Optimal Paper Choices for Acrylic Painting

If you’re a beginner in acrylic painting, you might be curious about the optimal paper choices for your artwork. With various options available, it’s essential to understand the pros and cons of different papers. In this informative blog post, we’ll delve into the best types of paper for acrylic paint and offer insights on what to avoid.

Acrylic painting paper takes up less room, is lighter and is less expensive than stretched canvas, making it easier to store, carry and experiment with. Source; Jackson Art Supply

Discover the Finest Acrylic Papers for Artists – Painthog’s Top Recommendations

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned professional, selecting the right acrylic paper is crucial for your artistic journey. For over 20 years, Crafted by Robert has relied on and recommended the following papers, which we confidently consider the best options available.

If you prefer individual sheets instead of pads, don’t forget to explore those as well. While personal preference plays a role, all of the papers listed below excel in handling various acrylic painting techniques. To start with a reliable choice, consider the highly recommended Strathmore 400 series.

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Best paper for acrylic painting
Strathmore 400 Series

Strathmore 400 Series: The Ultimate Acrylic Painting Paper for Beginners and Professionals

When it comes to the finest paper for acrylic painting, look no further than the Strathmore 400 Series. Specifically designed for acrylic artists, this heavyweight acid-free paper offers exceptional quality and performance. Its heavy and toothsome surface, complemented by a cream-colored linen finish, provides the perfect canvas for your artistic endeavors.

With convenient pads featuring 10 sheets per block, you can seamlessly work on your projects without any downtime in between. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, the Strathmore 400 Series guarantees a smooth and uninterrupted creative process.


Excellent canvas-paper blend for acrylic painting
Canson Canva Paper

Canson Canva-Paper (Figueras): The Premium Choice for Acrylic Painting

Indulge in the superior quality and durability of Canson Canva-Paper, meticulously crafted for acrylic painting enthusiasts. With its efficient water absorption and remarkable resistance, this high-quality material ensures an even application of paint across its surface.

Its natural texture, reminiscent of canvas, enhances the painting experience and delivers exceptional results. Rest assured, this acid-free product offers excellent longevity, ensuring your artwork will stand the test of time when stored properly. Embrace the confidence that comes with using Canson Canva-Paper for your acrylic masterpieces.


Best student grade canvas paper
Strathmore Canvas Paper

Experience the Excellence of Strathmore Black Canvas Paper

Discover the ideal canvas-like surface for honing your acrylic painting techniques with Strathmore Black Canvas Paper. This top-notch, high-quality paper allows you to freely practice your skills without the fear of damaging precious materials. With its textured surface that perfectly mimics the look and feel of canvas, you can create stunning artworks with ease.

The paper’s substantial weight provides stability, ensuring a sturdy base for your creations, and its exceptional durability prevents tearing, even during vigorous painting sessions. Available in convenient 10-sheet blocks and various sizes, Strathmore Black Canvas Paper is the ultimate choice for unleashing your creativity.


Exploring the Different Types of Acrylic Papers

When it comes to acrylic painting, there are three primary types of papers to consider: standard heavyweight, canva-paper, and canvas paper.

  1. Standard paper – It is advisable to opt for a weight of 120 lb. or higher to ensure optimal performance. This acid-free paper is specifically designed for watercolor and acrylics, but it also works well with dry media like markers, pastels, colored pencils, pencils, and pen-and-ink. With its heavy sizing and fine-tooth surface, this paper allows for easy blending and erasing.
  2. Canva-paper – Offering a slightly textured surface, canva-paper provides an alternative to the smoothness of standard paper. If you prefer a surface with a touch of texture, falling between smooth and traditional canvas, this type of paper can be a suitable choice.
  3. Canvas paper – Ideal for those seeking significant texture resembling traditional canvas, this paper option is not well-suited for intricate details or mixed-media applications due to its deeper ruts.

By understanding the distinctions between these acrylic papers, you can select the one that best suits your artistic preferences and project requirements.

Advantages of painting acrylics on paper

The Advantages of Paper Over Canvas

When compared to canvas, paper offers several advantages that make it a desirable choice for artists. Firstly, paper is generally more affordable than canvas, allowing artists to experiment and create without breaking the bank. Additionally, paper provides the unique advantage of being usable on both sides, maximizing its potential and value.

Another benefit of paper is its versatility in terms of size options. Whether you prefer working on small sheets or large rolls, paper comes in a wide range of sizes to accommodate your artistic vision. This flexibility allows you to choose the dimensions that best suit your creative needs.

Furthermore, paper offers the freedom to rectify mistakes or unsatisfactory results. If a painting doesn’t turn out as expected, simply flip the paper over and start fresh on the back. This practicality enables artists to embrace experimentation and learn from their artistic journey without the fear of wasting expensive materials.

In summary, the affordability, dual usability, size variety, and ability to rectify errors make paper a highly desirable medium for artists, providing both practicality and creative freedom.

What is the meaning of archival?

When we refer to a product as archival, it signifies its ability to resist deterioration over an extended period. Archival papers, in particular, are specifically designed to maintain their quality and appearance over time, ensuring longevity without yellowing or becoming brittle.

By using archival materials, such as archival papers, artists and creators can be confident that their artwork will remain preserved and protected for years to come. These papers are made with high-quality materials and production processes that adhere to strict standards, ensuring durability and resistance to environmental factors that may cause degradation.

In essence, choosing archival materials, including archival papers, guarantees the longevity and preservation of your artwork, allowing future generations to appreciate and enjoy it without concerns of deterioration.


Art storage bags

How to properly store paintings on paper

To ensure the preservation of your paintings on paper, it’s important to follow proper storage practices. Here are some guidelines to help you store your artwork effectively:

  • Choose a suitable storage location: Select a cool, dry, and dark area to store your paintings. Avoid areas with direct sunlight or extreme temperature fluctuations, as these can damage the paper and cause color fading or warping.
  • Protect from environmental factors: Keep the paintings away from sources of moisture, humidity, and excessive heat. These conditions can lead to mold growth, paper degradation, or adhesive failure.
  • Use acid-free materials: When storing your paintings, use acid-free materials such as archival folders, sleeves, or boxes. Acidic materials can cause the paper to deteriorate over time. Acid-free storage options help prevent yellowing, discoloration, and acid migration.
  • Avoid touching the surface: Handle the paintings with clean, dry hands to avoid transferring oils, dirt, or moisture onto the paper. If necessary, use clean cotton gloves to handle the artwork to prevent any potential damage.
  • Use protective barriers: Place a layer of acid-free glassine or archival tissue paper between paintings to prevent them from sticking together or smudging.
  • Consider using art storage bags: Premium art storage bags can provide an extra layer of protection against dust, moisture, and light. These bags are designed to be archival-safe and can help safeguard your paintings during storage.

By following these storage practices, you can ensure that your paintings on paper remain in good condition for an extended period. Regularly inspect the artwork to check for any signs of deterioration or pests and make adjustments to the storage environment if necessary.

avoid this type of paper
Photo by christian buehner / Unsplash

Types of paper to avoid for acrylic painting

  1. Lightweight paper: Avoid using lightweight paper for acrylic painting. Acrylic paint is water-based and has a higher moisture content compared to other mediums. Lightweight papers are prone to buckling and tearing when exposed to moisture, which can negatively impact your artwork.
  2. Non-archival paper: It’s important to avoid using non-archival paper for acrylic painting. Non-archival papers are not designed to withstand the test of time and can deteriorate over the years. They may become yellow, brittle, or prone to fading, compromising the longevity of your artwork.
  3. Glossy or coated papers: Steer clear of using glossy or coated papers for acrylic painting. These surfaces have a smooth finish and are designed to repel moisture. As a result, acrylic paint may not adhere properly to the surface, leading to poor adhesion and a tacky or uneven appearance.

By avoiding these types of papers, you can ensure that your acrylic paintings have a stable surface to work on and maintain their quality over time. Opting for heavyweight, acid-free, and archival papers will provide better results and longevity for your acrylic artworks.

Wrap it up

In conclusion, armed with knowledge about the best paper for acrylics, you are ready to embark on your artistic journey. Remember to prioritize the use of archival materials to ensure the longevity of your paintings. We appreciate your time in reading this guide.

If you have any further questions or need clarification, please leave a comment below, and we will be more than happy to assist you. Wishing you a joyous and fulfilling painting experience!