View Full Version : Does anyone use retarder, and what do you think?

03-15-2015, 03:00 PM
Now and then I have used retarder to allow acrylics to become more blendable. It does help, but I must say the paint becomes VERY sticky and stiff (I can't think of any other way to describe it), and I must then add water just to get them to slide along on the paper or canvas. It seems that I can then "go over the area" back & forth to blend, I keep adding more paint and water - but I'm wondering if this is the expected and desired result. It seems very troublesome.

And all my brushes for acrylics are plastic-bristles, but I think that using the softer brushes with such stiff paint won't lead to anything good. So I use my harder, stiff brushes when using retarder.

Anyone have any comments about retarder?


03-15-2015, 03:46 PM
It is far to easy to use to much retarder. To eliminate this problem, I have a bottle marked with 22 measurements, equal measurements. I pour in one part each of retarder and flow enhancer and then 20 units of distilled water. It is a controlled use of both products and the "tackiness" becomes less an issue.

03-15-2015, 07:16 PM
I usually use the Golden retarder at 12 to 13%, measured by eye. I've not noticed sticky/stiffness in the paint.

03-16-2015, 08:37 AM
Howard and Stumble, Thanks very much for your responses! I have mixed up a quantity as per your directions, and it is working just lovely!! I appreciate your help.


Jon Bradley
03-18-2015, 02:32 AM
I gave up going for wet-in-wet blending with acrylics, most of the time. You may find a happy "medium" in experimenting with both "dry" and wet techniques.