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How to Make an Acrylic Painting Look Like an Oil Painting

Candice is a theophile, multimedia artist, aromatherapy enthusiast, freelance writer, and a regular contributor to many sites and blogs.

Learning and sharing techniques in the art world is for some a taboo, but for others it's truly a gift and a blessing, especially for new artists, or artists that are unsure of their specialties. Every artist wants to find their own style.

Passing on learned techniques is important to ensure the continuation of process.

Everyone deserves a chance to find their niche in the art world.

A really neat trick a wonderful artist Thomas Andrew passed on is how to use an oil stain over an acrylic painting to give the look of a real oil painting.

This technique is so simple and yet very transformative.

Read on to find out how the process is accomplished.

How to Apply the Stain to Your Canvas Painting

To apply the Thomas Andrew technique just use a sponge brush, or a cotton rag and apply a liberal amount in an even layer over the entire completely dry acrylic painting.

It's best to wait a few days to be absolutely sure the paint is fully dried before adding the stain layer over it.

I like to use the golden blonde oak stain for mine, and I think it adds a nice warm glow without being too dark. But depending on what your subject is, you may use any color stain you choose.

Once the layer of stain is fully covering the whole painting, use a cotton rag to wipe off the excess and instantly it will take on the glow of an oil based painting. It's an amazing transformation you'll want to share with all your artist friends.

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I've added an instructional video below to get the exact way he does it.

Before and After

before stain

before stain

after stain (and after a few tweaks I wasn't happy with lol)

after stain (and after a few tweaks I wasn't happy with lol)

Thomas Andrew Art

Which Stain is Best?

Thomas Andrew recommends the Minwax brand and I've enjoyed using that brand as well. I like the Golden Oak color, but you are free to use whatever you color you like.

There's another brand of stain I like as well called Unicorn Spit, as that comes in many colors of the rainbow if you're looking for a wild edge.

But for these purposes of creating an acrylic painting that looks like it's an oil painting I'd stick with the Minwax brand in a lighter shade.


Candice Collins (author) from WestCoast Florida on September 11, 2021:

@AudreyHunt Thanks so much! I'm so glad you like the hub! I hope you love what the oil stain does for your acrylic painting, I sure did! Also be sure to check out Thomas Andrew art videos, he's amazing.

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on September 10, 2021:

I love this technique and will give it a try. Your video is terrific. Thank you for sharing this.

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