Gel Soap Resist Acrylic Painting Lesson

Gel Soap Resist Acrylic PaintingIsn’t it FUN to experiment with art supplies! That is how new techniques and styles are created! The GEL Resist technique is one of my favorites and TONS OF FUN!!

I came across this technique on Pinterest  and thought it would be fun to do with my painting art camp I taught a couple summers ago.  This is a super fun and engaging art project for after school art or art club! I have done this with elementary through high school students and their reactions are always the same-WOW THAT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!

Natalie Wilson Schorr shows how she used this technique to create a cool skateboard design on her page Designing a Skateboard Deck Using Liquid Resist

Here is how we did it:

Supplies: Acrylic Paint (craft paint works ok), THICK PAPER 90lb+ Canson XL Series Watercolor Pad, 11″X15 (canvas doesn’t work well-other hard surfaces might work if it has been gessoed/primed & has a “tooth” to grab a hold of the paint well), Spray Paint, a Spoon, & Liquid Gel Dish Soap or Dishwasher Gel Soap (don’t get the runny cheap stuff-it won’t work!) *Affiliate links-products that I love , use, and recommend


  1. Paint the THICK PAPER with ACRYLIC Paint. Blending colors that are next to each other on the color wheel looks best. Its also fun to make simple designs like large circles! You could paint the  first layer with spray paint. Let dry completely.
    Paper surface used for example, but a canvas would work better

    Paper surface used for example (90lb Watercolor)

    acrylic paint applied to surface

    Acrylic paint applied to surface-COMPLETELY!

  2. With a spoon, drizzle gel dish soap randomly all over the surface.

    Liquid soap drizzles over surface

    Liquid soap drizzles over surface-make sure to leave some areas uncovered!!

  3. In a ventilated area (outside is best), spray the entire surface with spray paint. Let  strand 10-20 minutes making sure the spray paint is dry to the touch (may take longer depending on temp & humidity).
    Spray paint over entire surface

    Spray paint over entire surface

    After spray paint

    After spray paint

  4. Use a spray hose to completely rinse off the dish soap. (We did this outside, I DON’T recommend using your kitchen sink!!)                                                                                                             Gel Dish Soap Resist Acrylic Painting
  5. Finished artwork

 Gel Dish Soap Resist Acrylic Painting

Just a couple of troubleshooting tips:

1. Make sure the type of paint is ACRYLIC paint (if you use tempera or poster paint instead these will wash right off!).
2. It is best to use a MATTE ACRYLIC paint, NOT glossy. If the paint is glossy, it won’t have a “tooth” for the spray paint to attach on to.
3. Don’t apply the Gel soap over the whole canvas– instead drizzled in only some areas. If the whole canvas is covered with soap, the spray paint will have nothing to stick to & will wash off.

4. Make sure to let the spray paint dry enough before spraying off.
5. Spray water on a low setting-if the hose is on too high pressure or sprayed for too long all the paint might wash off.

6.The surface MUST be either THICK Paper (90lbs +) or a hard surface that has been gessoed or primed. We used 140lb Canson Watercolor paper.

Gel Soap Resist Acrylic PaintingTry it out yourself & let me know how it goes! If you choose to use ANY part of this blog (pictures or written information), please link back to Create Art with ME!

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