Find the best acrylic paint set for stunning artwork on canvases, wood, paper, and more

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Painting is one of those crafts that never get old. No matter your age or how good (or bad!) your skills are, there’s nothing like splattering paint onto a canvas or a piece of old furniture for artistic release.

While oil paints tend to get a lot of praise for their complexity and demand for technique, acrylic paint sets are just as incredible to work with, not to mention more accessible and versatile in application. And luckily, there are lots of options on offer!

So, whether you’ve been cooking up your first painting masterpiece, are interested in trying out new art supply brands, or are searching for child-friendly craft options, we’ve got your back.

Check out our top picks for the best acrylic paint sets below!

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Best acrylic paint sets: Quick picks

Liquitex Basic acrylics sets

Liquitex Basics Acrylic Paint Set (48 pieces)

  • Prestigious acrylic paint brand
  • Compatible with multiple surface types
  • 48 paint tubes for under ~$60

Arteza Acrylic Paint Set

Arteza Acrylic Paint Set (24 pieces)

  • Very cost-effective paint set
  • Comprehensive color range
  • Suitable for canvas art primarily

Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint Sets

Apple Barrel Paint and Brush Set (34 pieces)

  • Complete painting experience for beginners
  • Includes 10 brushes
  • Recent release (2021)

Best acrylic paint sets

Find the best acrylic paint set to bring your art projects to life; there are lots of wonderful options to choose from!

Best overall: Liquitex Basics Acrylic Paint Set (48 pieces)

Liquitex Basics Acrylic Set

Among many timeless and prestigious art supply brands is Liquitex — a pioneer in developing innovative, top-quality acrylic paint.

The Liquitex Basics Acrylic Set is suitable for all creatives, whether professional or beginner, and offers a fair balance between price and quality. While the brand manufactures sets with more paint, we think his 48-tube pack accommodates more than enough options for most projects.

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Besides an extensive color range, this set contains medium-viscosity acrylic paints that are vibrant and lightfast. And better yet, they’re compatible with all kinds of surfaces: canvas, paper, wood, metal, styrofoam, ceramics, textiles, and more. This is where it’s at if you’re looking for versatility!

I love that the 48-piece set includes a mix of opaque, semi-opaque, and transparent paints, providing multiple possibilities in a single pack. They are also suitable for applications beyond creative work, such as underpainting or achieving full, uniform coverage of surfaces.

Available on different online art supply stores and retailers, you can find this product on Amazon, Blick, and Etsy for approximately the same price: under $60. Click below to see which delivery options and conditions suit you best!

Best value for money: Arteza Acrylic Paint Set (24 pieces)

Arteza Acrylic Paint Set of 24

Arteza is an excellent brand for newbie artists on a budget or seasoned hobbyists simply looking for more affordable options to pursue their craft. And if this brand proves anything, it’s that you don’t have to compromise quality for price!

This cheap acrylic paint set includes 24 tubes, is available for under $30 on Amazon, and offers a variety of vivid, high-viscosity pigments. Each tube holds 22ml of acrylic paint, with the perfect consistency for blending, layering, and diluting to achieve specific textures.

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However, this set is mainly designated for canvas work. For that reason, it’s not the best acrylic paint set for beginners searching for an affordable option with a broader range of applications.

Also, this paint has a glossy finish, so if matte finishes are what you’re after, you’ll be better off with some of the following items. Nevertheless, this is an excellent set if you’ve just started painting with acrylics and want to test out different options until you discover your personal preferences.

Other sets I love by Arteza are its Jewel Tones and Floral Brilliance paints — the latter is perfect for botanical illustration and painting-themed projects!

Best for beginners: Apple Barrel Paint and Brush Set (34 pieces)

Apple Barrel Art Lessons Paint and Brush Set

First-time painters, you’re in for a treat! This 34-piece Apple Barrel pack is the perfect match if you’re looking for a comprehensive acrylic paint set with brushes and more to get you painting like a pro.

Apart from 22 easy-to-squeeze paint bottles, Mod Podge, and 10 different paint brushes, this is our pick for the best acrylic paint sets for beginners because it also includes access to five 1-hour-long tutorials on different painting techniques and projects.

Read also: Find the best mini canvas

And although resources may seem basic, this set provides a great introductory experience, especially if you’ve never painted a day in your life! Paints are opaque and have a long-lasting matte finish — great for base coating, stenciling, sponge painting, and more.

This is also a very versatile set in that it’s compatible with an array of surfaces, from wood, paper, and foam, to canvas and paper mache. Besides easy cleanup, these paints will also dry pretty quickly. However, remember that drying time will vary according to your surface type!

If you’ve been looking for the latest in acrylic paint sets for beginners, this Apple Barrel product was released in 2021 and is becoming pretty popular. Note that this pack is cheaper on Amazon than on Etsy; click below to evaluate the best purchase option for you.

Best for professionals: Winsor & Newton Professional Acrylic Paint Set (12 pieces)

Winsor & Newton Professional Acrylic Paints and Sets

Next up is a suggestion that longtime painters will certainly enjoy — Winsor & Newton’s professional-grade acrylic tube set.

As one of the most premium products on our list, it is — surprise, surprise — a little expensive. However, this set is available at different prices depending on where you buy it; we advise checking all the pricing options below before making your final purchase.

Read also: Best watercolor sets

On the other hand, if you’re a serious crafter, this is definitely worth the splurge: quality is supreme, and pigments are bursting with long-lasting vibrancy. And better yet, since this paint has not been developed with extenders, so completed works boast more natural, organic finishes.

This is also the ideal professional acrylic paint set to experiment with color-mixing and proves that you don’t need a vast variety of hues to achieve impactful outcomes. However, the paint dries pretty quickly, so make sure you have the experience and agility to paint quickly.

Note that this set is designed for pro-level canvas artists, and therefore, paint is thicker than what you’ll find in most student-grade sets. You may face some challenges if you’re still learning — but this is a great option once you’ve honed your skills!

Best matte finish: Blick Matte Acrylic Paint Set (7 pieces)

Blick Matte Acrylic Paints and Sets

Glossy finishes are great, but a beautiful matte finish hardly disappoints. For this purpose, we recommend Blick’s matte acrylic paint sets: they’re cheap, good quality, offer unique hues, and can also be purchased individually.

This particular set is our favorite. It includes seven 60ml bottles of dreamy pastel, quick-drying paint. This product has been developed for applications on different surfaces, such as canvas, paper, wood, fabrics, ceramics, glass, metal, and plastics.

Read also: Watercolor pencils buyer’s guide

These acrylic paints are also especially striking when used for decorative painting and stenciling work, whether to embellish old furniture, picture frames, ceramic vases, and more.

Children can also craft safely with these acrylics since they are non-toxic and safe for everyday use. Besides this pastel paint pack, Blick also sells these matte acrylic paint sets (7 items): Basic Colors Acrylic Paint Set and Neutral Colors Acrylic Paint Set.

All of these packs cost ~$12. However, if you prefer to purchase individual colors, this is also possible for only ~$3 a piece! Some of my favorites are Amethyst, Dark Green Deep, and Pale Gold!

Best heavy body: Liquitex Professional Heavy Body Acrylic Paint Set (6 pieces)

Liquitex Professional Heavy Body Acrylic Paint 6-Pack

Next up is another Liquitex product: the Liquitex Heavy Body Artist Acrylics Set of 6 — the perfect match for mixed-media artists and elaborate, textured works.

Smooth, lightfast, and thick in consistency, this acrylic paint line by Liquitex offers rich pigments that transfer beautifully onto canvases, whether with brushes or palette knives — these aren’t only used with oil paints!

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This is an ideal set for freeform painting, collage work, and printmaking. It is, however, a little pricey. Therefore, we think this 6-pack is more than suitable for starters exploring heavy body acrylic paints for the first time — it provides the essentials and lots of mixing possibilities without burning a hole in your pocket!

But, if you’re more experienced and willing to pay a little more, you may want to consider this set of 12. Besides this classic color set, Liquitex also sells these color-themed heavy body acrylic packs: Iridescent colors, fluorescent colors, landscape colors, muted colors, and vibrant colors.

Because this is a top-of-the-line brand, be aware that prices will vary significantly according not only to the number of items per set as well as to specific paint themes/colors.

Best pigment: Golden Fluid Acrylic Paint Set (10 pieces)

Golden Fluid Acrylic Paint and Sets

Although there are many great acrylic paints offering long-lasting vibrancy, we really like this Golden Fluid Acrylics 10-pack because it’s accessible, high in quality, and suitable for all skill levels.

For roughly ~$40, this set contains ten highly-pigmented 30ml bottles of essential colors that can be applied in various ways, whether by spraying, brushing, or mixing with heavy body acrylic paints.

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It’s also very cost-effective, considering the amount and quality of paint featured in a single pack. Note: Etsy sells this product for a slightly higher price than, for example, Amazon or Blick. Therefore, we advise reviewing all the pricing options below.

Because of its flexible consistency, this set is a great solution if you want to paint beyond your canvas: it’s compatible with screen printing and watercolor projects. No matter what approach you go for, pigments remain bright and long-lasting.

The brand’s Golden Acrylic Flow Release wetting agent is an excellent addition to your set, especially if you’re interested in exploring the versatility of these pigments on different mediums and projects (available on Amazon for ~$22).

Best for children: Crayola Acrylic Paint Set (6 pieces)

Crayola Acrylic Paint Set 6-Pack

Offering an affordable, quality, and straightforward painting experience, this classic Crayola Acrylic Paint set for children ages 12 and up is a great entryway for young painters in the making.

Containing six 59ml bottles of non-toxic paint, this pack includes thick, easy-to-apply dye on multiple surfaces, including paper, wood, fabric, and clay. It’s the perfect starter kit for school projects or home crafting activities with family and friends.

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Inexpensive and accessible, this set makes for a great, creative gift too! And if you want to add a couple of brushes to complete your set, these Crayola Big Paint Brushes for acrylics are only ~$5!

While the color range is limited, children will have essential colors to experiment with blending and mixing. In return, this provides an entertaining, educational opportunity for kids to learn basic color theory without an overwhelming number of materials.

These paints release more of a glossy finish vs. matte effect once dry, which is also more appealing for youngsters, especially if they are painting on rocks or poster paper!

How to choose the best acrylic paint sets

So, how does one know exactly what to look for in acrylic paint sets?

Of course, colors can look beautiful, and low-price tags are undoubtedly appealing — but what should you know before considering one product over another? Here are some of our recommendations!

Select a set that is compatible with your experience level. For example, if you’re a starter or have a tighter budget to work with, a cheaper acrylic paint set for beginners is absolutely fine!

On the other hand, once you’ve sharpened your skills, we strongly encourage moving onto more elaborate, professional-grade sets to explore the full potential of what you can create.

Many sets provide an overwhelming amount of paint colors. That said, if you’re a beginner, start small. A more basic acrylic paint set will allow you to focus on mixing, blending, and understanding the essentials.

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From then on, you’ll be able to evaluate what extra pigments or specialty paints you want to incorporate into your toolset to take your work to the next level.

It’s also crucial to consider lightfastness: the ability for color to remain intact and vibrant over time. Therefore, for pigments to be long-lasting and impactful, always select products with a high level of permanence.

This is one of the most significant benefits of working with acrylic paints; they are more permanent than oil paints and watercolors!

Evaluate if your mediums and the viscosity of your paint are compatible. For example, heavy body acrylic paints are best for thick brushstrokes and blending/mixing techniques.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for more watercolor and staining effects, fluid acrylics are your best bet. Want something you can adapt more easily? Acrylic mediums are an effective way to achieve versatility.

Lastly, really take drying time into account. While it may seem like a no-brainer to want paint to dry quickly, the truth is that the quicker your paint dries, the more rushed you’ll be to apply changes, experiment with different blending options, etc.

Quick-dry paint is best for more experienced artists who know how to work around this, but starters will benefit from having the pressure taken off. So, don’t go overboard with super quick dry times if you’re just starting; you might regret not being able to keep up!

That’s it for our guide to the best acrylic paint sets you can buy! Any advice for other intrepid crafters? Let everyone know in the comments below!

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