24 Main Pros and Cons of Acrylic Paint

Since its invention in the mid 20th century, Acrylic paint is a medium of paint that dries up very fast. It is made of pigment suspended in the emulsion of acrylic polymer. This type of paint is versatile — apart from the quintessential paper or canvas, you can use it on other surfaces like fabrics, ceramics, etc.

The paint is not based on any toxic element, so it is harmless. It is a water-based paint, and can be modified with various other mediums. However, there are some difficulties as well. We will examine some advantages and disadvantages of using acrylic paint. 

Benefits and Drawbacks of Acrylic Paint
Benefits Drawbacks
Superfast drying timeThe superfast drying can be a demerit
Oily textureSolvents can contain toxins
Versatility of acrylic paintAcrylic paint is not malleable to alterations
The paint is permanentLongevity is questionable
Acrylic paint is durableUnlike other mediums, acrylic paint cannot be salvaged
Bright pigment
This medium is low maintenance
Requires very less tools to use

Benefits of Acrylic Paint:

  • Superfast drying time:

One of most obvious and important features of acrylic paint is its ability to dry up quickly. When applied to a surface, the paint dries up without any effort, and you can start blending or applying color to other parts of the painting spontaneously. 

  • Oily texture:

Like oil paint, acrylic paints give off an effect that mirror the effects of oil paint. Although based on water, acrylic paint, based on technique, can mirror the effect of both watercolor paint or oil paint. You can use the paint without water for an oily effect, a lot of water for a semi watercolor effect, and little water for the acrylic look. 

  • Versatility of acrylic paint:

Acrylic paint can be used on a number of surfaces. With this medium, you can actually source ways to get your creative juices to get going. Besides the usual canvas or drawing paper surface, acrylic paint can be used, as well as shows up very well, on several different materials, like wood, metal, materials made of alloy, glass, plastic, concrete, etc. 

  • The paint is permanent:

Once you apply acrylic paint on a surface, the paint stays on for good. You cannot alter or remove the paint. However, if you get some paint on your skin, it can wash away easily with water, or you can wait for it to dry off, and peel it away. 

  • Acrylic paint is durable:

Acrylic paint is known for its durability. It is a strong and stiff paint, and stays on for a very long time. Although it is a water based paint, it does not fade away or rust inwards. 

  • Bright pigment:

Acrylic paint is made up of plastic. With the new innovations that are being made every day in the field of plastic, acrylic paint has also been making leaps and bounds where pigment is concerned. With every revision of the creation of the paint, acrylic paint is imbued with brighter hues and more saturated colours. 

  • This medium is low maintenance:

Acrylic paint is not at all a medium that could be considered as a high maintenance paint, unlike oil paints. Removal of the paint compared to oils is as easy as cakewalk. You do not need toxic solvents like turpentine or spirits to remove paint – you can simply drag a wet cloth on the surface, or wait for the paint to get dry and peel it off from your palette. 

  • Requires very less tools to use:

Acrylic paint does not require either a lot of expertise, or a whole range of tools to use. Its versatility allows it to be popular among both novices as well as experienced artists, and for good measure. To use acrylic pain, you only need brushes, a palette, a palette knife preferably, a rag and some water. 

Drawbacks of Acrylic Paint:

  • The superfast drying can be a demerit:

Acrylics dry up really fast, but this has certain drawbacks. If you apply the paint on your chosen surface, you have to work very quickly before it dries off. Due to this effect, blending paint with other colours can become a big problem. 

  • Solvents can contain toxins:

If you want to stall the quick drying of acrylic paint, you can achieve this by using a retardant medium. A retardant effectively slows the paint from drying off as it usually does, and thus gives you more time to blend colours or make corrections. However, retardants can contain toxins. They can even introduce additional toxins to your paints. 

  • Acrylic paint is not malleable to alterations:

A main drawback of acrylic paint is that this medium cannot be altered easily, if at all possible. The unmixed paint, once dry, will burst through any overlaying layers, thus creating cracks and formations on your painting. This paint cannot be altered, corrected, nor covered up easily. 

  • Longevity is questionable:

Acrylic paint has been around for only the last fifty years or so. While the paint stays on well as of now, what the effect will be a few hundred years down the road is in question. While efforts are being made to increase the longevity of the paints, but it is yet to be seen. 

  • Unlike other mediums, acrylic paint cannot be salvaged:

When you use a paint medium like watercolor, you can reuse the paint by adding more water the next time you use it. This is not the case when acrylic paint is concerned. Once the paint dries off on your palette, it cannot be used again, even if you add copious amounts of water. This leads to a waste of paints. 

Acrylic paint is a user friendly medium, and can be used by anyone, be it a a beginner or a skilled painter. The paints come in tubes, and can be easily found at shops that specialize in selling art supplies. Because of its varied uses, acrylic paint is quite a favorite among artists. 

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