Frequently Asked Questions

Why haven't I seen KROMA paint in stores?

KROMA paint is only available directly from us. Because we do not distribute to stores, we are able to keep our prices low while maintaining a close relationship with our customers.

Where are you located?

Our Shop is located in the NetLoft building on Granville Island underneath the Granville St. Bridge in Vancouver B.C. The Granville Island website has a detailed map and directions. The NetLoft building is just across the street from Granville Island Public Market. The entrance to our shop is on the exterior of the NetLoft building on Duranleau Street opposite the Maritime Market.

Is KROMA paint compatible with other brands of acrylic paint?

Yes. KROMA paint is made with 100% acrylic resin and can be used with other brands of artist's quality acrylic paint. Liquitex and Golden are examples of other brands of artist's quality paints. Mixing acrylic brands is generally acceptable; but as each manufacturer uses a unique recipe, there is a potential for incompatibility.

Some of the cheapest student grade acrylic paint is made using less expensive resins and their compatibility with KROMA should be tested before using.

Can I mix KROMA acrylics with other types of paint?

Acrylics should not be mixed with oil or wax based products. However, acrylic is ideal for use underneath oils as a ground or when underpainting the first stages of an oil painting. Acrylics can be used in combination with other water based paints such as watercolours, gouache, water based inks and acrylic latex house paint, though thorough testing of specific combinations is advisable before beginning a project.

Are KROMA paints lightfast?

Yes.  All the pigments that we use are lightfast. In artist grade paints, only pigments that have a lightfast rating of I, (excellent) or II, (very good) are used. Refer to the colour chart for information on the properties of individual colours. Note that the cadmiums have excellent lightfastness but are not weatherfast. We do not recommend their use in outdoor murals. Zinc white has excellent lightfastness but on exposure to exterior conditions has a tendency to "chalk" or develop a dusty surface.

Are KROMA tube colours the same viscosity of KROMA jar colours?

Yes.  While some companies offer paint in more than one thickness and package them in corresponding packaging, with thicker, paste like paint in tubes and thinner, fluid paint in jars and bottles, KROMA paint is formulated in one viscosity which falls somewhere in between these two extremes, and is suited to a wide variety of applications.

The viscosity of the paint does not reflect the amount of pigment it contains, but rather the amount of thickeners used. KROMA acrylics are fully loaded with pigments. The thickness of the paint can be altered by using clear mediums and gels to make it thicker, or can be diluted with fluid mediums or water to make it thinner and to achieve watercolour like effects and washes. Powdered solids can also be added such as calcium carbonate or sand to create peaks or granular textures.

What is the shelf life of KROMA paint?

We recommend that you do not buy more paint than you expect to use within two years. However unopened paint stored in its original packaging can last over a decade.

The lifespan of KROMA paint once opened will be affected by your working habits and storage conditions. The main reason for storage problems or water based paint is microorganisms growing in the paint. Microorganisms may be introduced into your jars of paint if you add water to the jar or if you dip wet brushes into the jar. The less exposure to air and contaminants the longer your paint will last. With good working habits you should have years of trouble free use. Here are some tips that will help take care of your paint:

  • Store paint in a cool dry place away from sunlight.
  • Do not allow paint to freeze.
  • Keep tools and work areas clean and dry.
  • Do not leave brushes and tools soaking in water for long periods. A damp environment will encourage microorganisms like bacteria to grow in your brushes.
  • Do not store paint mixed with water in a jar for long periods. If you need to store pre-mixed slurries of paint mixed with water, call us for instructions on how best to do this.
  • Occasionally there is slight separation of the ingredients in the jar when paint is kept for years. On its own this separation is not necessarily a problem. Mixing is all that is required in this case.
  • Consider using our 250ml, 150ml and 60ml metal laminate tubes. These packages will provide the longest shelf life compared to any other type of packaging as the paint in the tube has very minimal contact with the air or with tools and brushes.
  • If you ever notice anything unusual call our shop noting the lot number of the paint and ask about it right away. We can help assess the problem and provide solutions.

Once the paint is applied and dry it is resistant to all types of deterioration. In drying the liquids evaporate from the paint, leaving a material that no longer has any susceptibility to problems from micro bacteria.

Are KROMA paints non-toxic? Are they safe for children to use?

KROMA paints are high quality artist's materials. The ingredients that are used in their manufacture are, however, chemicals, and as when using other products, safe working habits should be used.

The pigments that give the paint their colour are insoluble particles, and in the form of acrylic paint are encased in the resin binder. This means the pigments are not bioavailable: they cannot be absorbed by the body.

While the great majority of the pigments that we use are non-toxic, it should be noted that we do make reds, yellows and orange from cadmium pigments, and blues made from cobalt. These pigments in their raw powdered form are considered unsuitable when using paints with young children or painting objects to be handled by young children and babies. For more information about using cadmium and cobalt colours see our health and safety information.

Which white should I use?

Titanium white is an opaque white with good coverage. Zinc white is more transparent than titanium white and when blended with other colours, allows more of their colour to be visible. Zinc makes tints that have fuller colour and are less "pastel". See Choosing Black and White Pigments for examples of how they compare and for more detailed information.

Which black should I choose?

We make three different blacks, each pigment having different qualities. Mars black has medium tint strength, and medium sheen and is a good all around black suitable for more applications. Carbon black is good for glazing because its high tint strength means that an even dark tone can be produced in highly diluted mixes. Bone black is useful as a ground, because its rough surface makes a good bond with other paint, and because it has lower tint strength, is useful in precise work for desaturating colours in fine increments. See Choosing Black and White Pigments for examples and more information.

How can I slow the paint's drying time?

Temperature and humidity affect the drying time of acrylic paints. As the acrylics dry through evaporation, they will set more quickly in dry hot environments, and dry slower in a humid setting. When working, the amount of "open" time can be increased by using a spray bottle to mist the palette with water, which allows more time before the paint dries on the palette. Some artists wet the back of their canvas while working which keeps moisture in the under layers as well as keeping the surface of their painting cool which slows the drying time.

KROMA acrylics are formulated to have a slightly longer drying time than other brands of acrylic paint. The use of retarding mediums should not be over relied on as even a very small amount of these modifiers can drastically alter the chemical balance of the paint interfering with its adhesive and film forming properties. Retarders should be used only very sparingly. The result of adding too high a proportion of retarder can be a gluey, sticky mess that may never dry or form a cohesive film.

Are Acrylic Paints Toxic?

KROMA acrylic colours are water-based and made from materials that are considered non toxic. The exceptions to this rule are the colours made from cadmium and cobalt pigments. Please read further for information on these specific colours.

MSD sheet for dry pigments (excluding cadmium and cobalt pigments)
MSD sheet for paint (excluding cadmium and cobalt colours)
MSD sheet for cadmium and cobalt dry pigments 
MSD sheet for cadmium and cobalt paint

Health and safety information for cadmium and cobalt pigments and artist colours

People may be concerned about using products containing heavy metals such as cadmium and cobalt. While in other forms these substances can be toxic, when prepared in the form of pigments, which are insoluble particles, and then encased in the film forming resins of acrylic paint, the bioavailability of these materials is reduced to levels not considered to pose a health threat. In the form of acrylic paint these pigments, or indeed any other of our pigments, cannot enter the bloodstream.

Your choice whether or not to use paints containing these pigments will depend on the nature of the project you are using them for. If, for example you are decorating nursery furniture, or painting toys to be handled by young children where there is a chance of accidental ingestion, extra caution would be appropriate. Similar caution should be used with projects that involve painted surfaces that are to be sanded (which creates dust), or heated (which creates fumes).

Nor should cadmium or cobalt paints be applied as a spray without the use of an approved respirator.

It should be noted that while these pigments hold some unique properties that some artists may prefer, there are suitable alternative pigments to choose from that can closely match their hues.

KROMA does not make any paint that contains lead.

For those who purchase cadmium or cobalt in their powdered form as dry pigments, a respirator and gloves should be used, and, while all pigments, being dusts, should be handled in this way, extra caution should be employed to avoid accidental inhalation or ingestion.