Is Acrylic Paint Waterproof?

Acrylic paint is one of the most popular types of paint among professional and hobbyist artists. This water-based paint is affordable, dries quickly, and can be used on various surfaces.

So, is acrylic paint waterproof? Can they hold up against harsh elements if you choose to display your artwork outside? Let’s find out.

Is Acrylic Paint Waterproof?

Acrylic paint is not waterproof. Acrylic paint is water-based paint. Although slightly water-resistant, it doesn’t provide an effective waterproof coat and thus fades if exposed to water.

Yet, there are a few methods to make acrylic paint more resistant to water.

Why Do You Need to Waterproof Acrylic Paint?

Acrylic paint is water-based, so it can fade if it comes into contact with water, especially when the paint is still wet. 

Acrylic paint is slightly more water-resistant when dried out, although it can still be badly affected when exposed to water.

Is Outdoor Acrylic Paint Waterproof?

No, outdoor acrylic paint is not waterproof. Outdoor acrylic paint is weatherproof, not waterproof. Weatherproof does not always mean that it is resistant to water.

Therefore, if you are working with outdoor acrylic paints, you need to protect your painting to ensure it isn’t affected when exposed to water.

How To Waterproof Acrylic Paint On Different Surfaces?

Waterproofing your acrylic paint is essential—the most effective way to do so using by applying a waterproof sealer. Keeping your acrylic paints holding their color for longer.

Mod podge is a clear acrylic sealer. Since it is a very thin coat, you can apply multiple layers until you feel satisfied. Doing so will not affect the quality of the paint.

Varnish is a particular type of acrylic gloss to waterproof your paintings. Most good quality varnishes are also UV resistant and protect acrylic paint from being damaged by exposure to heat.

In addition, varnish creates a transparent, glossy film over the paint, giving your painting a more finished look.

Both varnish and mod podge come in two types: sprays or paint-like liquid. The spray-on can be more convenient as you need to spray over the whole artwork instead of repainting an entire layer. Yet, both are equally effective.

It is also important to note that different surfaces require a different process of waterproofing. 

Here’s how to waterproof the most common surfaces used for acrylic painting.

Waterproof Acrylic Paint On Canvas

Before using acrylic paints on a canvas, you should ensure that your canvas has been primed. Doing so holds the acrylic paint more effectively, allowing it to stick to the surface. 

If not already primed, you can use a Gesso Primer. Apply a thin layer and allow it to dry completely.

After your painting is complete, you can use either of the acrylic sealers to add a protective layer to the surface. Mod podge is more effective at covering a canvas.

Waterproof Acrylic Paint On Wood

If you’ve painted over a piece of wood, the best way to seal the project is to use varnish. Varnish is hugely effective in covering wood, as it prevents the water from being absorbed in the wood’s pores, prolonging the life of the art.

You can either spray over the wood or use a brush to cover the wood with varnish completely. Either way, it will help protect your artwork for a long while.

Waterproof Acrylic Paint On Metal

Contrary to what many people believe, metal is a great surface to paint on using acrylic. The smooth surface makes it a great canvas, which goes amazingly well with the quick-sticking acrylic paints.

The process of adding a sealant to metal is also straightforward. You can use any of the acrylic sealers mentioned above and apply them to your finished products. However, make sure to allow the paint and the sealant to dry completely for a couple of days before keeping it outside.

Waterproof Acrylic Paint On Glass

Waterproofing painted glass is a long process but does not require any acrylic sealants. After painting, allow the glass to dry for at least 24 hours. 

Afterward, place your finished product inside an oven, and allow the temperature to rise to 350°F or 180°C. Allowing heat to rise gradually ensures that the glass doesn’t break. Allow the glass to heat for 30 minutes.


With these simple methods, you can waterproof your acrylic paintings to keep them looking better for longer. 

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