How to Use Acrylic Craft Paint for Airbrushing

Things You'll Need

  • Acrylic craft paint

  • Water

  • Container for mixing

  • Measuring cup

  • Stirring stick or plastic spoon

  • Art paper

  • Airbrush, compressor and accessories

  • Windex

  • Isopropyl alcohol

  • Acrylic paint thinner

  • Acrylic paint retarder

Acrylic paints are versatile and can be applied in many ways. Acrylic craft paints are common and come in a wide variety of colors, making them ideal for all kinds of artists. Painting with a brush may require no mixing or thinning of the paint but to get the most out of acrylic paints when using an airbrush, the paint should be thinned. Practice is the key to consistently getting a steady and even stroke out of an airbrush when using acrylic paints.

Step 1

Use a small measuring cup to add 25 cubic centimeters (cc) of acrylic paint to a mixing container.

Step 2

Add 75 cc's of water to the acrylic paint in the mixing container and mix well.

Step 3

Adjust your airbrush's compressor to 15 pounds per square inch (psi).

Step 4

Pour a small amount of paint into your airbrush paint cup.

Step 5

Spray the acrylic paint on the paper adjusting airflow and paint flow according to your airbrushes directions. If the paint seems to thick or too thin, remix and try again until the paint flows to your satisfaction.


You can change the control and flow of acrylic paint through your airbrush by mixing it with acrylic paint thinner and adding a little acrylic paint retarder. Experiment with isopropyl alcohol or window cleaner as well. Both make good thinners for acrylic paint.