Can I Paint on Watercolor Paper With Acrylics?

Key is in the detail
PeopleImages/Getty Images

You can paint with acrylics on watercolor paper, and you don't need to gesso or prime it first. You can thin the acrylics to be as fluid as watercolor and therefore transparent. Or you can use them in the consistency as they come out of the tube.

You should use a fairly heavy weight paper, otherwise you will have buckling problems. You could stretch the paper as you would for watercolor, but if you're using the using the paints undiluted it would be better to use a stronger (heavier weight) paper anyway.

How well it holds up depends really on the weight and quality of the paper. If you want to display the painting, it will need to be framed, under glass.

Decent watercolor paper can be far more expensive than paper made for acrylics, so be sure to compare the costs.