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How to Rehydrate Acrylic Paint

how to rehydrate acrylic paint

Old Acrylic paint can become dried up, become lumpy, or separated inside its tubes. When the acrylic paint becomes too dry, it spreads unevenly and leaves streaks on your painting surface.

Luckily, we can fix such issues since acrylic paint is a water-based paint that can be rehydrated. In this blog post, we will show you how to rehydrate acrylic paints with three different methods: adding liquid acrylic mediums, rewetting with water or alcohol, or mixing in oil paints.

How to Fix Dried Acrylic Paint?

Method One: Adding Liquid Acrylic Mediums

The simplest rehydration method is to add a liquid acrylic medium. You can simply pour a small amount of paint and mix with the medium, thin it down beforehand by mixing in your desired amount of medium. Then, apply the final agent onto your painting surface.

When adding liquid acrylic mediums, one thing to keep in mind is that the color will become more transparent than its original pigment.

Method Two: Rewetting With Water or Alcohol

If rewetting the dried-out acrylic paints with just water doesn’t work for you, then try rewetting them with alcohol instead!

  • For this method, take a toothbrush (we do not recommend the used ones) and dip it into some isopropyl alcohol, usually about 20-30 drops per every 100 ml of paint
  • Gently brush the paint until it becomes rehydrated and begins to spread evenly on your painting surface

When rehydrating acrylics, you need to keep in mind that they should only be hydrated to the consistency in which they were originally intended to be used. Adding too much water will cause them to become weak and lead to blooming, a process where the paint spreads uncontrollably on the canvas.

Method Three: Mixing in Oil Paints

If you’re having difficulties rewetting acrylic paints with either water or alcohol methods, then try mixing in some oil paints instead.

This method will add the body back into the dried-out acrylics and make them workable again.

However, be prepared that the colors may become altered once mixed with the oil paint.

Method Four: Adding Acrylic Glazing Liquid

If rehydrating the acrylic paints doesn’t work for you, try adding some acrylic glazing liquid instead. This method will add gloss and rehydrate the paint at the same time.

Take your dried-out paint and mix it with a small amount of glazing liquid until it becomes hydrated again. You can also add more or less depending on how strong you would like the color to be when applied to your painting surface.

No matter which rehydration method you choose, be patient and take your time. Acrylic paint is a beautiful medium that can give your paintings stunning effects – but only if it’s used in the right way.

How Long Can You Keep Acrylic Paint?

how to fix dried acrylic paint

If you’re like me, you probably have a lot of acrylic paint lying around. You might be wondering how long they will last before they go bad.

The answer to that question depends on how well you store them.

Acrylic paint can last for years if properly rehydrated and stored in a cool, dark place. However, if it is not rehydrated or stored in an ideal environment, the paint may only last for a few months.

So, it’s important to keep track of the expiration date and rehydrate your paints regularly.

How to Maintain Acrylic Paint?

The first step in learning about keeping acrylics is knowing how they should be stored. It includes choosing an appropriate container or jar to store them in along with rehydrating them before use if necessary.

First thing’s first: choose a proper storage container.

Acrylics come in tubes, jars, bottles, tins, and tubs, all different sizes depending upon where you purchase your supplies from.

However, one important aspect remains consistent between each type: acrylics must be stored in a cool, dark, and dry place. Its pigment will slowly fade over time when exposed to light and can form mold if moisture accumulates.

  • Jars are great for storing small tubes of paint or half-used bottles. Jars are easily accessible, but make sure that the lid seals tightly to avoid evaporation or contamination
  •  Tubes of paint should always be stored standing up so that the air inside doesn’t rehydrate the paint and cause it to spoil prematurely
  • Suppose you’re using a large container such as a tub. In that case, it’s best to store opened tubes horizontally instead of vertically to prevent them from drying out too quickly

To sum it all up: store acrylics in a cool, dark, and dry place; rehydrate only if necessary and observe recommended ratios; keep tubes standing upright when not in use.


Now that we’ve shown you three different methods of rehydrating acrylic paints, hopefully, one of them will help get your paintings looking streak-free again!

If not, experiment with a few of these techniques to see which works best.

If there is anything that we have not addressed here today, feel free to ask us questions below in the comments section. Also, feel free to share this post if you find it helpful or informative.

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