A tube of blue acrylic paint resting on the top right corner of black sketch paper, featuring a blue floral design.

Can I Use Acrylic Paint on Lino Block Carvings?

A blue floral design on black paper

The short answer is yes, literally speaking, you can. But I’m also here to answer whether or not you should.

To begin, it always depends on what you’re printing and what you intend on creating. It’s always best to use materials and tools that are made for your preferred method and desired outcome. The images in this post are all examples of printing with lino block stamps on black sketch paper, using acrylic paint. As you can see, the paint provided a beautiful, bold colour, contrasting well with the black paper. 

A design on black paper, with images of a butterfly, stars, and flowers, stamped with blue paint.

However, we can also see that some images didn’t print perfectly, which happened for a few reasons. The first of which, the above image with the butterfly was printed by my 5-year-old, and while still learning, her application isn't perfect. There was too much paint applied to some stamps, and not enough to others.

The next reason for imperfect print results is the consistency of the paint. This particular tube of paint is quite smooth yet dense, and not tacky and spreadable like true block printing ink. As mentioned above, it is best to use the materials designed for your desired outcome, and inks are designed to stay wet and workable for a longer time. Acrylic paint can dry much faster than your printing inks, which can result in your stamps sticking to the page in an undesirable way.

A design on black paper, with images of a strawberry plant, stars, and flowers, stamped with blue paint.

 So my advice is, if you want to create beautiful prints, use block printing ink that is intended for paper (or fabric)! My preferred brand is Speedball since they are a trusted brand for print-making products.


Leave a comment below letting me know what your choices are for carving and printing!

This post is in no way sponsored or affiliated with Speedball.


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