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Is Acrylic Paint Waterproof?

Acrylic paint is super versatile and can be used on many surfaces. It’s also a water-based paint, which means it’s not as permanent as other types of paint.

Many people use acrylic paint to paint their outdoors tables, chairs, and even planters. But is acrylic paint waterproof? Since it’s a water based paint, acrylic paint is typically not waterproof. However, you can make it waterproof by following a few simple steps listed in this article.

Acrylic paint can also be water resistant. This means a small amount of water on the paint probably won’t do much damage. However, a significant amount of water can and will ruin your paint. In this article I go over how to waterproof your acrylic paint, and much more. Let’s read on!

Is Acrylic Paint Waterproof Outdoors?

Unless the acrylic paint has been rated for outdoor use and it actually says that it’s waterproof, it usually won’t be. I personally love to paint my backyard furniture with acrylic paint. I have painted wooden chairs, tables, and even metal decorations with acrylic paint.

My top recommend brand for acrylic paint is Arteza. They have a huge variety of colors and styles to choose from. They are artists grade paints, but still very affordable.

If you want to make you acrylic paint waterproof, you will need to properly seal the paint once it has dried. Varnishing or sealing your paint will protect it from chipping, flaking, and even outdoor weather.

I always recommend Krylon spray to seal your acrylic paint. Not only is it affordable, but it protects against harsh weather, and even UV rays!

If you have an acrylic painted chair outside and it starts raining, if it’s not properly sealed the paint will start to wash off. It’s always important to seal any acrylic paint project you plan to keep outside.

Is Acrylic Paint Weather Resistant? 

Acrylic paint is not really weather resistant unless it clearly states so on the container. Even when the paint has dried fully, it can be watered down which will cause it to run. Again, you want to make sure you seal or varnish your paint to protect it from water, and other conditions like dust or mold.

Wind won’t do much damage to acrylic paint, but rain and snow almost certainly will. You also have to remember that there will be moisture in the air too, and this is going to water the acrylic paint down even further.

In another one of my articles, I talk about acrylic paint running in the rain. It’s definitely worth a read if you plan on keeping your painted project outside.  

What Does Weather Resistant Mean?

Weather-resistant means that the acrylic paint is going to be able to hold back the elements for a short while. This means that if the acrylic paint is outdoors and it has dried, then it may be able to fight off the rain a little bit. However, eventually, it won’t be able to resist the rain and it will just wash away.

As with any other item, something that is marked weather-resistant will never be able to fully keep the elements at bay for too long without you putting a small amount of effort into protecting it. 

How to Protect and Waterproof Acrylic Paint 

Ideally, you will purchase acrylic paint that is already waterproof. There are a few brands out there that make this type of paint. This acrylic paint set is waterproof, and perfect for outdoor use. They have additives that will help prevent the paint from washing away when the rain sets in. However, if that isn’t possible, there are other ways that you can waterproof acrylic paint. 

All you need to do is get your hands on an acrylic paint varnish, like this one here. This varnish will be sprayed or painted onto the dried acrylic paint. This will form a protective layer which will prevent the paint from washing away. If you choose to paint the varnish gloss on, make sure you have the proper paintbrush.

You can use acrylic paint varnish for indoors or outdoors projects. Make sure you are in a well ventilated area when you spray or paint on the varnish. It can have some string odors, so I always recommend applying it outside or in a well ventilated space.

Some people will also add protective primer before they paint on any surface. This will help to protect the acrylic paint from behind. When you add a white primer before painting, it also give the color a much more vibrant look. I recommend this Sargent Art acrylic paint primer. Just let it fully dry before applying the paint.

The primer will protect the paint from behind, and the varnish spray or paint will protect the paint once it’s dry. This way, you are covered on both ends. A primer isn’t as necessary as the varnish, but I still recommend applying it, especially if you plan on keeping your project outdoors.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint Outdoors?

Earlier we stated that there are many ways to protect paint from the rain, or even certain weather conditions. However, at the end of the day, acrylic paint is not typically made for outdoor use.

Remember that you always risk the paint chipping or fading away. You can always retouch it, but if it’s something sentimental to you, I wouldn’t recommend keeping it outside.

Some of the most acrylic painted outdoor objects are; wooden chairs, tables, flower planter boxes, dog houses, and even birdhouses. You can read this article here, which goes over how to paint birdhouses with acrylic paint and much more.

How Do You Waterproof Acrylic Paint on Glass?

Once the acrylic paint has dried on glass, it should be fairly waterproof. Although, we wouldn’t recommend putting the glass in a dishwasher as the hot water and the pressure from the water jets will probably wash the acrylic paint away. As mentioned in the article, always seal you acrylic paint with a sealant spray or varnish.

Apart from sealing the glass, you can also cure it and bake it in the oven. This guarantee the paint settles and becomes permanent on the glass. You can read more about baking acrylic painted glass here.

How Do You Waterproof Acrylic Paint on Metal?

Using acrylic paint on metal will require little in the way of waterproofing. This is because the acrylic paint will bond to the flat surface of the metal which will make it incredibly difficult for the paint to just wash away.

Ideally, you can use a handheld heat gun or even a hairdryer to dry the surface of the metal. This will help the bonding process even more.

You will then want to add the acrylic paint sealant, to really protect the paint. Once the paint is dry, spray it onto the surface. If you choose a paint varnish, use a clean paintbrush to spread the varnish over the surface to provide an even amount of protection.

For more information on painting metal with acrylic paint, click here.

How Do You Waterproof Acrylic Paint on Wood?

If you use a substantial amount of acrylic paint on wood, then it should just be absorbed into the wood. This makes it incredibly difficult for water to wash it away, even unprotected. The color will likely fade over time, but it is unlikely that the paint will completely disappear. If you want to protect the paint, you can apply a varnish once it’s dry.

This will give it a nice glossy look, or you can choose a matte finish as well. This article talks all about using acrylic paint on wood.

Final Thoughts

Acrylic paint is a water based type paint, therefore it’s not waterproof. In this article we went over how to make it waterproof and water resistant. Just make sure to follow all the recommend steps and tips to ensure you acrylic paint project is well protected.

You ca also check out my other articles for all your acrylic painting Q&A’s. Happy painting!

Annick

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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