Acrylic vs Oil Paint: What Are The Differences?

Acrylic vs Oil Paint What Are The Differences

Acrylic paint vs. oil paint is one of the most common subjects of discussion in painting. If you ask which of these two paints is better, the response is often based on experience and preference. 

Many people prefer to go for acrylics as a choice of paint due to their safety, quick-drying abilities, and other mouthwatering features. On the other hand, oil paint comes with tons of advantages such as durability, delicate texture, and lots more. Regardless of your choice of paint between these two, you will find out the difference between oil and acrylic paint, including each of their best features. 

Oil Paint

What are The Differences Between Acrylic and Oil Paints?

Acrylic vs. oil paint has been a subject of discussion, especially for newbies in the painting job. As a newbie to painting, it is better to choose acrylic over other mediums. Ease of use, less mess, and its quick-drying ability are a few features to consider. You may shift your attention to oil paint as you gain more experience. Additionally, you can combine both mediums for a shiny and refined texture to help you provide a solution to the question people often ask: can you mix acrylic and oil paint?

There are a few things that make acrylic different from oil paint. Let’s take a look at some of them. 

Color mixture and blending

These two features are primarily found in oil paints. They blend and mix quickly with other colors. They also offer flexibility and have a slow-dry feature. This makes it easier to work with. Thanks to their oil base and binding agents involved in its production. When it comes to acrylic vs. oil paint in color mixture and blending, acrylic doesn’t blend or mix quickly. 

Time to dry

The oil paint is nowhere near should you need a quick-drying paint for an emergency task. They do not dry quickly since they are oil-based. They are a good fit for more extensive work or a more detailed painting task. Acrylic, on the other hand, dries faster. Can you mix acrylic and oil paint without bothering you since both have their paint mediums? Their mixture will result in slowing or quickening the drying time. 

Tools for cleaning 

Remembering how tedious it is to clean your paint tolls can be disheartening, even while it helps to prolong their lifespan. However, chemicals in oil paint can impede the lifespan of brush bristles by damaging them. For easier cleaning, a mixture of either of these mediums is the best choice. Natural oil mediums are effective for conditioning oil brushes. 

Light-fastness and durability

There’s no difference in both paints when it comes to these characteristics. They have the same color pigment. This feature helps in determining the effect of light and sunlight on painting jobs. 

Acrylic vs Oil paint: Which is Better?

Acrylic Paint Pros & Cons

Just as oil paints are produced, the same thing applies to acrylic, except the oil base that is not inclusive. However, since acrylic contains no oil, are they water-based? Acrylic paints are water-based, making them provide users with more safety of use. These specific paints offer a wide range of benefits. 

Thankfully, achieving the same bright color is easier when you apply them, even without using a different technique, making it one among many advantages. They, however, dry quickly. As a result, acrylic isn’t a choice for most portrait painters. Portrait painting with many layers and shadows will not waste time to dry, and in this case, oil paint will care for the needs. 


  • Easy to work with when wet
  • Fast-drying time and water-resistant
  • Less toxic and safer to use
  • Perfect on a wide range of surfaces
  • Durable
  • Vibrant and water-soluble
  • Relatively affordable 


  • Loses color hue when dry
  • Hard to remove from surface when dried
  • Quick-drying
Why You Should Use Acrylic Paint?

Oil Paint Pros & Cons

A few factors different this paint from the former, and that is, the texture and color. They are very thick and oily since their ingredients include binding agents, oil bases, and pigment of color. There may be differences in the base, depending on your choice of brand, and most times, they are safflower, being natural oil. Thankfully, these natural ingredients help oil paints be smooth, including the maintenance of the creamy consistency. This is one of the differences between oil and acrylic paint you will notice, and, however, oil paint remains a fit for applying on various projects, surfaces, and more. 

The presence of oil ingredients in oil paints helps to ensure their wetness is retained for a longer time. Painters or artists who pick interests in concentrating on details of painting always prefer this medium. Its application over acrylic also remains a great choice to achieve a better layer and texture. 


  • Durable
  • Fine texture
  • Flexible 
  • Color depth
  • Retains wetness for a long time
  • Thick and oily


  • Lacks clarity
  • Slow drying time
  • Darkens with age

The truth is that each paint type has its areas of strengths and weaknesses. The application also differs. For instance, acrylic paint is ideal for artists who seek fast-drying paint. Apart from drying within hours, acrylics are more resistant to water than oil paint. 

However, oil paints are well oily and thick because they’re oil-based. They’re made with color pigments and binding agents and based on natural oil, such as safflower and linseed.

Overall, if you seek more flexibility, oil paint is the better of the two. Acrylic works on a wide range of surfaces, including ceramics, paper, glass, and wood. Oil paint has limited surface application.  

Final Thoughts

Given the above, there are differences between oil and acrylic paint. Opting for these paints depends on the painter’s choice and the type of painting. Find out what each of these paints suits your needs best before choosing them. 

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