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Acrylic paints are among the most versatile yet attractive paints available. They offer the beauty of oil paints with the short drying time of watercolors, come in an endless array of hues, and dry in a variety of finishes: glossy, satin, matte. The polymer binder in acrylic adheres well to a wide range of surfaces: paper, canvas, wood, ceramics, plastics, fabric, rocks, and more. Acrylics also feature a range of viscosities. And because they’re water based, they are easier to use and clean up than oils. All of these factors make acrylic paint a great choice for children. Here are our top picks for the budding young artists in your life.
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1. Apple Barrel Matte Acrylic Paint Set
We love the color selection of this set, which includes fuchsia, nutmeg brown, Bimini blue, and 15 additional hues. Colorful and vibrant, these high-quality acrylic paints go on smoothly with even coverage, and they won’t stain skin, clothing, or furniture. The paint flows with ease and can even be thinned if you prefer a less opaque finish. Each 2-ounce plastic bottle has a flip-top lid and is able to withstand heavy handling by young artists. The nozzle makes it easy to dispense just the amount you need, and the bottles are easy to squeeze. Colors dry fast—but not too fast to allow for blending—and to a pleasing matte finish.
2. Crayola Acrylic Paint
Do you need a paint that’s kid friendly, water resistant, and permanent when dry? Crayola’s acrylic paint is the one for you. This set contains six 2-ounce bottles of pigment-rich paints in basic colors that mix well, allowing artists to create their own hues. The paints are thick and apply well to a variety of surfaces, including paper, canvas, wood, fabric, rock, and ceramics. They are durable, water resistant, nontoxic, and easy to clean up when wet with soap and water. If you love these paints, they are available in additional colors, including glitter and neon varieties.
3. Sax Acrylic Paint
Teachers go through a lot of paint in a year, and Sax offers excellent acrylics in value sizes at affordable prices. This set features six sturdy half-gallon jugs of basic colors, ideal for mixing additional tones. The durable, nontoxic paint can be applied to a variety of surfaces: paper, canvas, wood, fabric, cardboard, plastics, glass, and ceramics. It can be thinned down with water for washes, and it dries to a matte finish. It is an excellent choice for classrooms, art workshops, community projects, and murals.
4. Emooqi Acrylic Paint Set
Emooqi’s paint set includes paints as well as 10 brushes in a wide range of sizes; all you need to add is your own paper and palette. This is a great set for young ones who love color, as it includes 21 shades, including three greens, a range of pinks and reds, and some earth tones. Kids won’t waste as much paint as they might otherwise because they won’t have to do much blending. The paint flows well, dries without changing tone, and showcases excellent coverage. The 20-milliliter (0.7-ounce) jars are quite small, but this is a perfect set for one kid to call his or her own.
5. Natural Art Acrylic Colors
Natural Art’s beautiful acrylic paint set features 16 eye-popping colors. The creamy paints are made with premium pigments and high-quality acrylic; the colors include traditional artist hues and contemporary hues. The paint features smooth, outstanding coverage. It is lightfast, is water resistant when dry, and remains vibrant over time. It adheres to a variety of surfaces, including paper, canvas, wood, glass, ceramics, foam, pumpkins, and even skin. It dries quickly with a durable, glossy finish. These colorful, nontoxic acrylic paints come in easy-to-use 1.69-ounce plastic jars with wide mouths, so not a drop is wasted.