Above Ground Art Supplies is a premium paint supply store in Toronto and online. We help artists shape their work with professional painting tools that can elevate any piece of art. Whether you’re creating a romantic watercolour design or looking to incorporate dry pigments to customize your colours and textures, we have the best painting supplies for your needs. Browse our art supplies online in Canada or in-store today.

Frequently Asked Questions

What basic supplies do I need to start painting?

Learning to paint starts with the right painting tools and equipment.

First, you’ll need quality-made paint brushes that are well structured and can hold onto the paint. Starter brush sets are typically a good place to start since they can help you get a feel for the type of brush you prefer to work with.

Next, you’ll need paint to pair with your brushes. The three most common types of paint are oil, acrylic, and watercolour. It may help to experiment with all three in the main primary colours to get a feel for your preference.

Lastly, you’ll need to select a surface to paint on. A canvas pad or stretched canvas is recommended for acrylic or oil paints. For watercolours, we recommend our house cold-press watercolour paper.

What are the main types of paint?

When shopping for painting tools for your art project, it’s important to understand the types of paint available.
Acrylic: Acrylic paint is made of a mixture of pigments and a binder that causes them to stick together to form a paste. The binder combines water and acrylic resin particles, also called a polymer emulsion. The water helps keep the acrylic resin from drying immediately.
Water-Based: Water-based paints are also known as latex paints. Water is used as a carrier between the pigment and binder, resulting in a paint that dries faster, is environmentally friendly, and preserves its colour over time.
Oil-Based: Oil-based paint is designed with natural or synthetic oil as one of its main components. It is known for its ability to harden quickly, making it durable and resistant to nicks or marks. It’s commonly used for wood-based projects.

What painting supplies does Above Ground Art Supplies offer?

At Above Ground Art Supplies, we offer a wide range of professional painting supplies to help bring your artistic vision to life.
Acrylic Paint: Acrylic paint is a versatile water-based paint that dries quickly, delivers vibrant colours and ensures a durable finish. It allows for layering, blending, and a range of different techniques on canvas, paper, wood, and more.
Dry Pigments: Artists can blend our selection of dry pigments with a range of binders, including oils, acrylics, and water. This allows for a higher degree of customization and experimentation.
Encaustic: Encaustic paints are perfect for modelling, layering, sculpting, and texturing, even integrating collage materials, with no required drying time.
Fabric Paint: Fabric paint products are formulated paints designed for textiles and fabrics. These paints are created to connect to fabric fibres, delivering a permanent and flexible finish.
Gesso & Grounds: Gesso and grounds are used to prepare surfaces like canvas, wood, or paper for painting and provide a base layer to help paint stick to its surface.
Gouache Paint: Gouache paint includes larger pigment particles that are more opaque than ones found in watercolour, giving it its characteristic matte and reflective quality.
Hobby Paints: These paints are typically available in acrylics, enamels, and watercolours. Tailored for leisure painters, hobby paints are easy to use and offer vibrant colours and versatility for crafting, model-making, and other artistic projects.
Mediums & Varnishes: Mediums and varnishes are both essential components of paint tools and equipment and serve different purposes. Mediums are used with paints to alter the consistency, drying time, and texture. Varnishes are applied to protect paintings and enhance their appearance.
Oil Paints: One of the most commonly used styles across all ability levels, oil paints dry slowly, enabling blending and layering. They provide deep colours and a creamy texture, ideal for expressive artwork.
Spray Paint: This form of paint application provides an even and controlled coat of paint, making spray paint tools particularly useful for a range of projects.
Tempera Paint: If you’re looking for a solid and vibrant finish, tempera paint is known for its creamy consistency, smooth application, and easy blending. It’s best used on paper, cardboard, poster boards, or papier-mâché.
Watercolour Paint: Watercolour paint is a versatile medium, offering the ability to create soft washes and vibrant hues. It can be used for a range of artistic expressions on paper.

What painting brands do Above Ground Art Supplies carry?

At Above Ground Art Supplies, we carry a range of paint supply brands, including:

  • Amsterdam
  • Golden
  • Kama Pigments
  • Gamblin
  • Winsor & Newton
  • Liquitex
  • R&F Handmade Paint
  • Michael Harding
  • Angelus
  • Pebeo
  • Turner
  • Alpha 6 Corporation
  • Cobra
  • Old Holland
  • Schmincke
  • Cranfield
  • Montana Cans
  • Chroma
  • Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colours
  • Daniel Smith
  • Yasutomo
  • Da Vinci
  • Tri-Art


What is the difference between oil and acrylic paint?

The main difference between oil and acrylic paints is their textures and drying properties. Oils dry slowly, allowing more time to blend and to make adjustments to your artwork. Acrylic paints, on the other hand, dry quickly and allow for more layering in a shorter amount of time.

Is it easier to paint with oil or acrylic?

Both oil and acrylic paint have their benefits and challenges. Ultimately, the right choice often depends on personal preference. Acrylics dry faster and are easier to clean up, making them more beginner-friendly. On the other hand, oil paints have a longer drying time, allowing for more blending and manipulation on the canvas. Some artists find acrylics easier to work with due to their fast-drying abilities, while others prefer the slower drying time of oils for more flexibility in their painting process. Visit our paint supply store in person or online to learn more about the best paint supplies for your project.

What is the difference between Acrylic and Gouache?

Acrylic paints and gouache are water-based paints with distinct characteristics. Gouache is known for its high opacity, making it great for flat, opaque colour applications.

In contrast, acrylics are more translucent, allowing for layered effects. Acrylics have a thicker consistency and are suitable for textured work, while gouache is fluid and easily diluted. Acrylics dry quickly and become water-resistant, whereas gouache remains water-soluble even when dry.

What other art materials do Above Ground Art Supplies offer?

In addition to our selection of professional painting tools, we offer a range of quality art materials, including:

What sets Above Ground Art Supplies apart from other paint supply stores?

At Above Ground Art Supplies, we believe in helping artists of all ages and skill sets create their best work. That’s why we offer a wide range of professional painting supplies across a range of mediums, from spray paints to watercolours.

We specialize in finding items that aren’t readily available, allowing students and professional artists the chance to elevate their work with exclusive painting tools. With two locations in Toronto and a range of products online, finding the perfect paint supplies for your project has never been easier.

Where can I buy paint from Above Ground Art Supplies?

Above Ground Art Supplies is proud to provide professional painting tools to students and artists in Toronto and across Southern Ontario. Visit one of our two retail locations in Toronto—74 McCaul Street or 2868 Dundas St. W—or visit us online or call us at 416.591.1601 to learn more about our selection of products.