How to Make Acrylic Painting Waterproof

Acrylic paintings are great, and they are becoming more and more popular. Perhaps it is because of the characteristics of this method. Perhaps there is something more. We will find out shortly why many people are now leaning more toward acrylic painting as opposed to other methods.

There is a need to address the big question in the room. How to make acrylic painting waterproof. The short straightforward answer is it is possible to make these paintings waterproof. The long answer that requires a lot of explanation is, how you make your acrylic painting waterproof depends a lot on the surface used.

This article will tackle that and a lot more.

There are so many ways you can make your acrylic water painting waterproof to protect your art. Acrylic paint might look okay when it is done. However, if it is exposed to water, it becomes another story. Especially if the painting is not fully dried.

Keep reading to find out how best you can protect your art depending on the surface used. But let’s tackle first things first before we dive right in.

What is Acrylic Painting?

Acrylic painting is a technique that uses fast-drying pigment paints. The pigment is suspended on so many complex elements we can not touch base in this article. However, these paints are water-based and can easily be washed off when it is still wet. However, it becomes more resistant when it has completely dried off.

Is Acrylic Paint Waterproof When Dry?

Though it becomes a little bit resistant, acrylic paint is not waterproof even after drying. Especially if it is continually exposed to water for long periods. The paint will eventually give and start fading within no time.

You will often see outdoor acrylic paints advertised, don’t be cheated because they are meant for outdoor purposes, they are waterproof. In fact, they are not even waterproof when dry because they will begin to wash off within no time.

Why Should You Waterproof Your Acrylic Paintings?

For the same reasons, we have been talking about. To prevent the paint from being washed off since most acrylic paints are water-based. Acrylic paints are designed to dry off quickly. This means that there is a need for speed. Apply your waterproof coat on your painting before it becomes completely dry otherwise, you will mess it up.

What to Use Waterproof Your Acrylic Painting

Varnishing. Good varnishing is the answer you are looking for. Varnish is a strong waterproof layer that seals and protects your painting. This protectant is not limited to water alone, it can also protect your painting from the harmful UV rays that tend to fade away vibrant colors.

This means that if you use a varnish on your acrylic paints, you will not have to worry about it anymore from being damaged. A good varnish makes your painting safe from any harsh environmental factors.

What Makes Varnish Water Resistant?

The strong life-saving elements.

The entire makeup of varnish is both interesting and miracle-working. This waterproofing tool has a few components, yet it makes for a powerful protectant of most paintings. Let’s look at these components.

  •         Resin
  •         Solvent
  •         Oil
  •         Driers

How Do You Waterproof Your Acrylic Painting?

Now back to the big question, how do you make your acrylic painting water-resistant? The short straightforward answer is still varnish. However, we have to delve much deeper because how to do it will depend on the surface used for art. Thankfully, it is not such an elaborate process. So, let’s delve right in.

1.    Canvas

Most artists prefer canvas in most of their paintings. That includes acrylic paintings. Perhaps it is because of its unmatched quality and how easy it is to work with. Most arts from many centuries ago are on canvases.

Waterproofing your acrylic painting on a canvas is very quick, no elaborate rituals. If you wish to, you can prime the surface of your canvas. But whether you do it or not, it won’t make a lot of difference. Once your painting is done, finish up with a polymer varnish and that is it. You can use any varnish of your choice but be sure to check the quality.

2.    Metal

Did you ever imagine that anybody could paint over a metal? Well, as it is, it makes for an excellent surface for acrylic painting. Let’s call it coating like you would on the traditional wall paint. But how do you protect your paints from being washed off from the metal?

Acrylics stick well with metals. Go forth and make use of the poly varnish on top of your painting. One nice and generous swipe will get the work done.

3.    Wood

Wood surfaces are excellent for painting natural scenes and it works best with acrylic paints. But just like with other surfaces, you need to protect your art otherwise all the colors will end up smudged!

Polymer sounds like it’s the best and most universal varnish to use. It works perfectly with your wood painting. However, unlike with the other surfaces, you will need more than one coat to make it hold better. You can swipe generously two times. Besides that, you will have to wait a day or two before applying varnish to your wood painting.

4.    Plastic

Painting on plastic is not as easy as using other surfaces. You will need several coats of paints for full coverage. Once you are satisfied with your plastic painting with acrylics, take a moment for a quick appraisal to avoid any mistakes. You can then apply a good layer of varnish as a finish and give the painting time to dry off.

5.    Glass

Glass is yet another unique surface you need to give good attention to when painting with acrylics. But varnishing it is much easier and quicker. Once you are satisfied with your painting, give it some time to dry off. Say up to 3 weeks because this surface takes its sweet time to dry off. Once it is completely dry, go ahead and apply a generous coat of varnish.


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