Matte Mediums

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Matte Medium (Product #3530)
Fluid Matte Medium (Product #3520)
Super Matte Medium (Product #3531)

GOLDEN Matte Mediums are liquid, 100% pure acrylic polymer mediums that have matting solids added to lower sheen. They can be used to extend paints, increase translucency, and decrease gloss. GOLDEN Fluid Matte Medium and regular Matte Medium can be used to lower the sheen of a high gloss product, but the blend will not result in a completely matte finish. To achieve a matte finish from a high gloss product, Super Matte Medium should be added. Fluid Matte Medium and regular Matte Medium can also be used as translucent gessoes.


GOLDEN Matte Medium

GOLDEN Matte Medium is a viscous, liquid acrylic medium useful for extending colors, increasing translucency and decreasing gloss. It is also useful as a translucent ground.

GOLDEN Fluid Matte Medium

GOLDEN Fluid Matte Medium is a liquid, liquid acrylic medium useful for extending colors, increasing translucency and decreasing gloss. This product is particularly useful with GOLDEN Fluid Acrylics to decrease gloss without altering viscosity. It is also useful as a translucent ground.

GOLDEN Super Matte Medium (formerly called Super-Loaded Matte Medium)

GOLDEN Super Matte Medium is a liquid medium useful for reducing gloss. Because of its high level of matting agents, it will lower sheen of another product with a minimal addition, thereby changing other paint attributes the least, such as color strength and viscosity. Super Matte Medium should always be blended with other acrylic paints or mediums; as this product is not intended to be used by itself.

Lowering Sheen

To lower the sheen of a paint color or another medium, begin by adding one of the matte mediums in increments of about 10% of the total volume. It is helpful to brush out each mixture, and let dry on a piece of paper to note the difference in sheen. With some experimenting, it will become easier to know how much of the matte medium is required to achieve the desired gloss.

If it seems that additions of the Fluid Matte Medium or Matte Medium are too great to achieve the desired result, and that other attributes of the mix, such as color intensity, opacity, or thickness, are affected, switch to the Super Matte Medium, which should achieve the desired matte-ness with about a third of the addition of the other matte mediums.

Use as a Translucent Ground

Both Matte Medium and Fluid Matte Medium can be used as translucent grounds, sometimes referred to as "clear" gessoes. They are thin enough to penetrate canvas and other porous substrates easily, and the matting solids provide an adequate "tooth" for additional paint layers. In thin applications both products can appear quite translucent, while darkening the canvas to a small degree. The darkening effect, similar to a "wet look”, is somewhat more pronounced with the Matte Medium. Bear in mind that GOLDEN Gessoes will have excellent tooth, and are recommended for alkyd and oil paintings. Please see this article before painting oil colors over Matte Medium or Fluid Matte Medium: Revisiting our Recommendation for Using Oils over Acrylics

Apply the Matte Medium and Fluid Matte Medium in much the same manner as recommended for the application of a gesso layer. Apply one or more coats, keeping in mind that additional layers will gradually make a more opaque overall film. For more information about painting grounds, please refer to our Preparing a Painting Support Application Sheet.

Note: Applying a matte product over an absorbent surface may cause a "frosted" appearance. As the acrylic medium penetrates, the matting solids are left behind on the surface. Over highly absorbent dark passages, such as on top of canvas coated with GOLDEN Black Gesso, severe whitening may occur. This can be corrected by applying a coat of GOLDEN GAC 100 or Gloss Medium over the frosted area, which will once again encapsulate the matting solids, returning the transparent look. The frosting can be avoided by applying a coat of GAC 100 or Gloss Medium before a matte medium is applied. Liquid and low viscosity Matte Mediums should be gently stirred or shaken before use, as settling of matting solids can occur.

Blending With Paints and Other Mediums

It is acceptable to add any amount of a matte medium to GOLDEN Heavy Body, Fluid, or High Load Acrylics. They can also be added to GOLDEN Gels and Mediums. Some caution is required with the Super Matte Medium: too much of an addition may dramatically lighten a color, or if used alone, it may crack in thick applications. Super Matte Medium blended with GOLDEN Fluid Acrylics allows artists to make their own color gessoes. Some experimenting will allow an artist to understand the limitations for their manner of application.

Diluting Matte Mediums

Dilutions beyond the 2:1 mixture (Medium to Water) will increase the haziness of the dried film as the binder is further extended. If a more dilute mixture is needed, we recommend testing before application to a painting surface. 


Use as a Decoupage Glue

GOLDEN Matte Medium has been used successfully as a decoupage glue by many collage artists. The fact that it has a very low sheen makes it ideal, as it does not impart a "plastic" gloss to the work. If the whiteness of multiple coats does become troublesome, blend in Polymer Medium (Gloss) to decrease the matting solid level.

Multiple Layers of Matte Mediums

The application of several layers of a matte medium will become increasingly opaque and begin to lighten the colors underneath. Multiple layers can also impart a grayish cast due to the natural color of the matting solids if built up to an extreme. If an artist is using a matte medium as a glazing base for multiple glazes, they should consider using Gloss Medium instead for the best clarity. After the artwork is completed, a matte varnish can be applied to give a flat finish to the work. This will result in better film clarity because there is only one layer of matting solids to look through.

Use as a Temporary Varnish

GOLDEN Artist Colors does not recommend using any insoluble acrylic as a final varnish. The artist runs a risk when they apply layers of matte products over their artwork to lower the overall sheen. If they apply a matte medium over the work and it is not to their liking because of the whiteness or opacity of the matte medium, there is little they can do to counteract it. Being insoluble when dry, they can potentially ruin the work. If a matte varnish is applied, such as GOLDEN Polymer Varnish (Matte) or MSA Varnish (Matte), given they have followed all application instructions and have applied an isolation coat, then the artist can remove the varnish and apply a satin or gloss varnish instead. Another reason to use a removable varnish instead of just an acrylic medium is that being removable, one can remove years of dirt and grime from a varnished piece, while it would take many hours of careful removal to clean an unvarnished work. For more information, please refer to the varnishing application literature on our Website:


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.