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Best Paints to Use on Shrinky Dinks (Complete Guide)

Shrinky Dinks are a great craft that you can do with your kids, and they make great gifts for others. There are endless ways you can decorate your Shrinky Dinks, and it can be difficult to decide what the best paint for your project is. There are so many paint options out there, but which one works the best?

So, what is the best paint to use on Shrinky Dinks? The most common and best paint to use on Shrinky Dinks is acrylic paint, but that isn’t the only option. In addition to acrylic paint, you can use sharpies and markers to make your designs pop and give them some extra detail. 

In this article we talk about markers, acrylic paints, and what other paints you may or may not be able to use for your Shrinky Dink project. Let’s read on!

Can You Put Paint on Shrinky Dinks?

You can absolutely put paint on Shrinky Dinks, and paint is even considered one of the best ways to decorate them. There are so many different types of paint available to use, so you need to make sure you are using the right kind. Some paints will work better than others, and some paints might not even work at all. Below we go over the best types of paint to use on Shrinky Dinks.

Check out this cool Shrinky Dink Kit that comes with everything you need to get started.

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In addition to putting paint on Shrinky Dinks, you can also use markers on the surface. It is best to choose a permanent marker instead of a water-based marker because you will a better adhesion and bolder colors.

What Paint Can You Use on Shrinky Dinks?

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There are two paints that are highly recommended for use on Shrinky Dinks. The first is acrylic paint and the second is tempera paint. These paints will both shrink well and adhere to the surface of the plastic easily. 

My favorite and top pick is always Arteza Acrylic Paints. They have so many different colors, and the quality is amazing! I usually use Arteza Paints for all my projects.

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When choosing an acrylic paint, it is best to choose an ink-based acrylic. This can be messy, especially if you are trying to make handprints or footprints. In this case, you can use washable tempera paint because it will be easier to wash off the hands and feet of little kids. Ink-based acrylic will keep their hands and feet looking discolored for weeks. 

For tempera paint, I recommend using Crayola Tempera Paint. It’s non-toxic so it’s safe for kids, and it washes off with just soap and water.

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Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Shrink Plastic?

Acrylic paint can be used on shrink plastic and is considered to be the best option. It has so many benefits that you won’t be able to find with other types of paint. For example, acrylic paint is packed with pigment, making your colors appear brighter and more vibrant. Acrylic is also super easy to clean up as all you need is soap and water.

It is best to use an acrylic paint that has a glossy finish instead of a matte finish. When the matte paint dries, it has a higher chance at cracking or flaking. This will ruin your entire project and leave you upset and frustrated. 

You are going to want to paint in thin layers and avoid thick layer. If you apply the paint too thick you are at risk of the paint wrinkling or not drying properly. It is better to paint multiple, thin layers than one, thick layer. 

For the best results, it is recommended that you choose an acrylic paint that is ink-based instead of water-based. Ink-based acrylics will have finer pigments that give you a bolder color. It is also thinner than other acrylics, making it ideal for the shrinking process.

I always use Arteza Acrylic Paints for more of acrylic painting projects. It’s an amazing brand with tons of different finishes and styles to choose from. They have metallic, premium artist’s grade, craft paint, glitter paint and even acrylic paint markers.

Can You Use Washable Paint on Shrinky Dinks?

If you are planning on making a Shrinky Dink with a handprint or footprint of a child, you are probably wondering if you can use a washable paint to make clean up easier on their skin. Luckily, you can use washable tempera paint for this process. 

Using washable paint for Shrinky Dinks will give you the same outcome as acrylic paints, but the colors might not be as bright. However, tempera paint will get the job done and leave you with the perfect gift for parents and grandparents. 

Can You Use Crayola Paint on Shrinky Dinks?

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Crayola is one of the most popular brands of craft paint that you will find on the market. However, it isn’t recommended that you use Crayola paints on Shrinky Dinks. Crayola paints tend to be on the oily side, which can cause problems with you put the Shrinky Dinks in the oven to shrink.

While you shouldn’t use the Crayola paint, it is possible to use the Twistable Crayola Crayon Pencils on Shrinky Dinks. This product features way less oil than the paints do, they stick well to the plastic surface, and they shrink well. 

Can You Use Watercolor Paint on Shrinky Dinks?

It is not recommended to use watercolor paints on Shrinky Dinks. These paints are very runny and will not adhere well to the plastic. They also will not set well with heat, meaning they won’t shrink when you put the Shrinky Dinks in the oven to shrink. 

Watercolor paints will be difficult to use because it will not adhere to the surface. Watercolors only work on absorbent surfaces, and plastic is not absorbent. The watercolor will bead up on the surface and you won’t be able to see your design at all.

Think of using watercolor paints on Shrinky Dinks as trying to use them on a plastic water bottle. The only thing that will happen with the paint is it will slide right off the surface. It is best to avoid using this type of paint.

Can I Use Acrylic Paint for Shrinky Dinks?

Acrylic paint is recommended as the best option to use on Shrinky Dink plastic. It is easy to use, you can create fine details with it, and in most cases, it is easy to clean up. In addition to using it in regular paint form, you can also use acrylic paint pens on Shrinky Dinks.

Acrylic paint pens have all the pigment that acrylic paint has with the added benefit of being easier to control. The paint in the pen is already premixed to the perfect consistency, so you don’t have to worry about the paint being too thick for your project.

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Acrylic paint pens also keep messes to the bare minimum. When you use regular acrylic paint, you have to clean brushes and palettes and any potential spills that occur. With the pens, all of that mess is eliminated, allowing you to work without worrying that the paint will get on unwanted surfaces.

With acrylic paint pens, you can easily choose the thickness of the lines based on the tip of the pen. There is fine and extra-fine available, which makes it even easier to paint fine details. If you want to use acrylic paint but want to avoid the mess, acrylic paint pens are a great alternative.

Can You Use Any Markers on Shrinky Dinks?

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You can’t use just any marker on a Shrinky Dink. There are certain types that work really well with the material and others that just don’t meet the mark. The best markers for the job will be ones that dry quickly, are resistant to water, and won’t smear or fade. 

The best marker to use for a Shrinky Dink project is a Sharpie Marker. They are available in so many different colors, so you can easily choose a marker that fits your vision of how your final product will look. Sharpies are resistant to fading, smudging, and dry almost instantly.

Another great marker to use on Shrinky Dinks is Shuttle Art. They make a line of permanent markers that contain thirty fine-point markers in different colors. You can easily create any design you want with their variety of bold colors. The ink in these markers is resistant to smudging and will not rub off easily.

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It is best to use an ink-based marker instead of water-based marker. While you can use water-based markers, they tend to not be as bold or resistant to smudging as permanent markers will be. They also won’t adhere to the surface as well, so you should avoid using them if you can.

Final Thoughts

Painting Shrinky Dinks is a fun activity, but you need to make sure you use the right kind of paint for the job. The best paint for Shrinky Dinks is going to be ink-based acrylic paint. These paints are packed with fine pigments and will give you the boldest color possible.

You can also use washable tempera paint for this project, which will be the best option if you are going to be making handprints and footprints. The clean-up will be much easier, and you will still get an awesome Shrinky Dink.

In addition to paint, you can use markers on Shrinky Dinks. However, you can’t just use any marker you want. You need to choose a marker that will not smear, smudge, or rub off after use. The best markers for the job will be permanent, and the most recommended marker is a Sharpie marker. They come in a variety of bold colors that stick great to the plastic surface of Shrinky Dinks.

Make sure to follow all my tips and recommended products to ensure your Shrinky Dink project turns out great! Also, don’t forget to check out my other articles for all your painting Q&A’s. Happy painting! 

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