Review: Stuart Semple’s Black 2.0 (Is It Really That Black?)

June 27, 2018

I’m sure you’ve seen this video around, and if you’re like us, must have been drawn to the possibilities of checking out the possibility of a “new colour”. While the real deal unfortunately can’t be obtained by us (and the process can only be carried out in a lab with specific equipment), we do have Stuart Semple’s super affordable acrylic paint version called BLACK 2.0

We got ourselves two bottles of the BLACK 2.0 and we’re going to see how it does against other black pigments accessible! Let us take a closer look at the bottle. 

The paint came in a simple plastic squeeze bottle and doesn’t look particularly special at this point. It is said the revised versions smells like black cherry so I actually took a whiff of this! If I hadn’t known I probably wouldn’t have guessed, but it does smell pretty fragrant and not like conventional acrylic paints with the chemical smells. Probably would not keep sniffing it though! 

The product listing also advertises this paint as the best flat, matt, black paint on the planet, having a unique acrylic co-polymer binder enables more pigment load than any other acrylic paint. 



For this little “test” and review, we made a little test sheet, where we’re pitching inkjet printer black vs permanent marker black and the Black 2.0.

Inkjet Printer

They will all be applied to a piece of regular printer paper, and you can see that we already printed the first black circle on with our home printer. 


Permanent Marker

For this swatch, we used a water resistant permanent marker that is advertised to mark on anything. These markers usually go on pretty opaque on plastics, photographs and other surfaces so we thought it might make a good black to pitch against. Turns out the result wasn’t so great. To the naked eye, the permanent marker did a pretty decent job, but when it came to photo taking, the ink on paper is super reflective and made it look shiny and grey. 


Black 2.0

For the final swatch, we used the black 2.0 acrylic paint! The instructions on the bottle said to thin with water to increase flow as required but I went in neat to ensure that it was at its maximum intensity. The texture and consistency was just like any other regular paint, and it was actually super shiny and unassuming. I used a synthetic acrylic paintbrush to apply the paint on.


Honestly, at this point, I wasn’t expecting much… It really looked like regular paint and the paper was starting to crinkle from the wet paint. 


So… Is this a flop?


It works!!! Disappointed, we left it aside to dry and when we came back 15 minutes later, was greeted by a very matte, black circle. Here are a couple of close up of each of the swatches! The following images are all unedited (only resized and watermarked!)

The inkjet printer swatch. To be honest, it’s not too shabby, just the typical streaks from the printer rollers when you print a large solid area. 


The permanent marker. I probably wouldn’t be using a marker like this to cover up solid areas on cards or paper anytime soon again! 


Finally, the Black 2.0 – Granted that some light is still reflected from it since the paper started crinkling from the paint, the result actually looks amazing in real life and is super matte! It even feels really matte. I can’t say that it has achieved a black-holesque effect (of which it didn’t advertise it’ll do anyway) but it certainly is super flat, super matte and ultra pigmented. 


Here’s another small smudge result from another piece of paper that I tested with. The left blob is neat from the bottle and the right blob has water mixed into it. The product description online also mentioned that the paint can be thinned with water to achieve ink-like flows (i can see that!) and also to create dyes, so it looks like more black projects could be in the works! 

I lent some to a friend to cover the interior of his modified camera body (because of it’s matte qualities) and it seems to have worked pretty well so far! What else would you use these paints for? 

Disclaimer: This product was purchased on our own accord and was not sponsored in any way. All opinions and test are our own. 


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