Acrylic vs Enamel – Which one is Better

Picking an appropriate color for your household is important at times. Not all colors provide great service regarding interior or exterior coloring, as there are numerous variants of different colors available in the market.

So, what is the right choice to make?

Acrylic vs Enamel is a widely chosen debate all around the globe these days. Both of the colors have their own pros and cons to look over. But why do consumers use Acrylic or Enamel paints on a large scale? What are the goods of these?

paint color types

In this article, we are about to unravel all your mind-boggling questions relating to these two colors. Overwhelmed already? Well, I’ll walk you through the best color. Keep following me.

Acrylic Paint

The term Acrylic paint refers to a dyestuff in a suspension made from acrylic polymers. It is cheap, user-friendly, and a fast dryer in nature.

When we talk about acrylic paints, people get confused. They are different from oil colors as water is the prime medium here.

Being water-based, it is hard to differentiate between acrylic paints and water paints. Acrylic paints are considered the best color for beginners. Many people love to use these for their great properties and characteristics.

Enamel Paint

A paint that is generally hard to dry and solvent-based is commonly known as Enamel paint. For most parts, this paint adds a glistening look to the material.

Enamel paints are generally applied in outdoor furniture or in those objects, which draws attraction to the people. This paint is washable, so you can wash and recolor objects once they are faded.

Because it increases the glossiness of a material, it is popular among the customers who value the outlook and appearance of their furniture.

Key Characteristics

Just knowing by definition doesn’t give a clear idea of the whole picture of these paints. Some other key factors differentiate these two and add their own value to the customers.

Let’s explore the factors.

Base Material

When it comes to painting, considering base material is necessary. Color retention is dependent on the base material.

Generally, two base materials are working very commonly. One is oil-based, and the other one is water-based. Each one has its own advantage.

Acrylic: Water-based

Enamel: Oil-based

Drying Time

Sometimes it is hard to recolor and wait for 2-3 hours, right? You can’t just waste your precious time over some unnecessary product-drying stuff. That’s where drying time comes in place.

Some specific product needs a particular variety of color, having its own drying time. Picking up the wrong color for the wrong product will do nothing but kill time. Although one of these paint dries faster than the other, the one that takes longer to dry is the most durable one.

So, depending on your requirements, you need to pick one to paint surfaces and stuff.

Acrylic: 2-3 hours

Enamel: 6-24 hours


We mostly apply paint on things to make them look great. There are other reasons, but this is the prime one.

Using a paint failing to enhance the beauty of a product is totally ridiculous. But acrylic and enamel paints have passed on this key point. The overall outlook is different for both the paints.

Again, depending on what you are painting, get one that suits the surface the most.

Acrylic: Matte finish look

Enamel: Glossy look

Water Resistivity

A very important feature to take into mind. There are few colors that result miserably when any kind of liquid is thrown upon them.

Using a product for a decade and planning to repaint with a water non-resistant color, you better throw that color out of your window. Because it is useless and a lethal threat to your product.

Acrylic: Water-resistant

Enamel: Waterproof


It’s probably the trickiest part of a paint. Boring, but easy cleaning methods add more value to the color itself.

Acrylic: Soap and water

Enamel: Mineral spirits


Many of the paints stink to high heaven for several months. You have to be a bit picky in terms of using paints. A paint of high quality but an unpleasant odor is likely to use. Rather mid-quality paint having no odor is a smart idea to use.

Acrylic: It does not pass any strong smell

Enamel: Have a specific and strong odor

Environmental Issue

Paint manufactures are recently using some chemical substances in order to produce great colors. These chemical substances help the color to become less prone to cracking and peeling.

Some of the companies manufacture weather coat colors that behave accordingly to the weather. It keeps houses warm in winter and cold in summer. But to extend the features, they have forgotten about nature.

Enamel paints come with VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) materials, which hamper nature in a massive deal. It is increasing Carbon Di Oxide extensively in the environment, causing more health hazards to animals and trees.

On the contrary, acrylic paints are safe in that regard.

Where to Use?

Not all the paints look great on every piece of furniture and surface. There’s a specific category of furniture or objects where acrylic or enamel paints will look better.

As acrylic paints add a matte finish texture to the furniture, it will be better to use this paint on indoor materials.

Enamel paint is normally used outdoors. They are super durable and long-lasting. Therefore, outdoor material that is recolored once in five years should use enamel paint.

An Overview

It is important from a buyer’s perspective to have a final overview of the product. For that reason, we’ll discuss some of the pros and cons of acrylic and enamel paint to have a more precise look.

Acrylic Paint Pros

  • Trouble-free to thin the color
  • Quick dryer
  • Simple cleaning
  • Matte finish
  • Smell free
  • No toxic material
  • Multiple color options

Acrylic Paint Cons

  • Difficult to remove
  • Tends to peel after years

Enamel Paint Pros

  • Durable
  • Requires less coating
  • No sweat for applying
  • Lustrous look
  • Effortless to remove
  • A good covering of walls

Enamel Paint Cons

  • Long drying time
  • Carbon-based chemicals are being used

Final Words

We are now at the finishing line. Hope you got clear scrutiny about choosing the right color from acrylic vs enamel. It’s not a battle we are covering but a decent epitome of these two. Once you reach a firm decision, don’t haste to purchase.

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