Is Acrylic Paint Water Soluble? Learn Everything Significant!

Yes, Acrylic paint is water soluble but temporarily. This is because it contains acrylic resin and a polymer mix. They blend with the water when the paint is still wet.

Acrylic paint comes in all pretty shades. They surely leave artists with never-ending crafting and decorating painting ideas. But their texture is pretty thick and opaque.

So, if you want to thin the paint for better outcomes, you need the answer to “is acrylic paint water soluble?”. Our blog will walk you through all the vital information.

Are Water-Based and Water-Soluble The Same Thing?

No, water-soluble means that the paint can be diluted and cleaned with water. On the other hand, water-based paint means that its main ingredient is water. And, a paint can be water-based but it doesn’t have to be water-soluble. The paint can be both water-based and water-soluble but it’s not always the case.

Are all acrylic paints water soluble?

Almost all acrylic paints are water soluble. But the degree of water solubility depends on which type of acrylic paint and medium is used. Wait, I’ll make it more clear for you.

If you use oil-based medium (e.g linseed oil), the paint will be less water soluble compared to the water-based mediums like acrylic emulsion or latex. 

Reasons Why You Would Dissolve Acrylic Paint in Water

There are loads of reasons why artists consider adding water to acrylic paint. So, we’re about to discuss the key benefits you’ll get. 

Smoother Finish & Greater Coverage

Thinning the paint with 30% of water makes spreading it across the surface easier. Consequently, it gives good coverage.  

But make sure you don’t mix excessive water with the paint. It will make the paint look wane.

Ease of Use

The thickness of acrylic makes it harder for the artist to work comfortably. Especially for beginners, it’s next to impossible. 

But water balances the consistency and makes it easier to apply and blend.

Makes the Process Quicker 

Along with helping you do the job quickly and effortlessly, water helps the paint dry faster. Although acrylic paints are known to dry faster anyway, water can give this an edge when you’re in a hurry.

Saves Your Pocket

Even though acrylic paints are cheaper than other paints, they may be costly for larger projects. Adding water saves some extra from your budget. 

This way, you use less paint, and your artwork stays cost-friendly. If the project is for business purposes, the investment-profit maths will impress you.


Thinning the paint with water makes the whole painting process way easier. But most importantly, it saves your expenses and helps you work like a professional. 

Drawbacks of Not Dissolving Acrylic Paint In Water

It’s not just the benefits that we suggest adding water to acrylic paint. Using raw acrylic might make you go through some inconveniences as well. Let’s have a look at those. 

Added Medium Expenses

With a medium, the paint will spread across the surface properly. And aside from water, you’re left with acrylic gel, acrylic flow improver gloss or airbrush medium. 

These can be hard to collect, or they might not fit your budget. This is when water can save your neck.

Brightening Would Be Problematic 

You might like brightening or reactivating the color on the painted surfaces occasionally. But if the paint wasn’t diluted with water, it would remain entirely water resistant. 

So, reactivating it will be harder. But water-soluble paint helps you do so whenever you want, even after years. This is because the polymer breaks down and blends with the new layer.

Blending Issues

Water-diluted acrylic easily blends with every surface. But raw paint doesn’t stick to some surfaces like silicone or nylon. Adding water to it will help.

Check the linked source if your acrylic paint does not stick to canvas, you’ll find out what to do!


The consequences of not thinning the water with acrylic don’t look good. The color might look too bright, and it’s harder to work with raw paint. 

How Do I Dissolve Acrylic Paint In Water?

You have to be very accurate while dissolving acrylic in water. The paint can’t be too thin or too thick. 

Well, the method is simple, just mix the paint with water in any container you like. But the amount of water must be perfect. 

Most experts say mixing more than 50% of water with the paint would be inappropriate. Excessive moisture will force the polymer particles to collapse and decrease the paint quality. 

30% water should be enough to dilute the whole container. However, depending on the consistency you and your project prefer, you can increase the amount. 

Using Other Mediums over Water to Dilute Acrylic

Water isn’t the only option you’re left with. Other additives like gloss or airbrush medium can also offer a decent density and depth. 

Even in some cases, they act better than water. Check out the advantages of using emulsifiers over water:

  1. The evaporation of water makes us waste a lot of paint. Moreover, water makes the color look flat after drying. But gloss or airbrush medium don’t let this happen.
  2. Water might break down the binders in paint which cause peeling or cracking. Medius on the other hand, contains added binders to increase the ability of the paint to stick to the surface. 
  3. Gloss makes the art look more sophisticated, bright, and detailed.
  4. The painted surface will look even smoother, more textured, and more vibrant with emulsifiers.
  5. Mediums like airbrush or acrylic gel make the paint dry very quickly.
  6. They make the paint even more durable and don’t let fade over time. 


The amount of water you use to thin acrylic paint is very important. You can use other mediums too. They are more useful in some situations. 

Acrylic And Water-Based Acrylic Paints- What Are the Differences?

Almost all the acrylic paints are water based. But the type called Acrylic Enamel (very popular among artists) isn’t. However, the primary differences between them would be:

DifferencesWater-based acrylic Acrylic Enamel 
UsageSuitable for large projects which involve cleaning or several coatingsBest for small, stable artworks since it’s harder to clean
Price Affordable Expensive 
Drying time20-30 minutesDries even faster, approximately takes 10-15 minutes 
Safety Aren’t entirely safe for kids due to the chemicalsChildren-safe, contains no harmful chemicals 
FinishVibrant and bright Matte 
Coverage Perfect if diluted with 30% waterHard to blend but coverage is reliable 

Is Acrylic Paint Waterproof?

No, acrylic paint isn’t entirely waterproof. The dried layer will act like thin plastic. 

But heavy rainfalls can wear out the paint. Well, a few tips can help you fight against the issue. Follow these to make your paint water-proof:

  1. Apply a sealer on the acrylic paint’s layer. But make sure you choose the right sealer. Be sure you know the right way of using sealers like tung oil over acrylic paint
  2. Prime the surface before painting 
  3. Varnish the surface once it has dried 

Is Acrylic Paint Water-Based or Oil Based?

Acrylic paint is water-based, although it dries quickly and becomes waterproof after drying. But the fun fact is water-based acrylic can be converted into oil-based paint using a medium. 

Instead of diluting the paint with water, you can use acrylic gels or gloss to have an oil-based finish. The new paint will come up with all unique traits while making the artwork look glossier, brighter, and bolder. 

This is why most artists are so obsessed with acrylic. They serve multiple purposes. 

Drawbacks of Diluting Acrylic with Water

Diluting with water is great until you mess it up with excessive water. Using more than 30% of water will lead you to these undesired circumstances:

  1. Excessive water can make the paint transparent.
  2. The paint might look less vibrant.
  3. It will give you a hard time to sit (if you use over 50% water).
  4. Adding excessive water makes the paint take more time (approximately 40-50 minutes) to dry. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is acrylic paint water soluble after drying?

No, acrylic paints are waterproof when they dry. So, whether you apply new layers or not, they will maintain their clearance and texture. 

What happens when you put water in acrylic paint?

The paint will become thinner when you add the water. And undoubtedly, it will become smoother. But the consistency and painting results will depend on the paint quality, amount of water, and surface.

Can acrylic paint wash off? 

No, mostly, they don’t come off with water. Acrylic paints are made with synthetic resin, which is as good as a layer of plastic once dried. Heavy rain can wear out the paint on walls or metallic surfaces. But it is permanent on clothes. 

Wrapping Up!

Acrylic paints are the primary base of the painting. When beginners start with this, their first question would be, “is acrylic paint water soluble?”. 

After the detailed blog, it’s safe to say that acrylic paint is obviously water soluble. But you have to be very careful about the quantity. Otherwise, the whole art project will be ruined. 

A wise step would be to follow the manual from the manufacturers. For example, it might mention the right amount of water. 

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