What Is The Difference Between Enamel vs Acrylic Paint

In Depth Research About How To Choose Enamel & Acrylic Paint? The Differences? Pros & Cons !

Are you ready for your home renovation or you’ve got a task that requires painting, and you are confused on choosing between Enamel, or acrylic paint, this post on Enamel vs acrylic paint will give clarity on this topic which will help you make the right choice on the paint you need for your project.

Let’s dive in!

##What is Enamel Paint?

If you have an outdoor painting task, the best paint to use is the Enamel paint. It is best used for surfaces that are outdoors because of its ability to retain its glossy and elegant finish appearance even when exposed to variations of temperature.

It is different from other paints in such that it doesn’t wear quickly, and it forms a hard shell, which makes it offer the maximum protection needed for any object or material. Just a quick one for you to remember – enamel is an oil-based paint, and you can also find the one of water based, and it dries faster than the oil-based type.

Types of Enamel Paint

There are different types of Enamel paint, and you can only get to know by their categories

  • Fast dry Enamel: it is the type of paint that gets dry within 10 to 15 minutes of its application, and it is perfect for counters, industrial finishes, and refrigerators.
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  • Can be used on interior or exterior surfaces
  • Excellent for use on wood, concrete, plaster,...
  • Provides a tough, durable surface
  • Floor Enamel: if you are to work on stairs, concrete, porches, patios, and basements, the best you should use id the floor enamel paint.
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  • Water and chemical resistant; long lasting results
  • No hot tire pick-up
  • No peel promise
  • High-temp Enamel: it is best used for brakes, exhaust, engines, and BBQs tools as it has what it takes to withstand high temperature.
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  • Nail Enamel: just in case you do not know the type of paint being used on nails, it is known as nail enamel. It comes in many varieties and dries very fast, retains its color and glossy finish.
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  • Epoxy Enamel: this type of paint is being used for protective coating, and industrial painting purposes in petrochemical industries, chemical production companies, and it is perfect for anti-corrosion purposes.
  • Wood Enamel: you will also find a specific coating for wood, which helps to give wooden structures glossy and elegant finish and also prevent wear due to its resistance properties.
Arteza Outdoor Acrylic Paint, Set of 20 Colors/Tubes (59 ml,...
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Arteza Outdoor Acrylic Paint, Set of 20 Colors/Tubes (59 ml,...
  • Exciting Selection of Vivid Colors: Whether youre...
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  • Glass Enamel etc.

Read more – The Best Sprayer For Staining – This post is great value for you.

Where to use Enamel Paints?

If you’ve got some enamel paint and you are considering or confused on where to use them, here are places you can use your enamel paints.

  • Kitchen

The main reason you should consider using Enamel paint in your kitchen is that it is glossy and doesn’t retain dirt. It makes it a perfect fit for some specific areas in your kitchen that are frequently exposed to stains and dirt. The glossy look also keeps the kitchen glowing and clean.

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  • Bathrooms

Enamel paints can also be used in the bathroom. Although the most used material in the toilet is the tiles, the paint can be used to match up to other spaces that are not covered with tiles. Also, it can be used on furniture found in the toilet since it can resist water.

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  • Doors and window

People also make use of Enamel paint on doors and windows. Apart from the fact it has a glossy appearance and makes it looks nice, it also makes it easier for you to maintain by cleaning off dirt and stain without hassle.

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  • Appliances

It should no longer be a surprise why some tools come with enamel paint coating. It has proven to be one of the ways to prevent corrosion, rust, and enhances the life-span of the appliance. So, if you have Enamel paint and you also have tools that you want to keep for a more extended period, you can coat them with the paint.

  • Metal items

If you have any metal you want to coat with paint and you still confused about which to use, you should opt for Enamel paint. Any metal material has the propensity to rust over time, and one of the ways to preserve and prevent rust or corrosion is to use an anti-rust material. One which is very useful is the Enamel paint.

Strippable Coatings Marbleshield 4580-Peelable Protective...


  • It is resistant to mildew and can easily be cleaned whenever it gets stained
  • It can be applied on any material without a primer
  • It can easily be removed from any object via spirits
  • It gives dry smooth and glossy finish without any sign of brush strokes


  • Most are toxic, and it gives a foamy look
  • Takes time to wash off from brushes
  • Oil separates after extended shelf life
  • Now that you’ve got to know about Enamel paint, it is time to share some facts as well on acrylic paint.


##What is Acrylic Paint?

One of the water-based paint you will come across is the acrylic paint. It is different totally from Enamel in such that it is entirely water-based, non-toxic, opaque, and dries quickly. It is the kind of paint that can be used by beginner painters because it gives room for correction if any mistake takes place.

Unlike Enamel that gives a glossy finish, the acrylic has matte finish once it dries off. Oh! So as not to get you confused, the paint is also known by its popular name latex paint. It can be utilized for both indoor and outdoor use, but it has its own setback, which is moisture.

Types of Acrylic Paint

Here is a quick one on the types of acrylic you will find out there.

  • Fluid Acrylic: The first thing you will notice with thick acrylic is that it is different from standard paint. It has an intense and saturated color. A better example of that is the watercolor.
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  • Perfect for art department and sign painters
  • Bang for the buck with this 1/2 gallon size
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  • Heavy bodied Acrylics: The heavy-bodied acrylic paint is different from the fluid as it is mostly used when a thick application of color is needed. It has amazing features such as getting dry very fast, very good on brushwork, its application is simple, and it gives a good look.
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  • Open or slow drying Acrylic: If you are considering the mixture of colors without any worry on how fast you want it to get dry, you should opt for an open or slow drying acrylic.
Sargent Art Metallic Acrylic Paint Set, 6-Pack
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Sargent Art Metallic Acrylic Paint Set, 6-Pack
  • Economical for school and artists
  • Non-Toxic and Conforms to ASTM D 4236
  • Made in the USA

Where to use Acrylic Paints?

  • Indoor walls

For tasks that involve the painting of an indoor wall, the best paint you can use is the acrylic. But the major challenge is that it gets peeled off due to moisture. And it gets easily stained when been touched too often.

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  • Kitchen walls

For those who are good at maintenance and can often keep their kitchen clean, you can also opt for the use of acrylic paint. All that matters are to reduce the wall exposure to dirt and stain.

Walttools Stampsheen H2O | Medium Gloss, Water-Based Acrylic...
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  • It dries very quickly
  • It can easily be diluted with water and cleaned up easily
  • It is non-toxic like oil-based paints
  • Easy to wash off from the brush
  • Wide range of colors available


  • Hard to remove from any material
  • Wear out easily
  • Requires primer


Let’s Talk Acrylic vs Enamel Paint Chemistry

Don’t you think you should know how paints acts? Well, to know that you need to be aware of the properties of the paints and there are four of them you should know.

Pigment: it is responsible for the color and opacity of the paint

Binder: it plays a major role in binding the pigment particles and also offer good adhesion

Solvent: It disperses the pigment, binder, and adhesive. An example is an oil and water

Additive: it modifies the properties of the paint, such as drier and flows control agents.


Core Difference Between Enamel VS Acrylic Paint

  • Let us check out some of the differences between Enamel and acrylic paint.
  • Acrylic paint retains its color over time while Enamel turns yellow overtimes
  • Acrylic dries very fast while it takes Enamel longer period to dry off
  • Enamel keeps its glossy look while acrylic has matte finish
  • Acrylic has a wide variety of colors while Enamel has limited color options
  • Enamel is the best for outdoor while acrylic is best used for indoor


General Tips on Using Paint

There are some tricks and tips needed to help you have a successful painting performance and they are:

  • Get all necessary equipment available
  • Protect everything you don’t want painted
  • Do thorough visual preparation and inspection
  • Have a pattern in mind or on paper
  • Take things slowly and stay more focused
  • Get quality brushes, painter’s tape, roller covers and many more tools
  • Wash all necessary tools after painting

Some FAQs about Acrylic and Enamel Paint

  • How to tell if the paint is oil or water based?

You just have to get a soft cloth and apply little alcohol. Use the cloth on a small portion of the painted wall. If the paint peels, then it is water-based, and if it doesn’t, it is oil-based.

  • Is Enamel better than acrylic?

It all depends on their application — i.e. what you are painting and its location. For indoor use, acrylic is the best while Enamel is perfect for outdoor painting.

  • Is Enamel the same as acrylic?

No. they are different in properties, look, and application

  • Can Enamel paint be used over acrylic?

Yes. All that is required is to ensure the surface where you apply the acrylic paint is very dry before applying the Enamel paint

  • What kind of paint works best on metal?

Without a doubt, Enamel works better on metal because it prevents corrosion and rust.

  • Does Enamel paint need a primer?

Enamel paint should go on just fine without a primer, but using a primer as well never causes any harm. It only allows the painted finish to last longer.

  • Can I mix acrylic and enamel paint?

The answer is yes, and that is because you can also get water-based Enamel paint. But it seems quite difficult to mix oil-based paint with water-based paint.

  • Can you paint Enamel over Enamel paint?

Yes, you can always do that. You just have to prime the surface or ensure it is dry before applying the paint.


Conclusion of Acrylic and Enamel Paint

This post on Enamel vs acrylic paint entails comprehensive details on enamel paints and acrylic paint. It will help those still confused about the two paints and when or where they are best used.