Art Supply Junkie – Acrylic Paint Sprays


Watch the video below:

What are acrylic paint sprays?

It is simply very fluid acrylic paint in a spray bottle. This means that when it dries it cannot be reactivated by water. The ones I have are from the DecoArt Media line. Art Anthology also do a spray although I haven’t used it myself so I can’t comment on it and I’m not 100% sure it’s acrylic.


Why do I love them?

I get frustrated by sprays that reactivate when using wet media on top. It usually causes a muddy mess in my work. So getting the fun of spraying and knowing the paint won’t reactivate when I work on top is excellent! Depending on the colour/type of paint some of these are opaque, which adds another interesting dimension when working with these.



You can control the spray that comes out of the bottle. If you press down hard, you get a wide fine mist. If you press down a bit more slowly, you get a more targeted spray. If you press down really slowly you get splatter droplets.



Things to try

  • Layer 2-3 different spray colours using different pressure for each layer. Start with a full layer of the first colour, then add a layer where you press down more slowly for smaller areas of colour and finish off with splatters by pressing down very slowly
  • Spray through a stencil. Remember you can use the negative image by flipping the stencil over once it has paint on it. (Clean your stencils! I’m speaking from experience… I’m usually really lazy and paint isn’t too bad, but I once forgot to clean my stencil after using modeling paste…. I got muscle ache from all the scrubbing I had to do)
  • Make your own spray. Use high flow acrylics undiluted or dilute your (fluid) acrylics. You can get spray bottles at the drug store / chemist
  • Spray 3D elements. Either to use in art or as home decoration (ornaments, vases etc)

How do you use acrylic paint sprays? Leave a comment to let me know!

10 thoughts on “Art Supply Junkie – Acrylic Paint Sprays”

  1. Dear Iris, hi! Even though I don’t have much experience yet, I love acrylics! I found them an easy to use material as they can be covered in case of a mistake, and I love that they dry quickly. Up to now, I have used heavy body and fluid acrylics. I don’t have any spray acrylic but I’m thinking about making some myself by diluting some of the prementioned. I hope that I’ll find a correct proportion of water and acrylic. Do you think diluted acrylics will clog the spray bottle? Also, I wonder which materials (other than acrylics) can hold on to spayed acrylics, can you help me with that?
    I find myself frustrated by spays that reactivate with water, too, and I want to buy some clear gesso to solve this for some cases of painting, but it seems that I can’t find clear gesso here in Greece and I have to order it from another country.
    I would also like to suggest, if and when it is possible, to show us on your videos the use of your favorite materials, things that you like to do with them and any tips that you could give us about them. It would be really helpful and fun!

    • Yes me too, that’s what I love about acrylics too! I think if you want to make spray acrylics, I’d put 1 part fluid acrylics to 1 part water. It might clog the spray bottle, I think it will depend on how well-sealed the bottle is (and obviously always replace the cap). After use you could always take the nozzle out, spray it on some scrap paper until all the paint has come out (or better yet, spray water through it to flush it out completely), and then replace it in the bottle. But that would be a lot of work!

      Instead of clear gesso, can you get some type of fixative spray? Clear gesso, even if you are able to get some, would reactivate the watersoluble media and might smudge things if you’re using a brush to apply it.

      I’ve just launched registration for my mixed media & art journaling course Rainbow Journal. I go into a LOT of detail of the techniques I like to use complete with real-time video instruction. You can check it out here: http://create.iris-impressions.com/buy/rainbow-journal/ I will also be making more free videos that cover techniques, but that will be a while from now as the course is keeping me really busy!

      • Dear Iris, thank you for your reply. I’ll surely try making the sprays! Regarding the sealing of waterbased sprays, I think that when using a fixative spray you can’t use watercolors on top as a new layer, is this right? However, with clear gesso you can use any medium on top. One tip that I have read in order not to smudge things when brushing with clear gesso is to use a totaly dry brush and apply it with gentle moves, but I haven’t tried it yet.
        I would love to participate at your Rainbow journal course but unfortunately, due to money and time shortage, I can’t right now :-(. I wish you all the best with your course!

        • You’ll need to find something called a ‘workable fixative’ it’s used for sealing watercolours, chalk, charcoal and the like and you can work again on top of it (so it’s kind of absorbent, rather than a glossy layer). I’ve got some but I haven’t experimented with it much, but in theory it should work!

          Also I found this video the other day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I58qYRRNmjs might be helpful!

        • I actually have worked with clear gesso before and you are both right Melfina and Iris.
          Yes, it will reactivate any color that can be activated by water. I used (and use) it on watercolors. So if you would just use the clear gesso and apply it as you would normally apply paint you would smudge everything up. What I do is this – I do not use a brush at all. I use my finger and very lightly put the gesso on top. It works quite well as long as you do not rub to hard and you should never go over an area again that already had gesso sitting on top of it for a bit. (Cause the gesso will have activated the paint and as soon as you touch it – no matter how lightly – it will smudge.)
          I have not tried it with a dry brush – but you can just experiment. Also, if you do end up smudging it, it can be a nice effect in itself.
          I have not tried the sealer one though. I do like to use the gesso as I add not only watercolor on top, but also graphite and acrylics and I really like the toothy grip the gesso gives.

  2. Oh, I have made my own acrylic sprays before but I got really frustrated. If I do not use the acrylic spray ALOT – like really regularly – the paint will dry up inside the spray-thingy-bit and it will be clogged and not work anymore. I wasted already a couple spray bottles like that. 🙁
    Do you have any suggestion or workaround for that Iris? Maybe I am using the wrong bottles …

    • No tips for that one other than to spray through the nozzle with water after use so it’s clear, but that’s a lot of work! The sprays I’ve made myself I diluted a lot, so that might help, but obviously that doesn’t get great coverage. So far my Deco Art Misters haven’t clogged and the paint in there is pretty opaque, so maybe it is also a question of good quality bottles and caps that don’t allow any air inside.

      • I will try that – spraying water through it. Have not tried that before. But will also look out for some acrylic sprays. In the long run probably alot cheaper – and saving myself some headaches – than ruining bottle after bottle of homemade one. *lol*
        So far I have only bought the water-activated ones, but what bothers me most is that people told me that they will fade over time. 🙁

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