View Full Version : Mixing different brands

12-06-2000, 05:58 PM
All manufacturers of acrylics say their artist- and studentqualities can safely be mixed.
When it comes to other brands they usually say that it is not likely but still may cause problems that might ruin your work.
I have not yet encountered any such problems,but remain somewhat suspicious of them.
Has anybody come across such problems? And if so would it be a good idea to collect and list such 'bad combinations' in this forum?



12-06-2000, 06:19 PM
I've used a number of different brands of acrylics and have mixed all of them with no adverse effects. At least none that have shown up so far in any of my paintings and some are rather aged. I have favorite colors in different brands and use them all the time.

Different grades (student quality vs. artist quality) mixed would probably cause no problems but they definitely do have different textures, colors, feel and quality of permanency in lightfastness. I would recommend artist quality for your paintings.


12-14-2000, 07:28 PM
When acrylics first appeared on the market, they had a serious problem: shelf life. An artist had to use them up within a year or they'd go bad. To compensate for this, manufacturers began adding various "preservatives". Since each one came up with their own mixture, some art books don't recommend mixing brands as the different chemicals may not get along. I have not ever heard of anyone having a problem though, and have mixed various brands myself.

Oh, and acrylics still do have a shelf life, only now it has been extended into years, depending on the brand.

Little Bear
12-15-2000, 10:18 AM
And use artist quality not student quality paint. Student quality paints have less pigment in the mix and darken even more when dried.

12-15-2000, 05:54 PM
Thanks for your answers Carly, Bottleman and Little bear.
So we may conclude the problem is (or has become) non-existant; so much the better and I won't worry next time when mixing Golden, Rembrandt and Lascaux.

Thanks, Dick


Kevin M
12-15-2000, 06:51 PM
I have noticed some odd effects when mixing different brands of acrylic varnish, nothing disastrous, just odd. However I frequently have mixed Lascaux paint with Daler or Windsor Newton and noticed no peculiar results at the time or afterwards. All in all though it is probably a good idea to stick to one reliable manufacturer just to be on the safe side.

I must remember to heed my own advice.

12-19-2000, 11:15 AM
By the way, what I brew with these paints can now be seen at:



12-19-2000, 04:19 PM
Sometimes manufacturers recommend not mixing different brands for marketing reasons; they want you to use their product. And sometimes they say it because they don't wish to be blamed for adverse reactions between paints.

I have used many brands together with no problems. I have used some paint colors even within a brand family and discovered problems. Most of the time however, it's an individual tube with thick or thin paint, too much binder, etc., or between mfgs. that have different mixing properties.

Best thing to do is to check with the mfgs. of the particular brands you are using to see if there are any known conflicts to be aware of.

I recommend using one steady brand then add-in colors that you can only achieve by going to another brand. For instance, I have about 4 different mfg's tubes of Viridian. One brand's version is not always appropriate to the need.

12-19-2000, 05:12 PM
Originally posted by bottleman:
...Oh, and acrylics still do have a shelf life, only now it has been extended into years, depending on the brand.

How do you know if acrylics go bad, other than they dry up? Not being a wise guy... I used them long ago, and although I'm concentrating on other media, I still have some tubes that could be as old as 10 years, but they're still pliable.

I'm considering making a few paintings using what I have, so I wonder... if an old tube handles well enough, is it OK or will nasty things happen once the painting's dry?

Jeff G.

12-19-2000, 05:31 PM
Originally posted by JeffG:
How do you know if acrylics go bad, other than they dry up?

The paint comes out like chewing gum. I suppose it will work, if you can handle it.