How to Fix Lumpy Acrylic Paint in 3 Simple Steps

Acrylic paint has a few limitations, and one of them is that it occasionally gets lumpy, ruining the look of your canvas. Don’t worry! You don’t have to throw away your canvas or start over because in this article, we’ll teach you how to fix lumpy acrylic paint in 3 simple steps. So, keep on reading.

Acrylic paint is one of the best options for beginner and more experienced artists. It’s designed to dry fast and delivers amazing results, so it will work for you regardless of your experience level.


Why Does Acrylic Paint Get Lumpy?



Acrylic paint is one of the best tools to start your journey as an aspiring artist, as it’s quite easy to spread and dries fast to bring your canvas to life. It delivers vibrant colors and is safer around pets and children. Moreover, more experienced artists love how it’s effortless to mix, so they can get the precise shade that they’re looking for.

When you buy a high-quality paint by numbers kit, you’ll receive a set of all the necessary colors that allow you to complete your artistic creation. When you follow the instructions, you’ll have a replica of the masterpiece appearing on the box with no issues.

However, sometimes your paint doesn’t spread as smoothly as you wish it could, and you end up with a lumpy texture. This doesn’t mean that you received a faulty product or your paint is bad. Nevertheless, if you’re new to painting, the look of lumpy acrylic paint can affect your enthusiasm to finish your project.

Although acrylic paint is an excellent paint, it can create a lumpy texture on your canvas for several reasons.

  • You haven’t picked up the right place to work on your artistic project. Acrylic paint is water-based, and strong air will make it dry faster than it should. The fast-drying feature is one of the pros of using acrylic paint, but when the paint dries too fast on the palette or on your canvas, you’ll have lumps of paint that don’t spread as smoothly as they should.
  • You’re adding too many layers too fast. Of course, acrylic paint is great for the layering effect, but if you don’t wait until the first layer is dry, you’ll end up with lumpy paint that ruins the look of your canvas.
  • You left the paint pot open. High-quality paint by number kits arrive with all the shades of paint that you’ll need to complete your project. But you might choose to save your project for summer vacation or a trip away from home. If you haven’t made sure that the pots are perfectly sealed and closed, the water-based paint will dry.
  • You’re using too much paint. Acrylic paint can give you rich shades, but this doesn’t mean that you should use a lot of paint on the brush. You should add an adequate amount, then add more where necessary to achieve the desired effect. Start with a thin coat and stretch your paint to examine the coverage before you decide to add more to avoid the lumpy effect.


How to Fix It: 3 Simple Ways


Don’t worry if you end up with lumpy acrylic paint. You can still have a flawless canvas using simple techniques and tools. Let us help you learn how to fix lumpy acrylic paint.


How to Fix Lumpy Acrylic Paint in Containers


Before working on your art project, you can make sure that the paint will apply smoothly and there will be no lumps that might affect the look of your canvas. Acrylic paint can get lumpy and clumpy if it’s been sitting for too long. This doesn’t mean that the paint is of low-quality. It simply means that the texture of the paint has changed because the water has evaporated.

This also happens if you have been leaving the pots open. The water evaporates and affects the consistency of the paint, so it doesn’t apply with a smooth finish, and you end up with ugly lumps on your canvas.

However, you can use a simple tool to make sure that your paint will be lumps-free. This will allow you to apply various coats to layer your paint and achieve the desired effect.

What You’ll Need

  • A fine mesh strainer.


  1. Get a fine mesh strainer and put it on top of a container.
  2. Strain the paint through the strainer.
  3. Clean the paint pot using water and dry it using a soft cloth.
  4. Put the paint back into the paint pot and seal it.

If the paint still feels too thick, you can add a small amount of water or some acrylic paint thinner to make sure that no more clumps will form.


How to Fix Acrylic Paint When it’s Wet

Before the paint dries, you can get rid of the lumps. However, you need to act fast because acrylic paint is water-based and dries upon exposure to air. You can use this method if your paint has been sitting in the pot for too long.

Acrylic paint can appear lumpy while it’s still wet. The lumps appear as small bumps or dots that make your canvas look sandy. As a result, applying an extra layer of paint won’t give you the desired effect.

What You’ll Need

  • A pair of tweezers.


  1. After applying a coat of paint, use a pair of tweezers to pick up the small lumps.
  2. Be gentle and act fast without smearing the paint.
  3. You can use a paintbrush to spread the paint more evenly.


How to Fix Acrylic Paint When it’s Dry

After the paint it has dried, you might find some ugly lumps that ruin the look of the canvas. Still, you can smooth out the surface and reapply the paint if necessary.

Dry paint can appear and feel too rough if the paint is lumpy. This might happen if you have applied too much paint or the paint has been sitting in the pot for too long.

Using sandpaper, you can remove the lumps and the excess paint. This will help smooth out the paint, and adding another layer will improve its look. You won’t damage the canvas, and you’ll be able to get rid of any excess paint that might affect the look of your artistic creation.

What You’ll Need

  • 220-grit sandpaper.


  1. Place your painting on a flat surface. Make sure that it’s even so you don’t damage the canvas.
  2. Use a soft cloth to wipe the canvas to get rid of any dust or debris.
  3. Gently, grab the 220-grit sandpaper and gently go over the little lumps. Don’t apply too much force, or you might remove too much of the paint or damage the canvas.

Using the sandpaper gently will help get rid of the lumps without damaging the canvas. In some cases, you might need to repaint the sanded part. This will guarantee a smoother texture, especially if you want to layer your shades.


Wrap Up


Acrylic paint can appear lumpy for several reasons, but you can get rid of the lumps and clumps easily. If the paint feels lumpy, strain it before working on your project. You can also add some water or a paint thinner to restore its consistency.

You can use a pair of scissors to remove any lumps while the paint is still dry. After the paint has dried, you can smooth out the canvas using sandpaper. We hope this article will help with the problem of how to fix lumpy acrylic paint!

To view our complete line of paint by numbers kits for beginners, CLICK HERE!

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