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How to Revive Acrylic Paint

how to revive acrylic paint

As an artist, I understand the frustration that comes with finding a tube of acrylic paint that has dried up or become unusable. Acrylic paint is a popular medium among artists due to its fast-drying time and versatility, but it can also be prone to drying out or becoming clumpy if not stored properly.

Fortunately, there are still things that you can do to make the acrylic paint usable. So, how to revive acrylic paint? This article will share some tips on reviving acrylic paint using valuable tips that will help extend the lifespan of your paint supplies.

Tip No. 1: Checking the Paint’s Consistency

checking the paints consistency

Before learning how to revive acrylic paint, it is essential to check its consistency. If the paint has dried out completely and is hard to the touch, it may be impossible to salvage the acrylic paint. However, if the paint is still slightly wet or has become thick and clumpy, there are ways to bring it back to life.

Tip No. 2 Adding Water

adding water

One of the easiest ways to revive acrylic paint is to add water. Acrylic paint is water-soluble, meaning adding water can help thin out the paint and restore its original consistency. Start by adding a small amount of water to the paint and mixing it thoroughly. Keep adding water in small amounts until the paint reaches the desired consistency.

It is important to note that adding too much water can cause the paint to become too thin and lose its vibrancy. It is best to add water in small increments and test the paint’s consistency as you go.

Tip No. 3: Use a Wet Palette

use a wet palette

Another way to revive acrylic paint is to use a wet palette. A wet palette is a container that contains a layer of water and a sheet of absorbent paper or sponge. The paint is placed on top of the paper or sponge, and the water underneath keeps it moist.

Using a wet palette can help keep the acrylic paint from drying out while you work and can also be used to revive dried-out paint. Simply add a small amount of water to the paint and mix it on the wet palette until it reaches the desired consistency.

Tip No. 4: Use a Palette Knife

use a palette knife

If your acrylic paint has become clumpy, you can use a palette knife to break up the clumps and restore its smooth consistency. Start by scooping the clumpy paint onto a palette and using the palette knife to break it into smaller pieces. Add a small amount of water to the paint and mix it thoroughly using the palette knife.

Continue to add water and mix the paint until it reaches the desired consistency. Using a palette knife can also help to remove any dried paint from the edges of the tube or the container.

Tip No. 5: Use a Paint Thinner

use a paint thinner

If adding water is insufficient to revive your acrylic paint, you can use a paint thinner.Water is always the best option when learning how to revive dried-out acrylic paint, but you can also use paint thinner as an alternative.

A paint thinner is a solvent used to thin out paint and can help restore dried-out acrylic paint. Several types of paint thinner are available, but it is essential to use them to correct the type of paint.

Acrylic paint thinners are designed specifically for use with acrylic paint and can help thin out the paint without affecting its quality. Simply add a small amount of acrylic paint thinner to the paint and mix it thoroughly. Keep adding thinner in small increments until the paint reaches the desired consistency.

Tip No. 6: Store Your Paint Properly

store your paint properly

The best way to revive acrylic paint is to prevent it from drying out in the first place. Proper storage is key to keep your acrylic paint fresh and usable. Store your paint in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources.

Make sure that the cap or lid is tightly closed to prevent the air from getting in and drying out of the paint. You can also store your paint upside down to create a seal and prevent air from getting in.

Additional Information

Acrylic paint is a versatile medium that can be revived if it has dried out or become clumpy. By following these steps, you can extend the life of your acrylic paint and save money on supplies in the long run.

Remember to always test the consistency of the paint as your work, and add water or acrylic paint thinner in small increments to avoid over-thining the paint. Using a wet palette or a palette knife can also help to keep your paint moist and prevent it from drying out.

If your paint has become completely unusable, don’t throw it away just yet. You can use it for mixed media projects, or try scraping off the dry paint using the leftover pigment in your artwork.


Learning how to revive acrylic paint is a simple process that can save you time and money. By following these tips and storing your paint properly, you can extend the life of your acrylic paint and keep your art supplies in good condition. With a bit of care and attention, your acrylic paint can last for a more extended period.

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