Bring the Gloss – How to Make Acrylic Paint Shine

Creating a stunning and glossy finish to your acrylic paintings can be a daunting task. However, with the right materials, a bit of patience and the proper technique, you can achieve a professional-looking glossy coat that will bring out the best in your artwork. In this blog post, we will discuss the different methods for giving acrylic paintings a glossy coat, from dry-brushing to buffing, and provide step-by-step instructions for achieving a stunning finish. So, let’s get started!



Few things can make artwork stand out more than a glossy finish. Acrylic paint can provide a sleek, glossy look on any painting or craft project, no matter the surface. With a few simple steps, you can make your acrylic paint look glossy and shiny.

Begin with a clean surface that is free of dust and dirt. This will ensure the acrylic paint will stick and the glossy finish will last longer. After cleaning, apply a coat of gesso to the surface. This will create a nice, even surface for the paint to adhere to. Allow the gesso to dry before applying the acrylic paint.

Once the gesso is dry, it’s time to paint. Choose an acrylic paint that dries to a glossy finish. The paint should be thin enough to spread easily, but thick enough to provide even coverage. Depending on the look you’re going for, you can use a brush or a roller to apply the paint.

Once you’ve applied the paint, let it dry for at least two hours. After two hours, the paint should be dry to the touch. Now, you’re ready to add a glossy finish.

To give the paint a glossy finish, apply a coat of varnish. There are many different types of varnish available, so make sure to choose one that is meant for acrylic paint. Apply the varnish with either a brush or a roller. Start by applying a thin, even coat and let it dry for two hours. Once the first coat is dry, apply additional coats of varnish until you reach the desired glossiness.

That’s it! With these simple steps, you can make acrylic paint look glossy and shiny.

Painting with acrylics can be a great way to express your creativity and create stunning works of art. However, one of the challenges of painting with acrylics is achieving a glossy finish. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to make your acrylic paint look glossy.

First, it is important to select the right type of paint and surfaces. Choose an acrylic paint with high levels of gloss to start. Additionally, make sure the surface you plan to paint on is clean and smooth. Rough or bumpy surfaces can cause the paint to be uneven and reduce the glossy effect.

Next, prepare the surface for painting. Apply a coat of gesso to the surface. This will give the paint something to adhere to and make it easier to achieve a glossy finish.

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Once the surface is ready to go, it is time to start painting. When painting, use a brush to spread the paint evenly and smoothly. Make sure each layer is completely dry before adding a new one. This will help ensure that the paint has the desired glossy finish.

Finally, apply a gloss varnish to the finished painting. This will give it an extra boost of shine and help protect it from damage.

By following these steps, you can make your acrylic paint look glossy. With the right techniques and materials, you can create stunning works of art with a beautiful glossy finish.

1. Understanding Glossy Finish

Acrylic paint is a versatile and popular choice for art projects, home décor, and more. But what if you want your project to have a glossy finish? To achieve this look, you need to understand the different types of glossy finishes available and how to apply them.

When it comes to acrylic paint, there are two main types of glossy finishes: high gloss and semi-gloss. High gloss finishes create a mirror-like shine and are often used on furniture or other items that require a more intense shine. Semi-gloss finishes are less reflective, creating a softer, more subtle shine.

When deciding which type of glossy finish to use, it’s important to consider the surface it will be applied to. High gloss finishes can be used on any surface, but they may not adhere well to porous surfaces such as wood, brick, or cement. Semi-gloss finishes are best suited for smooth surfaces such as glass, metal, or plastic.

Once you’ve determined the type of finish you want and the surface you’re working with, you can begin applying the acrylic paint. To get a glossy finish, you must first apply a coat of acrylic primer to the surface. This will help ensure that the paint adheres properly and create a smooth base for the glossy finish. Once the primer has dried, you can then apply the acrylic paint in several thin, even coats. Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next one.

For an even higher gloss finish, you can apply a layer of clear sealant or varnish after the acrylic paint has dried. This will further enhance the glossy effect, creating a more intense shine. Be sure to follow the instructions on the sealant or varnish to ensure the best results.

With the right preparation and application, acrylic paint can be used to create a glossy finish on any surface. Understanding the different types of finishes available and how to apply them correctly will help you achieve the perfect glossy look for your project.

2. Preparing the Surface for Acrylic Paint

When it comes to painting with acrylics, preparing the surface you’ll be painting on is a crucial step. By properly preparing the surface for painting, you’ll be able to achieve a glossy finish. Here’s how to prepare the surface for acrylic paint:

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1. Clean the surface: Start by ensuring that the surface you’re going to paint on is clean and free from dust. Using a cloth, wipe down the surface to remove any dirt or debris.

2. Sand the surface: Once the surface is clean, use a sandpaper to lightly sand the surface. This will help smooth out any imperfections and ensure that the paint adheres properly to the surface.

3. Prime the surface: Once the surface is clean and sanded, you’ll need to apply a primer. Primer helps provide a uniform surface, and it also helps the paint adhere better.

4. Fill in any cracks or holes: Once the primer has been applied, you’ll need to fill in any cracks or holes in the surface. This can be done with a putty knife or a spackle knife.

5. Sand the surface again: Once all the cracks and holes are filled, you’ll need to sand the surface again. This will help ensure that the surface is completely smooth and ready for painting.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to create the perfect surface for your acrylic paint. This will help you achieve a glossy finish and ensure that the paint adheres properly.

3. Applying Acrylic Paint

Applying Acrylic Paint

Before you can make your acrylic paint look glossy, you need to learn how to apply it correctly. Acrylic paint is easy to apply, but there are a few tips that can help you achieve the best results.

First, you will need to decide what type of surface you will be painting. Acrylic paint works well on many surfaces, including canvas, wood, and paper. Depending on the type of surface you are using, you may need to prepare it before you begin painting. For example, if you are painting on canvas, you may need to use a primer first.

Once you have chosen your surface and prepared it, you are ready to start painting. Before you start, make sure you have all the necessary supplies. You will need a brush or palette knife to apply the paint, and you may want some rags or paper towels for easy cleanup.

To begin, make sure you have enough paint to cover the entire surface. Start by applying a thin, even layer of paint with your brush or palette knife. If you are using a brush, use short, light strokes to cover the surface. As you work, be sure to use a clean brush for each color and avoid mixing colors when you are painting.

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Once you have finished your first layer, it is time to start adding more layers. Remember to wait for the first layer to dry before adding the next layer. You can also add texture by using different brush strokes. You can also mix colors or use glazes to add more depth.

Finally, when you are happy with your painting, you can make it look glossy. You can use a gloss medium or varnish to give your painting a glossy finish. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using these products.

By following these tips, you will be able to apply acrylic paint correctly and make it look glossy. With practice and patience, you will be able to create beautiful works of art with acrylic paint.

4. Finishing with a Glossy Coat

When it comes to giving acrylic paintings a glossy finish, there are a few different options. One of the best ways to get a glossy finish is to apply a glossy coat of paint or varnish after the painting is complete.

The first step is to make sure that the painting is completely dry before you apply a glossy coat. If you apply a glossy coat to a wet painting, the glossy coat will not adhere properly and the paintwork will be ruined. Once the painting is completely dry, you can start to apply the glossy coat.

The best way to apply a glossy coat is to use a brush. Make sure that the brush is good quality and that it is clean. Start by lightly brushing the glossy coat onto the painting in a thin, even layer. Then, brush the glossy coat in one direction to ensure that the glossy coat is applied evenly.

Once the glossy coat is applied, you can add more layers if you want a deeper gloss. You can also add a matte finish to the painting by applying a matte coat on top of the glossy coat. This will create a beautiful, glossy finish with a subtle matte texture.

Finally, you can buff the painting with a soft cloth to bring out the glossy finish. This will also help to remove any brush strokes or imperfections in the painting.

By following these steps, you can give your acrylic paintings a beautiful and glossy finish.

In Summary

Adding a glossy coat to your acrylic painting is an easy and effective way to give your artwork a beautiful, glossy shine. Start by ensuring the painting is completely dry, then use a quality brush to apply a thin and even layer of glossy coat. For deeper gloss, add additional layers and for a matte finish, apply a matte coat on top. Finally, buff the painting with a soft cloth to bring out the glossy finish and remove any brush strokes. With this method, you can create a stunning look for your acrylic paintings.