Can acrylic paint be used outside

By Mandy Moss

When we talk about interior acrylic paint, I normally always think about art. If you have some outdoor projects, you might stay with me because we will cover all details how can acrylic paint be used outside.

With warmer weather coming, you might notice for example your house’s exterior needs a refresh after a punishing winter.  Painting can be a great way to freshen up your home. With so many paint choices available, though, a simple trip to the hardware store might turn into a frustrating, time-consuming outing.

Let’s dive in and make it easier for you.

Can you use acrylic paint outside?

Can you use acrylic paint outside?

Depending on the job, you’ll need to take into consideration several factors in order to choose the right paint for your project. Acrylic paint can be a great choice for your exterior painting work.

Advantages of using exterior acrylic paint

  • Strong adhesion to a wide array of materials including wood and metal. Kilz makes one specifically for masonry, stucco and brick.
  • It’s flexible, meaning it will expand and contract with your house’s siding without cracking or splitting.
  • It won’t trap moisture which can cause blistering because it is naturally breathable. 
  • It’s resistant to mildew. 
  • Low VOCs compared to oil-based paints.
  • Resists the effects of the sun longer than oil-based paints so your colors will stay truer longer.
  • Dries quickly, usually within 1-6 hours, which allows for a second coat to be applied sooner.

What is the longest-lasting exterior paint? 

There are three main types of paint that you should consider for your exterior painting project.

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is a water-based paint but contains acrylic as the binding agent. It is durable and long-lasting and is best for use on the siding (wood, fiber cement, or aluminum), stucco, plaster, drywall, and porch floors.

Latex Paint

Latex paint refers to water-based paint—there is no actual latex in it!  Water-based paint is the easiest to clean and remove, but when it comes to longevity, latex paint is not the best choice.

Oil-based Paint

Oil-based paint is an excellent choice for exterior paint projects. It provides a stronger and very durable finish. Some disadvantages are that they take longer to cure than water-based paints, and can be mixed with harsh chemicals. They also emit VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and have a tendency to crack and yellow with age.

What is the difference between indoor and outdoor acrylic paint?

You may think paint is interchangeable and that you can use an interior paint outside and exterior paint inside. While, technically, you can, there are differences between the two that will give you better results when used in the proper setting.   

There’s four basic ingredients in indoor and outdoor paint: solvent, pigments, resin, and additives. While they have similar solvents and pigments, exterior paint may contain more pigment. Mainly, the difference is found in the resin and additives.

The biggest difference is one of safety.  Exterior paint contains more VOCs, so you should really never use exterior paint inside. You do not want to be breathing these VOCs, it’s not healthy. 

How do you make acrylic paint last outside?

Keep these helpful hits in mind when painting the exterior of your home with acrylic paint to help it last:

Use a Quality Primer

The primer will act as a base coat for the exterior house paint to adhere. It will also help smooth out any imperfections. If you decide on acrylic paint, you can use either a water-or-oil-based primer.

Sometimes you can even find a paint and primer in one. By applying a primer, your top-coat is substantially more likely to adhere properly with no blistering or bubbling.

Apply Multiple Coats

One way to lengthen the lifespan of your paint job is to apply multiple coats. Several coats of paint (one primer plus two top coats)  will serve as a barrier that protects your home from damage from weather or other elements. Weather is the biggest factor as to how long your exterior paint will last. 

Check the Weather

When at all possible, don’t paint the exterior of your house when it is very hot outside or in direct sunlight.  This will cause the paint to dry too quickly and cause unevenness.

Keep Your Exterior Surfaces Clean

Be sure to keep the exterior of your home clean to prevent damage to your paint job. Yearly power-washing will wash away dirt, grime and mildew. 

How long does acrylic paint last outdoors? 

Without taking into consideration all the different variables that can affect exterior paint, properly applied exterior acrylic paint should last 10 years. Factors such as climate, brand, the material being painted (wood, vinyl, masonry, etc.), and the quality of the job itself can all determine how soon you will need to repaint.

Does acrylic paint wash off concrete?

We’ve all done it. We’ve spilled paint and made a huge mess.  Another advantage to using acrylic paint is it can be easier to remove than oil-based paints since it is water-based. 

It’s so much easier to remove paint from concrete if you start clean-up while it is still wet! Work quickly to remove it as soon as possible.

How to Remove Wet Paint from Concrete:

  1. Wipe up as much paint as possible using newspapers or rags.
  2. Mix some soap with hot water in a bucket.
  3. Pour a lot of the soapy water onto the paint-spilled area and scrub with a scrub brush until all of the paint has been removed from the surface.
  4. Use a sponge to soak up as much of the diluted paint as possible.
  5. When all of the paint has been scrubbed away, rinse the area with clean water to remove any soap residue.
  6. Allow the area to dry completely.

Removing Acrylic Paint that has Dried on Concrete

If you’re dealing with dried paint, you’re going to need to put some elbow-grease and extra supplies into removing it.  

Supplies Needed:

  • acrylic paint remover or paint stripper 
  • paint scraper/putty knife/razor
  • Old cloths and/or newspaper
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Mild soap

How to Remove Dried Paint:

  1. Start by lifting off as much paint off as possible using the paint scraper/putty knife/razor. 
  2. Pour the paint remover or paint stripper on the paint.
  3. Cover the area with a rag soaked in the stripper to keep the area moist and let set for a couple of hours to soften the dried paint.
  4. After a couple of hours, the paint will have softened and you can start scrubbing the area with a soapy water solution and rinse thoroughly.
  5. Once all of the paint has been removed, clean the area with soap and water.
Tip: An effective method for large areas is power-washing.  You can rent a power-washer at your local home improvement store.  

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