Product Information Sheet

Golden Artist Colors, Inc.
188 Bell Road
New Berlin, NY 13411-9527 USA
Toll Free: 800-959-6543
Fax: 607-847-6767


GOLDEN Acrylic Flow Release is a surfactant. A surfactant is a concentrated surface-active liquid which reduces surface tension, thus improving wetting and increasing the flow of acrylic waterborne paints.

A surfactant is used several ways in acrylic paint making. Surfactants are used to "wet out" pigments to ease their introduction into an acrylic resin, medium or gel. They can also be added to thinner paint mixtures, such as stains, to help reduce surface tension.

Acrylic Flow Release is very useful for staining techniques, as it dramatically reduces the surface tension between the stain (paint/water) and the support. Certain supports, especially raw canvas, are inherently water repelling in nature and require the use of such a surface-active agent to allow the stain to wet and penetrate into the support



Adding Acrylic Flow Release to Paint Mixtures


NOTE: Always pre-dilute Acrylic Flow Release before adding to a paint mixture. This product is a powerful surfactant, and we recommend adding minimum amounts to a mixture and increasing levels gradually.  Always try to use the least amount require to achieve the desired effect.

Starting Dilutions – For most applications


  • Mix 1 part Acrylic Flow Release to 10-20 parts water. Use this mixture whenever adding the Flow Release into a paint system.
  • When painting on non-absorbent surfaces (not staining), do not exceed the level of 3% Acrylic Flow Release/water mix in the paint to minimize water sensitivity.
  • For staining applications on absorbent surfaces, higher levels of Flow Release may be used as it will be absorbed by the support.
  • Use Flow Release to pre-wet canvas or paper to increase the staining or spreading capabilities of the paint.

Staining Techniques

  • For stains1, in order to avoid over-adding AFR, begin by creating an AFR/water mixture. The suggested starting point is 3 teaspoons of AFR to 1 quart of water (15ml to 1 liter). Test how readily the mixture absorbs into the fabric or other support, and add more AFR as needed, but do not exceed 3% of the entire mixture, or 30ml.

  • Label the container "AFR/Water mixture" and use as needed to add into acrylic paints and mediums, or used to pre-wet the canvas prior to staining.

  • Pre-wetting the canvas with water or a water/Acrylic Flow Release mixture will facilitate the penetration of the stain into the weave of the canvas.

  • For hardedge stains, incorporate the Acrylic Flow Release into the stain, but work on dry supports that have not been pre-wet.

Marbleizing2 Additive
Acrylic Flow Release can be used to "balance" acrylic paints for marbleizing techniques. For a full description of this process, refer to the Marbleizing with GOLDEN Products Information Sheet.


Foam Generation:

Shaking or rapid stirring will increase foaming of material and paint mixtures. To minimize foam, handle carefully.

Excessive Additions:

Excessive use of Acrylic Flow Release can cause water sensitivity of the paint film, result in film tackiness, or increase foaming tendency.



1Stain - Transparent or semitransparent solution of pigments in a liquid composed of thinner and binder.
2Marbleizing - Floating paints on thickened medium to produce intricate patterns.


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.