PVA Vs Acrylic Paint – Detailed Comparison & Differences

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

It can be challenging to choose between two prime materials. Perhaps you must have found yourself in a situation of picking between PVAs and acrylic paints.

You must have wondered which will best create the vibes you want in your painting. Stop wondering because the answer is right here in this article.

In this detailed piece, you’ll discover the properties, features, and different ingredients of the two materials. We’ll also compare these two paints to make them clearer.

Putting them side by side to see the difference in ingredients and properties will help clarify both and help decide which will give you your desired outcome.

Difference Between PVA and Acrylic Paint

There’s so much pleasure in having a well-built home with delicate pieces of furniture and construction. Spicing it with a painting material can help brighten the home color or reduce it.

And because of this, many house owners choose the painting materials that best suit their homes. At some point, you need to decide between PVA and acrylic paint. “Which one is best for the job?”

Pva Vs Acrylic Paint

Knowing the difference between both will put you in a better position to answer that. So, in this article, we’re going to break down the intricacies of both, helping you find out which fits your home project best. So, yeah! Let’s begin.

Also Read: Acrylic vs Latex Paint

PVA Glue Overview

PVA’s full name is Polyvinyl acetate, and its popular name is carpenter’s glue. Though it is mainly for sealing woods, it can work for materials such as fiberboard, chipboard, paper, and plywood.

On the matter of appearance, the PVA glue is usually white, thick, and opaque. Though there’s a carpenter’s yellow version, all PVAs composition and properties are the same.

Pva Glue Overview
PVA Glue

And apart from being useful for sealing, it is also suitable as a filler or primer.

What Is PVA Glue Made of?

Carpenters and contractors love using PVA glue primarily because of its solid adhesive power. Primarily made of vinyl acetate, PVA glues are ideal for quickly sticking materials together.

PVAs typically don’t bind with plastics because plastics are non-porous. But it binds with papers, cardboard, wood, chipboard, etc. Additionally, contractors use it as primers to stick paint to buildings quickly. The PVA glue that carpenters use is different from the ones painters use.

Types of PVA

There are two basic types of PVA glue.

  1. The white PVA: As the name implies, it is white. Since it is a strong adhesive, painters commonly use it as primers. That is to help paints stick to concrete. Also, it is applicable for plastering the joining of papers, cardboards, and wood.
  2. The yellow PVA: Because of its durability and longevity, carpenters use the yellow PVA in sealing wood slabs. Its high and fast adhesive power is what carpenters see in it.

The Uses of PVA

Besides being a sealer and a primer, the PVA glue has other uses:

  • In the textile industry, fabric producers mix the PVA with a unique ingredient to make fabrics glow and new.
  • Also, since PVAs are elastic and rubber-like, paint producers use them as latex in paints.
  • In addition, it’s ideal for joining porous materials together.

PVA Glue Brands

Many artists know the importance of having various glue types on hand. And one of the strongest adhesives out there is the PVA glue. PVA glues come in varieties of brands to broaden the freedom of choice. Here are some top and quality brands for you:

Pva Glue Brands
PVA Glue Brands
  • Elmer’s liquid PVA glues: Since this product is made non-toxic, it’s perfect for school and home use. Besides, it’s easy for kids to set up, and it washes off clean.
  • Gorilla Clear PVA Glue: If you want glue that sticks rapidly, then opt for Gorilla PVA glue. It’s a widely trusted brand for easy use and fast sticking. Attached is an applicator that makes it easier to target spots using glue. Plus, Gorilla glue is highly resistant to water indoors and outdoors.
  • Helmar Craft & Hobby Glue: Zero stains are one thing most PVA buyers want from glue, and Helmar does the job. On using it, there’s no staining, and it’s non-toxic. It applies to papers, crafts, hobbies, most timbers, etc. Plus, it’s easy to wipe off with water.

Tube or Jar Which Is Available?

The PVA glue tube (bottle) and the jar (gallon) are available online or in stores. You can try Amazon for online shopping. The prices of PVA glues vary. So, we can’t conclude on one price. But one thing for sure is that it covers all budget types.

Dry Time of PVA Glue

Once again, one feature that carpenters love in PVA glues is its quickness in joining woods. At room temperature, the glue can lock woods in one hour. And working with it in an air-spaced area might make the locking process faster. It, however, takes over 18 hours for it to cure totally.

How to Remove PVA Glue?

What do you do when you need to remove PVA glue? And if you find yourself at such a spot, there’s a way out. Because PVA glue can dissolve in water, you can quickly remove it using water-based chemicals from stores.

One easy and cheap way to remove it is by washing it with warm soapy water. But if that way doesn’t work for you, here’s another way:

How To Remove Pva Glue
  • Step 1: Get white spirit and pour some on a clean cloth. Use the cloth to scrub the area where you want to remove the glue; then wait 2 minutes for the spirit to soften the dry glue.
  • Step 2: The next step is to take another dry cloth. Then, dip it well in warm soapy water. After, scrub the glue area thoroughly. The glue particles will start detaching from the object. (e.g., wood)
  • Step 3: Use your nail to remove any PVA residue on the object. After that, use a cloth to dry the surface. Lastly, using a razor blade or sandpaper, gently scrape off any thin PVA residue left. You’ll want to do it carefully so you don’t scrape the object.

Acrylic Paints Overview

Technology helped a lot in creating acrylic paints using binders. Acrylic paint is water-based, and it can also be called emulsion paint. Water-based acrylic paints have been popular since the 60s. They dominated 80% of the global paint market in a short time.

Acrylic Paints Overview
Acrylic Paints

Because it is affordable, durable, and eco-friendly, many homeowners use it, even to date. Acrylic paints’ flexible nature makes them more durable than oil-based paints, which tend to crack quickly. When acrylics dry, unlike PVA, which turns elastic, it turns hard.

What Is Acrylic Paint Made of?

Acrylic paints have a methyl chemical that makes them dry fast. It’s like PVA in some ways, but not all.

Acrylic paints contain pigments and extenders (e.g., silica, mica, coloring pigments, etc. ). Once the paint dries, they’re the remnants of dry-colored particles you see on walls and ceilings. Pigments add whiteness and color to paints, while extenders balance the pigments.

The firm surface of the acrylics when they dry comes from the acrylic binders. They are plastic-like particles spread in the paint. As the paint dries, they help in binding the pigments and extenders. Without them, pigments/ extenders will blow away like a powder once the paint dries.

Also, acrylics have liquids like alcohol to maintain gradual drying. The purpose of slowing down drying is to give the binders more time to glue pigments and extenders. And to top it off, acrylic paints have in-can chemicals to protect the paint from bacteria attacks, making them last longer in stores.

Also Read: Is Acrylic Paint Safe for Kids?

Different Types of Acrylic Paints

Artists and painters generally group acrylics based on their level of thickness. And there are various types of acrylic paints. But to brief, here are some of them:

  • Medium viscosity acrylics: They have lower thicknesses but usually the same color tone as heavier ones. They’re ideal for watercolor paintings.
  • Open acrylics: This acrylic paint type is suitable for paintings where you do not want the paint to dry fast. Unlike the typical acrylic paints that dry fast, the open acrylics can take a few days to weeks before drying. The timing depends on air temperature and the paint’s thickness.
  • Heavy body acrylics: They have the highest thickness among all acrylics and balance well on knives and direct strokes when artists apply them on canvas.
  • Exterior acrylics: This kind of acrylic paint is mainly for exterior designs. It is highly resistant to changing weather and water. And because this acrylic type sticks well, many homeowners use them for outdoor paintings.

The Uses of Acrylic Paints

Many pros use acrylics due to their durability. Here are some ways they use them:

The Uses Of Acrylic Paints
  • Since acrylics are durable, they’re perfect for exterior painting designs. They can also, sometimes, come in handy for interior designs.
  • Because acrylic paints come in various colors, artists use them for crafts. They use them on wood, paper, glass, canvas, and fabrics. They call the paint “craft paint.”

Acrylic Paints’ Brands

You can get acrylic paints from local stores or online. Getting the paint from a standard brand will ensure quality. Here are 3 top acrylic brands you may go for:

  • Mr. Graham Artists’ Acrylics: This brand of acrylic has 100% resin with no bulk agent, Giving a bright color tone and maximum coverage in your home.
  • Blickrylic Student Acrylic Paint: This fantastic brand is ideal for students who want to create various colors. Since the Blickrylic is flexible, you’re free to mix it with other brands. By doing that, you’ll get new colors that will add more beauty to your painting.
  • Golden Heavy Body Artist Acrylics: This quality acrylic brand has zero extenders. For this reason, when dry, it brings out bright colors.

Tube or Jar Which Is Available?

Depending on what you want, you can get the acrylic paint tube or jar from stores. Tubes are a mini-size of acrylic paints. But you can also opt for the jar to get more paint at a discount. Both sizes are available in stores or online.

Drying Time of Acrylic Paints

Depending on the temperature, humidity, and weather, acrylic paints dry at varying times. Generally, though, they dry after about 30 minutes.

Also Read: Can you use Acrylic Paint on Leather?

How to Use Acrylic Paints

Many pros use acrylic paints with different methods. This is because each learns in different ways. But there’s a simple and basic method all have in common. Here it is:

  1. The materials are first to consider when you want to apply your acrylics. The basic materials are acrylic paint, brushes, canvas, and a palette.
  2. On your canvas, draw your outline where you want to paint.
  3. Afterward, dab your brush into the paint and set down the colors you’ll use on your palette. Because acrylics dry quickly in about 30 minutes, you’ll want to spread your colors quickly.
  4. Then, mix the paint colors you set down with little water.
  5. The next thing is to start painting your outline.
  6. If you wish to change color, dab your brush into a jar of clean water. To avoid the previous color mixing with the next color, wash the last paint from the brush clean with water.
  7. Now, you may dip your brush in your desired color. Then, paint your canvas till you get the perfect beauty you want.

Bottom Line

On decorating their homes, many, at some point, have to choose between PVA vs. acrylic paint. Depending on the case, both are excellent materials to design your home.

Applying suitable paint material to your room or crafts beautifies your home. Also, it’s lovely for your friends to visit and see your bright-looking home.

Related Resources:

Acrylic Vs Tempera Paint

Acrylic Paint Vs Enamel Paint

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.

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