Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Is Acrylic Paint Permanent? (Proven Answer 2023)

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

In a quest to beautify a material, such as wood, and make it resistant to the effects of water, you must have tried many options that may satisfy only one of your objectives.

Different materials have different tolerance for water and it may be arduous for you to keep renewing layers of waterproof coverings over such materials.

Perhaps you are wondering, is acrylic paint permanent?

One of the few ways to help you permanently beautify and water-proof these materials, is to cover them with acrylic paint. Acrylic paint is a fast-drying, water-based paint that uses pigments that are suspended in acrylic polymer emulsion, silicon oils, metal soaps, plasticizers, and defoamers, among others. Although it is water-based, it becomes water resistant when dry and remains so permanently. It is applicable on a variety of surfaces and retains its flexibility for as long as it is needed.

The thickness and consistency of the acrylic paint can be easily manipulated with mediums such as water, gels, or oil, to achieve the desired effect. There are different acrylic paints that may fit your purpose; common among them are the heavy body and medium viscosity acrylics; craft acrylics; exterior acrylics; and interactive acrylics, among others.

Is Acrylic Paint Safe?

Generally, acrylic paint is safe and painters and artists have nothing to worry about when using this paint. Although on some labels of acrylic paints, you may find warnings that the product may contain carcinogens. This is because some of the materials used in making the pigment or color are said to cause cancer at certain concentrations. However, their concentrations in paints are not enough to cause cancer, but the law requires that the warning be stated.

Is Acrylic Paint Safe

Acrylic is made from methyl methacrylate, which is also used by orthopedic surgeons for total hip and knee replacement surgeries. It is non-toxic, colorless, and solidifies when dry. Acrylic is combined with polymer to form a binder that works well to combine pigments that form the paint colors. Acrylic paint safety is ensured by the non-toxic property of the methyl methacrylate, and the relatively safe amounts of pigment used in making the acrylic paint.

Therefore, when acrylic paint touches your skin, or gets into your eyes or mouth, while you paint, theres nothing to worry about. You simply have to clean it off and continue with your painting.

Is Acrylic Paint Permanent?

Acrylic paint becomes permanent when they dry and solidify on the surface you have applied them. With some paints, surfaces determine how well they hold, and in some cases, they dont hold well, especially on plastic. However, acrylic paint can be used on any surface and it remains in place for as long as you want it to be there.

The acrylic polymer emulsion, which serves as a binder for the pigment that provides the color in paints, ensures that the paint stays on the surface, and once it is dry, the acrylic in the mixture solidifies, and binds with the surface. However, it may be tricky to make acrylic paint hold on some spongy woody surfaces, but not impossible.

Is Acrylic Paint Permanent

After the paint holds onto a surface, you are left with protecting the paint from washing off when it comes in contact with water, as it is water-soluble. You can make it water-resistant by finishing the painting with a sealer. The appropriate sealer to use is dependent on the material and the surface preparation.

Is Acrylic Paint Permanent on Clothes?

Acrylic paint can be permanent on clothes as long as they dry and you use the right treatment on the fabric. Ordinarily, acrylic paint will wash off easily on fabric surfaces; however, when you use fabric medium with the paint, it is one step to becoming permanent. The fabric medium ensures that the paint adheres to the fabric surface and doesnt cause it to feel stiff.

After youve applied the fabric medium-treated acrylic paint on the clothes, you can go a step further by applying heat to the paint and clothes. You can use a pressing iron to heat seal the acrylic paint on the clothes and make it permanent. Heat setting acrylic paint on clothes is only necessitated by the addition of fabric medium to the paint.

Is Acrylic Paint Permanent On Clothes

Alternatively, you can hand-wash the clothes after applying acrylic paint and air-dry them, if there is no fabric medium in the acrylic paint. If done properly, your acrylic paint design will last longer on clothes.

Is Acrylic Paint Permanent on Wood?

Yes, acrylic paint is permanent on wood; but only if you prepare the wood surface to make the paint adhere to it and seal the paint, to make it permanent. Ordinarily, acrylic paint is water-soluble and can easily be washed off using some soap and water. It is also tricky to get acrylic paint to adhere to wooden surfaces.

Is Acrylic Paint Permanent On Wood

Generally, using acrylic on wood requires that you sand off the wood surface before you paint it, or you paint on the wood surface and seal the painting with a sealer. Also, for a neater job, you can sand the wood surface and seal the painting. Never paint a wooden surface with acrylic without working its surface first, if you want the painting to remain intact for a considerable time length.

Sanding the wood is the beginning of preparing the wood for acrylic paint. The next step is to add a primer to the wood surface; this helps the acrylic paint to adhere permanently to the surface. In some cases, especially when the painting will be indoor, this is all that is required to make acrylic paint permanent on a wooden surface. However, if the painting will be exposed to the elements, it is advisable that you seal the paint with an appropriate sealer.

Is Acrylic Paint Permanent on Plastic?

Acrylic paint can be permanent on plastic if done right. Most plastics have smooth surfaces that make it difficult for acrylic paint to adhere to them. However, there are ways to make the plastic surfaces suitable for acrylic paints to adhere.

Is Acrylic Paint Permanent On Plastic

Sanding the plastic surface is the first step in making acrylic paint permanent on plastic surfaces. Sanding the surfaces roughens the plastic surface and ensures that the pigments in acrylic paints hold on to themselves and the plastic surface. You can apply a primer on the sanded plastic surface before applying your acrylic paint, for a neater painting. Afterward, seal the painting with a sealer.

How Long Does Acrylic Paint Last For?

The durability of acrylic paint, in its can, can last for up to 15 years, if unopened and stored well. This is because the solid to liquid ratio is undisturbed and it has not been exposed to air, which may cause liquid evaporation. However, when acrylic paint has been exposed to air, it may still be usable as long as there is enough liquid in it.

Acrylic painting on wood, plastic, metal, or glass, is permanent and can last for centuries. It will last longer if it is indoor and not exposed to the elements. In this case, sealing the painting is not necessary since the painting is protected from water and harsh sunlight. However, acrylic painting that is outdoors, if protected from the elements by sealing it, can last for a longer time as well.

The longevity of an acrylic paint depends on how well it is stored and the solid to liquid ratio balance. In general, a well-stored acrylic paint can be useful even after 20 years. As for acrylic paintings, their longevity is yet to be determined as mediums for the different painting surfaces have been around for less than a century. However, it can be expected that acrylic painting, if well preserved, can last some centuries, if the right medium and sealant are used.

How Do You Make Acrylic Paint Permanent?

To make acrylic paint permanent, you need to make sure it is dry and sealed on the surface it has been applied on. Ordinarily, acrylic paint will last for a considerable time length on any surface as long as it adheres to the surface, and it is protected from the elements. However, to further ensure its permanence, you should seal it.

The common ways to seal acrylic paint on the surfaces they have been applied on depends on the nature of the surfaces, and the medium they require to make them adhere to those surfaces. For fabrics, the acrylic paint needs to be mixed with a fabric medium to enable the paint seep through the pores of the fabric without causing it to become stiff. For this material, heat setting the paint on the fabric helps to make the paint permanent on that fabric. It protects the paint from water that may dissolve the pigments.

On wooden surfaces, acrylic paint will adhere when the surface is sanded; however, if you seal the surface with varnish, the paint will not be permanent. For longevity on wooden surfaces, sand the wooden surface and prime it. Afterward, paint on the surface, and seal the painting with a top coat.

Generally, the important thing to consider when making acrylic paint permanent are its adherence to the surface, and sealing the painting with the appropriate treatment heat setting or top coat finishing.


Acrylic paint is commonly used among artists and has replaced oil painting to a large degree. It is water-soluble, non-toxic, and becomes permanent when it dries. However, to ensure its permanence, you need to ensure that the paint adheres to the surface of the material it is applied on, and protect it from the elements by adding varnish, sealer, or top coat on the painting.

Related: How To Get Acrylic Paint Off Shoes?

Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years of experience in the painting industry, Randy has become an expert in the field and is passionate about helping others learn more about painting. He has written numerous articles on the subject and is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information to his readers.

Leave a Comment

5 × 2 =