Airbrush Medium


GOLDEN Airbrush Medium contains retarders, leveling agents, and flow improvers, and mixes easily with GOLDEN paints to improve their spraying ability. Airbrush Medium reduces nozzle clogging and paint build-up on the needle during spraying, eliminating the largest drawback to airbrushing with acrylics.


GOLDEN Airbrush Medium is a 100% acrylic-based medium designed to modify the GOLDEN Fluid Acrylics and other GOLDEN Acrylic products for airbrush and spray gun applications. While designed with the Fluid Acrylics in mind, GOLDEN Airbrush Medium also reduces the Heavy Body, SoFlat, Iridescent/Interference, and Fluorescent Acrylics for spray applications. GOLDEN Mediums and Gessoes can also be blended with Airbrush Medium for spraying.  Airbrush Medium can be used for non-spraying mixtures to thin and slow down drying times.

This product should not be used alone, and must be mixed with other GOLDEN Acrylic paints, mediums or grounds in the recommended ratios to create a useable material. Very thick or highly textured materials thinned with GOLDEN Airbrush Medium may still be difficult to reduce for conventional spraying and alternative methods of spraying may be required.


Because it is inherently unhealthy to inhale spray mists of any kind, we recommend, at minimum, the use of a NIOSH approved disposable dust and mist respirator. For additional information, please see our saftey section on spaying safely:


Mixing Directions:

Generally, mix equal amounts (by volume) of Airbrush Medium and Fluid Acrylic to result in a useful spraying consistency. More Airbrush Medium or water additions may be used if the mixture does not flow properly (Refer to the Quick Reference Chart below for more complete recommendations).

Blending Suggestions:

Gently stir or shake Airbrush Medium to insure homogeneity before blending with GOLDEN Acrylics.

For thinner paint lines, the Airbrush Medium can be added in equal amounts to the paint, and then stirred until well mixed. If using paints thicker than Fluid Acrylics (such as Matte Fluid Acrylics or High Load Acrylics), continue adding more Airbrush Medium up to a 1 part paint to 2 parts Airbrush Medium. Beyond this 1:2 ratio, it is best to add water for more thinning.

Although water can be used with the Airbrush Medium to help thin the paint, it also begins to forfeit some of the spray-ability that this medium enhances, and also creates a weaker paint film. High water additions will cause the paint to become fairly weak, both in pigment load and film strength. Top coating may be necessary depending on the nature of the artwork.

Thicker paints such as Heavy Body Acrylics should be first thinned with water until they reach a pourable consistency. Once the required paint and water mixture is well stirred, begin adding the Airbrush Medium at a ratio of 1 part paint/water to 1 part Airbrush Medium.

Prior to spraying, it may be necessary to strain the diluted mixture (using cheese cloth, nylon pantyhose, or #8 mesh or finer screening fabrics) to remove any large particulate materials and ensure homogeneity and smoothness. In most cases though, Golden Acrylic products are smooth and pigments ground to a uniform particle size.

Mixing products with GOLDEN Airbrush Medium will generate foam. Pre-mix colors at least 5 minutes before use. This will allow time for the foam generated by vigorous shaking to dissipate before spraying. Micro-foam can result in an irregular film.

Add a Mixing Ball:

Add a mixing ball to aid in blending. In GOLDEN High Flow Acrylics, a barundum (a barrel-shaped, ceramic piece used in pigment dispersion) is added to facilitate faster and more homogenous mixing. Reuse barundums from old High Flow Acrylics bottles, or use a smooth stone, marble, stainless steel nut, etc. to perform this function. This is especially valuable when storing mixtures for future use.

Extend Paints:

Airbrush Medium also functions as an extender for applications requiring greater transparency and longer open time.We generally do not recommend using the Airbrush Medium with the pre-made GOLDEN High Flow Acrylics because this creates a very slow drying, potentially weaker paint film, with poor frisket performance (color sticking to frisket or masking films) until the film sufficiently dries. When frisketing is of critical importance, use GOLDEN High Flow Medium to blend with the High Flow Acrylics or other acrylics. High Flow Medium is recommended whenever a mixture requires Airbrush Medium additions greater than 2 parts medium to 1 part paint. This will yield a paint system that dries quickly, friskets well, and has excellent sprayability.

Additional Tips:
  • Paint on any non-oily surface. Remove oils, grease, or other contaminants before application.
  • Non-absorbent surfaces should be abraded for increased adhesion.
  • Keep tools wet during use.
  • Do not allow product to dry in airbrush.
  • Clean tools with soap and water.
  • Clean airbrush with water, ammonia/water, alcohol or miscellaneous household cleaners (however, consider effect of cleaner on airbrush parts, such as rings and seals).


GOLDEN Airbrush Medium can be mixed with GOLDEN Fluid Acrylics to create an excellent fabric paint that does not require heat-setting. A blending ratio of at least 1:1 is recommended. Other GOLDEN Acrylics such as the Heavy Body Acrylics, Iridescent/Interference Colors and Fluorescent Colors can be used as well.

GOLDEN High Flow Acrylics are not recommended for fabric use. However, if using these colors is desired, blend with GAC 900, a thin heat-settable medium expressly designed for fabric applications. This mixture will not perform as well as the Airbrush Medium/Fluid Acrylics mix.

For more complete information on using GOLDEN Acrylics on fabric, refer to the GOLDEN Acrylics on Fabric Application Information Sheet.


Use the table below to determine ratios of Airbrush Medium to paint for GOLDEN"s wide variety of paint systems:

Paint Type
(1 Part Paint addition in all mixtures)
(Addsmall amountsto the paint before addingAirbrush Medium)
Airbrush Medium
(Add after the addition of water, if applicable)
Fluid Acrylics N/A 1 part
Heavy Body Acrylics 3 Parts 4 parts
Matte Acrylics 3 Parts 4 parts
High Load Acrylics 1 Part 2 parts
Iridescent/Interference Acrylics
(Heavy Body)
1 Part 2 parts
Fluorescent Acrylics 1 Part 2 parts
Mediums (GACs, Gloss Mediums, Matte Mediums) 0-2 parts, depending on product consistency 1-3 parts, depending on product consistency
Gessoes 1 Part 2 parts

The above ratios are intended as starting points for use at air pressures of 40 p.s.i. or greater. A greater or lesser amount of Airbrush Medium may be required for your particular equipment and/or application, especially if lower air pressures are used.

Suggested Color Choices for Fluid Acrylics

While every Golden Fluid Acrylic Paint may be used for spray application when blended with the Airbrush Medium, some colors perform better because of their pigment size and structure. Larger pigments, such as Raw Umber and Ultramarine Blue, do not spray well through smaller detail airbrushes. Dense, coarse pigments also tend to settle quickly when thinned to sprayable consistency, so mix small amounts and avoid long term mixture storage.

Below is a listing of Fluid Acrylics with their rating of sprayability next to them.

Suitable for all tip sizes
Alizarin Crimson Hue Naphthol Red Medium Quinacridone Magenta
Anthraquinone Blue Naples Yellow Hue Quinacridone/Nickel Azo Gold
Cadmium Red Medium Hue Nickel Azo Yellow Quinacridone Red
Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue Permanent Green Light Quinacridone Violet
Carbon Black Permanent Violet Dark Sap Green Hue
Cobalt Teal Phthalo Blue (Green Shade) Titan Buff
Diarylide Yellow Phthalo Blue (Red Shade) Titanium White
Dioxazine Purple Phthalo Green (Blue Shade) Transparent Pyrrole Orange
Green Gold Phthalo Green (Yellow Shade) Transparent Red Iron Oxide
Hansa Yellow Light Prussian Blue Hue Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide
Hansa Yellow Medium Pyrrole Orange Turquois (Phthalo)
Hansa Yellow Opaque Pyrrole Red VanDyke Brown Hue
Indian Yellow Hue Pyrrole Red Light Vat Orange
Jenkins Green Quinacridone Burnt Orange  
Naphthol Red Light Quinacridone Crimson  
Suitable for tip sizes of .30mm or larger
Bone Black Interference Green Micaceous Iron Oxide
Burnt Sienna Interference Orange Paynes Gray
Burnt Umber Light Interference Red Primary Cyan
C.T. Interference Green-Blue Interference Violet Primary Magenta
C.T. Interference Green-Orange Iridescent Bright Gold Primary Yellow
C.T. Interference Violet-Green Iridescent Bronze Raw Sienna
Cerulean Blue Deep Iridescent Copper Raw Umber
Cerulean Blue, Chromium Iridescent Copper Light Red Oxide
Chromium Oxide Green Iridescent Gold Ultramarine Blue
Cobalt Blue Iridescent Gold Deep Ultramarine Violet
Cobalt Turquois Iridescent Pearl Violet Oxide
Interference Blue Iridescent Silver Yellow Ochre
Interference Gold Iridescent Stainless Steel Yellow Oxide
DO NOT SPRAY-APPLY genuine cadmium pigments or any colors containing zinc white as these have trace amounts of cadmium as well. Cadmium is listed as a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer.
The following Fluid Acrylics contain Zinc White and should never be sprayed:
Manganese Blue Hue Viridian Green Hue Zinc White



The above information is based on research and testing done by Golden Artist Colors, Inc., and is provided as a basis for understanding the potential uses of the products mentioned. Due to the numerous variables in methods, materials and conditions of producing art, Golden Artist Colors, Inc. cannot be sure the product will be right for you. Therefore, we urge product users to test each application to ensure all individual project requirements are met. While we believe the above information is accurate, WE MAKE NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, and we shall in no event be liable for any damages (indirect, consequential, or otherwise) that may occur as a result of a product application.