Can You Paint Walls with Acrylic Paint?

Acrylic paint, a versatile and popular medium, is widely used by artists for painting on canvas, paper, and other surfaces.

Known for its fast-drying properties and water solubility, acrylic paint offers a host of benefits.

Acrylic Paint

But can you paint walls with acrylic paint?

This comprehensive guide will help you understand the pros and cons of using acrylic paint for wall applications and provide detailed information on surface preparation, painting techniques, and best practices.

Pros of using acrylic paint on walls


Acrylic paint dries quickly, which can be a great advantage when painting walls.

You’ll spend less time waiting between coats, allowing you to complete your project faster. This also means reduced downtime for the room being painted, so you can get back to using the space sooner.


As a water-based paint, acrylic paint is easy to clean up with just soap and water.

There’s no need for harsh chemicals or solvents, making it a more environmentally friendly option. Plus, acrylic paint typically has lower levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) compared to oil-based paints, which means fewer odors and better indoor air quality.


Acrylic paint offers a wide range of colors and finishes, from flat and matte to glossy and metallic.

You can even mix different acrylic paints to create custom colors, or add mediums like glazing liquid or texture paste for unique effects. This versatility allows you to achieve the exact look you want for your walls.

UV-resistant and durable

Acrylic paint is known for its resistance to fading and yellowing, even when exposed to sunlight. This UV resistance, combined with its inherent durability, means your walls will look vibrant and fresh for years to come.

Cons of using acrylic paint on walls

Adhesion issues

One potential drawback of using acrylic paint on walls is its tendency to have adhesion issues if the surface isn’t properly prepared. You may need to thoroughly clean the walls and apply a suitable primer to ensure the paint sticks well and provides even coverage.

Limited breathability

Acrylic paint forms a plastic-like film on the surface, which can limit the wall’s breathability. This could trap moisture, leading to potential issues like mold or peeling paint. For this reason, acrylic paint may not be the best choice for certain wall materials, such as plaster or brick.


Compared to traditional wall paint, acrylic paint can be more expensive. Additionally, you may need to apply multiple coats to achieve a smooth, even finish, which adds to the overall cost of your project.

Surface Preparation

Cleaning the walls

Before you begin painting, it’s crucial to clean the walls thoroughly. Remove dirt, dust, and grease with a mild detergent solution and a sponge or soft cloth.

If you notice any mold or mildew, treat the affected areas with a suitable cleaner before proceeding.

Repairing imperfections

Inspect the walls for cracks, holes, or other imperfections. Fill these areas with a suitable filler, like spackle or joint compound, and then sand them smooth once dry. This will ensure a uniform surface for your acrylic paint.


Applying a primer is essential for good adhesion and even coverage.

Choose a primer specifically designed for use with acrylic paint, such as an acrylic-based primer or a high-quality latex primer. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and drying time.

Painting techniques and best practices

Mixing and thinning acrylic paint

To achieve the ideal consistency for wall painting, you may need to thin your acrylic paint. You can do this by adding water or an acrylic medium, following the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Generally, it’s best not to exceed a 30% water-to-paint ratio to maintain the paint’s integrity and adhesion properties.

Application tools

Select the appropriate tools for applying acrylic paint to your walls. Brushes, rollers, and sprayers are all viable options, but each has its advantages and drawbacks.

Brushes offer more control and are ideal for cutting in edges, while rollers provide quick and even coverage for larger areas.

Sprayers, though more expensive, can deliver a smooth, professional finish with less manual labor.

Painting process

When painting with acrylics, it’s best to work in sections. Start by cutting in the edges with a brush, and then fill in the larger areas with a roller or sprayer.

Apply multiple thin coats, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next one. This will help prevent streaks, brush marks, or roller lines, and ensure a smooth, even finish.

Finishing touches

Once you’ve achieved the desired coverage and appearance, consider applying a protective topcoat or sealant to your walls.

This can help enhance the durability of acrylic paint and make it more resistant to wear, moisture, and stains.

Finally, clean and store your painting tools properly to extend their lifespan and ensure they’re ready for your next project.


In summary, acrylic paint can be used on walls, but it’s essential to weigh the advantages and disadvantages before starting your project.

Proper surface preparation, the right painting techniques, and suitable finishing touches can help ensure a successful outcome.

By considering these factors, you can decide if acrylic paint is the right choice for your specific project and create a stunning, long-lasting result for your walls.

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