Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Walls? (The Expert’s Guide)

Whether you want to paint professionally or just for fun on the weekends. Yes, you can use it for wall painting and decoration. This article will guide you on how to nicely paint your walls with acrylic paints. You may want to create a mural in a nursery, make amusing wall art, or simply change the vibe in your home by modifying the wall colors.

Things to Think About Before You Start

There are a few things you need to consider before you start painting your walls with acrylic paint.

You may get a decent idea of what supplies you’ll need and what measures you should take to get a top-notch paint finish by giving answers to these questions.

  • What kind of wall are you planning to paint? Is it inside or outside?
  • Do you want that the paint to be removed at certain times in the future? Do you want it to last for many years to come? Are the walls already painted?

Wall type

What kind of wall is it—plaster, stone, concrete, or wood? The outcome will be determined by the type of material used to construct the wall.


It’s critical to choose an acrylic paint for external walls that are formulated to endure extreme temperatures and moisture exposure.

Design: Permanent or Temporary

It’s a good idea to use a primer before painting if you want the paint to be as weatherproof as possible. Additionally, you should paint the surface with acrylic at least twice before sealing it with varnish or sealant.

Current Paint

You may continue to paint over the existing paint if it is water-based and in decent condition. However, it’s usually a good idea to peel off the old paint before applying fresh coating if it’s oil-based or peeling and chipping.

High Traffic Area

You may want to take the necessary steps to ensure that your paint job is durable if you plan on painting the interior walls in a mudroom, a child’s bedroom, or a playroom.

Advantages & disadvantages of using acrylic paint on walls.


Since acrylic paint is water-based and low-toxic, so it is a good choice for those who want to avoid exposure to potentially harmful ingredients. It can be used on walls especially good for murals due to its vibrant colors, low toxicity, fast dry time, and smooth application.

Acrylic paint can be weatherproofed for outdoor usage when applied following the manufacturer’s instructions along with a good primer and/or sealant.


Even though acrylic paints have a more vibrant color payoff and a gloss that lasts longer than any other kind of paint. But there are a few things to keep in mind before applying them to the walls.

First off, oil-based paint flows more smoothly than acrylic paint does. Acrylic paint’s lack of flow makes it perfect for adding texture to more detailed projects. But it is not recommended for hiding the irritating effect of paint on walls. Acrylic paint additives are the savior to cover unwanted stains.

Acrylic paint is not as long-lasting as its oil-based competitors. It tends to damage quickly as a result of stiffness throughout the stage of curing.

How do you paint your walls with acrylic?

Although applying acrylic paint to a wall is not difficult, the prep work required can make the task challenging. Depending on the size and state of the surface, different amounts of prep work are necessary.

Here are the tools you need:

  • Rags
  • Cleaning Agent (Like Rubbing Alcohol or TSD)
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint Stripper
  • Putty Knife
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Water-Based Primer (For the Type of Wall Material)
  • Paint Roller
  • Drop cloth
  • A Sealant or Clear Topcoat
  • Painter’s Tape

Here is the step-by-step guide for your wall painting:

1. Workspace prep

Prep your workspace to handle the mess of a paint job by placing a drop sheet or drop cloth on the floor and tape to hold it. This way you can save the floor from the dust of the walls. Otherwise, you must spend hours cleaning the mess up.

2. Cleaning the wall

The wall needs to be cleaned, no matter how it looks. Even though it doesn’t appear dirty, it usually is because they conceal oil and dust very well. So wipe off with an old rag.

Rub alcohol or warm soapy water with a gentle brush can be used for removing tough stains. Leave the surface to dry after cleaning.

3. Remove the current finish

You can skip this part if the surface is not painted or has a water-based finish.

First, remove existing oil-based paint or sealant. This is because an oil-based finish will not allow the paint to stick to the wall.

  1. To do this, first, scrape off as much paint as you can with a metallic scraper.
  2. Spread a layer of paint remover with a chemical base over the surface.
  3. Let the paint remover rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Clean up the stripping compound with a scraper and the finish will come off.
  5. When removing an oil-based finish, you can also use mineral spirits like paint thinner, or chemical-based paint strippers. Use rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, warm water, and soap to remove a water-based finish.
  6. Sand the area and apply one layer of stain-blocking primer if you don’t want to remove the previous finish. The finish should be removed since it will be excessively thick.

4. Sand the wall

Use sandpaper or a sander to sand the walls once the previous finish has been removed. Use coarse-grit sandpaper 80–100 grit for rough walls and fine-grit sandpaper 180-grit+ for smooth walls.

Sanding smoothes out the grain and minimizes defects, particularly on hardwood surfaces.

5. Use two layers of primer

A primer coating will smooth out surface flaws and create a textured base for the 2nd layer of coatings to bind with the first one. The surface’s potential tiny cracks and holes are also sealed by it.

On the wall, apply two layers of stain-repelling primer. Before putting on the second coat, let the first one dry.

6. Apply acrylic paint

Wait until the primer dries up completely. By using a sprayer/roller paint 2-3 coats of acrylic paint and wait until one dries before applying the next layer. It won’t take more than 2 hours to dry.

If you just want to paint a specific part of the wall which is called mural painting, you can do that also. There are several methods of mural painting. You can apply the convenient one. The Grid Method, Free-Hand Method, Projector Transfer Method, and stenciling are all methods for creating murals.

Grid Method involves outlining each box from the artwork to its corresponding box on the wall.

The Free-Hand method is painting free-hand, the projector transfer method involves tracing lines and shapes, and stenciling requires no specialized training or talent. Stencil1 Stencils offer different beautiful patterns for various projects.

7. Seal the finish

Seal acrylic paint on walls after it dries with a sealant or varnish created by the same brand. Give the area time to dry before exposure to rain or extreme elements.

The most important step in your painting job is sealing mural paintings, particularly if they are going to be outdoors. You can do it with two types of sealants: polyurethane and gloss varnish.

Polyurethane should be applied 1-2 coats and let dry overnight, while gloss varnish should be applied 1-2 coats and let dry for 24 hours. Whereas applying Soluvar varnish or gloss varnish in a crosshatch pattern and let it dry for 24 hours.

Freshly-painted walls should wait at least 2 weeks before applying any type of top coat.

How to remove acrylic paint stains from the wall

The most important part of this guide is the methods for removing acrylic paint stains from the wall. These methods include soap and water, baking soda paste, heated vinegar, rubbing alcohol, acetone, sanding, and scraping.

Soap and water should be used to remove any splashes or spills. To get rid of tough stains you can either use vinegar or baking soda paste.

Rubbing alcohol is a great option to dissolve acrylic paint. To remove the smallest stains acetone is used. Sandpaper can be used to remove dried acrylic paint. Scraping can be used if the stains are thick and have dried, but be careful not to scrape too hard.

Tips for applying acrylic paint to walls

  1. Cover the floor with a drop cloth before painting. Thus, you can protect the floor/ furniture of the room. Painter’s tape is a good option to cover the part of the wall which you don’t want to paint.
  2. Take off wall decor you don’t want to paint, such as outlet covers.
  3. Before using, properly mix the paint.
  4. To get a smooth wall and diminishing brush marks after painting, you must use a roller.
  5. When painting a large project, start by hand painting the trim.  You can outline with a paintbrush before using a roller to paint the interior of the design.
  6. You can also apply paint with a brush to any uncovered surfaces that the roller might have missed, such as the joints between walls.


Painting walls with acrylic paint is simple and enjoyable, whether you’re painting a full wall or merely making art or a mural on a portion of a wall.

The advice given in this article can be used to get the greatest outcomes possible.  You are done with enough information on wall painting. Let’s make your wall a painting canvas and flourish your talent!

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