What Are The Pros And Cons Of Acrylic Paint? All You Need To Know

Are you looking to jump into the world of art but unsure if acrylic paint is the right choice for you? 

In this blog, I’ll talk deeply about the advantages and disadvantages of using acrylic paint in order to help you make an informed decision.

This blog has been written after thorough research and practical experiments by our professional artists. 

Moreover, the information shared here is derived from reputed resources like the manufacturers of Liquitex, Golden Artist Colors, And Winsor & Newton. 

In addition, the knowledge provided here inspires from the insights of reputed artists like Marilyn Minter, Gerhard Richter, and Jenny Saville.  

So let’s understand what are the pros and cons of acrylic paint in detail. 

Properties Of Acrylic Paint

If you’re new to acrylic paint and its composition, let me tell you it is synthesized with a resin that is made of acrylic polymer. Water is used as a solvent in its composition.

It possesses various characteristics which can be piled in the form of its advantages.  

Pros Of Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint possesses several advantages that make it a known choice among artists. Here are some of the pros of using acrylic paint:

  • High Versatility

Acrylic paint has a versatile and adaptable nature and can be employed on various surfaces, including canvas, wood, paper, fabric, glass, and many more. 

It can be applied thickly or thinned down with water to develop transparent washes. This makes it suitable for a wide range of techniques and painting styles.

  • Quick Dry Time

One of the significant advantages of acrylic paint is its fast drying time. Unlike oil paint, which can take days or even weeks to dry, acrylic paint dries relatively fast, often within minutes or hours. 

This allows painters and other artists to work faster and make adjustments or add layers without long waiting times.

  • High Durability 

Once dry, acrylic paint forms an enduring and flexible film that is resistant to cracking, yellowing, fading, and waning over time. 

It provides a long-lasting finish which makes it suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications.

  • Wide Color Range

Acrylic paint is available in a vast array of colors, including a variety of hues, shades, and opacities. 

You can easily mix and blend acrylic paint colors to achieve your desired shades. This helps you produce vibrant effects and artwork.

  • Easy Cleanup

Acrylic paint is water-based, which means it can be easily cleaned up and removed with water and soap. 

This is useful when you clean your brushes, palettes, and other tools, making it convenient for artists to reserve their tools. 

  • Layering and Texture

Acrylic paint allows for layering, as it adheres well to itself. You can build up multiple layers of paint, creating depth, texture, and intricate details in your artwork.

  • Compatibility With Other Mediums

Acrylic paint is compatible with a broad range of art mediums. It can be mixed with various additives, such as gels, mediums, and texture pastes, to enhance its properties and create unique effects.

  • Health and Safety

Acrylic paint is generally considered to be safer to work with compared to some other paints, such as oil-based paints. It has a lower odor, emits fewer toxic fumes, and can be used in well-ventilated areas without the need for special solvents or thinners.

  • Quick Corrections

If you make a mistake or need to make adjustments, acrylic paint allows for easy corrections. It can be painted over or removed when wet, allowing artists to refine their work as they go.

  • Affordability

Acrylic paint is often more affordable than other types of paint, such as oil paint. It is available in a range of price points, making it accessible to artists with different budgets.

  • Disposable 

Another good thing about acrylic paint is it can be easily disposed of safely, which makes it environmentally friendly. You just have to use the right techniques for this purpose.

Cons Of Acrylic Paint

While acrylic paint has numerous advantages, it also has some limitations and disadvantages to consider. Here are some of the cons of using acrylic paint:

  • Drawbacks of Quick Dry Time

While the fast drying time is an ideal thing in some cases, it can also be a disadvantage. Acrylic paint dries quickly, making it challenging to blend and work with the paint on the canvas for extended periods. 

This can be problematic for you if you prefer a more extended open working time.

  • Permanent And Irreversible

Once acrylic paint dries, it forms a permanent and water-resistant film. Unlike watercolor or gouache, acrylic paint cannot be reactivated with water once it is dry. 

This permanence can be restrictive if you want to rework or make significant changes to your paintings.

  • Color Shift When Drying 

Acrylic paint can undergo a slight color shift as it dries. The wet color may appear slightly different from the final dried color. 

This can make color mixing and achieving specific shades a problem, as the final result may differ from what was initially intended.

  • Limited Blending Time

Due to the sharp drying nature of acrylic paint, blending colors on the canvas can be challenging. 

Blending requires working quickly or using various mediums to extend the open time of the paint. Attaining smooth gradients and transitions may require additional skill and techniques.

  • Glossy Finish 

Acrylic paint can dry with a glossy finish, which some artists may find undesirable, especially if their requirement is a matte or more traditional appearance. 

While acrylic mediums can be added to alter the sheen, getting a natural matte finish is more difficult with acrylics.

  • You Have To Work In an Open Area

While acrylic paint is generally considered to be safer than oil-based paints, it contains pigments and chemicals that may cause skin or respiratory irritation in some individuals. 

So proper ventilation and protective measures, such as using gloves and avoiding ingestion or inhalation, are recommended.


What is good about acrylic paint?

Acrylic paint provides vibrant colors, fast drying time, and versatility in application. It can be used on various surfaces and provides a stable finish.

Is acrylic paint 100% good?

No, acrylic paint is not 100% good. While it has many advantages, it may not be suitable for every artistic technique or desired effect. So it is necessary to consider your priorities and requirements.

Why is acrylic paint better than normal paint?

Acrylic paint has advantages over traditional paint due to its rapid drying time, water-based nature, and ability to adhere nicely to different surfaces. It also offers a wide range of colors and can be easily diluted or layered for painting styles.

Are acrylic paints bad?

Acrylic paints are generally considered safe for use. However, as with any art material, proper ventilation and precautions should be taken, especially when working with aerosols or pigments containing heavy metals. It’s also advised to follow safety guidelines and use them responsibly.

How strong is acrylic paint?

Acrylic paint is known for its durability and strength. Once it dries, it forms a tough and flexible film that resists cracking, peeling, and fading. It can withstand various environmental conditions and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

What is the difference between modern and traditional acrylic paint?

Modern acrylic paint refers to the acrylics available today, which have been developed and improved over time. Traditional acrylic paint refers to the initial formulations of acrylics from the mid-20th century. Modern acrylics often offer better pigmentation, lightfastness, and a wider range of additives and mediums for diverse effects.


So now you’re well up with the pros and cons of acrylic paint and can pick it up for your project confidently. 

Although the paint, mediums, and tools can play significant roles in the success of your artwork, the influence of your skills can’t be ignored.

A person with good painting expertise may find acrylic paint different as compared to a beginner-level artist. 

So it’s also not just the paint that makes it good or bad, but your way of using it plays a considerable role. 

Jose Scott

Leave a Comment