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How to make acrylic paint glossy

Updated April 17, 2017

Acrylic paint, a permanent and water-soluble paint used by artists, has a small amount of sheen when dry. It is, however, possible to make an acrylic painting look shiner and glossier if that is a more desired look.

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  1. Pour a small amount of varnish onto the paper plate. Dip a clean, dry brush into the varnish.

  2. Apply smooth, even brushstrokes to the surface of the acrylic painting, all in the same direction. Do not overlap brushstrokes.

  3. Wait for varnish to dry completely. If you want to add a second coat, make your brushstrokes smooth and perpendicular to the first set of strokes.

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Things You'll Need

  • Acrylic varnish, medium gloss
  • Paper plate
  • Stiff-bristled paint brush

About the Author

Aline Lindemann is a health, food and travel writer. She has also worked as a social worker, preschool teacher and art educator. Lindemann holds a Master of Liberal Studies in culture, health and creative nonfiction writing from Arizona State University.

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