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How To Make Scratch Art Paper With Acrylic Paint

Scratch art paper is a fascinating and versatile medium that allows you to create captivating artwork using just a few simple materials. By incorporating acrylic paint into the process, you can achieve vibrant and dynamic results that will truly make your scratch art paper stand out. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of making scratch art paper with acrylic paint, providing you with detailed instructions and tips along the way.

Creating your own scratch art paper is not only a fantastic way to express your creativity but also a delightful activity suitable for individuals of all ages. Whether you are a novice or an experienced artist, this tutorial will assist you in exploring a new and exciting artistic technique. So, let’s dive in and learn how to make scratch art paper using acrylic paint!

Gather the Materials

Gather The Materials

The first step in making scratch art paper is to gather all the necessary materials. Ensuring that you have everything you need before starting will make the process smoother and more enjoyable. Here’s a list of the materials you will require:

Heavyweight Paper or Cardstock

Opt for heavyweight paper or cardstock as it provides a sturdy base for your scratch art creation. The thickness of the paper will prevent it from tearing easily when you scratch away the paint later on. You can choose the size of the paper based on your preference and the scale of the artwork you wish to create.

Acrylic Paint in Various Colors

Acrylic paint is an ideal medium for scratch art paper due to its vibrant pigmentation and quick-drying properties. Choose a variety of colors that you find visually appealing or that suit the theme of your artwork. Experimenting with different color combinations will allow you to create stunning effects and capture the viewer’s attention.

Dish Soap

Adding a few drops of dish soap to your acrylic paint will help to improve its adhesion to the paper and create a smoother consistency. This will make it easier to apply the paint evenly and achieve the desired effect when scratching away the top layer later on.


Select a set of paintbrushes with various sizes and bristle types to provide you with versatility in applying the acrylic paint. A range of brush sizes will allow you to create both broad strokes and intricate details in your artwork. Ensure that the brushes are clean and in good condition to avoid any unwanted marks on your scratch art paper.

Scratch Art Tools or Wooden Sticks

Scratch art tools or wooden sticks are essential for creating intricate patterns and designs on your scratch art paper. These tools can be used to scratch away the top layer of paint, revealing the vibrant colors beneath. Experiment with different scratch art tools to achieve various textures and effects in your artwork.

Paper Towels

Keep a stack of paper towels handy to clean your brushes, wipe away any excess paint, or blot the paint on the scratch art paper if necessary. Having paper towels readily available will help you maintain a clean and controlled working environment.

Prepare the Paper

Prepare The Paper

Before applying the acrylic paint, it is crucial to prepare the paper to ensure a smooth and even surface. This will allow the paint to adhere properly and enhance the overall quality of your scratch art paper. Follow these steps to prepare your paper:

Cut the Paper to Size

Start by cutting the paper or cardstock into the desired size for your scratch art creation. You can create scratch art paper in various sizes, depending on your preference and the scale of the artwork you wish to create. Consider using a ruler and a sharp craft knife to ensure clean and precise cuts.

Protect Your Workspace

Place a protective covering, such as a plastic sheet or newspaper, on your workspace to prevent any accidental spills or stains. This will make the cleaning process easier and protect your working surface.

Mix the Paint

Mix The Paint

Next, it’s time to mix the acrylic paint. By following these steps, you can ensure that the paint has a consistent texture and is ready to be applied to the scratch art paper:

Prepare the Palette

Squeeze a small amount of each color you wish to use onto a palette or any other suitable surface for mixing. Ensure that you have enough paint to cover the entire surface of the scratch art paper.

Add Dish Soap

Add a few drops of dish soap to the paint on the palette. The dish soap acts as a flow enhancer, allowing the paint to spread more smoothly and evenly across the paper. Stir the paint and soap together gently until they are well combined.

Mix Colors (Optional)

If you desire to create unique color variations, experiment with mixing different shades and hues. Use a clean brush or a palette knife to blend the colors together on the palette until you achieve the desired color combination. Don’t be afraid to get creative and explore different color possibilities!

Apply the Paint

Apply The Paint

Now that you have prepared the paint, it’s time to apply it to the scratch art paper. Follow these steps to ensure an even and vibrant coverage:

Start with a Clean Brush

Ensure that your paintbrush is clean and free from any previous colors before dipping it into the paint. This will prevent any unwanted color mixing or contamination on your scratch art paper.

Apply the Base Layer

Begin by applying a thin and even layer of the acrylic paint to the entire surface of the scratch art paper. Use broad strokes or a cross-hatching technique to achieve an even coverage. Take your time to ensure that no areas are left unpainted, as this will provide a solid base for the subsequent layers of paint.

Experiment with Colors and Techniques

Once the base layer is dry, you can start applying additional layers of paint using different colors and techniques to create depth and visual interest. Consider blending colors together, creating gradients, or adding texture using various brush strokes. Allow each layer to dry before applying the next to prevent smudging or mixing of colors.

Let the Paint Dry

Let The Paint Dry

After applying the paint, it is essential to allow it to dry completely before proceeding to the next step. This will ensure that the paint is firmly adhered to the scratch art paper and prevent smudging or smearing when you start scratching away the top layer. Follow these guidelines for optimal drying: