Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Walls? Making the Best of Acrylic Paint 2022

Walls accept many paint types but can you use acrylic paint on walls? Let’s see in the discussion below!

Walls are vulnerable to the slightest impact. And for this reason, you will need paint to bring out its beauty and enhance durability.

If you are a DIY painter, you will face a myriad of decisions when you want to paint your wall. For instance, what paint, color, and finish to use?.

Fortunately, you have a lot of options when it comes to painting walls. One question, however, is can you use acrylic paint on walls? 

Yes, acrylic paint excels well on walls, be it interior or exterior. But for better results, go for the lightfastness version. This option is credited to withstand high demands and has a high adhering capacity. 

It’s interesting to know that one coat of acrylic paint is enough to hold up to various surfaces. But I am presuming you had primed them precisely. 

What Is Acrylic Paint?

Acrylic paint is a fast-drying paint using pigment suspended in acrylic polymer emulsion and defoamers, plasticizers, silicone oils, metal soaps, or stabilizers.

In most cases, the acrylic paints are water-based but dry to water-resistant finishes.

You can make acrylic paint look like a watercolor, a gouache, or oil paint, depending on how much you dilute it with water, modified with acrylic gels, pastes, or mediums.

What Happens If You Paint Walls With Acrylic Paints? 

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Walls?Many DIYers have abandoned commercial latex-based paints in favor of acrylic paints.

The reason is that acrylic paints have a porous surface that allows moisture to clear without unleashing adhesion. 

Acrylic paints are also fortified with chemical additives. And that means if applied on walls, they dry quickly and become water-resistant.

You may also want to add mediums to improve the drying time.

However, this paint doesn’t blend well with oil-based paints. So if you had initially painted with oil paint, scrub it off before applying acrylic. 

What makes this paint an inch above other paints is its resistance to the sun.

It can withstand extreme UV rays, and this makes it ideal for outdoor projects.

How Long Does Acrylic Paint Last On Walls?

The good thing with acrylic paints is that they are made from synthetic based materials.

So, that means these paints rarely expire, unlike the typical options. 

However, if you don’t store them in favorable conditions, then chances are they’ll go bad. 

Ideally, unused acrylic paints can withstand up to ten years. Whereas if applied on walls, it can tolerate merely seven years. 

It is convenient to store your unused acrylic paints in spaces like garages. Doing this saves the paint from drying, freezing, and breaking off.

Why Does Acrylic Paint Go Bad? 

Several factors can foster acrylic paints to expire before the due time. They include: 

  • Excessive Heat

When stored at high temperatures, acrylic paints eventually degrade their value.

High temperatures make the paint lose water, become weak, crusty, and probably dry. 

  • Extreme Cold

Acrylic paints have components that easily separate when subjected to extreme cold.

The separation frequently transpires since the cold impairs the paint’s contents. 

  • Mold and Mildew

Both mold and mildew can ravage your acrylic paint and reduce its lifespan. Suppose you expose your paint to moisture; mold will grow easily.

So it would help if you keep your paint free from destructive elements. 

  • The recommended temperatures for storing and applying acrylic paints are 60 to 75 F (15-24 Celsius). Any figures below 45 F (7.2 Celsius) are not encouraged. 

How Long Does Acrylic Paint Take to Dry on Walls? 

Waiting for your paint to dry is the toughest step of any painting job.

Suppose you are about to complete applying your first coat, you will want to know, how long will It take to dry?.

You will also want to understand how long to stay between coats. 

The answer to these questions varies depending on paint drying factors. 

How fast your paint dries usually revolves around humidity, temperatures, and the type of paint.

So if you use good quality acrylic paint, the drying time is between 2 to 3 hours. 

Additionally, you need to ventilate your room properly to boost the drying time.

There are other variables you can use to speed up the drying time. They include hairdryers, heat lamps, heat guns, and so much more. 

However, be cautious when utilizing the Items mentioned above.

Store these details in mind to prevent messing up your impressive work: 

  • Avoid putting your paint near the heat source. 
  • Ensure the paint doesn’t get over-dry since it may begin to crack. 
  • Ensure that you use the lowest setting on those devices. 

On the other hand, the delay time between coats is roughly 3 to 4 hours.

However, be sure to allow the first coat to dry to the touch before applying a second coat.

How Long Does Acrylic Wall Paint Take to Cure?

After painting your walls and being certain that they have fully dried, the room is still not safe for everyday use.

Ideally, acrylic paint is considered dry when all solvents evaporate and leave it dry to touch.

So acrylic paint will reach maximum hardness and cure days after the paint is dry.

The cure time for acrylic paints is roughly one week. And this is quite faster than latex paints that extend up to 30 days to cure. 

How Do You Apply Acrylic Paint to a Wall? 

Whereas latex-based paints were once a choice for many, nowadays, people are accustomed to acrylic paints.

Acrylic paints give walls a quality and rustic look. In addition, since it’s almost odorless, you can use it in enclosed spaces.  

Before you begin to paint your walls, you will need to have various supplies at hand.

Ensure you scrutinize the list below to know what you will need. 

Things You Will Need to Paint Walls With Acrylic Paint.

  • Acrylic mediums. 
  • Apron. 
  • Acrylic paints. 
  • Paintbrushes and rollers. 
  • Artist palette. 
  • Varnish. 
  • Soap. 
  • Jar of water.  
  • Primer.

Having the above essentials at hand can make your painting task effortless.

Now let’s take a plunge into the step-by-step guide on how to paint your walls. 

Step 1: 

Before painting, begin by preparing your workspace. Wipe all dirt, grease, and oil.

It would help if you employed Trisodium Phosphate (TSP )mixed with warm water to clean the surface.

Suppose the wall is peeling off; consider stripping all the old paint. 

Even if acrylic paints are safe to use in enclosed spaces, it’s wise to exercise proper ventilation.

You may want to keep all windows open. And if necessary, install fans in the working space. 

Step 2:

 If you are overly concerned about your wall’s longevity, it pays to do this step keenly. 

After you have cleaned the walls, you can now prime them. You can’t afford to overlook this step since it helps the paint adhere to the surface more easily. 

Sometimes, you can apply the primer over the existing paint on the wall. But it won’t be as practical as stripping off the old paint.

So to reap the most out of your wall, sand down the old paint with a sanding block.

Take your sanding block and immerse it in a cleaning solution. 

Next, squeeze out any excess water and begin to sand down the old paint. Doing this prevents the hassle of dry sanding, which usually creates dust. 

After sanding, ensure the wall dries entirely. Then take your primer and apply it to the walls. As you apply, don’t do thick coats of primer.

Thin and even coats will do the trick. You will also want to climb on a stool to reach the restricted corners of the wall. 

Step 3:

By now, the primer will have attached to the wall properly, and it’s ready to paint.

You will begin by shaking the paint to mix it properly if its components have separated. 

Then take your painting brush or roller and start the job. You will need to take your time and avoid rushing for an outstanding outcome.

The process is time-consuming, but the result makes it worthwhile. 

After the first coat, pull back and examine the walls for any deformities. If you come across any, go and mend them to avoid bubbling over time. 

Check out the user’s guide to ensure you conform to the recommended drying time.

You can touch the paint to ascertain if it’s dry, then proceed with the second coat.

After painting, the walls will inevitably be susceptible to high traffic, such as children.

Kids will often touch the walls with their fingers which can make the wall degrade prematurely.

So for you to combat the high traffic, it’s wise that you seal the wall. 

How Long After Painting Can You Hang Things?

Painting your walls is a good upgrade. But you don’t have to rush putting things on it after painting.

Even when the paint is dry to touch hours later, the wall will still be sticky.

So it’s better to wait much longer before mounting things on the painted surface. 

The ideal waiting time is 48 hours. After two days, your wall will feel dry to touch, plus items won’t stick if you hang them. 

Still, don’t use much pressure when hanging the frames on the wall. Applying excessive force might scratch the freshly painted surface. 

How Long Before You Can Sleep In a Painted Room?

After painting your room, you might be wondering how long it takes before you sleep in the room.

The duration differs depending on the type of paint you used. 

Most paints emit VOCs, which, if inhaled, can pose a serious threat to your health.

It’s therefore wise to give the paint time to emit its fumes before invading the room. 

Oil based paints need more ventilation since they produce more VOCs and odors.

Ideally, you can wait for one week before you sleep in a newly painted room. 


Sleeping in a newly painted room can cause developmental issues in young kids.

Also, pregnant women can encounter miscarriages or congenital disabilities.

So how can you deter this mess? You can follow these guidelines to keep you safe: 

  • The first step is to go for low VOC paints or Zero VOC. Thanks to paint manufacturers since they are coming up with safe products to use. You need to buy the paints mentioned above to keep your family safe. 
  • The other option is to ventilate the painted room. You can practice this by keeping all windows open for fresh air to circulate within.

Also, you may need to install a large fan to aid in flushing out the fumes from the room. 

Will Acrylic Paint Wash Off? 

Yes, acrylic paint can easily wash off, especially if exposed to water before it dries. 

Again, it will wash off if you fail to treat it with the care it deserves. So to avoid washing off, consider using a varnish to seal your acrylic paint. 

But if the paint has dried properly, then it won’t wash off easily. 

How Do You Seal Acrylic Paint? 

It is imperative to add a protective coating to your painted surface. There are many reasons you may want to seal your acrylic paint. They include

  • To provide extra protection against high traffic. Everyday use can degrade your paint’s value. 
  • Sealing Your acrylic paint prevents it from fading with time due to UV rays. 
  • Sealing acrylic paint makes the color look real and also adds a reflective sheen to the painted surface. 

Generally, sealing your acrylic paint adds to its lifespan. Once applied, be sure it won’t wear out for years to come. 

Before starting, I would recommend you use a base coat brush to seal your paint. This kind of brush performs smooth strokes and won’t scrub your painted surface. Keep reading for more clarity. 

Step 1: 

I bet you would not wish to run the risk of thick undercoats of paint crossing through the sealer. So ensure the acrylic paint is dry enough before you apply your sealer.

Also, ensure you digest the instructions carefully before you commence the job. 

Step 2: 

Once you are set, gush a small amount of acrylic sealer in a clean dish. Then mix the sealer gently. Next, take your base coat brush and start to apply the first coat.

Ensure that the sealer flows in the same directions using the smooth bristles of the brush. 

You can use various ways to apply the sealer. But I suggest you run straight and light strokes with the brush’s width. 

It is important that you balance the strokes across the wall and be sure not to stop halfway. This will add a cool-looking effect to your walls. 

  • Avoid going back to reapplying your strokes. Doing this will peel off the previous coat since it had already started to dry. 

Step 3: 

After the first coat, give the sealer ample time to dry as Illustrated in the instructions.

Usually, it’s between 4 to 6 hours. As you wait for the first coat to dry, you will want to cover up your dish with plastic wrap. 

Remember, this helps to prevent the sealer in the dish from drying.

You will also do the same to the brush. But I suggest you cleanse and rinse off your brush so the sealer won’t dry on it. 

Step 4: 

Once the initial coat is dry, add the second one. However, this time you will want to apply the sealer in the opposite direction.

Use your brush to apply gentle strokes and ensure they are even to avoid imperfections. 

That’s all! Your paint will now be safe from UV rays, dust, and other degrading elements. 

Can You Paint Over Acrylic Paint? 

You can paint over acrylic paint, but you have to apply a coat of shellac before painting.

Shellac will act as a primer so that the paint will attach to the existing acrylic well. 

The only exception with acrylic paint is it doesn’t blend with oil-based paints. 


  • Be sure not to mix the paint with excess water because it will lessen the binding strength. 
  • Use the recommended paint, which won’t bring the fear of lifting the color underneath. 

Generally, painting over acrylic paint is great. However, this will quickly add up to your expenses since you will use a lot of coats. 

Why Is My Acrylic Paint Not Sticking to the Walls? 

Several reasons your acrylic paint is not adhering to the wall’s surface exist. 

First, the quality of your paint is usually the prime reason paint fails to stick. Mostly, low-quality acrylic paints tend to have poor adhering traits. 

Mixing your acrylic paint with too much water is yet another reason your paint fails to hold up.

Instead, I suggest you use the acrylic glazing liquid. 

The glazing liquid ensures that the acrylic paint won’t peel off exactly when strengthening the binder. 

Is Acrylic Paint Waterproof?

Acrylic paint is a natural water-based paint; that’s why it dries very fast. The quick dry time is what impresses most buyers, plus it’s also inexpensive. 

However, is acrylic paint waterproof?. To some extent, yes, but it is not 100% waterproof paint but good water-resistant.

For this reason, it is wise to seal the paint to make it more resistant to water. 

Considering the porous nature of acrylic paint, it gradually absorbs water. Unfortunately, you won’t notice until it’s too late and ruined.

Therefore, you must make it waterproof to avoid messing up your costly investment. 

How to Thin Acrylic Paints

As a DIYer, you may want to thin acrylic paint to attain variations in color and consistency.

This permits you to obtain effects that could have been tricky.

You only need to get accustomed to the basic thinning techniques. 

To begin, apply a small portion of the paint to a palette. You can also choose to mix in a clean plastic or bowl.

Since this paint dries quickly, using too many samples can be wasteful. So always begin with small portions as you level up. 

Next, put some water into your paint. Then take your brush and stir the mixture.

Be sure you stir the mixture thoroughly to avoid clumping or forming uneven color. 


  • Put a paper trowel near you to help in blotting the brush when you want to paint. Excessive moisture on the brush can severely thin the acrylic paint. As such, drips may start forming on your painted surface. 

The next step is to mix the solution with a thinning agent. Doing this can prevent your paint from drying quickly exactly when thinning it.

As usual, add the thinning agent as per the instructions highlighted on the can. 

Finally, consider adding gesso to the mixture of paint and water. By doing so, your acrylic paint will hold up easily on the surface you want to paint.

Watch a Video On How to Thin Acrylic Paint:

How to Revive Dried Acrylic Paints. 

Acrylic paints can withstand years without going bad, but that’s if you store them well. These paints only go bad once they dry out.

So, avoid placing your paint in extreme temperatures such as direct sunlight. So then, how can you receive dried acrylic paints? Find out below. 

First, you will need: 

  • An old brush. 
  • A container where you will mix your paint. 
  • A little water tab that is not boiling. 
  • The dry acrylic paint. 

Note: After reviving the acrylic paint, you must use it immediately. You should not return it to the container for later use. 

Mix Water With the Dried Out Paint

Take a small portion of the dried acrylic paint and insert it into a container. After that, pour some warm water into the container and mix it thoroughly.

Once it blends perfectly, let it settle for a few minutes. 

You will note that the paint will begin to color the water. At this point, add more water but not excess. 

Adding excess water might dilute the paint and lose its essence. Just a few drops frequently are enough.

Continue stirring the mixture to a point the paint retains its initial consistency. 

You will want to examine If there is still the presence of hard parts in the mixture. If any, add a few drops of water and let the mixture settle before remixing it. 

Repeat the same thing until the paint retains the original texture. 

After that, there will be a residue of some small parts which failed to mix with water.

They always float on top of the solution. You can remove them with your fingers or use the brush to throw them away. 

Now the paint is ready for application. Fortunately, it will work like the common acrylic paint. That said, it will dry without complications, and it won’t even transform its color.

You will have to use up all the paint since storing it won’t help anymore. 

Tips for How to Get Better With Acrylic Paints

Painting with acrylics is linked with a lot of benefits. These paints dry quickly, and they are very easy to use.

Besides that, there are some tips that can help you paint like a pro. Find out below. 

  • Work Quickly

Acrylic paints boast a quick drying time, unlike the typical options on the market.

This is a bonus you can count on primarily if you are set to paint in layers.

For you to paint faster, avoid spending much of your time repainting the same areas. 

  • Avoid a Lot of Paint On Your Palette or Container. 

You will not want to risk putting much paint In the palette. It will possibly dry and harden before you are done with painting. So be cautious. 

  • Blend Carefully

You can form a nice landscape on your walls if you blend the colors well. Don’t blend too quickly. Just gentle stirring is enough.

If you blend recklessly, the result will be full of bubbles, and it’s not something you may wish to have on your walls. 

These tips can go to extreme lengths in offering you a quality finish and brilliant skills as a new DIYer. 

Acrylic Paints or Oil paints, Which One is Better? 

There is no denying the prevalence of acrylic paints when it comes to painting wall surfaces.

Despite the many options available when you want to paint, acrylic paints remain a standout. 

The biggest difference between oil paints and acrylic paints is the drying time.

More often than not, acrylic paints take 2 to 3 hours to dry. On the other hand, oil paints can exceed six hours. 

This aspect makes acrylic paints a better pick for beginners. In addition, acrylic paints have components called lightfastness.

That means they’ll look the same now and in years to come. But oil paints often fade with time. 

Another striking variation between these two paints is the adhering capacity.

Acrylic paints will easily hold up to any surface, unlike oil-based paints. As such, you will use lesser coats and save on your expenses with acrylic paints. 

Oil paints lack the flexibility of acrylic paints. And as a result, they won’t promise good adherence to the surface.

This tells you how much preparation you’ll have to do for the paint to attach. It’s quite daunting, right? 

Final Thoughts

Whenever you want to decide on the paint that will match your project, acrylic paint comes in handy.

This paint entails minimum preparations, plus least the drying time is guaranteed. Therefore, you won’t wait so long between coats. 

Once applied, it offers lasting protection and excellent color retention. However, most people are still hesitant about the efficacy of this paint. Hence the question…

Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Walls? 

Yes, acrylic paint will easily attach to walls. It will help if you go for options that dry quickly and can tolerate tough conditions. 

I believe this guide will help you upgrade your painting skills. Feel free to drop any suggestions in the comment section.

In the meantime, have the best of luck with your painting project.