When looking for the most opaque acrylic paint brands, you need to be aware that acrylic artist’s paint comes in varying degrees of opacity, ranging from heavy body, light body. There are varying transparent types, which allow all of the light through, to opaque, which reflects the light and does not allow it to penetrate through the depths of the paint to the substrate.
Each type of opacity in acrylic paint exists for a specific purpose, depending on the effect that the artist wants to achieve. For instance, if one wishes to achieve a quality of luminosity, the artists would probably select an acrylic paint that advertises itself as transparent.
On the other hand, if a matte or flat look is desired, the artist would probably reach for high-quality opaque paint, even though opacity can also be achieved by layering transparent paint. It saves paint by purchasing one that is already mixed to be opaque. Many artists consider the 2.0 paint brand by Culturehustle and Winsor and Newton the most opaque paints available. This article will address more on the topic of the best, most opaque acrylic paint brands.
General information about opaque acrylic paint
Opaque acrylic paint is made by adding more pigment powder to the acrylic suspension fluid than is added for transparent or semi-transparent paint. This causes a denser concentration that bounces the light rather than allowing it to penetrate the substrate. The pigments found in highly opaque and have more prominent partials that cause the light to scatter in different directions.
A quick test for opacity in paint is to place a broad black stripe across the center of a white canvas board, place paint samples at the top, and drag them over the black line with a palette knife. When dry, the quality of the opaque paint can be gauged by whether or not any of the black shows from underneath. Opaque colors, such as the 2.0 brand by Co cover better than transparent, semi-transparent, or semi-opaque colors. They are most commonly used for painting large areas, such as backgrounds, and for underpainting.
The most opaque acrylic paint brands
Some of the most opaque acrylic paint brands currently popular among artists follow.
Winsor and Newton Acrylic Paint
Most opaque acrylic paint brands are pale compared to those opaque acrylics manufactured by Winsor and Newton. This company uses high-quality pigments that enable the paint to retain the brilliance of freshly-applied color, whether wet or dry. The powdered pigments used in manufacturing this paint are of very high quality and suspended in an equally high-quality acrylic fluid.
Winsor and Newton acrylic paints are noted for their smooth spreadability and are opaque enough to cover easily with less colorant than other brands require.
Arteza Acrylic Paint
Arteza opaque paints are noted as being some of the fastest drying opaque paints on the market. They are recommended for artists who work quickly because their available time is very short. Their opaque quality is excellent, and they cover well, probably making more applications than the Winsor and Newton choice, but still a good product, especially for the paint choices of a beginner artist who is just beginning to work with opaque paints. The colors stay valid for an extended period, and the saturation of the opaque quality is high.
Liquitex Acrylic Paint
One of my favorite acrylic brands is Liquitex. I’ve found that their colors are highly pigmented and vibrant. They also have a great selection of colors and mediums, making it easy to find what you’re looking for.
Liquitex is not the most opaque paint on the market, but if you use the heavy body version, it is still a great quality paint that is perfect for most projects.
Many experienced artists use Liquitex opaque acrylic paints to cover dark backgrounds. The density of the pigment content is high, and the colors flow nicely. They are priced lower than Winsor and Newton paints but tend to be more expensive than the Arteza opaque acrylics.
Amsterdam Standard Series Acrylic Paint
Amsterdam Standard Series opaque acrylic paints are noted for their stability, easy spreadability, and longevity. The pigments are available in a wide variety of bold, brilliant colors, including titanium white and carbon black. They are manufactured in the Netherlands and are easy to use. For this reason, they are the choice of many beginning to intermediate art students, who also like that they are value-priced paints.
White 2.0 and Black 2.0
The 2.0 paint brand by Culturehustle manufactures some of the densest opaque paints. White 2.0 is one of the market’s densest, highest-quality white paints. It can be used to cover dark backgrounds or mixed with acrylic paints that are less opaque to make them more so. White 2.0 manufacturers describe this paint as a whole new kind of paint. It is brighter than other opaque paints and uses an entirely new type of acrylic base, superior quality pigments, and some of the best mattifiers.
Black 2.0 is also among the most highly-concentrated opaque paints. Used with transparent paints, it can create deep, dark, opaque hues that defy light penetration.
Golden Artist Colors
Golden Artist Colors is a tried and true brand well-known among the art community for manufacturing reliably opaque acrylics that are high quality and moderately priced. They are not at the top of the line but are still very good for use to cover backgrounds and to create a rich, matte effect.
Utrecht Art Supplies
Utrecht Art Supplies is another great mid-level option for those seeking an opaque acrylic paint. Utrecht’s line of Heavy Body Artist Acrylics are highly pigmented and can be used to achieve rich, deep colors.
Utrecht acrylic paint is also a thick paint, needing more water or medium to thin out than the other brands.
What makes the best opaque acrylic paint?
The best opaque acrylic paint will have a high concentration of pigments and a low concentration of fillers and binders. It will also be a thicker paint, which helps to ensure that it does not become transparent when applied to a surface. Finally, the best opaque paints will have a matte finish, which helps to prevent reflections and glare.
Heavy body acrylics are typically the most opaque.
Softer body acrylics tend to be more transparent.
Gesso can be added to any type of paint to make it more opaque.
Titanium white is the most opaque color, followed by Mars black.
Of the brands reviewed, all are well-regarded acrylic painters for their high-quality pigments and dense, matte finishes. If you are looking for opaque acrylic paint that will provide excellent coverage and a beautiful finish, any of these brands would be a great choice.
Will adding water to acrylic paint make it less opaque?
No, adding water to acrylic paint will not make it less opaque as long as you are not diluting the acrylic paint by more than 20-30% water. Acrylic paint is water-based and thus can be thinned with water without affecting its opacity. In fact, adding a bit of water to your acrylic paint can actually help to make it more opaque by increasing its density but to be sure, use an acrylic medium instead.
What Are The Most Opaque Acrylic Paint Brands – Wrap up!
There are a variety of factors that will affect the opacity of your paint, including the type of paint, the brand, the color, and whether or not you add gesso.
Titanium white is the most opaque color, followed by Mars black.
Of the brands reviewed, all are well-regarded acrylic painters for their high-quality pigments and dense, matte finishes.
If you are looking for opaque acrylic paint that will provide excellent coverage and a beautiful finish, any of these brands would be a great choice.
Cover image “How to organize your acrylic paints and paint brushes” by Melly Vogel Dolls (fka Melly Kay) is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.