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.
GOLDEN Acrylic Flow Release also improves flow for brushing acrylic paints. This allows for improved leveling, and reduces bead up1 due to surface tension.
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 capabilitites of the paint.
- For stains, 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.
Increasing Paint Fluidity
On non-absorbent surfaces, mixing Acrylic Flow Release with acrylic paint will increase paint fluidity. Note: Avoid using excessive amounts of Flow Release in thick applications, as doing so can result in poor drying and tacky films.
Increasing Open Time
Additions of Acrylic Flow Release have been used to slightly increase the open time of acrylic paints. Care should be taken not to exceed the recommended maximum levels, as surface defects may develop. We recommend instead adding GOLDEN Retarder, or Acrylic Glazing Liquid, both of which can also be used to increase open time.
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.