There are many different kinds of paint available today, and some have a lot more permanence than others. It’s important to understand how the paint you’re working with is likely to behave so that you can use it in the right places, and also wear old clothes if the paint will damage them.
Many water-based paints are not permanent, and can be dissolved by adding water to them or soaking them, even long after they have dried – but that isn’t true of every water-based paint. You might therefore be wondering about acrylic, which is one of the most popular water-based paints out there.
Is acrylic paint permanent? Acrylic paints are permanent once they have set. They form a nearly waterproof layer that will resist sun damage and humidity to a great extent – although not indefinitely. You may need to protect your acrylic paint with a topcoat if you want it to last for a long time, especially if it’s on a wall or another exposed surface.
Is Acrylic Paint Permanent?
You might be excited to learn that acrylic paint is permanent enough to use on walls, and it should last for many years if it is applied properly. It is considered a permanent paint once it has dried, and it will not wash away if it gets damp (although a lot of water will ruin it). You can use acrylic paint throughout your home if you choose to.
It is worth noting, however, that acrylic paints will benefit from being sealed with a suitable sealant. If you have used acrylic to paint designs on a wall, you should follow this up with a sealant, because this will protect the paint and give it far greater longevity. If you don’t do this, it should still last for years, but will fade more quickly.
If you don’t seal the paint, it will gradually wear down as a result of exposure to UV rays, dirt, water, and dust. It’s particularly key to seal your paintwork if it’s going to be outside, as it will be exposed to far more sun and rain, and will probably only last for a few years otherwise.
Indoor paint will also benefit from being sealed, and this is generally a fairly quick and easy process. You can use clear varnish to seal the paint, or in some circumstances, lacquer or shellac (often used when the acrylic is on wood). Choose an untinted varnish so you don’t affect the appearance of the paint.
Can You Wash Acrylic Paint Off?
Acrylic paint can be washed away while it is still wet. If you get some on your clothes, make sure you wash them immediately, before the paint has had time to dry, so that it can’t bond to the fibers. Similarly, if you want to wash it off a wall, you must do so quickly, before it has time to bond.
Once acrylic paint has dried, it will often prove difficult or impossible to remove from a surface. This is an advantage in many cases, because it means that the paint will last well, but it also means that it isn’t easy to get rid of it if you’ve accidentally splashed your clothes or slipped with your paintbrush.
Be aware that acrylic paints dry quickly, so you’ll need to take prompt action to stop them from ruining a surface. Add water to the paint to dilute it and stop it from drying, and then wash the surface thoroughly as soon as you can.
How Long Does Acrylic Paint Last?
Acrylic paint should last for around 10 years if it has been properly applied and a suitable primer has been used on the surface underneath. This estimate can be extended to as much as 20 years if the acrylic is sealed after the painting has been completed.
That’s great news if you want to add a lasting design to something. However, be aware that it’s only an estimate, and if the acrylic is exposed to a lot of light or water, it will fade much more quickly. It should still last for several years, but it might need touching up or redoing.
Does the Sun Ruin Acrylic Paint?
Acrylics are surprisingly resistant to fading in the sun, but they will eventually be damaged by it, yes. No paints are truly impervious to sun damage, so you should expect that they will gradually fade. If you plan to use your acrylic in a room with a lot of sun, or outdoors, make sure you seal it properly.
This will give it the best chance of lasting, because the sealant will act as a barrier between the paint and the UV rays, protecting it from damage.
What Materials Can You Use Acrylic Paint On?
Acrylic paints are versatile, and will bond well with a range of materials, provided that the surface has a good key. You can use acrylics on wood, plaster, and fabric, and even metal, glass, and plastic. However, you will generally need a suitable primer if you want to apply acrylic to a slick surface, or it will peel off.
To make the acrylic permanent, you must choose a primer that will etch the surface and prepare it for the paint. For example, you might use a metal primer, or a glass primer. Some kinds of acrylic are specifically designed for use on these more difficult surfaces, and will be more permanent than standard acrylics.
On porous surfaces, acrylics may still benefit from the use of a primer, but they are generally permanent once they have dried. They form a strong, flexible surface that will resist wear and tear, and they will last for many years after application.
Acrylics are permanent once they have dried, but not when they are still wet. In some cases, you may need to use a sealant to protect the acrylic from excessive water or UV exposure, and this will ensure that it lasts for many years. Even unprotected, acrylic should form a hard-wearing, durable surface.