Matisse Acrylic Medium MM3 Surface Tension Breaker

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SKU: 1MM2M03

Sale price$15.99 Regular price$22.85

Pickup available at Unit 11 / 12 Cecil Road, Hornsby

Usually ready in 24 hours

For multiple variant order, kindly use the "Bulk Order" sheet below.


Thins paint so that less water is required, keeping colours stronger. Ideal for Airbrush or Watercolour techniques.  (Size: 10L, 250ml)  

This product is a dispersant and is used to break down the surface tension of the acrylic paints.

It acts as a powerful penetrating agent. It is also known as "watercolour medium" or "flow medium".

Used correctly, it will make Matisse paint more "runny" by increasing its flow properties. Its presence within a water and paint mixture will greatly facilitate colour penetration into absorbent paper or fabric grounds, e.g. raw canvas.

It is a very valuable additive in stain painting techniques and water wash applications when working on hand-pressed watercolour paper or absorbent, bleached but unprimed canvas.

For correct results, MM3 Surface Tension Breaker is always pre-diluted with the quantity of water to be used for thinning the paint. It is wise to prepare a stock jar of water with 5-10% MM3 Surface Tension Breaker and use this water for the overall painting.

MM7 Polymer Gloss Varnish (Gloss Medium) and the other mediums such as MM4 Gel Medium and MM9 Acrylic Painting Medium, can also be treated with MM3 Surface Tension Breaker pre-diluted with water. The addition of a level teaspoon of pre-diluted MM3 Surface Tension Breaker to a 250ml jar of Matisse acrylic paint or painting medium will have a very noticeable dispersing effect.

Unprimed canvas which has been scoured and bleached (in order to remove cottonseed oils and seeds) or raw canvas, will perform very much better in stain painting techniques if the cloth is pre-washed in a water-diluted solution of MM3 Surface Tension Breaker. A diluted solution of MM3 Surface Tension Breaker can also be brushed straight onto the stretched canvas and allowed to dry.

MM3 Surface Tension Breaker will also assist with the dispersion of colour when you are employing the paints in a watercolour technique.


To use Matisse Structure or Flow Formula with an airbrush, use the mixture (MM3 Surface Tension Breaker diluted 1 part with 9 parts water) to thin the paint to the desired viscosity. The airbrush artist will find that far less water is required to achieve the same viscosity (as "chemical thinning" has taken place); therefore the colours will be far stronger and more intense than if the paint had just been "let down" with water alone. See Airbrushing techniques.

Calligraphy: Calligraphy artists find using Matisse Flow Formula and MM3 Surface Tension Breaker mixed together through calligraphy pens (diluted as described above) provide rich, strong "inks". Not only does this make available a very large range of colours but, more importantly, the paints remain lightfast and will not fade.

Watercolour: Traditional watercolour techniques can be achieved easily with Matisse Colours. Using MM3 Surface Tension Breaker will not only allow the artist to work with Matisse Colours, as they would with traditional watercolours, but will also open up a whole new area of creative possibilities. See watercolour technique.

Floating: Folk Artists and Decorative painters will find using water containing 1:10 ratio of water to MM3 Surface Tension Breaker will greatly assist with floating. See Floating Techniques.

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Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
Danae Jackson
Value for money

How is it I have I never used Matisse surface tension breaker before? I purchased it for a class and haven’t stopped using it since. I use Matisse structure paints and with it I can can thin the paint when I need to while keeping the pigment strong. Works beautifully for detailed work and I keep a jar of it already diluted with my paints. A little goes a long way.


You're a real deep thinker. Thanks for sahrnig.

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