GOLDEN Acrylic Flow Release is a surfactant. A surfactant is a concentrated surface-active liquid which reduces surface tension, thus improving wetting and increasing the flow of acrylic waterborne paints.
A surfactant is used several ways in acrylic paint making. Surfactants are used to “wet out” pigments to ease their introduction into an acrylic resin, medium or gel. They can also be added to thinner paint mixtures, such as stains, to help reduce surface tension.
Acrylic Flow Release is very useful for staining techniques, as it dramatically reduces the surface tension between the stain (paint/water) and the support. Certain supports, especially raw canvas, are inherently water repelling in nature and require the use of such a surface-active agent to allow the stain to wet and penetrate into the support.
Adding Acrylic Flow Release to Paint Mixtures
Always pre-dilute Acrylic Flow Release before adding to a paint mixture. This product is a very strong surfactant, and we recommend adding minimum amounts to a mixture and increasing levels gradually.
- Mix 1 part Acrylic Flow Release to 10-20 parts water. Use this mixture whenever adding the Flow Release into a paint system.
- When painting on non-absorbent surfaces (not staining), do not exceed the level of 3% Acrylic Flow Release/water mix in the paint to minimize water sensitivity.
- For staining applications on absorbent surfaces, higher levels of Flow Release may be used as it will be absorbed by the support.
- Use Flow Release to pre-wet canvas or paper to increase the staining or spreading capabilities of the paint.
- For stains1, add 1 to 2 caps full of the 10:1/20:1 mixture per quart of paint/water mixture (stain).
- Pre-wetting the canvas with water or a water/Acrylic Flow Release mixture will facilitate the penetration of the stain into the weave of the canvas.
- For hardedge stains, incorporate the Acrylic Flow Release into the stain, but work on dry supports that have not been pre-wet.
Acrylic Flow Release can be used to “balance” acrylic paints for marbleizing techniques. For a full description of this process, refer to the Marbleizing with GOLDEN Products Information Sheet.