Is Acrylic Paint Waterproof? Act Now to Save Your Art!

When it comes to choosing paint for various projects, whether it's a stunning landscape on canvas or a rejuvenated piece of furniture, acrylic paint is often the go-to option for artists and DIY enthusiasts alike. Its versatility and ease of use make it a popular choice across mediums such as canvas, metal, glass, and plastic. However, a common question arises: "Is acrylic paint waterproof?" In this blog, we'll dive deep into the nature of acrylic paint, its applications on different surfaces, and how to enhance its durability and water resistance.

Drawlish Artists using acrylic paint

Understanding Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is celebrated for its rich pigmentation and quick-drying properties, attributes that make it a favorite among professionals and hobbyists. But when it comes to its interaction with water, misconceptions abound. Initially, it's vital to clarify that while acrylic paint is water-resistant, this doesn't inherently make it waterproof, especially when considering its application on various surfaces.

Is Acrylic Paint Waterproof When Dry?

The answer is nuanced. Acrylic paint undergoes a chemical transformation as it dries, evolving from a water-soluble state to a more water-resistant form. However, "is acrylic paint waterproof when dry?" While it resists water to some extent, prolonged exposure can degrade its quality, leading to color fading or peeling. Thus, while it can withstand the occasional splash or raindrop, acrylic paint, in its standard form, isn't entirely waterproof.

Enhancing the Waterproof Qualities of Acrylic Paint

For those wondering "how to make acrylic paint waterproof," the secret lies in the finishing touches. Applying a waterproof sealant or varnish over the dried paint layer significantly enhances its water resistance. This additional step is crucial, especially for items exposed to moisture or outdoor elements.

Drawlish Artists using acrylic paint

Acrylic Paint Across Different Surfaces

The versatility of acrylic paint is one of its most appealing characteristics. Let's explore how it performs on various materials.

Acrylic Paint on Canvas

Canvas is a classic choice for acrylics. The porous nature of canvas absorbs the paint, allowing it to adhere well. Once dried, it's relatively water-resistant, but applying a sealant can protect your artwork from humidity and water damage.

Acrylic Paint on Metal

Metal surfaces pose a unique challenge. "Acrylic paint on metal" requires surface preparation to prevent peeling. Priming the metal with a suitable primer ensures better adhesion. Sealing the paint is also advisable to prevent rust and maintain durability.

Acrylic Paint on Glass

Using "acrylic paint for glass" offers creative possibilities, from decorative vases to window art. However, the slick surface of glass requires a primer or a specialty acrylic paint formulated for glass to ensure longevity and prevent chipping. Sealants are also recommended for waterproofing.

Acrylic Paint on Plastic

"Acrylic paint on plastic" can be tricky due to the non-porous surface of plastic. A primer designed for plastic surfaces can improve adhesion. For items that will be handled frequently or exposed to moisture, a waterproof topcoat is essential.

Drawlish Artists using acrylic paint

Professional Acrylic Paint

For those seeking durability and vibrant color, "professional acrylic paint" is worth the investment. These paints are formulated with higher-quality pigments and binders, offering superior adhesion and longevity, even before sealing. They're ideal for artists and DIYers who require their projects to withstand the test of time and exposure.


Is acrylic paint waterproof? In its essence, it's water-resistant, capable of withstanding minimal exposure to water once dry. However, for it to truly repel water, especially in environments prone to moisture or direct water contact, additional steps must be taken.

By understanding the nature of acrylic paint and employing proper techniques for each surface, along with applying a waterproof sealant, you can ensure that your acrylic paint projects remain vibrant and durable for years to come. 

Engaging with acrylic paint across various mediums opens up a world of creative possibilities. Whether you're painting a mural on a metal surface, decorating a glass ornament, crafting with plastic, or creating a masterpiece on canvas, knowing how to protect and preserve your work is crucial. With the right approach, acrylic paint can indeed become a waterproof and lasting medium for all your artistic and decorative endeavors.

If you're in need of some awesome acrylic paint, you gotta check out Drawlish. Seriously, this stuff has everything you'd want in paint. Smooth application, killer colors, and it won't break the bank. Just hop onto their website to browse through all the cool shades they've got. Whether you're a pro or just starting out, Drawlish acrylic paint has your back. It blends like a dream, so you can get those perfect tones without any hassle. Your art deserves the best, right? Click, check it out!


Can Acrylic Paint Be Used Outdoors?

Yes, acrylic paint can be utilized for outdoor projects, given its adaptability and the vibrant palette it offers. However, to ensure longevity and resistance to weather conditions, it's imperative to apply a UV-resistant waterproof sealant. This extra layer not only waterproofs but also protects the paint from fading under sunlight.

What Types of Sealants Work Best for Waterproofing Acrylic Paint?

For waterproofing acrylic paint, polyurethane, epoxy resin, and acrylic varnish are highly recommended. Polyurethane offers a durable, clear coat with excellent waterproofing capabilities. Epoxy resin provides a glossy, thick protective layer, ideal for surfaces needing a high level of water resistance. Acrylic varnish, available in both gloss and matte finishes, adds a protective seal while maintaining the original appearance of the paint.

How Do You Prepare Surfaces for Acrylic Painting to Enhance Waterproofing?

Surface preparation is key to enhancing the waterproof qualities of acrylic paint. For porous surfaces like wood, applying a primer seals the pores, providing a smoother painting surface and preventing moisture absorption. On non-porous surfaces like metal and plastic, lightly sanding can create a texture for the paint to adhere more effectively. Cleaning the surface thoroughly to remove dust, grease, or rust is also crucial before painting.

Can Waterproofing Acrylic Paint Affect Its Color?

Applying a waterproof sealant can sometimes alter the appearance of acrylic paint, depending on the type of sealant used. Glossy sealants can enhance the color vibrancy and depth, while matte sealants may slightly dull the colors. It's always a good idea to test the sealant on a small, inconspicuous area to assess its impact on the paint's appearance.

How Long Should Acrylic Paint Dry Before Applying a Waterproof Sealant?

Acrylic paint should be completely dry before applying a waterproof sealant to ensure the best results. This typically means waiting at least 24 to 48 hours, depending on the thickness of the paint application and the humidity levels in your environment. Applying sealant too soon can trap moisture, leading to cloudiness or a weakened bond.

Are There Waterproof Acrylic Paints Available?

While standard acrylic paints are water-resistant to some degree, there are specialized acrylic paints formulated to offer enhanced waterproof qualities. These paints are designed for use in environments exposed to moisture and require less preparation for waterproofing. However, for ultimate protection, especially in outdoor or high-moisture areas, applying a sealant is still advisable.

How Often Should Waterproof Sealant Be Reapplied to Outdoor Acrylic Paint Projects?

The longevity of a waterproof sealant on outdoor acrylic paint projects depends on various factors, including weather exposure, surface wear, and the type of sealant used. As a general rule, inspecting the project annually and reapplying the sealant every 2 to 3 years or when signs of wear and tear appear can maintain its waterproof integrity.

Can Acrylic Paint Be Made Washable on Fabrics?

To make acrylic paint washable on fabrics, mixing the paint with a fabric medium before application transforms it into a more durable and flexible form that can withstand washing. Even then, heat-setting the paint after drying, as per the fabric medium's instructions, is crucial for maximizing washability and waterproofing.

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