Believe it or not, this is a rather hot topic with many debates because this particular property determines the usage of acrylic paint. Say, for example, you want to use it to paint the fence or any other material that will be exposed to the elements. You need it to be waterproof, right? Otherwise, one shower of rain will render hours of hard work and money wasted.
Let’s get into the details and learn what the deal with acrylic paint really is.
What is acrylic paint, really?
It is basically a pigment that has been mixed in an acrylic polymer emulsion. This makes it a water-based, quick-drying paint. The fast drying feature is what attracts many people towards acrylic paint. After all, who wants to wait for days for the paint to dry? Not us!
Is Acrylic Paint Waterproof?
The answer is actually tricky. When it is wet, it absorbs water. That’s why it is easy to dilute it with water whenever needed. Once it dries, it becomes water-resistant and has a nice, plastic texture. This texture also makes it aesthetically appealing. If you do not want a plastic finish, though, you can add texture pastes or gels to change that. From matte to glossy and everything in between, acrylic paint offers it all!
Is water-resistant = waterproof?
We have established that acrylic paint is resistant to water once it dries, but the main question remains – is it waterproof as well?
The answer: Not really.
Despite being a polymer, acrylic paint is porous. So, over time, it will start absorbing water. This will be a slow process, and you won’t really know until much later. The pores are extremely small, which is why the process is extremely slow. But it does happen!
What is the solution then?
Well, we would say that you shouldn’t use acrylic paint if you want a waterproof surface. The alternative is to varnish the paint with a permanent varnish (first water-based and then oil-based). To further protect the surface, you can use a drying oil and leave it for at least 3 days. This will help seal the deal.
The bottom line is that even though acrylic paint is water-resistant after drying, it is not really waterproof. To make it so, you need to take additional measures. Be careful so that your masterpiece does not get ruined!