Is Acrylic Paint Waterproof?- No, it isn´t and Here is Why

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Acrylic paint is a water-based paint that gives it the ability to dry fast. It’s made by mixing pigment with acrylic polymer emulsion. That is why the drying process is so fast with acrylic paint. The speedy drying process is what attracts most people to acrylic paint. It is also very inexpensive to purchase.

But is acrylic paint waterproof? No. It is, to a certain degree, water-resistant but it is not waterproof. So you have to seal the paint in order to make it more resistant to water and, depending on the surface you are painting on, you may need to prepare that surface in advance.

This does not make it waterproof, though. You can still have your artwork ruined by a glass of water or by a few raindrops from the sky. When acrylic paint is wet, it will absorb any water on it or around it. When the paint dries, it becomes water-resistant to a certain degree.

Even though the paint becomes water- resistant it will still chip or peel off. It is best to take additional steps to seal your items to secure the lifespan of this new look.

Why Do You Need to Waterproof Acrylic Paint?

Acrylic can be thinned out with water since it is a water-based paint.

If you do not make your piece waterproof, it could be ruined by a decent amount of water. Any items that are to be kept for outdoors must be waterproofed to keep them safe from the rain and the dew.

Acrylic paint is porous. It will slowly absorb water into the tiny pores. You will not even notice this happening until it’s too late and it becomes ruined.

How Do You Waterproof Acrylic Paint?

To make acrylic paint waterproof, you will need to apply a sealer such as a varnish, for example.

There are spray sealers that are the most commonly used in the art world. The sealer will protect the coat of acrylic paint from the elements.

I like to either use an acrylic sealer or a varnish to seal my acrylic paints.

My favorite Acrylic Sealer is the Plaid Mod Podge Clear Acrylic Sealer (Link to Amazon). It is easy to apply and the fact, that it is a spray sealer makes it even easier to cover your whole project in a thin coat. You can apply multiple coats without any problems the sealer will still be clear even after multiple layers.

The other way to Seal your acrylic paints is with a varnish. If you want to seal painted wood then this is the way to go. But you can seal any other painted project with varnish too. I would recommend using Gamblin Gamvar Varnish. It is a gloss varnish for sealing wood and a wide range of paints including acrylic paints. You can get a spray Varnish as well. It will make applying the varnish quite a lot easier.

It will not be able to absorb the water into the pores. That will prolong the life of your item.

To get maximized results, it is best to first use a water-based sealer and then add a layer of oil-based sealer. To give an extra seal, you can add a drying oil to your item.

Be sure to leave it sitting for around 3 days or so to completely dry. Your art will be remarkable, durable, and safe.

Is Acrylic Paint Used Just for Paintings?

Acrylic paint is used on many items other than just canvas.

There are many materials that acrylics can be used to enhance such as wood, plastics, stretchy vinyl, ceramics, glass, etc.

If you are wondering if acrylic paint really sticks to glass and wood then you can have a look at my articles about painting wood with acrylic and what kind of paint sticks to glass for more information on that.

This type of paint is many people’s favorite type for the simple fact that it is so adaptable. There are additives such as pastes, powders, and gels that can be mixed in it to give it a matte or glossy outcome.

You can make any item your style by changing the way it appears. Acrylic paint is perfect for crafting different items because it is so adaptable. It will generally work well on any item that isn’t oily.

Here are a Few Items that can be Enhanced by a Coat of Acrylic Paint.

• Outside Tables, Chairs, and other Furniture.

Make your outdoor living space the best place for entertaining by changing some of the outdoor furniture’s appearance. You can choose the style and colors to fit your personality.

• Flower Pots, Planters, and Boxes.

Your flowers look amazing so let’s make the planters look just as great. You can add more color to your garden by painting the flower pots around your garden area.

• Gardening Tools, Stepping Stones, and Garden Figurines.

You can find old figurines at yard sales or thrift stores that you can add to your garden. With a little paint and elbow grease, you can make them look brand new again.

• Ceramics for Indoor or Outdoor Decor.

Painting ceramics is a stress reliever, and you get new decor on top of it. Old pieces can come back to life with a change of paint.

• Baskets, Totes, or Jars.

These items can be used for many things such as sewing kits, button holders, desks, dressers, bathroom accessories, etc. They can be painted to fit the need or just for fun.

• Toys and Collectibles.

Old toys and figurines can be brought back to life with a little paint.

• Holiday Decorations.

Everyone loves the holidays. Don’t throw away those old items because they are faded, chipped, or missing paint. You can even paint those little plastic Easter eggs instead of dying real eggs.

• Indoor Tables, Chairs, and Chests.

Change the look and feel of your home by giving you furniture a new look. Warm colors tend to give off a more welcoming feeling to an area.

• Kid’s Room Tables, Chairs, Dressers, Toy Boxes, and Cubby Hole Stands.

Children’s rooms can be changed as they grow older by simply painting the furniture they already have. There is no need to get new chests and dressers just because your child has a different style this year. An easy fix would be to paint the furniture more to your child’s liking, and they will once again love their room.

How Much Water can an Acrylic Painting Take Before it is Destroyed?

There is not really a definitive answer to that. Generally, as long as it is only misted in water or, when it is sealed, has some drops of water on the paint it will do no harm.

There are ways that water does help with acrylic paints, such as keeping your pallet moist by spraying it with water.

This keeps the paint moist to help give you the best results.

You can also use water to thin out your acrylic paints. It is important to remember that too much water will ruin the paint. You do not need to treat acrylics like watercolor paints and continually drown them in water.

Do You Need to Use a Primer?

A primer is used when the item you are painting needs something for the paint to stick to.

Some items are slick or plastic and will need a coat of primer before you can paint with the acrylic.

Sometimes it is best to take the extra precautions to make sure the painting results are maximized. Save time, materials, and money by doing it the right way, instead of having to repeat your work over and over.

Adjusting the Paint Colors to the Desired Result.

It’s important to remember that with inexpensive paints such as acrylics, they tend to dry with a darker color than when the paint is still wet.

It’s better to apply small amounts of paint and then let it dry before adding another layer of paint to it. This will slowly adjust your colors to give the best result possible.

This layering of the colors usually enhances the complexity of the painting, making it look richer in color.

How Do You Cover a Layer of Paint Completely?

Sometimes we can make mistakes that lead us to want to start over in an area.

How do you start over if there is already paint on the canvas? Apply a light coat of medium gray acrylic paint to the area.

Once it dries in a few minutes, you can then apply whatever color you want to it. This is needed instead of layering your colors sometimes. It will keep it a smooth surface, instead of having a textured surface from multiple layers of paint.

Acrylic paints are the most commonly used paints. If you use the proper primers and sealers, your items will be preserved and water-resistant.

It will help in keeping the item looking its best for a long time to come. A great feature for acrylic paint is that, if you do not like the outcome, you can paint over it in a few minutes, once it has dried. This is another reason why it is best to use small amounts of paint on your brush at a time.

There are so many options when using acrylic paints to give off different effects. There are so many vivid color options that make people just fall in love.

The fun you can have with painting is priceless. Not only will you have an item that looks brand new but, also you get the experience of creating something one of a kind that no one else has. Painting is a way to reduce anxiety and bring a sense of calm to you.

It is a great way to have fun and make memories if you involve others. There is no right or wrong way to make great art. Your imagination is the key to unlocking many designs. Be sure to use any primers, base coats, and sealers that you should in order to preserve your art results.

13 thoughts on “Is Acrylic Paint Waterproof?- No, it isn´t and Here is Why”

  1. Thanks for another excellent article. Where else may just anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect manner of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I’m on the look for such info.|

    • Hi Sean,
      no, you can´t. Acrylic paint will not stick to the surface properly and it will wash off after only a few minutes. I am afraid you have to replace the sink.

  2. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up!
    I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back in the
    future. Many thanks

  3. Hi! Thank you for your article, several of us found it very helpful today! I still have a question and I’m hoping you’ll be able to answer it for me. ;o) I’m using Palmer Paints (water-reducible, water-based, acrylic) and having issues with layering the colors. I painted a red base, waited a week, then painted some white dots on top of the red. Even though it had been drying for a week, the colors still mixed together and I ended up with pink. I tried it on a different surface, same results. Do you know how I can layer these colors without them mixing together, or is it just not possible – maybe this paint is too cheap? I’ve never had this happen before when using acrylics. Thank you so much!!

    • Hi Diane,
      I never used this brand of paints so I can´t really give you a clear answer. But you should be able to paint on to of dried acrylic paint without any issues. Maybe try to use very little water and only go over the painted surface once and not multiple times?


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