Is Acrylic Paint Waterproof? Make It 100% Waterproof In 5 Easy Steps

Acrylic paint is used widely for being versatile, durable, and resistant. Moreover, it can stick to almost every surface if applied correctly. Art that has to stay outdoors in an open environment needs to be more resistant and protected. Most paints can sustain harsh conditions; it doesn’t include moisture.

But if you’re fond of using water-based colors, you will want to know, “Is acrylic paint waterproof?” Based on my experience and surveys conducted by our team of professionals, I’ll answer in detail, as there is a lot of confusion among artists regarding the topic. 

Moreover, I’ll share the best and most affordable ways to make your acrylic paint 100% waterproof. So please keep reading. 

Is Acrylic Paint Waterproof?
Acrylic paint may or may not be waterproof depending on certain conditions, the composition of the paint, and the brand. However, you’ll need to varnish or seal the paint to make it waterproof.

Factors Involved In Waterproofing of Acrylic Paint

There are some factors we need to consider to understand the water-resistant ability of acrylic paint. Keeping in mind these things can help us figure out what we should do to get our acrylic paint waterproof. The factors are the following. 

  • Brand 

Some of the brands use unique formulas to maintain the quality of acrylic paint along with water resistance capacity. So go for the brand that claims it is waterproof. However, it is not the only way to make sure you’ve got paint that is 100% waterproof. 

I recommend Fantastory acrylic paints. They are more resistant to moisture and work well with various surfaces. Moreover, they have a wide range of colours and have safe packing, so that they don’t get damaged during delivery. 

  • Painting Protocol

Following painting protocols like cleaning, priming, applying colour, baking, letting your art get dry, sealing, and many more play a significant role in deciding whether you’ll get your paint to withstand moisture or not. I’ve discussed these protocols in detail below. 

  • External And Internal Conditions 

Many internal and external conditions decide if your paint will be waterproof or not. For example, the paint needs to be fully cured to be resistant. Moreover, the thickness of the paint also plays a role. The duration of water exposure and the age of the painted surface can’t be ignored as well. 

You can make your acrylic paint stay waterproof for decades by following the instructions below. 

How To Make Acrylic Paint Waterproof On Any Surface?

Acrylic paint is a flexible medium, meaning you can manipulate it in many ways to get your desired results. Here is how to make paint waterproof in five easy steps on any surface. 

Supplies Needed

  • Acrylic paint 
  • Fine Haired Brushes
  • Primer
  • Bowl
  • Stirrer
  • Water
  • Soap
  • Newspaper
  • Piece of cloth
  • Gloves

Step By Step Procedure

How To Make Acrylic Paint Waterproof On Any Surface

Step 1: Clean Surface

Cleaning the surface before painting is vital to successful artwork and protection. If you paint metal, glass, fabric or ceramic, wash it with water and soap. However, if the surface is sensitive to soap, clean it with a cloth. 

Step 2: Prime The Surface

The next step is priming the surface. Priming ensures the paint remains resistant to moisture and other stresses. Apply a good-quality primer on the surface using a suitable brush.

I prefer gesso primer as it is highly compatible with acrylic paint and gives good coverage. Moreover, it is affordable and recommended by most painters. Let the primer dry before going to applying the paint.

Step 3: Paint The Surface

Applying the paint in the right way can help you with waterproofing. Apply the dye in thin but multiple layers. It is ideal for letting each coating dry and providing enough time between the layers. It can enhance bonding and, ultimately, water resistance. Let the paint dry before proceeding.

Step 4: Seal The Surface

It is the most important step if you want your paint to be waterproof. It provides a cover to the paint and a shield against several harsh conditions. I’ve explained this step below in broad detail. 

Step 5: Let it Cure

The last step is letting the painted surface cure. Drying and curing are separate things. Dry means the upper surface is dry enough to add coating, while curing means the paint is completely dried from top to bottom. You can bake acrylic paint to cure it. It saves you time.  

How To Varnish Acrylic Paint For Waterproofing?

I’ve mentioned above that sealing or vanishing acrylic paint is the most important factor in deciding if your paint will be waterproof or not. The first thing is choosing a good quality varnish.

I recommend following waterproof varnish for acrylic paint as they are easy to use and give promising results. Moreover, they don’t get pale over time. One of them is always in my collection. The list is as follows.

Krylon KamarAerosolGood coverage, Gloss finish, Less Costly
Galeria Acrylic MediumBrush onGives a Gloss finish, Dries in seconds
Liquitex Professional Brush-on/AerosolGloss finish, Effective on all surfaces, Easy to use
How To Varnish Acrylic Paint For Waterproofing

Material Needed

  • Acrylic varnish 
  • Fine haired brush 
  • Bowl
  • Painted surface
  • Piece of cloth
  • Gloves

Procedure To Varnish Surface

Step 1: Clean Painted Surface

Clean the painted surface thoroughly to minimise the density of dust and dirt particles. Use a cloth or a vacuum cleaner to eliminate the dust readily. These debris particles can contaminate the varnish and weaken the bonding. So they are necessary to remove.

Step 2: Prepare The Set Up

Now put on gloves to protect your hands. Put a newspaper or rough cloth beneath the working area to protect the flour from stains. 

Step 3: Pour Varnish Into the Bowl

Now take the container of varnish and pour some quantity into a bowl. It will make your process easy. Make sure you use a clean bowl and stir the varnish well in the bowl before using.

Step 4: Load Your Brush

Now take the brush and dip it into the bowl. Get rid of the excessive varnish by thumping the brush. 

Step 5: Apply Varnish Vertically

Now begin applying the varnish with vertical strokes. Start with the edges and move your way to the middle. Put a light hand and don’t hurry. Apply it with patience.  

Step 6: Apply Varnish Horizontally

Now apply the varnish in horizontal strokes. It is an additional layer, but it will make sure no spot is left. Again be patient and gentle while varnishing. 

Step 7: Let The Surface Dry

Leave the surface in the air for drying. It will take 1-2 hours for the varnish to get fully cured. You can speed up the process with a hair dryer. 

Congrats, you’re done vanishing the surface!

Note: For aerosol varnish, the process is relatively easy. You don’t need much preparation. Just make sure you are using personal protective equipment like a mask and glasses.

How To Varnish Acrylic Paint For Waterproofing-Let The Surface Dry

How To Seal Acrylic Painting For Waterproofing? 

Sealing acrylic paint is not different from varnishing. Both are the same. So don’t be confused; you can use varnish to seal the surface. The only significant difference between the sealant and the varnish is the gloss finish. Varnish gives a more glitter effect than sealant. 

I prefer Krylon Spray, a clear acrylic paint waterproof sealer with good bonding and sticking ability. It can protect against UV, Heat, Water and scratches. So how to seal the surface to make it waterproof? Read below. 

Procedure To Seal The Surface

Step 1: Wear a Mask, Goggles, and Gloves

Personal protection is crucial when using a spray sealer. So better to wear a mask, goggles and gloves to protect your sensitive organs.

Step 2: Clean Debris From Surface

Now clear out the dust and debris from the painted surface. Use a vacuum or cleaning brush for this purpose.  A clean surface is more adhesive and gives more protection when sealed.

Step 3: Apply Sealer

Take the spray sealer. Hold it a few inches distance from the surface. Press the piston and start applying. Move it over the surface evenly. Apply 2-3 layers of the sealant for better coverage.

Step 4: Let it Air Dry

Finally, let the sealed surface get dry in the air. It may take 2-4 hours for the sealer to get fully cured. 

Congrats, you’re done sealing the paint!

Note: I recommend Mod podge if you want to use a brush-on sealer instead of a spray sealer. It is manufactured especially for acrylic paints. Moreover, it can be used as primer too. You can apply it using the same procedure I’ve explained in the varnishing above. 

How To Seal Acrylic Painting For Waterproofing 

Alternative Ways of Waterproofing Acrylic Paint

How to make acrylic paint waterproof without varnish? Well, there are many alternatives to the sealer and varnish if you want to waterproof acrylic paint at home. However, these methods are not as effective as the varnish and sealer but can give satisfactory results. 

  • Baking

Baking acrylic paint is a good way to seal the paint for waterproofing. It cures the paint quickly, making the dye resistant to water. Baking the paint in an oven is recommended and easy to perform instead of heating it directly with flames. Before baking, it is necessary to understand the flammability of acrylic paint.

  • Nail Polish

Using nail polish is another alternative. Applying it over a painted surface provides waterproofing along with protection against scrapes. But it is costly, and frankly saying, at least my woman would not allow me to use her nail polish for painting. 

  • Elmer’s Glue

It’s another option to waterproof your acrylic paint. It gives an instant finish and is non-toxic. But it is not as resistant as expected and can still be used as a temporary alternative.  

  • Gorilla Glue

It is also a good alternative and is usually available at home. It is commonly used to seal leather surfaces. You can apply it over acrylic paint for waterproofing. But the glue may fade the colour. 

Alternative Ways of Waterproofing Acrylic Paint

Is Acrylic Paint Water proof On Different Surfaces?

Acrylic Paint may respond differently on several surfaces, but mostly, it has the same behaviour. It is the conditions and factors which fluctuate on each surface. So let’s have a look at acrylic paint waterproofing on various materials. 

Is Acrylic Paint Water Resistant On Canvas?

Yes, it is waterproof on canvas if it is sealed with a good-quality sealant. You can also use waterproof clear coat for acrylic painting, like polyurethane. Moreover, priming canvas can enhance the water resistance ability of the paint. 

So I always recommend priming the canvas and never forgetting to seal the paint if you want it to remain fresh over the course of time.

Is Acrylic Paint Waterproof On Glass?

Glass is smooth and non-porous, making it difficult for acrylic paint to stick, which ultimately affects the waterproofing of the colour. Because the weaker the bonding, the more sensitive the dye is to various conditions. 

But a good side of the glass is its waterproof nature, which means that glass will not absorb moisture which is suitable for paint. 

Is Acrylic Paint Waterproof On Fabric?

Acrylic paint is waterproof on fabric if applied correctly, and the colour claims to be water-resistant. But if you wash the fabric frequently and use potent cleaning agents like chlorine, you’ll lose acrylic paint. 

So keep the fabric clean and wash it thoroughly before painting. Moreover, try to varnish the paint if the fabric is stiff and compatible with sealing. 

Is Acrylic Paint Waterproof On Wood? 

Wood is itself an absorbent of water which makes it challenging for acrylic paint to be waterproof on its surface. So how to waterproof acrylic paint on wood? Well, there are two things to consider; the first one is priming the wood to provide a water-resistance base to the paint.

The second thing is sealing the paint with a varnish designed explicitly for wood materials like Polyurethane varnish. It gives a transparent, smooth and glossy finish. 

Is Acrylic Paint Waterproof On Ceramic?

Ceramics are just like glass materials, but they adhere to acrylic paint stronger than glass. The colour is water resistant on ceramics if primed, applied, baked and sealed. Make sure the paint is completely dried on the ceramic material before applying a waterproof acrylic sealer. 

Are Acrylic Paint Waterproof On Shoes?

Acrylic paint on shoes may not be waterproof. The reason is the vigorous use of the shoes, but as long as you’re not exposing them to water frequently, the paint will be safe. 

Are Acrylic Paints Waterproof On Rocks?

Rock painting with acrylic is fun, but if you want to decorate outdoor locations with rocks, rain can cause the dye to wash away. Applying a thin layer of Mod Podge as a base coat and getting your paint sealed after drying can make the rocks paint waterproof. 

Is Acrylic Waterproof On Metal?

Yes, acrylic paint is waterproof on metal. The reason is painting can be dried quickly on a metal surface due to its heat-absorbing ability. Providing some heat will cure the colour, which is crucial to protect the paint from weathering and physical damage. 

Is Acrylic Paint Waterproof On Plastic?

Plastic has a textured surface and a non-glossy appearance, making it ideal for painting with acrylics. The paint will be waterproof on plastic as long as the adherence to the surface maintains. 


Will rain wash away acrylic paint?

Acrylic paint cannot be washed off with rain if appropriate painting techniques and protocols are followed, like priming, painting, baking, sealing and varnishing. 

Is acrylic paint washable? 

Yes, acrylic paint is washable, but it depends on whether it’s wet or dried. You can remove it using warm water and soap. If it doesn’t work, use rubbing alcohol or acetone to wash the paint.

How to seal acrylic paint for outdoor use?

You can seal acrylic paint for outdoor use by cleaning the surface and then applying the sealer in thin but multiple layers. 

Is acrylic primer waterproof?

Yes, acrylic primer is waterproof. It is mostly used as an undercoat to make the painting water-resistant and durable for longer.

Is acrylic paint waterproof when dry?

Well, acrylic paint is partially waterproof when dry. Therefore you need to seal it using a varnish or other good quality sealant to make it thoroughly water resistant.


Is acrylic paint waterproof? I hope you are all clear about the query after reading the post thoroughly. For any confusion, question, suggestions and appreciation, you’re welcome in the comment box. I’ll respond to you as soon as possible. Thank you for reading!

Jose Scott

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