Site Overlay

Key Differences Between Acrylic vs. Oil Paints – Which Is A Better Choice

Painting is greatly relaxing and can help reduce your stress levels. Also, through conceptual visualization and implementation, painting can even boost your memory recollection skills and sharpen your mind. And, of course, when you have completed painting, and look at the end result, it is immensely satisfying.

Now, these are some of the reasons why people love painting, and if you too are planning to give it a try, one question likely running in your mind must be which one should you go for – acrylic paint or oil paint. Well, it is quite a matter of personal choice. However, if you are aware of the differences between the two then making a decision will become easier. So, without a wait, let us get to learn about the key differences between acrylic vs. oil paints.

  1. Drying Duration

The key difference between acrylics and oils is the drying duration. Considering the temperature and humidity at the place where you live, oil paints can remain wet for days and even for weeks. Acrylic paint, on the other hand, can dry within fifteen minutes or maximum within an hour.

Now, if you are a beginner and your paint dries super fast, you may find that frustrating. In that case, oil paint may be a better option. However, painting retarders are available that may slow down the acrylic drying time for at least a few hours. So, you may give that a try as well.

  1. Mixing Colors

Keeping in mind the drying time, mixing oils will be easier than mixing acrylics. This is only because while you are still thinking and mixing, the acrylics can start drying.

But, when it comes to oil colors, you can keep mixing them without haste. This gives you the chance to create subtle color variations, something that can be a little difficult to achieve with acrylics.

  1. Cleaning Up Brushes

After you have completed painting you will have to quickly clean the paintbrushes if you have used acrylics. Else, within half an hour or so, your bristles will be covered with dried paint. Since oil paint takes time to dry, this will not be a concern.

But, acrylic paint can easily be cleaned using plain water. However, to clean oil paints you need mineral spirits or turpentine. Both of these contain fumes and can be bad for your skin. Also, the cleaning process, in the case of oil paint, takes a lot of time.

  1. Overall Look

Since oil paint has more pigments compared to acrylics, oil paint colors look richer, glossy, and vibrant. Oil paintings will even last you for a long time if you have used the right method and the best supplies, yet, they will still become yellow or start fading with time.

On the other hand, acrylic paintings appear flatter and matter compared to oils. Colors start darkening during the drying phase. But, after the drying process is complete, and the color has changed, they will remain that way if you keep them away from humidity and direct sunlight.And both can use in original oil paintings

  1. Cost

Compared to acrylics, oil painting supplies can cost you more. So, if you are a hobbyist or a student then acrylic paints will be more affordable. Also, you can squeeze a little acrylic paint out of the tube and directly use it, just the way you use oils. And, you can also dilute acrylics with water and then use them. So, you can use them just like oil paints, and even quite like watercolors.

Which Is Better – Oil or Acrylics?

Well, if you want to paint slowly and cautiously then oil paint can be a good choice. Yes, you will have to keep the windows open, wear some paint clothes, but then you will not need to rush at least.

If, however, the toxicity of the paint bothers you and you can complete your painting fast then acrylics can be the right option. Retarders, however, are available to delay the drying time of acrylics.

To Conclude –

So, the selection between oils and acrylics is more of a matter of personal choice. Both work differently but both offer great results. Yes, one is more expensive than the other so that can be a deciding factor if you are just giving painting a try. But, if you are serious about painting then think about your speed and the kind of results you want before making a decision. If you are ready to spend, you may even try out both and see which one works better.