What’s the difference​ between different Brands of Acrylic Paint?

Author: Art Shed Tom  Date Posted:15 August 2023 

As you would have noticed walking into an art supply store, there are so many different brands and types of acrylic paints. It can be overwhelming, particularly if you are just starting to find your way with painting. The following blog post is a guide to the different varieties of acrylic paint – keep in mind, though, selecting paint is a personal process dependent on the kind of painting application and style you are hoping to achieve, and it also comes down to personal preference – I have learnt over the years to make up my own mind about which paints and brands I prefer, and this to my mind is the best way to find what works for you! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch with us customerservice@artshedonline.com.au

Step one to choosing your acrylic paints is to decide on what kind of quality of paint you will buy. This step can also be applied to other types of paint like Oil and Watercolour.

Generally, there are two grades of paint – Artists' Quality and Student Quality. The major difference between these types of paint is that the higher quality will usually have a higher concentration of pigment – making them more expensive, but also making the colours more pure, permanent and noticeably cleaner to mix between colours. Student Quality paints should not be ignored, though! These paints are often just as consistent to use as their expensive rivals, generally made using the same pigments just in lesser quantities making the tubes more affordable. The best thing to do is just try them and see what you think. Don’t let your teacher tell you to buy the top quality budget-breaking brands when you are just starting out – go with a mid-range paint until you get a feel for it, and you can always graduate to the top-quality stuff.

Below are some of the Acrylics that we have and use at Art Shed, and I have covered some of their unique qualities and what sets them apart from one another.


Mont Marte Dimension Acrylic

Dimension Acrylics are a high-viscosity fine art paint that is great for a range of applications, predominantly when used thickly, they retain body and texture. While the affordable price might lead you to think this is a low-grade paint, this is, in fact, not true. Mont Marte Dimension acrylics are produced to meet all testing standards for Artists' quality paints and have very high lightfastness ratings. Since the arrival of this paint, we have seen many professional painters switching over from the more expensive brands as they find Dimensions to give a comparable result.

Mont Marte Satin  Acrylic

In terms of affordability and quality, these paints are also on par with the Dimensions, also meeting standards of an Artists quality paint, but produced to be affordable. This paint dries to have a more satin finish and has a smooth and flowing consistency. Satin Acrylics have a lightfast rating of 6 or above (equivalent to ASTM2). This means that the pigment will remain unchanged for 50-100 years under museum lighting conditions. They have strong colour intensity, great coverage and a semi-matte finish with a smooth, medium-viscosity consistency.

Atelier Interactive 

Atelier Interactive has the consistency and pigment quality of a higher-end Artist quality paint. The key difference that sets it apart from other Acrylics is its unique formulation that allows the painter to keep the paint open for an extended period of time, allowing for blending and workability. This is, in fact, the first Acrylic to allow for ‘Controlled Drying Techniques’, allowing longer open times with the simple addition of water spritzed on the surface of the paint.

Atelier Free Flow

Another Professional quality acrylic with unique characteristics and maximum pigment load. Atelier Free Flow sets the benchmark for quality fluid acrylics. This fluid and vivid acrylic dries to a velvet matte finish. Use it stand-alone for any acrylic painting techniques, such as underlying washes, fine detail or over painting – also great for fluid pouring techniques.

Liquitex Heavy Body

Heavy Body Artist Acrylic Paint, also referred to as High Viscosity paint, has a thick consistency for traditional art techniques using brushes or knives and for experimental, mixed media, collage and printmaking applications. Impasto applications retain crisp brush strokes and knife marks. This paint has a higher pigment load than most other heavy-bodied acrylics giving you richer and clean mixing colours.

Amsterdam Acrylics

The Amsterdam Standard Series are made based on a 100% acrylic emulsion and high-grade pigments. Enjoy great lightfastness and a choice of opacities. This medium viscosity paint is easy to work with and offers a smooth colour when applied independently. These acrylic paints are value priced and easy to use, making them an excellent choice.

Comments (3)

Which is better?

I am currently using A2 acrylics, but in my search at home for something in the art room I came across some Chromacryl paints. My question is which one is the better one for a student and hobbyist?

Hi! Thanks for your question. The Chromacryl paints are fantastic for both students and hobbyists alike as they come in an economical 2L size, which is great while learning and exploring with acrylic paint. Feel free to reach out to our team at customerservice@artshedonline.com.au if you have any more questions or queries. :)

Monte Marte Dimension Acrylics work for me

I have just started doing fluid painting and by chance I picked Monte Marte for my paints and the results are amazing, the colours stay true and mix really well together. I only wish the Dimension range did more metallic choices like a metallic black for example, otherwise I love this brand they hold there shape when I do dot painting and hold their colour when I mix with my fluid medium for acrylic pour painting. Please check out my Facebook page Art Crazy Kingston to see my results, you won’t regret using them.

Hi Sara, Thanks for your comments. We totally agree with you. The Mont Marte acrylic paint range is fantastic to use for so many different application including fluid art. You could try adding some Opal Dust Medium or Iridescent Varnish to the standard colours to add that metallic shimmer you are after!

Dimension Acrylics definitely worth consideration

Years ago, I bought Monte Marte watercolour paper and was disappointed with the poor quality. The result being that I avoided this brand. Recently I bought Dimension Acrylics, because there are so many brands available, why not try them all? I like Dimension Acrylics. The quality is good, I have mixed them with others and find they work well. I am not a profession artist, have a limited budget and these fit in well.

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