How to Mix Sand With Acrylic Paint

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Things You'll Need

  • Clean silica sand

  • Measuring cups

  • Acrylic paint

  • Stir stick

  • Paintbrush

Beach sand contains impurities that don't mix well with acrylic paint.

Mixing sand into your acrylic paint is useful for a variety of reasons. Sand provides interesting surface texture for furniture, art projects and walls, and it also adds traction for slippery floor surfaces. If you've never mixed paint and sand before, however, you may not know how to approach the task. It's important that you use the right type of sand, and that you mix the appropriate quantities for your desired texture.


Step 1

Measure 8 oz. of clean silica sand in measuring cups. Silica sand is the most common type of sand in the world, but clean silica sand isn't found everywhere. The sand you get from a public beach contains silica sand, but it is also mixed with stones, crushed shells, dirt and debris. Clean silica is sold at hardware and home improvement stores. The 8 oz. measurement is based on a full gallon of paint. One gallon equals 128 oz., and 8 oz. is 6.25 percent of 128. If you are using a different quantity of paint, measure 6.25 percent silica sand accordingly. This percentage is a light base texture, providing a suede finish. It's best to start with a light texture and gradually add more silica as needed, rather than trying to dilute a mixture that is overly textured.

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Step 2

Pour the 8 oz. of silica into 1 gallon of acrylic paint.

Step 3

Mix the acrylic paint for five minutes using a stir stick. Mix slowly to avoid bubbles in the paint.

Step 4

Test your sandy paint on a piece of scrap. A 6.25-percent-silica content provides subtle texture. If you want more pronounced texture, you can add additional sand until your test paint is rough enough for your needs.


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