Acrylic Paints Vs. Enamel Paints For Arts and Crafts

A lot of people are unsure about the differences between acrylic paints and enamel paints, and their intended uses. Whenever you approach an arts and crafts project involving paint, it is important that you choose the right type of paint for your project. Otherwise, you will not get the results that you wanted. So, that being said, let’s take a look at the differences between acrylic and enamel paints and what they are best used for.

Acrylic Paints

Acrylic paints are water-based, which means they are water-soluble and can easily be mixed together or diluted to create various colors and tones. Acrylic paints work best on rough, porous surfaces, such as paper, wood and canvas. They dry quickly but if you make a mistake, you can easily fix it. Acrylic paints do not work well on smooth surfaces, such as glass, plastic and metal. If you try to paint on a slick surface with acrylic paint, the paint will adhere but it will easily chip and peel, and if you wanted to, you could peel it right off at any time.

Enamel Paints

Enamel paints can be either water or oil-based. The most common characteristic among enamel paints is that they dry with a hard, glossy surface. Enamel paints typically take around 24 hours to dry. You could use enamel paint to paint on canvas or paper, but it would not be ideal. Enamel paints are best for painting things like furniture, walls and metal surfaces. In other words, you wouldn’t want to use enamel paint to paint an artistic painting but you would want to use it to paint a deck or a bicycle. Basically, enamel paints are best for projects that require a single-stage paint job – when you just need to put down a few coats of one color and that’s it.

Acrylic Enamels

Lastly, there is a third kind of paint worth mentioning in this article: acrylic enamels. As I’m sure you already guess, acrylic enamels are a mixture of acrylic and enamel paint. They have qualities that are similar to both types of paint. Acrylic enamels dry quickly, work well on all types of surfaces and have a hard, glossy finish. Acrylic enamels are ideal for painting glass, decorating clay pots and dishes, and are a popular automotive paint.

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