Does Acrylic Paint Wash Off? 

Acrylic is arguably the most popular paint due to its versatility, accessibility, and low cost. However, this type of paint tends to get on surfaces you don’t want it to, so it’d be helpful to know if you can wash it off.

Acrylic paint does wash off. All you have to do is pour water onto the target area until it is clean. However, you need more drastic measures to get the paint off when it dries, like using isopropyl alcohol or dish soap. 

In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about washing acrylic paint off. I’ll also dive into how to make acrylic paint designs last. Finally, I’ll explore the kinds of paint that won’t wash off and what makes them so stubborn.

Does Acrylic Paint Wash Off?

Acrylic paint washes off most surfaces easily, as long as it has been freshly applied and the affected surface is placed under a steady stream of water. 

A nifty way to remove wet acrylic paint is rubbing the stained region with a damp cloth until it’s spick and span.

Speaking of best practices when dealing with paint, have you ever wondered if you can use WD-40 on painted surfaces? Check out this article where I talked all about it.

Once acrylic paint dries, however, washing it off becomes significantly more complicated. For example, if the paint is on a cloth that’s been put through the dryer or ironed, you’ll have a harder time removing it. 

In these cases, trying to eliminate the paint will be a headache. That’s because acrylic paint turns plasticky and water-resistant as it dries. 

Does Acrylic Paint Wash Off With Water?

Acrylic paint washes off with water when it is wet. Since it is water-soluble, you can easily remove it as long as it has yet to dry. Otherwise, you will have to take drastic measures to remove it. 

Thin films of acrylic paint take 20 to 30 minutes to dry, while their thicker counterparts dry within an hour or two, according to Winsor & Newton.

What Kind of Paint Doesn’t Wash Off?

Because acrylic paint dries fast, it’s ideal for tie-dyes, shoes, and other surfaces where you want the paint to remain indefinitely. That’s why permanent fabric paints are made from acrylic polymers. But what other types of paint don’t wash off? 

Permanent fabric paint is a kind of paint that does not wash off. A great example of this is Arteza Permanent Fabric Paint. This acrylic-based fabric paint has strong binders. You need to iron the painted fabric to toughen those binders and help the material maintain its color.

What Takes Acrylic Paint Off?

You can take acrylic paint off with dish soap, isopropyl alcohol, acetone, hairspray, ammonia and vinegar, and lacquer thinner. Name-brand cleaners like Murphy’s oil soap and Windex can also remove acrylic paint. 

Note that these methods work best after an appropriate pretreatment. The pretreatment involves blotting away the upper layers of paint with a wet paper towel. 

You must dislodge the initial paint from individual threads if the paint is on the fabric. To do that, use a dry paintbrush or an old toothbrush.

If the paint has dried up and left a plasticky residue, scratch it off with a blunt knife, spoon, or the back of a paintbrush. 

How Long Does Acrylic Paint Last?

Acrylic paint lasts forever once it dries up and sets after being ironed. This property makes it ideal for materials where you want the paint to stay permanently. However, if the paint is wet, it can wash off easily due to its water solubility. 

What Do You Put On Acrylic Paint To Preserve It?

To preserve acrylic paint, put a protective top coat on it. Applying a top coat of varnish, sealant, or other protective finish maintains the paint and protects it from fading, peeling, or chipping. Choose a top coat suitable for acrylic paint and follow the manufacturer’s application instructions.

Here are some other ways you can extend the life of your acrylic-painted work:

  • Store the painted item properly.
  • Display the painted item correctly.
  • Clean the painted item carefully.

Does Acrylic Paint Need a Top Coat?

Acrylic paint needs a top coat to protect the paint and the surface it is applied to. In other cases, a top coat may be unnecessary or even negatively affect the appearance of the finished project.

Some things to consider when deciding whether or not to apply a top coat include:

  • The type of acrylic paint used
  • The surface painted on
  • The project’s intended use
  • The desired finish

How Do You Seal Acrylic Paint?

You seal acrylic paint by applying a clear varnish, using a paint sealant, mixing the paint with a sealing medium, or applying a layer of gesso. The best method for sealing your acrylic paint will depend on the project you are working on and the type of finish you want.

Do You Let Acrylic Paint Dry Between Layers?

You should allow acrylic paint to dry between layers, especially if you have applied multiple layers of paint. Allowing each layer to dry helps prevent the paint from smudging or blending and makes the finished product look more polished and professional. 

You may be able to achieve certain effects by working wet-into-wet or by lightly misting the paint with water to extend the drying time. Ultimately, the best approach will depend on the specific techniques and effects you wish to achieve.

How Toxic Is Acrylic Paint?

Acrylic paint is non-toxic, though it can irritate your skin or eyes. Ingesting it is ill-advised, as it is not intended for consumption and may upset your stomach. Since it is water-based, it can be thinned and cleaned up with water, making it easier to work with and less toxic than other paints. 


Acrylic paint washes off easily when wet, which is handy for creative projects. But when it dries, it leaves a plasticky mess. If you use it on fabrics, it can even ruin the texture. That’s why you need to act fast before the paint dries. 

Still, it doesn’t change the fact that this type of paint helps you create beautiful painted designs on clothes, shoes, or canvases. If you want paint that lasts long (or even forever), look no further than acrylic paint. 

Previous Post

How To Clean White Soles on Shoes

Next Post

Can Body Wash Be Used As Shampoo?