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Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Walls?

Painting walls with acrylic paint is a fun project with limitless potential. With a canvas as big as the wall itself, you have the opportunity to show-off your creativity and your unique personality. Whether it’s a wall in your home, your place of business, or somewhere else entirely, paint is the best way to customize a space and set the tone for the entire room.

However, with so many paint options out there, many people embarking on the project question if they can even use such paint on walls. Well good news, you can definitely use acrylic paint on walls! Not only does it last a long time, but it makes for a vibrant and beautiful project.

In this article we go over everything you need to know for using acrylic paint on walls. Let’s get to it!

Acrylic Paint Murals

There are so many types of paints for walls, that it can sometimes feel overwhelming. From acrylic to latex to oil-based paints, it’s no wonder why the choices feel endless.

Acrylic paint is one of the most commonly used types of paints. It is water-based and permanent, so it’s the perfect choice for pretty much any project. Most importantly, acrylic paint is actually the best possible option for painting walls, since it offers a superior vibrancy and protective shield to the walls when compared to oil-based or latex paints.

Have you ever seen a beautiful wall mural on a building, or a random wall? Well, chances are it was created with acrylic paints. The colors are just so vibrant and durable, that many artists choose acrylic paint as their go to paint for wall murals and wall art.

Apart form being a versatile and vibrant paint, acrylic paint also dries faster than oil-based paints and tends to have a much less offensive odor. You can also apply it in colder temperatures, making it a great option for outdoor projects.

If you’re looking for acrylic paint for your wall, I recommend this Magicfly set from Amazon. It’s very durable and the colored are amazing! It’s made specifically for the outdoors, so it can withstand any weather, and also works on rock surfaces.

Some people even mix fluid acrylics with heavy body acrylics, which helps create a well blended paint that will cover larger areas. If you are doing high detailed work, I always recommend going with artists grade acrylic paints like this Arteza set. They’re known for having very opaque colors, which always makes painting easier.

Can You Put Acrylic Paint Over Old Paint?

Whether you’re freshening up a room with a new solid color or creating an elaborate mural, knowing exactly what you’re painting over the top of is the key to a successful project. Acrylic paint can be applied easily to old acrylic layers, but if you make sure that you aren’t attempting to apply acrylic paint over an old oil-based layer of paint.

Acrylic paint, when applied over the top of oil-based paint, with cause the old paint to loosen up, which may result in peeling or even wood damage. Oil-based paint is more common in old buildings, so it’s a good idea to do your research ahead of starting your project.

If you want to repaint a wall that already oil-based paint on it, either use new oil-based paint over the top of it or remove the oil-based paint completely before applying acrylic paint layers.

Every good wall mural must have the right paintbrushes. Click here to see my other article that goes over the best paintbrushes for acrylic painting.

Are There Downsides to Using Acrylic Paint on Walls?

Even though acrylic paint offers more intense color payoff and longer-lasting sheen than other types of paints, there are still a few things to take into consideration if you decide to use acrylic paint on the walls.

First of all, acrylic paint does not glide as smoothly as oil-based paint. This relative lack of flow in acrylic paint is great if you’re trying to build texture in a more detailed project, but isn’t so great if you want to avoid obvious brush strokes on your wall. However, there are additives that you can purchase for acrylic paint in order to decrease this slightly annoying effect. 

Furthemore, acrylic paint is not as durable as its oil-based counterparts. This is because acrylic paint doesn’t harden up as much as oil paint. The hardening, or lack thereof, happens during the curing process while the paint dries. In short, because acrylic paint doesn’t solididy as much as oil paint after drying means it can be more susceptible to damage.

One way to avoid this is to avoid applying acrylic paint in areas that might see a lot of traffic, especially from pets or children. Similarly, you can strategically place pieces of furniture carefully against the painted wall to act as a makeshift barrier between the paint and any potential aggressors. 


In general, acrylic paint is one of the most highly recommended types of paints to use on walls because it offers a superior color intensity when compared to latex and oil-based paints. It also dries faster, has a less unpleasant odor, and is incredibly resistant to fade and peeling.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when using acrylic paint on walls, such as the substance that is already on the surface you’re painting, as well as how much traffic (and therefore potential damage) the acrylic painted wall might be subject to. Although, overall, acrylic paint is definitely your best bet when it comes to your next wall painting project.

Don’t forget to check out my Recommend Products Page for all your acrylic painting needs. Happy painting!

Acrylic Art World

Annick's passion has been painting with acrylics since her youth. She has a lot of experience with all sorts of projects, from simple acrylic painting to advanced techniques like acrylic pouring.

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