How to Reactivate Dried Acrylic Paint

by David
(Redditch England)

To reactivate acrylic paint once it has dried try cellulose car paint thinner, it does a pretty good job at dissolving/thinning dried up acrylic paint.


Cellulose thinner has powerful and toxic vapours and is highly inflammable. It's widely used within the auto-spraying industry and you need a suitable respirator.

If you do use it, make sure you use it outdoors or in a very well-ventilated area, keep away from heat sources and above all, read and heed the instructions/warnings on the tin!


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Great Post
by: vish115

Usually we throw away acrylic paints when it is dried. But it can be effectively reused again by using some simple methods. It includes drying it using cellulose car paint thinner over the dried area. Thanks for sharing this valuable information.

Removing lacquer defects
by: Anonymous

You might have a defect in the clear coat/lacquer and want to reactivate to rectify this i.e the paint may have dried too fast on a hot day, may have been to humid causing tiny air traps inside the lacquer and wet sanding is not working.

Coating it with thinner will reactivate the paint and possibly help the defects resurface, sure saves hours of refinishing. Worked for me when I had moisture traps in the clear.

Reactivating acrylic paint
by: Robert Phillip Jones

Why would you want to reactivate acrylic paint anyway? You can paint over it. One of the good things about acrylics is that they don't use hazardous substances in preparation or use. Why you'd want to use a hazardous substance like this is a bit beyond me, to be honest.

There are acrylics now that can be reactivated, eg the Atelier brand, if you really need to.

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