Is it possible to white wash an acrylic painted canvas?


I’m redecorating and would love to keep this acrylic painted canvas. Is there a way to white wash or dull the colors that would work over the acrylic? I love everything about it except the vibrant colors.

thank you

is it possible to white wash an acrylic painted canvas
is it possible to white wash an acrylic painted canvas
is it possible to white wash an acrylic painted canvas
  18 answers
  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Jan 30, 2021

    Sure! Make a thin wash of white paint (latex) and water. Apply this over the painting and then wipe it away. After you do this the first time, you'll get an idea of how much it's toned down the colors and adjust your water/paint mixture accordingly.

  • Libbie B Libbie B on Jan 30, 2021

    Sure! If you love it give it a try.

  • Maura White Maura White on Jan 30, 2021

    YES!!! Use Gesso - it is a thicker white paint that you should use anyway when you have a new canvas.

  • Peggy L Burnette Peggy L Burnette on Jan 30, 2021

    • Hi Elizabeth, hope this is what you were wanting. Apply whitewash directly over the entire canvas. The opacity of the paint on your brush all depends on your personal preferences. If you only want a subtle wash over the colours, make sure that there is less white residue on the brush after dipping into your water.

    How to Create Whitewash Abstract Art - A Pretty Fix whitewash directly over the ent

  • Lindsay Aratari Lindsay Aratari on Jan 30, 2021

    Yes definitely

  • You could paint a glaze with just a slight tint of white. Do a test patch first

  • William William on Jan 31, 2021

    A 50/50 mix of water and paint.

  • Sharon Sharon on Jan 31, 2021

    You could also try a thick white acrylic paint and scrape it on using a wide trowel or scraper. Apply an even coat of the acrylic to the edge of the scraper and then quickly drag it across the painting.... I would use a piece of wood along the edge to get it going..... then have another clean scraper ready to remove excess. Being water based you can use a big sponge to remove if you don't get it right the first time.... and smaller scrapers and sponges for touchups. Here is 1 guys innovation to get the look....

  • Em Em on Feb 01, 2021

    Dry brush white on it. You can wipe off too much of it with a rag as you go.

  • Chas' Crazy Creations Chas' Crazy Creations on Feb 01, 2021

    Yes you can really water down some white glaze and then lightly apply it

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Feb 02, 2021

    Mix white latex paint with water and then brush it on your canvas, if too thick you can remove some with a rag, all a matter of personal preference as of how opaque you want the picture.

  • K. Rupp K. Rupp on Feb 02, 2021

    I would use a glazing technique. You can get glaze at any paint store like Benjamin Moore. Even Home Depot and Lowes should have it. Mix white paint with glaze....3 parts glaze to one part paint. Or you could even go less with the glaze depending on how much whiter you want it to be. Paint over the painting and you can wipe away easily what you want and don't want.

    Another idea would be to whitewash it by mixing water with white paint.

    I do like the glazing method a little better because you can control how much white gets put on and what can come off easier. It's up to you though. If you don't really care then the whitewashing method is cheaper since you aren't buying a glaze.

    Good luck! I agree, I like your idea!

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Feb 02, 2021

    Hello yes you can whitewashing to tone down the vibrancy. I would suggest using an acrylic paint and a paint liquid or gel medium extender to make it more transparent or you could try just using water.

  • Deb K Deb K on Feb 08, 2021

    Hi Elizabeth, I think you can try to put a thin coat of acrylic white over it wait to see if it is what you want, start with light coats until it is the color you want. Wait to dry after each coat

  • Mogie Mogie on Nov 14, 2022

    I would not add water since I believe that dry brushing the painting would give you more control over the amount applied. This would soften the colors.

  • EdaMund EdaMund on Sep 11, 2023

    One popular method is whitewashing, where you essentially create a semi-transparent layer of white paint over the existing colors. This can give your canvas a softer, more muted look without losing the original artwork.Another technique involves glazing. You can mix acrylic paint with a glazing medium or water to dilute the colors. This lets you layer and blend to achieve the desired effect.I've been experimenting with these methods myself, and it's amazing how you can transform the feel of a piece while preserving its essence. If you want some detailed guidance, I found this resource on how to tone down acrylic paint on canvas. It's been super helpful for my own projects.

  • Sure. Dilute the paint 50/50 with water and paint it on. Wipe it off with a cloth until you have the desired look.