How to Make Acrylic Paint Waterproof

As the summer begins to come in, many people are looking for ways to enjoy outdoor activities. One of these outdoor activities is painting in watercolor- however, the paints often dry up quickly and become unusable. This article will teach you how to make acrylic paint waterproof so that it can last longer outdoors! 

Acrylics are water-soluble, so if your painting gets wet over time, the paint will run and create unattractive streaks on paper or canvas. The best method is using gesso, which can be applied or sprayed on evenly with an airbrush. It’s also possible to use clear varnish spray for this purpose, but it may cause warping in some instances. Read on to know more information about this topic!

This article will teach you how to make acrylic paint waterproof so that it can last longer outdoors! 

Five Reasons Why You Should Make Your Acrylic Paint Waterproof:

  1. A waterproof acrylic paint finish will protect your art from moisture, bending or buckling the canvas, and staining liquids.
  2. Waterproof acrylic paints are ideal for outdoor furniture, decks, porches, etc., where exposure to water is likely.
  3. If you plan on selling your artwork, it is essential that your paint finish is 100% non-toxic. Even if you are not selling your artwork, protecting yourself from toxic chemicals should always be prioritized.
  4. Water-resistant Paints will prevent colors from bleeding when wet on wet techniques or multiple layers of paint.
  5. Rendering an acrylic painting waterproof makes it ideal for a graphic design project that requires the image to be printed on various materials, such as apparel.

10 Ways on How to Make Acrylic Paint Waterproof:

The product can be diluted with water and used as a base for water-sensitive acrylic colors.

1. Acrylic Gesso

You can make acrylic paint waterproof by applying a non-water-soluble primer such as an Acrylic Gesso. Waterproof the canvas either with an Oil or Acrylic Painting Ground. If you use one, then your painting will be more durable and oil-based. The product can be diluted with water and used as a base for water-sensitive acrylic colors.

2.Acrylic Glazing Liquid

This is an acrylic resin body that you can use to make your acrylic paint water-resistant. The transparent or translucent paint film will be waterproof, flexible, and strong when you apply it. It’s recommended for making acrylic paintings on paper, ceramic, glass, wood, and leather.

It can also be used to create a varnish for your finished work of art. Acrylic Glazing Liquid is colorless when applied, but you can add a drop of an appropriate color or complete paint film to make it visible after the resin has dried.

3. Golden Open Medium

This product is a high-quality, water-soluble gloss resin. It’s mainly used as an additive to increase the flexibility of acrylic paints and mediums. But you can also use it to protect your finished painting or artwork by creating a waterproof finish with only one coat.

This will give your work increased resistance to abrasion and chemicals. You can use it with Golden Heavy Body and Fluid Acrylic Paints. It’s also perfect when you want to thin down an acrylic color without removing its adhesive properties.

4. Liquitex Gloss Medium & Varnish

You can make your acrylic paint water-resistant by using this product as a medium or varnish. It can be used on its own or to enhance other acrylic products. Liquitex Gloss Medium & Varnish is created with the highest quality vinyl-acetate copolymer emulsion.

5. Liquitex Matte Medium

Waterproof your acrylic paint by applying this product as a medium or varnish. It can also be used on its own as a brilliant, matte finish. Liquitex Matte Medium is flexible and resilient with an extended open-working time.

Create glossy finishes for use in galleries and museums. Or, give your work a smooth, matte surface that is resistant to fingerprints and dust. This product is a non-yellowing, flexible film with high resistance to aging and discoloration. It’s perfect for artwork or paintings on paper, canvas, masonite board, wood panels, linens, and fabrics.

6. Miskit

This is a product that you can use to make your acrylic paint water-resistant. To make acrylic waterproof, apply Miskit and allow it to dry thoroughly. Once it’s dried, you’ll have a completely matte surface with an excellent leveling ability.

It also reduces the shine of gloss colors without affecting opacity or coverage. Miskit is used to create a unique surface with special gloss effects. It can also be used before applying varnish.

7. PVA (Polyvinyl Acetate)

PVA is a water-soluble adhesive polymer. It can be used as an alternative to polyvinyl alcohol for making acrylic paint waterproof. Mix PVA with acrylic colors and apply it directly to the surface of your artwork or painted material.

The product will dry clear, flexible, and transparent. You can use it on fabrics, paper, wood, glass, ceramics, metals, porcelain tiles, and more. PVA is easy to apply with an airbrush or a fine spray gun. It’s also non-toxic and odorless when dry.

8. Spray Mount Artist’s Adhesive

Create a matte finish for your acrylic paint by applying Spray Mount Artist's Adhesive.

Create a matte finish for your acrylic paint by applying Spray Mount Artist’s Adhesive. This product is used for your finished artwork or painted surface. Once dry, it will protect your work from scratches and other damage while allowing the movement of layered material. In addition, it has a quick drying time, so you can apply other coatings or topcoats right after spraying.

9. Golden Mediums

Make your acrylic paint waterproof by adding one of the following products to your color: Gloss Medium, Matte Medium, or Heavy Body Acrylic Glazing Liquid. You can also apply a product as a top coat once the first layer of paint has dried completely.

These include Anti-Yellowing Varnish, High-Performance Clear GAC 500, and Acrylic Glazing Liquid. These mediums will not only protect your work from the elements, but they will also allow for flexibility depending on which product you use.

10. High-Performance Clear GAC 500

Create a protective barrier over your acrylic paint with this product. It’s ideally used as a gloss or satin topcoat for finished paintings. It can also be applied to an already dry image to give it a glossy finish. High-Performance Clear GAC 500 is flexible and will not yellow or crack over time. It’s perfect for use on various surfaces, including paper, canvas, wood panels, masonry, ceramic tiles, fabric, and even metal.

Some Tips and Suggestions:

Here are some tips and suggestions we have given on how to make acrylic paint waterproof.

  1. Make the paint waterproof, and you won’t have to worry about it vanishing when using watercolors or even just water. Instead, you can use a matte finish varnish after the paint has dried, seal with Mod Podge for a glossier look, or spray-paint with an acrylic sealer.
  2. Mod Podge is not recommended as a sealer for correct permanency and durability because acrylic paint is water-based.
  3. You can use Liquitex Acrylic Varnish if you are looking for long-term protection of your work. This product comes in gloss or matte finish options. However, it does tend to yellow over time if the atmosphere contains high levels of sulfur.
  4. Gloss medium, watercolor gloss gels, or acrylic glaze will all give your paintings a high-gloss finish.
  5. Acrylic paint is resistant to smudging and water, but it can be removed simply by soap and warm water.
  6. If you want the colors in your painting to stay bright, choose acrylic artists’ paint. On the other hand, if you want your painting to have more muted colors, watercolor is the best choice.

6 Common Mistakes You Should Avoid When Waterproofing Acrylic Paint:

If you want the colors in your painting to stay bright, choose acrylic artists' paint. On the other hand,

The painting’s not so hard, but sometimes it can be frustrating when your painting won’t look the way you want it to. Waterproofing acrylic paint is super easy, but there are still a few mistakes that people tend to make while it is about how to make acrylic paint waterproof. Here are six common mistakes that you should avoid when waterproofing acrylic paint:

1. Forgetting to use a sealant:

Waterproofing acrylic paint is all about creating an impenetrable barrier on top of the paint.  To do so, you must use some sealant over it after it has thoroughly dried.

2. Using too much water in your mixture:

If you’re going to use water when mixing your acrylic paint, be sure to add very little so that the consistency is almost like pancake batter. Excess water will cause the color of the paint will become lighter and less vibrant.

3. Mixing in too much paint or sealant at once:

Creating a thicker mixture will increase your chances of having a more even consistency, but there is a risk that the combination might dry too quickly. Make sure to mix in each additional ingredient slowly and with caution.

4. Not coating both sides evenly:

This might be difficult when using watercolors, but you want to coat both sides if possible to halve the drying time. If you’re struggling with this, try using a paintbrush and dipping it in the sealant once it’s mixed before painting over your picture.

5. Failing to give it enough time to dry:

Once you’ve applied your waterproofing mixture and given it time to dry, be sure that the painted area is arid before exposing it to water.

6. Cleaning your brushes with soap and hot water:

Give your paintbrushes a break by cleaning them with cold water for easier waterproofing of acrylic paint in the future.


Acrylic paint is one of the most versatile art forms, but it can also be a pain to work with. If you want your acrylic painting to last outside or in an area that might get wet, try our tips on how to make acrylic paint waterproof! You can also use this method to protect one layer of paint from another while it dries, but don’t plan on using any other layers in between.

Adding these two ingredients will help seal and lock in the pigment so they won’t run when exposed to moisture like rain or even standing near a pool all day at work!

Even though we recommend these tips only as a temporary solution because acrylics do need proper ventilation time to dry properly, they should give you some peace of mind. We hope these ideas help you create more durable artwork no matter where you choose to display it.

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