Acrylic paint is used by both artists and crafters, thanks to its fast drying time, a wide range of colors, easy cleanup, and all of its unique texture possibilities. With so many different uses, it makes one wonder, can you bake acrylic paint in the oven?
Can acrylic paint be heated?
Acrylic paint can be heated to a certain degree, and some people use what is called a heat set. After their project is finished, they use a blow dryer or heat gun to quickly dry the paint, though I would not recommend this method unless you have a properly ventilated area.
If the paint is completely dry, then it can be heated to a higher temperature, but if the paint is still wet, it is not advisable to warm the paint over 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
NOTE: you do not want the paint to get too hot. Acrylic paint releases a chemical when it is drying, which could be harmful without proper ventilation. If the paint dries too fast, it accelerates the chemical release making it dangerous. A blow dryer set on low heat can prevent the paint from becoming too warm.
What happens when you heat acrylic paint?
If acrylic paint reaches temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit when wet or damp, it can cause the paint to bubble, blister, and crack. Heat affects the paint’s adhesion, causing it to dry too quickly, which results in peeling once the paint cures.
It also releases a chemical while drying that could be toxic if breathed in large amounts. You want to make sure your paint is almost dry if not completely dry before heating it any higher than 90 degrees. This ensures you are not exposing yourself to dangerous chemical fumes.
TIP: If you can touch the paint and remove your finger from the paint without leaving a mark, or pulling away any of the paint, then it is dry enough to safely heat above 90 degrees.
Is acrylic paint toxic when heated?
Most acrylic paints are not toxic because they are water-based, but you want to watch the ingredients as not all acrylic paints are water-based. While they do release a type of chemical into the air as they dry, it is not harmful as long as you have plenty of ventilation.
To avoid much chemical exposure during drying time you can use water-based type instead of chemical-based. It will release a smaller amount of chemicals.
When it dries, it no longer produces chemical fumes and can be heated without danger. So, in answer to the question, acrylic paint is not toxic when heated as long as it is dry.
More about in my closely-related post: Is Acrylic paint toxic?
What temperature can acrylic paint withstand?
When dry, acrylic paint can withstand temperatures of up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and does not melt below this temperature. It dries into a semi-flexible plastic, and much like any other type of plastic, it has some heat tolerance but will melt under any kind of extreme temperatures.
There are varieties of acrylics that are more heat resistant than the normal types of acrylic paint. For example, acrylic latex paint can withstand temperatures up to 320 degrees Fahrenheit before melting.
Can you bake acrylic paint in the oven?
You can bake fully dried acrylic paint in the oven safely. You will achieve so called Baked finish, which is the effect of baking acrylic paint at temperatures higher than 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
Baking paint onto clay or ceramic decreases the curing time of these objects while also increasing the production rate of painting when dealing with multiple objects, or layered coats of different colored paints.
How to bake acrylic paint in the oven?
Here is an easy, six-step guide:
- Allow the painted item to dry for a total of 24 hours. You want all layers of the paint to have plenty of time to dry before baking. If you can touch it without pulling any up, then it is safe to move to step two.
- Place painted item/items into a cold oven, as glass, clay, and ceramics must heat gradually with the oven to avoid breakage or cracking. If you put any of these items into an already warm oven, the results could be disastrous. Do not place glass in a hot oven!
- Set the oven temperature to 360 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once the oven temperature has reached 360 degrees Fahrenheit, allow the project to bake for a total of 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, turn the oven off and let glass, clay, or ceramic cool down completely before removing it from the oven.
- Do not use baked items for at least 72 hours.
Can you bake polymer clay with acrylic paint on it?
While you can bake acrylic paint onto polymer clay, I would not recommend doing so. Paint is water-based, and if all of the water has not completely evaporated from the clay when you apply the acrylic, then when you put the clay in the oven, you might have nasty bubbles appear on the surface of the clay.
The clay might even refuse to harden completely, and you would end up with very brittle material. So, while it is entirely possible to paint polymer clay with acrylic paint before baking it, I would not recommend doing so.
What other popular surfaces can you bake with acrylics?
You can bake acrylic paint on glass, ceramic, porcelain, or even clay if you want to run that risk.
KEEP IN MIND: If you use acrylic paint on the outside of a cup or plate and then spray it with an acrylic clear coat, it will produce a gloss-like finish which will make dishes that are pretty to look at but not safe to place food upon. You will need to use a ceramic glaze to seal the finished product if you wish to eat off the painted dishes. A ceramic glaze can be painted over your paint and then cured.
Can you put acrylic paint in the microwave?
You cannot bake acrylic paint onto an item in the microwave. A microwave heats an object from the inside out, where an oven bakes it from the outside. I am not sure what would happen if you tried to bake it onto something in the microwave, but I’m pretty sure it would not be very good.
On the other hand, if you find you need to soften your hardened acrylic paint, the microwave could be a very handy and rather easy hack.
To do so, remove the lid, lightly cover the bottle with a paper towel, and toss it in the microwave for 3 to 5 seconds. When you remove it from the microwave, you will find that the hardened paint has softened up enough to easily mix.
Acrylic paint can be heated just not over 90 degrees Fahrenheit until it is dry. Once dry, it can safely be heated to 300 degrees before it will begin to melt. It can be baked onto several different types of products once dry, including ceramics, glass, and porcelain.