How to Add Glitter to Acrylic Paint? [3 Ways]

Adding glitter to acrylic paint is a great way to add some pizzazz and personality to your paintings. It can also be a way to make them more festive or seasonal.

Glitter comes in many colors, so you can choose the perfect shade to match your painting or use a contrasting color for added effect.

In this article, we will cover the basics of adding glitter to acrylic paint. We will discuss what kinds of glitter to use, how much, and what techniques work best.

glitter mixed painting

Can I Add Glitter to Acrylic Paint?

Yes, you can add glitter to acrylic paint! Glitter can add a fun and festive touch to all sorts of projects, from paintings and sculptures to mixed media collages. Glitter mixed with acrylic paint creates a sparkly finish, but it’s essential to use the right type of glitter. 

Fine glitter is best for adding to paint, as it will suspend evenly in the paint and stay in place once it dries.

Coarse glitter can be used, but it may not balance evenly and could fall out of the paint over time. You’ll also need to consider the color of the glitter you use. 

How to Add Glitter to Acrylic Paint 

Here’s what you’ll need to get started: 

  1. Acrylic paint in the color(s) of your choice. You can use any colors you like for your project. Mix and match to create something truly unique!
  2. A brush or two for painting. Any type of brush will work fine for this project. Use whatever you have on hand. 
  3. A piece of cardboard or newspaper (optional): This is only necessary if you want to keep your work area clean while you’re working. 
  4.  Glitter in the color(s) of your choice. Again, feel free to mix and match different colors to create something that reflects your style or taste. 
  5. A jar or container for mixing. Any type of container will work fine, as long as it’s big enough to hold the quantity of water and glue you are going to work with. 
  6. A popsicle stick or other stirring utensil (For Method 3). This is only necessary if you don’t want to get your fingers wet when mixing the water and glue. 
  7. A thin paintbrush for applying the glue mixture (For Method 3): If you don’t have a thin paintbrush, you can use any type of brush that you have on hand. Know that the thinner the brush, the more precise your application will be. 
glitter applied acrylic painting

METHOD ONE: Mixing the Acrylic Paint With the Glitter Before Painting.

Step 1: Prep Your Work Space. 

The first thing you’ll want to do is prep your workspace. Ensure you have all of your materials nearby and that your surface is clean and ready to go.

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You’ll want to make sure you have a clean, dry surface to work on. You also need to make sure the area is well-ventilated, as the fumes from the paint and glitter mixing process can be strong. Once everything is in place, you can move on to the next step. 

Step 2: Mix the Acrylic Paint and Glitter Together 

Now it’s time to mix the glitter and paint. You’ll want to use a jar or container for this so that you don’t make a mess.

Start by pouring the quantity of acrylic paint into the bowl or container then pour a small amount of glitter and build up from there, as it’s always easier to add more glitter than it is to remove it.

Once you are satisfied with the quantity, stir until they are combined. Feel free to add more or less glitter depending on how sparkly you want your final product to be. However, ensure the mix is evenly distributed.

Step 3: Apply the Paint Mixture to Your Surface 

Once the glitter and paint are mixed, it’s time to apply them to your surface. You can do this with a brush. Dip it into the mixture and then apply it to your surface in whatever pattern you like. Be sure to move quickly as the mixture tends to dry quickly! 

Step 4: Let It Dry and Enjoy! 

Once you’ve applied the glittery paint mixture to your surface, all that’s left to do is let it dry. Depending on how thickly you applied the mixture, this could take anywhere from 30 minutes to hours. Once it’s dry, step back and enjoy your handiwork!  

METHOD 2: Paint Your Project, Then Add the Glitter Over The Wet Paint. 

Step 1: Paint First

Begin by painting your project as you normally would using acrylic paint. Make sure to use good quality acrylic paint for the best result. And paint in thin, even coats so that the glitter will have something to adhere to. 

Step 2: Apply the Glitter While The Paint is Still Wet.

While the paint is still wet, sprinkling the glitter over it. You can use a paintbrush to apply the glitter if you prefer. Be sure to use fine-grade glitter for the best results.

You can also add multiple colors of glitter for a more dazzling effect. Continue until you’re happy with the amount of glitter on your project. Allow the paint to dry completely before handling. And enjoy your fabulous, glitzy creation!

METHOD 3: Paint Your Project, Allow to Dry, Brush a Watered Down Glue Mix Over the Painting, and Sprinkle the Glitter On.

Step 1: Paint Your Project.

First things first, you’ll need to paint whatever project you’re working on using whichever colors you’ve chosen. Allow the paint to dry completely before moving on to the next step.  

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glitter applied after paint is dry

Step 2: Brush a Watered-Down Glue Mix Over the Painting.

To make the glue mixture, simply add water to regular white school glue until it reaches a consistency that can be easily brushed on top of your painting without running off the sides.

Once you’ve mixed the water and glue, use a brush (thin or thick, depending on your preference) to apply it evenly over the top of your painting. 

Step 3. Sprinkle The Glitter On

Now it’s time for the fun part! Sprinkle glitter liberally over the entire surface of your painting, making sure that each section is covered evenly with sparkles.

You can use a brush if you wish. Allow the glitter glue mixture to dry completely before displaying or using your finished project! 

Step 4: Seal It Up 

The last step is to seal your project so that the glitter will stay in place. We recommend using a clear sealant like Mod Podge Dimensional Magic. Simply apply a thin layer of sealant over the entire project, being careful not to disturb the glitter too much. Allow your project to dry completely before displaying or using it. 

And that’s all there is to it! With either of these three easy methods, you can add glitter to your acrylic paint projects. To get the best results, use method 3.

Does Glitter Make Acrylic Paint Bad?

For many crafters, glitter is the finishing touch that can take a project from good to great. But what happens when you mix glitter and acrylic paint? Can you still use the paint? Is it safe? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Here’s what you need to know.

Acrylic paint is water-based, which means that it is activated by water and dries when exposed to air. Glitter, on the other hand, is made of tiny pieces of metal, natural minerals, or plastic.

When you mix glitter and acrylic paint, the water in the paint activates the glitter, causing it to expand. This expansion can cause the paint to become lumpy, thick, and textured. In some cases, it can even cause the paint to dry before you have a chance to use it. 

Two types of glitter can be added to acrylic paint: polyester glitter and mica flakes. Polyester glitter is made of tiny plastic shards that are cut into uniform shapes. Mica flakes, on the other hand, are made of natural minerals that have been ground down into fine particles. 

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Adding either type of glitter to your painting will change the properties of the paint. Polyester glitter will make the paint more opaque, while mica flakes will give it a beautiful shimmery sheen.

However, both types of glitter can also make your paint more difficult to work with. In addition, too much glitter can obscure the underlying layers of paint and make your painting look muddy. 

Is It Safe to Use Glitter with Acrylic Paint?

The short answer is yes, it is safe to use glitter with acrylic paint. However, there are a few things that you should keep in mind.

First of all, while most glitters are non-toxic, some may contain lead or other chemicals that will react with the acrylic paint and release harmful fumes. So be sure to check the label of your glitter and acrylic paint to ensure they are compatible. 

Secondly, because glitter expands when mixed with water-based products like acrylic paint, it is important to use a sealant after the paint has dried. This will ensure the glitters don’t come off the painting after a short period.

The Pros of Adding Glitter to Acrylic Paint

  • Adding glitters to acrylic paint adds extra dimension and sparkle to your work
  • The mixture adds accents or highlights certain areas.
  • Glitters come in a variety of colors and sizes. So whether you’re looking for a subtle touch of shimmer or want your project to be a full-on rainbow unicorn, you’ll achieve this with glitters. 

The Cons of Adding Glitter to Acrylic Paint

  • The Combo can be messy if not handled carefully.
  • Some glitters contain harmful chemicals, which can react when mixed with acrylic paint, irritating your skin, eyes, and nose.
  • You will find it difficult to remove the mixture from surfaces if spilled.
  • If not applied properly, the result of your project may look tacky or cheap.


Adding glitter to acrylic paint is a great way to turn any painting project into a show-stopper. But it can also be tricky and messy if not done properly.

If you decide to mix glitter with your acrylic paint, make sure to use the right type of glitter, handle it carefully, and apply a sealant when finished.  By following these simple steps, you can ensure that you get the best results possible. Good luck!

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