Issues with applying oil paints over acrylic grounds


  • Thanks for posting this, @Richard_P.

    Very interesting. And it's good that Golden are proactively testing for cracking in oil applied over acrylic even though there are as yet no reports of this potential problem actually occurring. Good on Golden.  Next time I buy some acrylic I'll try theirs. :)
  • dencaldencal -
    edited April 26

    Thanks Richard.

    I must draw your attention to some pretty poor research design in this analysis.

    1. No control samples. Eg knifed swatches on acrylic using stable supports.
    2. ‘Support had no influence on the results’. Give me a break. Used flexible, unstable materials.
    3. Oil paint shrinks as it dries and can cause cracking. Some of the knifed paintings I bought show cracks.
    4. Intends to analyse acrylic’s potential to induce cracking in oil paint. No discussion about the physics and chemistry of surface interaction
    5. Annoyingly, this is a study of a problem that doesn’t exist. 


  • I have to disagree Denis.

    1 & 2:
    Applications included multiple substrates: stretched canvas, unstretched canvas, canvas board, wood panel, polyester sheeting and lacquered paint testing cards. The type of substrate has minimal to no impact on the outcome.

    Wood panel and polyester sheeting should be stable. They didn't say ACM panels, but the wood panel is not flexible.

    3 (My bolding):
    Cracking is mostly happening in oil paint or oil ground with no oil or solvent added, applied directly out of the tube or container over the acrylic surfaces. These oil applications are roughly between .05mm and .25mm, which is the thickness of 1-5 sheets of office paper. Layers that are thinner or thicker do not seem to crack.
  • I've been using oil over an acrylic ground for at least five years and have not noticed any cracking. But what the Golden study shows is that it can occur in certain circumstances. And that's good to know. 
  • I used to do this a lot . . . acrylic under oil.  Believe it or not, I still have some of those early works from 25-30 years go laying around, and none of them show any problems.  I finally quit dong that because I started using washy oil block-ins that dried almost as quickly quickly as acrylic.
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