Best type of paint for aluminum foil
July 5, 2015 9:31 AM   Subscribe

I'm working on a piece of art that requires me to use aluminum foil as the primary canvas. I've been using craft acrylic paint (the ones sold in plastic bottles at most craft stores), but I'm wondering if I should upgrade to more professional grade artist acrylic (or oil?) paint. I'm a bit clueless about paint types so any advice is welcome.

Ideally, cheaper is better, but im willing to sacrifice money for improved quality. The project in question is a live performance piece, so I'm somewhat less concerned about the final outcome and more concerned with how it will look in the process.
posted by chara to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I think you will be OK with craft acrylic. DO NOT USE OIL. It will take forever to dry. If you wanted to, you could go up in grade to a better pigment load/saturation. Craft acrylic is mostly water, with a little chalky pigment. Basics by Liquitex is a step up, but still not amazing. I suggest getting a starter set to try out. Golden brand acrylics are awesome, but very expensive. Could you describe what the effect you're going for is, so we can advise a little better?
posted by blnkfrnk at 9:44 AM on July 5, 2015

I don't know if this will be the right look for your purposes, but my favorite medium on aluminum foil is sharpie markers.
posted by Tandem Affinity at 10:46 AM on July 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

I use foil when doing effects for basing miniatures. Acrylic paints work on them no worries. I used very fine pigmented paint for miniatures so not sure how cheap paint would work. I have also primed/basecoated them using cheap spray paints. not sure how that would fit into your performance though.
posted by wwax at 11:50 AM on July 5, 2015

I'd probably try enamel paint - the kind sold for painting model kits. Kind of depends on how much paint you need, and the finish you want.
posted by pipeski at 12:19 PM on July 5, 2015

Have you tested it already? I see no reason why you should change materials, so long as you find it to be acceptable.
Pro stuff is generally just better/rarer pigment and better selection. So you get stronger/purer colors, possibly more/less lightfastness, and a better selection of base tones to mix from (as long as you shell out the $$ to have them on hand). There's a difference in the medium, sure, but it's unlikely that a premium acrylic will differ in bond strength, in my experience. It's more about opening up stylistic possibilities, and changing the feel.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 1:11 PM on July 5, 2015

more concerned with how it will look in the process.
I also don't really understand what this means... If you mean "How the paint moves as its applied in a live setting" - I guess you need to specify how you want it to behave, splashy, pasty, brushy...
posted by Jack Karaoke at 1:12 PM on July 5, 2015

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