Best Paper for Acrylic Painting

Types of canvas pad for Acrylic Painting, detail about different types of acrylic pad, Paper quality. Things to look for when buying acrylic pad

Acrylic painting is a versatile medium that allows artists to create a wide range of effects and styles. This medium can be used on surfaces like canvas, wood, fabric, paper, metals and many more.

Whether you are a beginner or a professional artist, choosing the right paper for your acrylic painting is crucial for achieving desired results.In this article, we'll explore some of the best paper options for acrylic painting and what makes them a great choice.

Acrylic paper is much thicker than average drawing paper, and its surface is created as an adherent coating for acrylic paint layers and washes.

The acrylic pads are a basic tool for any recreational artist who would like to try their hands at a canvas. It is also great for artists that are always on the go since acrylic paper pads are portable, unlike the standard cotton canvas. 

What to Look for in Acrylic Painting Paper?

If you are just beginning with acrylic painting, there are a few things which you need to put in account before you make a purchase.

Here's a little guide for all those who are not sure which paper pad to pick. I've explained in detail a few features that you need to look for in an Acrylic Paper Pad.

Sheet Size

This should depend on your personal requirement whether you need portability or are looking for a paper pad that is more suitable for a home/studio usage. 

Acrylic Paper Pads come in a great deal of sizes and you have the option to choose from size of ultra-tiny artist cards to huge canvas paintings.

The paper should be heavyweight

When it comes to papers, the weight and thickness are synonymous. Since acrylic paints are water-soluble, choosing an acrylic paper pad that's thick and has a nice grit to it is of absolute necessity.

Always lookout for the weight of the paper sheets in the specifications if you're purchasing an acrylic paper mat. The higher the weight of these sheets, the more will be the thickness. It is recommended to use not less than 300 gsm (140 lb)

The paper should not be glossy, greasy, or too smooth

The texture of your acrylic paper sheet is also an important factor which you should check before making a purchase. Generally, normal papers are much smoother when compared to typical canvas paper. The paint absorbent capacity is better on rough surface paper.

The paper comes in different textures

The paper should have sufficient tooth and a  good surface feel to absorb the pigment. Some of the types of paper that are available in the market are:

Hot Press (has the smoothest feel, good for comprehensive function)

Cold Press (little rough feel, good for texture work) 

Rough Grain (bumpy and rough feel, great for thick texture)

The paper should be acid-free and durable  

The acidity of the paper is an indicator of its high quality or how long it will last. High-quality papers will indicate that they are acid-free.

You must desire a pH-neutral paper which means that the cellulose pulp should be pH neutral, and any primer utilized ought to be free from any chemicals that may lead to acidity.

The paper should not discolor with age

Papers that contain acidic components are prone to discoloration, puffiness and eventually become brittle with age. 

These papers are less expensive papers like regular copy paper, brown wrapping paper, newsprint paper, etc.

The paper should be durable

Paper ought to be durable to withstand ripping from erasure, heavy paint program, sanding, scrubbing, scraping, and other practices. 

Paper made from cotton or linen pulp tends to be a stronger and more durable paper compared to that produced from timber, which might contain acids.

Let's read about some papers available in the market.

1. Arches Cold Pressed Paper for Watercolors and Acrylics:

This paper holds up the thick application of paint, and the texture of this paper shows through when the paint is used like watercolor. This high quality, heavy weight paper has all the goodness required to qualify for perfect acrylic paper. 

The surface texture has a good precision for holding the paint in place. You can use both fluid acrylics or heavy body acrylics on this paper and see the beautiful result. The wash effects comes out great giving a watercolor look and feel. 

This is one of the favorite paper amongst artist. Use minimum 300gsm watercolor paper for acrylics.

2. Canson Montval Acrylic Paper: 

This high-quality paper is produced in France. It holds up to all applications of acrylic. 

It's an extra thick heavyweight (400 gsm, 185 pounds ) textured paper, sturdy enough to hold up to all uses of acrylic with a surface that accepts the paint beautifully.

3. Strathmore 400 Series Acrylic Pad: 

This is a thick (400 gsm), acid-free paper with a toothy surface made for acrylic artist. The paper includes a cream-colored linen finish. 

The pad is portable, easy to work, and the sheets tear out easily. It is convenient for sketches and tiny studies. This pad is available in several different sizes.

4. Strathmore 300 Series Canvas Paper Pad

You may choose to use this just for training. It is a lighter weight paper (187 gsm) that imitates the feel of canvas. 

The first coat of paint will blead on this paper, so prefer to apply a layer or two of gesso before painting on it. This pad comes in several different handy sizes ranging from 6 x 6 inches to 16 x 20 inches.

5. Strathmore 400 Series Bristol Board Pad: 

If you like a little smoother surface to paint on, vellum bristol board is a great selection. This paper is acid-free.

6. Strathmore 25-309 200 Series Canvas Paper Pad

The feel of this paper is like of canvas. These 10-Sheet Canvas Paper Pads by Strathmore are ideal for artists who are looking to test out an idea on paper first before continuing on to the true canvas painting.

The sheets of those paper pads are created out of thin cotton canvas, which is totally perfect for experimenting with various kinds of oil and acrylic paints. It is an off-white color paper, quite similar to a typical stretched picture paper.

7. Acrylic Painting Paper Pad by U.S. Art Supply (400 gsm)

A perfect mix of smoothness and texture while still maintaining a thick and gritty surface to hold the paint set up! These pads are thick and come with sufficient prime on them. Hence, they do not require any initial preparation before you commence with your painting.

8. Oil and Acrylic Essentials Artist Paper Pad from Royal Langnickel

This includes a depth of 125lb. It has exceptional flexibility in its design that allows it to deal with a ton of different art mediums. From acrylic paintings to oil and charcoal paintings to even decoupage, gouache.
Serves as an excellent alternative to the traditional canvas. 


Choosing a good-quality acrylic painting paper pad can be very confusing given that the sheer range of choices you get on the marketplace. 

Hopefully, this guide managed to help you out in choosing an acrylic paper mat that best suits your requirements.