Acrylic Paint Cost: A Practical Guide for Artists
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 8 min read


  1. Different types of acrylic paint
  2. Cost of student grade acrylic paint
  3. Cost of artist grade acrylic paint
  4. Pricing factors in acrylic paint
  5. Brand comparison and pricing
  6. How to buy acrylic paint on a budget
  7. Tips for maintaining and preserving acrylic paint

As an artist, we know you're always on the lookout for high-quality materials that won't break your budget. One of the most common questions we hear from fellow artists is, "how much does acrylic paint cost?" Well, the answer isn't as straightforward as you might think. There's a range of factors that can affect the cost of acrylic paint, including its type, quality, and brand. But don't worry, we're here to shed some light on the subject and help you navigate this colorful world.

Different types of acrylic paint

Acrylic paint isn't just a one-size-fits-all product. There are actually several different types of acrylic paint that you might come across in your artistic journey. Let's take a closer look at some of them:

  • Student Grade: If you're just starting out or practicing new techniques, student grade acrylic paint can be a cost-effective choice. It typically has less pigment and a smaller color range than professional grade paints, but hey, it gets the job done, right?
  • Artist Grade: Also known as professional grade, artist grade acrylic paint has a higher pigment concentration and offers a wider color spectrum. It's perfect for those of you who are more experienced or are working on a piece that you want to last. Be warned though, the cost can be a bit higher than student grade.
  • Fluid Acrylics: These paints are thinner than traditional acrylics but still pack a punch when it comes to color saturation. They're great for detailed work or techniques that require a more fluid consistency. The cost? It's usually somewhere in the middle of student and artist grade paints.
  • Acrylic Inks: If you're going for a watercolor-like effect or doing detailed work, acrylic inks are a fantastic choice. They're highly pigmented and extremely fluid. And yes, they tend to be a bit pricier than traditional acrylic paints.
  • Interactive Acrylics: Fancy a bit of a play? Interactive acrylics can be "re-wetted" and worked even after they've dried. It gives you more flexibility and control over your work. The cost of this fun feature? It's usually a bit higher than traditional acrylics.

There you have it! Different types of acrylic paint to fit your every need. But remember, the type of paint isn't the only thing that affects how much does acrylic paint cost. Factors like the quality, brand, and where you buy it from can also come into play. So let's dive into those aspects next, shall we?

Cost of student grade acrylic paint

So you've decided to start with student grade acrylic paint. A smart choice for beginners and those working on a tight budget. But, "how much does acrylic paint cost?" when we're talking about this grade?

Well, student grade acrylic paint is generally the most affordable option. It's perfect for those of you who are just starting to dip your brushes into the colorful world of acrylics. You can usually find a decent set of 12 colors for around $10 to $20. Now that's a deal!

But remember, even within the student grade category, prices can vary. A 2-ounce tube can cost anywhere from $2 to $5, depending on the brand. And while larger tubes might seem more expensive, they can actually be more cost-effective in the long run. So don't dismiss those 4-ounce or 5-ounce tubes just because their price tags are a bit higher!

And one more thing—while we're talking about cost, let's not forget about quality. Low price doesn't always mean low quality. There are plenty of affordable student grade acrylic paints out there that offer good pigment and decent coverage. So don't be afraid to try a few different ones to see which you prefer.

So, in short, the cost of student grade acrylic paint can vary, but it's certainly a budget-friendly option for those looking to explore their artistic side without breaking the bank.

Cost of artist grade acrylic paint

Moving on to the other end of the spectrum, we have artist grade acrylic paints. Now you might be asking, "how much does acrylic paint cost?" when we reach this level. It's a fair question, and the answer is a bit more complex.

Artist grade paints, as you might expect, are generally more expensive. A set of 6 to 12 colors can range from $30 to $60, or even more. Individually, a 2-ounce tube can cost anywhere from $6 to $15, again depending on the brand. Higher price, yes, but remember, you're also getting higher quality.

With artist grade paints, you're paying for a higher concentration of finely ground pigment and fewer fillers. This means more vibrant colors and better coverage with each brushstroke. So while the initial cost may be higher, you may find that you're using less paint in the long run because a little goes a long way.

But here's the thing, while the cost is higher, the value you get from artist grade paints can be worth it if you're serious about your craft. The rich, vibrant colors and the smooth, creamy consistency can take your artwork to the next level. So, if you're serious about your acrylic painting journey, artist grade paints could be a worthwhile investment.

So yes, artist grade acrylic paint does cost more. But remember, art is an investment, not just of money, but of time and passion. And sometimes, investing in higher quality materials can make all the difference in your artistic journey.

Pricing factors in acrylic paint

Let's take a closer look at what goes into the cost of acrylic paint. Why is one tube of paint more expensive than another? It's not a simple matter of "this brand is pricier than that one." There are actually several factors at play.

First up, there's the pigment. This is what gives the paint its color. More expensive paints often have a higher concentration of pigment, which gives them their vibrant, rich colors. This is one of the reasons why artist grade paints usually cost more than student grade ones. They have more pigment, and therefore, provide better color payoff.

Next, there's the binder. Acrylic paint is essentially pigment mixed with a binder to create a paint that can be easily applied and will stick to your canvas or other surface. The quality of this binder can affect the price of the paint. Higher quality binders result in a smoother, more buttery paint that's easier to work with and offers a better finish.

Another big factor is the production process. Quality paints are often made in smaller batches, with a lot of care and attention to detail. This includes everything from grinding the pigment to the perfect consistency, to mixing it with the binder in just the right proportions. All this extra effort and attention to detail can add to the cost of the paint.

Finally, there's the packaging. Yes, even the tube that your paint comes in can affect the price. Tubes made from better materials that protect the paint from air and light can add a bit to the cost. But they also help to preserve the quality of the paint, which can be important if you're not going to use it all at once.

So, when you're wondering "how much does acrylic paint cost?", remember to consider these factors. It's not just about the price tag, but about what you're getting for your money.

Brand comparison and pricing

So, you've understood the factors that contribute to the cost of acrylic paint. Now, let's have a chat about some popular brands and their pricing, shall we?

Liquitex is a well-known brand that offers both student and artist grade paints. Their student grade line, called "Basics," is quite affordable, usually costing around $5 to $10 for a 4oz tube, depending on the color. The artist grade line, "Professional," is pricier, with a 2oz tube typically costing between $10 and $15.

Golden is another respected name in the art world. Their acrylic paints are of artist grade quality, and the pricing reflects that. A 2oz tube of Golden acrylic paint can run you between $10 and $20, depending on the color and pigment concentration.

Winsor & Newton is a brand that offers a good balance between quality and price. Their "Galeria" line is considered a high-end student grade or a low-end artist grade, and the price is in that middle ground too. Expect to pay between $6 and $10 for a 2oz tube.

Finally, let's talk about Blick. They offer a "Studio" line that's very affordable and a good choice for beginners or artists on a budget. A 4oz tube of Blick Studio acrylic paint can cost as little as $4.

So, in terms of "how much does acrylic paint cost?", the answer can vary quite a bit depending on the brand and the quality of the paint. But remember, it's not just about the price. Think about the factors we discussed earlier and choose the paint that will give you the best value for your money.

How to buy acrylic paint on a budget

Alright, let's get down to brass tacks. You're an artist, and you're asking, "How much does acrylic paint cost, and can I afford it?" You're in luck! There are some savvy ways to get quality paint without breaking the bank.

First, consider buying sets instead of individual tubes. Many brands offer sets of their most popular colors, and these often come at a discount compared to buying each color separately. Plus, you'll get a range of colors to start with, which is especially handy if you're just starting out.

Second, aim for the sales. Art supply stores and online retailers often have sales or special deals. Sign up for newsletters or set up alerts to be notified when these sales happen. This way, you can buy higher quality paints at a lower price.

Third, why not try mixing your own colors? By buying the primary colors (red, blue, and yellow), plus black and white, you can mix a wide range of hues. This will save you money and help you learn a lot about color theory in the process. Pretty neat, right?

Lastly, remember that it's okay to start small. You don't need every color under the sun to create beautiful art. Start with a few basic colors and add more as you go along. This way, you gradually build your collection without putting too much strain on your wallet.

So, next time you wonder "how much does acrylic paint cost?", remember these tips. You'll be able to stretch your budget while still getting the paints you need to create your masterpieces!

Tips for maintaining and preserving acrylic paint

So now you've got your paint, and you're ready to create. But wait! Do you know how to maintain and preserve your acrylic paint to make sure it lasts? No worries, let's go over some tips.

First, always make sure to tightly close your paint tubes or jars after use. This isn't just to keep the paint from drying out—it also prevents dust and other particles from contaminating your paint. Trust me, you don't want to find a speck of dust in your perfect shade of cerulean blue!

Second, when using a palette, try to squeeze out only as much paint as you'll use in one session. This will not only save you money by reducing waste, it will also keep your paint fresh. If you do have leftover paint on your palette, cover it with some cling film or put it in an airtight container to keep it from drying out.

Third, consider investing in a palette box or a stay-wet palette. These handy tools can keep your acrylics wet and usable for longer periods of time. Yes, it's an extra expense, but if you often find yourself losing paint because it dries out too fast, it might be worth it.

Lastly, store your paints in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Acrylic paint is pretty sturdy, but extreme temperatures and sunlight can affect its quality over time.

Remember, buying paint is an investment, so it's worth taking the time to care for it properly. By following these tips, you can ensure your paint will stay in top condition for as long as possible. Happy painting!

If you found this practical guide on acrylic paint costs helpful and want to improve your skills in acrylic painting, don't miss the workshop 'Improve Your Acrylic Painting Skills' by Rachel Christopoulos. This workshop will provide you with valuable tips and techniques to elevate your acrylic painting abilities and create stunning pieces of art.