Projects and Techniques Beyond Paintings

 Different Surfaces

Acrylics can be applied to almost any non-greasy surface.

KROMA acrylics are ideal for colouring or decorating many surfaces as they are flexible and waterproof once dry. All the colours are lightfast and (with the exception of zinc white and cadmium red and yellows), are suitable for use in outdoor projects. For the best adhesion, a smooth, glossy surface should be lightly abraded before applying paint and should be free of all wax and oil.



Acrylic paints are ideal for use in mural work. In fact the very first acrylics were formulated for the work of Mexican muralists in the 1950’s.

House paints, though available in many colours, always contain opacifiers for coverage, so tend to be more subdued and give less vibrant colours than artist’s acrylics. The most important factor in successful adhesion is the suitability and preparation of the underlying surface. Previously painted walls should be thoroughly cleaned with a commercial strength cleaner, then lightly abraded with sandpaper to create a rough surface for the acrylic paint to grip on to. A problematic wall can still be used for a mural if panels of plywood or other suitable material can be affixed securely.

All the KROMA colours are suitable for indoor murals. For outdoor mural painting there are, however, some colour considerations to be noted. Though rated excellent in lightfastness, the cadmium colours are not considered weatherfast, being especially sensitive to the combination of light and moisture, and so outdoor use of these colours should be avoided. Suitable alternatives can be found in the hansa and napthol ranges. Zinc white has a tendency to “chalk” when used outdoors and so titanium white should be used instead.

In some locations it may be appropriate to apply a clear protective layer over a mural to prevent damage from scuffing and dirt in high use areas or to allow for the easy removal of possible graffiti. Solvent based clear “Varathane” products or commercially available “Anti-graffiti” coatings can be used for this purpose, but the mural must be fully cured before this process and there must be no possibility for moisture to become trapped under the sealed surface, or blistering and adhesion problems may occur. Using a water-based  sealant will allow the acrylic paint to breathe, and allow moisture to escape, but may be less durable. Note that some non-acrylic clear coats may yellow with age.


Fabric Painting

Paint marketed as “fabric paint” is usually a specially formulated acrylic paint. KROMA acrylics are also suitable for most fabric painting applications, including decorating T-shirts. In theatre and film industry acrylics are used in “break-down” to make costumes and props appear appropriately distressed or worn. The colours can be used directly on fabric, lightly diluted with water to a brushable consistency. To apply an even colour to a larger area, the paint should be diluted further to allow it to penetrate the fabric. The amount that the paint should be diluted will depend on the weight of the fabric and the style of the painting. Heat setting is not required, but for the paint to be fully cured allow four days to dry in a warm non-humid place. Once fully dry the paint is permanent and machine washable.


Painting on Wood

KROMA paint can be applied directly onto woonden surfaces. Opaque colours, such as the earth tones and cadmiums are easiest to work with on wood. To show up well on wood, the brighter, more transparent colours, like pthalos and quinacridones should be blended with white, or applied in diluted layers over a light background.

Unprimed wood, such as the red cedar used in traditional west coast native work, may tend to draw the paint into or along the grain preventing sharp edges from being drawn easily with the brush. To Prevent this "bleeding" the wood can be prepared or "sized" with several layers of diluted clear acrylic medium.

An additional layer of clear acrylic medium can be added to the finished work to create a uniform sheen.


Airbrushing and Marbling

Airbrushing can be used in super-realist paintings, soft shadows and highlights, or simply to create a uniform surface without brush marks. For use in an airbrush we recommend thinning KROMA paint with water and clear fluid acrylic medium. The exact proportions required will vary from colour to colour, as each pigment has different characteristics. The full extent of a transparent pigment's brightness and hue can be most clearly seen when airbrushed in layers over a white surface.

Similarly KROMA acrylics can be used diluted with fluid acrylic medium in marbling techniques.


Gel Transfer

A layer of clear acrylic gel can be used to transfer a photocopied image onto a different surface such as a stone tile, canvas, or a T-shirt. Once the gel is dry the paper that the image was on is soaked off in water.


Collage and Papermache

Clear acrylic mediums and gels can be used as archival quality adhesives in collage, decoupage and mixed media work. They will remain flexible and will not crack or yellow with age. they will noticeably outperform and 'glue' (which is often polyvinyl acetate) for this type of work. They can also be used to coat finished work, to strengthen and protect, or to create a unified sheen. The acrylic medium and artists colours are also great for paper mache projects for the same reasons and with the additional benefit of adding strength and flexibility to the object.