Is Golden Acrylic Paint Worth It? My Review & Test Painting

Last Updated on April 17, 2024 by Masha Eretnova

Over the last 3 years, my painting practice has evolved and I was able to invest in some professional paints, like Golden acrylic paint.

I was really intrigued by how praised this brand is, and how they stand out among competitors and never even produce student-grade paints. At the same time, I thought, ain’t no way it can be the only acrylic to be that good.

So I bought myself a set of Golden Open acrylics and regular Golden acrylic paint, both in basic sets of 6 colors.

I’m going to swatch the colors, do an opacity test and, of course, put it to practice in painting.

To save you time: Golden acrylics are indeed one of the best paints I’ve ever used and I would recommend them to any painter of intermediate to advanced level. However, they didn’t meet my expectations of opacity.

  • Colors and consistency 5/5
  • Tubes 5/5
  • Opacity 3/5
  • Mixing and Blending 5/5
  • Performance 5/5
  • Total score: 4.6
golden acrylic paint review
Preparing to test my new set of Golden acrylic paint


As an abstract painter, I really love the Heavy body and thick, buttery, and homogeneous consistency of Golden paints.

No lumps, no separated binder – of course, it is to be expected at this price and quality level.

The brand is able to achieve it by making sure none of the colors have any fillers, extenders, opacifiers, toners, or matting agents. You get what you pay for – quality and no cutting corners.

However, the composition isn’t eco-friendly (but non-toxic of course) simply because all brands nowadays are using BIT components as preservatives. That is what makes the paint’s shelf life last for up to 15 years.

Absolutely love the Colors

Even though I only have the basic set, the traditional color palette, I love the choice of colors – it is perfect for the majority of the work you can do with acrylic paint: from portraits to landscapes.

I have the following colors:

  • Naphthol Red Light
  • Benzimidazolone Yellow Medium
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Permanent Green Light
  • Titanium White
  • Mars Black

All are single-pigmented except for green (mixed in with yellow and white as it is a light shade – PY 175, PG7, PW6).

As Golden targets pro painters, the brand knows that we are more used to buying colors individually. We like to mix. And we choose colors to buy carefully.

So Golden makes a whopping total color range of 130+ colors, including subtle differences between shades that only advanced painters know and take advantage of, like for example red and green shades of Phthalo blue.

I have mixed feelings about the Tubes

Golden makes high-quality tubes with professional labels. But I’m not a fan.

And it’s true. While they are high-quality metal tubes, of course, I do believe that they are more prone to damage.

But it can be only my case as I travel a lot and I need to put my paints in checked-in luggage. If something happens, I think metal tubes are more rigid than plastic ones and can be torn.

But for regular home-based use, the tubes are great, without a doubt, in terms of durability.

golden acrylic paint review tubes
Golden paint tubes

Another doubt I have about the Golden acrylic tubes is the cap and the volume. Weird thing to complain about but I do believe that sometimes they fill them too much and once you open the tube some paint gets out immediately.

The caps are just tricky. They do their job – keep everything airtight but sometimes they are hard to screw back, you need to get it on the tube perfectly straight otherwise it doesn’t want to close.

The sets have tubes of 22 ml each, but when you buy individually, you can choose between tubes of 2oz (59 ml) and 5oz (148 ml), or jars of 4 oz (114 ml), 8 oz (237 ml), 16 oz (473 ml), 32 oz (946 ml), and 128 oz (3.78 L).


When I started using Golden Paint it was a big surprise to me that many of their colors, especially in the Open series are semi-opaque and more transparent than say Liquitex.

golden acrylic paint color swatch
Color swatches and opacity test I did for Golden acrylics

In my set only white and black are fully opaque:

  • Naphthol Red Light, semi-transparent
  • Benzimidazolone Yellow Medium, semi-transparent
  • Ultramarine Blue, semi-transparent
  • Permanent Green Light, semi-opaque
  • Titanium White, opaque
  • Mars Black, opaque

It makes sense if we go back and remember that the brand uses single pigments and no opacifiers, so it is how the colors actually are, but it is simply a matter of habit.

Keep in mind that if you switch from cheap paint to professional acrylics, you need to adjust to the “natural” opacity of colors.

At the same time, there are no issues with fade-resistance and permanency – all colors have excellent lightfastness (gallery level).

  • Naphthol Red Light, grade 2
  • Benzimidazolone Yellow Medium, grade 1
  • Ultramarine Blue, grade 1
  • Permanent Green Light, grade 1
  • Titanium White, grade 1
  • Mars Black, grade 1

All Golden acrylic paint colors are water-resistant once dry and you can make them fully waterproof with a varnish.

Golden Acrylics Performance test

I tested Golden acrylic paint on Canson paper (200 gsm) and picked a pomegranate to paint.

is golden acrylic paint good
The pomegranate I painted with Golden acrylics

I chose to work in a more Alla prima technique, but you can of course use any technique you like, including watercolor imitation. While Golden doesn’t recommend thinning acrylics with water, the Golden acrylic paint works amazing and makes very clean washes when diluted.

You can see here 3 applications: thick full coverage, diluted paint with a wet brush, and dry brushing.

Golde acrylic paint application

The full video of painting with Golden acrylic paint (that you can follow along!):

My pomegranate painting tutorial (using Golden acrylic paint)


As much as I love using Golden acrylics and Open acrylics are one of my favorite oil-imitating paints, I do believe that Golden acrylics are not out of reach in terms of quality for competition.

Golden paints have excellent pigments, color choice, and coverage and are suitable for any technique I use. The opacity may be one of the weak point of these paints but it can be balanced out with a proper layering technique.

So my final verdict is that Golden acrylic paint is amazing high-quality paint but it is not a miracle or a paint that will make you a pro in one go.

Where to buy

This article contains affiliate links. It means no extra cost for you but a little commission (2-3%) for me to support my hobby and blog. Thank you!

If you shop online, I recommend buying Golden Paint via the Blick Art Supplies store rather than on Amazon.

Blick always has all colors and product series available and the best price, and Amazon has a very pushy reseller of paints that bombard you with their ads. I’d rather buy directly Golden paint than go to a reseller. The only time it’s better to shop on Amazon is when they have sales and you have free shipping:)

I buy mostly offline (because I love the vibe of an art shop), and at my store, they have not only colors but also all Golden mediums, but I have to drive 1.5 hrs to that store! So I buy in bulk.

Have you tried Golden acrylics already? What was your first impression? Share with me in the comments!