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Spreader Medium | Glazing Medium | Marbling Effect

Derivan Spreader Medium is a must-have acrylic medium used for marbling effects with paint, woodgraining  and creating thin, translucent glazes. 


Spreader Medium 

Available in 500ml & 2Ltrs

spreader medium safety data sheet 


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Spreader Medium allows you to spread large volumes of colour over selected areas while maintaining controlled paint viscosity. It is customary to add Derivan Spreader Medium to Derivan colours until the required volume of paint is attained. Inversely, you can add your acrylics to the Derivan Spreader Medium in small or large increments.

Derivan Acrylic and Derivan Students grade acrylic paints offer a thick consistency suitable for impasto, oil painting and brush stroke techniques. Still, their high tint strength allows for ready dilution with water or mediums, giving the painter free expression by selective use of these mediums.

One such medium is "Spreader Medium", and the purpose is to spread large volumes of transparent colour over selected areas while maintaining controlled paint viscosity. Acrylic colour can be added in small or large increments to the Spreader Medium. Spreader Medium is a transparent flowing paste. It dries pretty "flat" and, when dry, can hardly be discerned on a painted or unpainted area, i.e. it leaves almost no stain.


Spreader medium is excellent as a glazing medium where it will impart exemplary flow and controlled spreadability and lubrication to the paint. Used on its own, the medium does not dry waterproof. Therefore, it can be used as an intermediary between two partially dried paint films if some water sensitivity for wash areas is desired.

Applied over a dried paint film gives a wet effect but will recede to an almost invisible film when dry. Spreader Medium dries relatively slowly when used over a well-primed or heavily painted area, increasing workability within the paint.

Soft colour hues and delicate tone on tone can be obtained by using Spreader Medium.

Spreader Medium can be used to pre-dilute Derivan acrylic colours to infinity, thereby increasing transparency (this may also increase water sensitivity).

Derivan Polymer Gloss Varnish (Gloss Medium) or Derivan Matt Polymer Varnish is the natural choice to mix with Spreader Medium if you want to impart controlled water resistance. Spreader Medium dries relatively slowly when applied over a well-primed or heavily painted area. It increases workability within the paint.


Marbling Effect is where you put colours over float them on an o a mordant and tend to lay paper generally or an item over the top and the marble pattern adheres to it. You can get the same effect by mixing the spreader medium with colours and then dragging combs and different tools through that mixture as it's drying, and you can get the same effect, of course, without the waste


Basic woodgrain can be as simple as dragging a brush through the wet spreader glaze,  all the way to using more detailed techniques. The latter involves copying intricate inlay patterns (also known as intarsia) and employing advanced wood-graining tools. Learn more about wood graining techniques