’ll help maintain the quality of your wooden palette. 

Here is the best way to clean your wooden palette:

  1. Scrape off the paint using a palette knife.
  2. Apply a light layer of a solvent to remove any leftover paint. Let it soak for a few minutes. 
  3. Use a paper towel to wipe off the palette.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 as necessary.
  5. Use a paper towel with linseed oil, gently rub it into your wooden palette and let it dry completely.

Cleaning a Plastic, Glass, or Ceramic Palette

Cleaning acrylic paint off the plastic, glass, or ceramic palettes is typically easier than wooden. 

Here is the best way to clean your plastic, glass, or ceramic palette:

  1. Use a paper towel to remove any paint.
  2. Lather a sponge with soap and water to scrub away any excess paint or residue.
  3. If the acrylic paint has dried, you may be able to peel it off. After peeling off any leftover paint, use soapy water to remove any residue.
  4. Rinse with clean water and allow to dry.

Safety Tips When Using Acrylic Paint

Depending on the brand of acrylic paint, it may or may not have toxic chemicals. Even if you use nontoxic acrylic paint, it is still best to work with it carefully.

Even if you have been painting for years, it is never too late to sharpen your safety knowledge, especially if you have kids or dogs running around.

Is Acrylic Paint Toxic?

Many acrylic paints are nontoxic and primarily safe for artists and professional painters. However, acrylic paint may still contain chemicals harmful to pets and humans.

Paint in a Ventilated Area

Although acrylic paint is known to be a paint that doesn’t produce a lot of fumes, it is vital to use them in a well-ventilated space. To further your safety from potentially harmful fumes, choose paint brands that are naturally derived.

Avoid as Much Paint From Touching Skin Directly

You may notice that the label on your acrylic paint states that it is “nontoxic.” In some cases, this label doesn’t refer to humans but the intended surfaces for acrylic paint. Even paints with nontoxic labels can be harmful and irritate your skin.

Avoid Eating or Drinking While Painting

If you are an avid painter, you may have had a scare or two accidentally picking up your water paint cup, thinking it was your drinking glass. Keeping your food and drinks away from your painting area can help prevent you from subconsciously grabbing the wrong cup. This is an easy mix-up to make when you are lost in your work. 

When snacking, you may transfer some paint from your hands or station onto your food. Ingesting small amounts of acrylic paint isn’t usually too serious. However, if you ingest a large amount of paint, it is possible to get poisoning, and you will need to call poison control immediately.

Wear a Mask if Airbrushing

Even though you should always work with paints in a ventilated area, it is imperative when airbrushing. When airbrushing with acrylic paint, tiny paint particles will blow all around you and can be easy to inhale. If you are an airbrush artist, wear a respirator or a high-quality face mask to keep particles out of your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Questions & Answers

Here are the most commonly asked questions regarding cleaning up after acrylic paint.

Does acrylic paint clean up with water?

No, acrylic paint does not clean up with just water on it’s own. If you get to acrylic paint while it is still wet, water can help with the process but won’t be enough all by itself.

Is Acrylic Paint Easy to Clean Up?

Acrylic paints are water-based; therefore, they are typically easy to clean up. Use a plastic, glass, or ceramic palette for the easiest clean-up after painting. Unlike wooden palettes, nonporous palettes allow you to remove hardened paint easily. However, it is important to keep paint from drying onto paintbrushes or clothing as it can be challenging to remove.

Can You Wash Acrylic Paint Down the Drain?

No, it would be best not to wash acrylic paint down the drain. Throw away as much of the acrylic paint as you can. When removing excess paint, use a paper towel. Clumping cat litter is one method you may use to dispose of paint water. Allow the paint water to clump up and dispose of it in the garbage.

What is the Best Method to Remove Paint From the Carpet?

Use a paper towel in lukewarm water to scoop up as much paint as you can get out of the carpet and dispose of it in the trash. Mix one teaspoon of mild dishwashing detergent for every cup of lukewarm water. Soak a rag in the mixture and gently blot the stain from the outside in. Once you have removed all paint, allow the carpet to dry, and follow up with the vacuum.

How Can I Remove Acrylic Paint from Surfaces?

Denatured alcohol can work to remove most acrylic paint stains. Use a cloth or cotton ball to absorb the denatured alcohol, and gently press over the stain for about a minute. Use small circular motions on the stain until it softens. Use soapy water to clean the area and remove any leftover alcohol. 

Will Vinegar Remove Acrylic Paint?

If you get acrylic paint on a table or another hard, nonporous surface, vinegar can help remove it. However, vinegar can be hit or miss when removing acrylic paint from other surfaces. 


Acrylic paint can dry quickly, making it challenging to clean up afterward. Cleaning up acrylic paint before it dries is the best way to speed up the cleaning process. Paintbrushes can be the most challenging art materials to remove dried paint from, but Winsor & Newton Brush Cleaner & Restorer can help clean natural brushes. In conclusion, using denatured alcohol or commercial cleaners is the best way to clean up after painting with acrylics. If you have any questions, leave a comment below, and we will be happy to answer them

How To Clean A Whiteboard

Best Way To Clean A WhiteboardDry erasers clean whiteboards effectively. Unfortunately, the surface doesn’t stay as fresh as when you removed the protective wrap for the first time.  Even well looked after whiteboards have stains that are difficult to remove.

How do you look after your whiteboard? Are household items safe to use? What happens if you accidentally write with a permanent marker on the whiteboard?

Standard Procedure How To Clean A Whiteboard

Before using the whiteboard for the first time, clean it with a damp microfiber cloth. Dry the surface with a dry microfiber cloth.

Erase the writing with the whiteboard eraser after use. Use the dry erase board cleaner for a more intensive cleaning that prevents marker build-up. Non-toxic cleaners are environment-friendly and safer to use in classrooms and at home with young kids in the vicinity.

5 Easy Steps to Clean A Dry Erase Board

  1. To clean the eraser before using it, run it under cold water and allow to air dry.
  2. Wipe the board with the eraser or a soft, microfiber cleaning cloth. Erase the markings by firmly pressing down while wiping in a circular motion.
  3. Spray a thin layer of non-toxic dry erase board cleaner onto the board or on the markings the eraser didn’t remove.
  4. Wipe off the dry erase board cleaner with a dry cloth. Apply firm pressure in circular motions.
  5. Wait for about two hours for the surface to dry before use.

Homemade Dry Erase Board Cleaners

Commercial dry erase board cleaners contain bleach, alcohol or other cleaning ingredients found in households. Using a homemade dry erase board cleaner may be an inexpensive alternative to the commercial cleaners or is it?

The availability of everyday household items can be convenient alternatives to commercial whiteboard cleaners. Unfortunately, these items aren’t always the safest or the best if you want to use the whiteboard for a long time.

  • Hand sanitizer. Apply a small amount of hand sanitizer to the dry board eraser or a clean cloth.
  • Spray the hairspray directly onto the whiteboard and wait about two minutes before wiping it off with a damp cloth. The hairspray may leave a stickiness if left too long before wiping it away.
  • Antibacterial wipes. Generic wipes contain alcohol that will clean the whiteboard.
  • Dilute vinegar with equal parts water before cleaning the board.
  • Pour non-acetone nail polish remover on a clean microfiber cloth and wipe the board.


Paper towels or a clean cloth saturated in rubbing alcohol wipes away board markings. For stubborn stains, spray the isopropyl alcohol directly onto the marks and wipe away with a clean cloth.

Alcohol may clean the whiteboard to your satisfaction, but the persistent use of alcohol or alcohol-containing products could damage the board. Alcohol destroys the lubricating layer. Initially, the dry erase board looks as clean as it was when you bought it. By damaging the protective coating, the color pigments penetrate the boards, and ghost markings appear. After a while, the whiteboard loses its ability to wipe clean.

Ironically, using isopropyl alcohol with soft fiber cloth is sometimes the only way to remove the stubborn ghost markings and stains.

Abrasive Cleaners and Cloths

Glass cleaners effectively clean whiteboards. Some glass cleaners, however, may be too harsh and could scratch the surface of the dry erase board. It’s recommended to use a soft damp cloth to wipe glass cleaner solutions from the board surface.

Microfiber and other soft cloths work best for cleaning. Be mindful that some manufacturers deem a fabric that isn’t soft enough, rags, and paper towels as abrasive cleaners. Lifetime warranties may become void with the usage of harsh cleaners and cleaning materials.

Removing Tough Stains

The oily lubricant layer on a whiteboard makes the whiteboards nonporous. It prevents the ink pigments from penetrating the board. Older boards and much-used boards form a ghost layer when the lubricant layer deteriorates.

Rubbing alcohol may remove tough stains when sprayed directly on the marks. Wipe the marks away with a clean microfiber cloth. Keep in mind that alcohol or alcohol-containing products may effectively clean the board but do harm the protective layer.

Removing Permanent Markers from the Whiteboard

The longer the permanent marker stays on the board, the more difficult it will be to remove.

Permanent markers are tough stains to remove.

Removing permanent markers with dry erase markers

  • Trace with a dry erase board marker over the permanent marker writing.
  • Make sure the marks are completely covered. The solvent in the dry erase marker dissolves the permanent marker solvent.
  • Then erase with a dry erase board.
  • Repeat the process until the marks are gone and the board is clean.

Removing permanent markers with household items

  • Pour non-acetone nail polish remover or hand-sanitizer on a clean, soft cloth.
  • Wipe the permanent marker writing away.
  • Use another soft damp cloth to wipe the remainder of the stains and the nail-polish remover or hand-sanitizer.
  • Dry with a dry soft microfiber cloth.
  • Wait for the board to be completely dry before using it again.

Use the pencil eraser as a last resort

  • If the previous two methods don’t work, then use a pencil eraser and rub the marks.
  • The rubbing movement may damage the surface of the board.
how to clean a whiteboard

Dry Erase Board Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

  • Clean the dry erase board monthly.
  • Never use liquid dry erase board cleaner on wet ink marks.
  • Avoid using wet erasers, chalkboard, or felt erasers.
  • Avoid using permanent markers on a dry erase board.
  • Never use thinners or paint remover on a whiteboard.
  • Always use a clean cloth or eraser. A dirty cloth or eraser may leave ink stains behind when wiping the whiteboard surface.
  • Keep the marker tray clean from dust and debris that could stick to the eraser and attach it to the whiteboard surface during a cleaning process.
  • Avoid scratching the surface when dragging magnets over the board surface.