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How do you make hot pink acrylic paint?

How do you make hot pink acrylic paint?

Acrylic paint is a popular medium used by artists, crafters, and hobbyists alike. Known for its versatility and fast drying time, acrylic paint can be used on canvas, wood, plastic, fabric, and more. While acrylic paint can be purchased pre-made in just about any color imaginable, many artists enjoy creating their own custom acrylic paint colors. Mixing up a unique hue like hot pink acrylic paint is a fun way to put a personalized touch on your art and DIY projects.

What you need

Making acrylic paint is a fairly simple process that involves just a few key ingredients:

  • Acrylic paint base (fluid or heavy body)
  • Pigments
  • Extenders
  • Water
  • Containers
  • Stirring utensils

The acrylic paint base provides the binding medium that allows the pigment particles to adhere to surfaces. Fluid acrylics have a thinner consistency while heavy body acrylics have a thicker, more buttery texture. Either fluid or heavy body acrylic paint base will work for making custom colors.

Pigments are powdered compounds that provide color. To mix up a hot pink, you’ll need red, white, and possibly magenta or violet pigments. There are many pigment options available from art supply stores.

Extenders help adjust the consistency and sheen of acrylic paint. Typically extender is acrylic matte medium or acrylic gloss medium. You can use matte medium to dull down a color and gloss medium to enhance the sheen.

Distilled water can also be used to thin acrylic paints to achieve different viscosities. Always use distilled water rather than tap water to prevent unwanted chemicals from altering the acrylic binder.

You’ll need containers such as plastic cups or jars to mix up and store your custom acrylic paint colors. Plastic spoonulas or popsicle sticks work well for stirring and mixing paint.

Choosing your pigments

To mix up a perfect hot pink acrylic paint, you’ll want to use a combination of a cool red pigment and white pigment. You can also add in a touch of magenta or violet pigment to enhance the pinkness.

Here are some suggested pigment options:

  • Red: Naphthol red, quinacridone red
  • White: Titanium white
  • Magenta: Quinacridone magenta
  • Violet: Dioxazine purple

Naphthol red is a bright cool red with orange undertones. Quinacridone red is also a bold cool red with a touch more pinkness than naphthol red. Combining either of these red pigments with white makes a nice primary red/pink mix.

Adding a small amount of quinacridone magenta or dioxazine purple intensifies the pink hue. These contain cool blue and violet undertones that counterbalance the warmth of the red pigment.

Mixing process

When ready to start mixing, first decide which acrylic paint base you want to use. Fluid acrylics will produce a thinner, more free-flowing acrylic paint. Heavy body acrylics result in a thicker, more buttery paint consistency.

Next, choose your mixing container. Plastic cups or jars work well for holding small batches of custom acrylic colors. Glass can also be used but plastic is lighter and less prone to breaking.

Gather your selected pigments, acrylic medium, water, and mixing tool. Making sure to properly label your containers before starting.

Follow this basic process when mixing up a hot pink acrylic paint:

  1. Add some acrylic paint base into your container. About 2 parts paint base to 1 part pigment is a good starting ratio.
  2. Measure out your red pigment and add it to the paint base. Mix thoroughly until fully incorporated.
  3. Next add in white pigment, starting with small amounts such as 1 pinch or drop at a time. Fully mix between each white pigment addition.
  4. Continue gradually adding white and mixing until you achieve a bright primary red/pink color.
  5. To push the color into an intense hot pink, add a small amount of magenta or violet pigment. Start with 1 pinch or drop and mix well.
  6. At this stage, evaluate the color. Make adjustments by adding more pigment drops as needed until you reach your desired hot pink shade.
  7. After mixing your custom color, check the consistency. Thin with water or acrylic medium until satisfied.

Take notes as you go to keep track of your pigment ratios. This helps recreate the precise color every time. Store acrylic paint mixtures in airtight containers and be sure to label the color name and date mixed.

Achieving different finishes

The finish of acrylic paint is affected by the ratio of matte medium and gloss medium used as an extender. Here are some guidelines for achieving popular acrylic paint finishes:

  • Glossy finish: Use gloss medium as the extender. A gloss medium to paint ratio of 1:4 is ideal for high shine.
  • Matte finish: Use matte medium as the extender. Aim for a 1:3 ratio of matte medium to paint for flat matte look.
  • Satin finish: Use a combination of matte and gloss mediums. A 1:2:2 ratio of paint to matte to gloss medium will provide soft satin sheen.
  • Metallic finish: Add acrylic metallic pigment for shimmer. Keep the metallic medium under 5% of total mixture to retain color brightness.

Doing test samples on paint swatches is recommended when formulating finishes. Adjust mediums gradually until your desired sheen is achieved. Too much medium will result in paint that lacks vibrancy.

Tinting strengths

With custom color mixing, it’s helpful to understand how much each pigment needs to be added to tint a base paint. Here is a quick reference of approximate tinting strength for common acrylic pigments:

Pigment Tinting Strength
Cadmium red medium Very strong
Ultramarine blue Moderate
Quinacridone magenta Very strong
Phthalo blue Very strong
Titanium white Weak
Yellow ochre Weak
Burnt umber Moderate

Strong tinting pigments like cadmium red require very small amounts to produce bold colors. Weak tinting pigments like titanium white need larger quantities for the same color effect.

Referencing tinting strength helps gauge appropriate pigment ratios when mixing custom colors.

Testing and adjusting

Mixing acrylic paint is a useful skill that often takes trial and error when starting out. Don’t worry if your first few attempts don’t turn out exactly as envisioned. Custom color mixing improves with practice as you get familiar with the characteristics of different pigments.

Here are some tips for testing and adjusting your acrylic paint mixtures:

  • Do paint swatch tests to see true color and finish.
  • Make small batches first to conserve materials.
  • Take notes on pigment ratios and adjust in increments.
  • Add mediums last after achieving target color.
  • Thin paint with water or medium if too thick.
  • Let paint fully dry before making adjustments.
  • Compare swatches to color standards like Pantone.

Don’t be discouraged if your custom mixes come out a little off. Often you can resuspend the paint pigments and re-adjust to get the color right.

Tips for success

Follow these tips when concocting your own hot pink acrylic paint for best results:

  • Choose cool red and white pigments as your base.
  • Add magenta or violet pigment to intensify pinkness.
  • Use gloss or satin mediums for vibrant color.
  • Do test swatches to match target color.
  • Mix in small batches and take notes.
  • Store acrylics in sealed containers.
  • Allow paints to fully dry between layers.
  • Clean tools and surfaces promptly after painting.

Mixing up custom acrylic paint colors allows you to produce any shade imaginable. Follow the steps outlined to blend up the perfect hot pink acrylic paint for your next artistic endeavor.


Creating custom acrylic paint colors like a hot pink opens up lots of creative possibilities. With a few basic supplies and techniques, you can mix up an endless spectrum of acrylic paint shades. While it takes some practice to master color mixing, the process is fun and rewarding. Make sure to label and store your homemade acrylics properly. Share your color mixing experience with fellow artists. Your custom acrylic paints will allow you to add personal flair to all your artwork and DIY projects.