Is Enamel Paint Waterproof? 

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

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

Enamel Paint is a type of paint suitable for painting the exterior part of the house and wooden surfaces. This type of paint is known for its rugged, washable, and glossy finish. It comes with heat-resistant properties to withstand temperature variations. The paint hardens after drying to give you an aesthetic and durable surface.

The two words enamel paint describe oil-based paints with an incredible amount of gloss in their production. It doesnt mean the paint is produced using enamel. However, many latex or water-based paints have also taken up the term too.

Hobbyists also use enamel paints to add durability and vivid colours to their crafts. At home, enamel paints are used to paint the exterior walls. The paint can also be used to refurbish the grill, revitalize outdoor furniture, and touch-up kitchen appliances such as stovetops and refrigerators.

But, there is a recurring question: Is enamel paint waterproof? You will find the answer to this question and more as you read on.

Enamel Paint Fundamentals

Enamel paints, also referred to as oil-based enamel, is the type of paint that dries hard. It is durable and glossy with a solid finish. The paint, when applied, helps to create alluring, shiny trim bathrooms, kitchens, and any surface needing a glossy finish to withstand frequent washing.

Enamel Paint Fundamentals

Before the popularity of latex paints, many paint makers made flat enamels. These flat enamel paints were firm and highly resistant to rubbing and cleaning. Many recent washable and durable paints have been tagged “flat enamel” paints, even when not close to it.

Types Of Enamel Paints

All enamel paints indeed do the job of producing a hard, washable, and lustrous finish. However, enamel paints come in two different types. There is oil-based, which is known as alkyd-based. This alkyd-based type dries slower. It is great for retouching and comes with a strong solvent scent.

Types Of Enamel Paints

The second type is water-based. It is known as latex or acrylic paint. It dries faster with a low odour.

The Uses Of Enamel Paints

Enamel paints have different uses. Several enamel paints are made for various applications. You must understand that enamel paint with high shine offers greater strength when it dries. Nonetheless, you can use fast-dry enamel paints for different home surfaces like the counters since this type of paint can withstand high levels of humidity, washing, and everyday scrubbing.

The Uses Of Enamel Paints

There are floor enamels that can be used to cover the floor. They can withstand a lot of traffic with high moisture-resistant levels. The high-temperature enamel paints are also perfect for engines because of their high heat-resistant levels. So, before you purchase any enamel paint, you must know the ideal type for the particular application you want to use it for.

See Also:Is Acrylic Paint Waterproof?

Methods of application

There is no doubt that most enamel paints can be applied with spray equipment and brushes. But, you must check the label instructions, especially those related to the drying time. It is always advisable to apply the paint in several thin coats instead of just one thick layer. This helps in promoting faster curing times. Top glossy paints tend to reveal surface defects. This is why you need to properly sand and polish the surface before applying any paint.

Drying methods

oil-based enamel paints typically dry between 8 and 24 hours. Note that this would depend on the drying conditions around the surface. So, ensure there is low humidity and high ventilation around the surface. You should also know that the oil-based paint dries from the inside out. When the oil-based enamel paint dries to touch, know that it is completely cured.

It is not the same case with water-based enamel paints. They take a longer time to dry. This type of paint can easily be marred except when the procedure is completed. Unlike oil-based enamel paints, water-based enamel paints dry from the outside in. It forms a skin on the surface even when the inside is still very wet.

These are the fundamentals of enamel paints. There are different types with different methods of application. Always remember to read the directions before applying any enamel paint.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Is Enamel Paint Weather-Resistant?

Yes, enamel paints are weather-resistant. You must make sure that a primer is applied before painting metal surfaces and apply a top coat to seal them all. If you dont use a primer or topcoat to protect the paint job, the enamel paint may scratch or peel off.

Is Enamel Paint Waterproof?

Yes, enamel paints are waterproof. The only problem is that these paints can only stick to wooden surfaces with no preparations. If you must paint metal and stone surfaces, you must ensure that they are primed before applying the enamel paint. The paint wont last if the surface is not primed.

How Do You Protect Enamel Paint From Water?

Although, enamel paints are waterproof and resistant to colour fading, rust, and corrosion. However, it should be protected from water. High humidity could affect the paint while you are doing the painting task. You should not apply the paint when it is raining, even though rain cannot affect the paint after it has dried up.

Where Can Enamel Paints Be Applied?

Enamel paints can be applied on wooden surfaces and exterior walls. The paint can also be used on automobiles, boats, and planes to withstand harsh weather conditions. It can also be applied on outdoor furniture made of metal but with a primer.


Enamel paints are called hard-surface paints because they dry hard on surfaces. They are also waterproof, but it doesnt mean the paint should be applied when it is raining because the paint will wash off.

Enamel paints are perfect for exterior walls and wooden surfaces. However, priming is required before applying the paint to metal surfaces.

You should note that every enamel paint has its application. It is the application that determines the type of enamel paint to apply. Always read the instructions before purchasing any enamel paint.

Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of, 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.

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