Just like in any hobby or profession, everyone thinks that the item or product they use is the absolute best for the job. However, it may not be the best for the job you are doing. Painting wall art can call for many different types of paints, even in just one single painting.
The best paints to use for wall art are usually acrylic paints due to their versatility and thickness. They won’t bleed into other parts of the projects, and they are known for having more vibrant colors. The only other thing you need to know is what brand to use and how much you need.
If you commonly use acrylic paint for canvas or hobby painting, you can use that same paint for your wall art. Most of the time, acrylic paint transfers to other surfaces about the same, but there may be a few instances where it looks different.
Different Types Of Paint For Wall Art
When looking for what type of paint to use for your wall art, in reality, you will only be looking for two different types. Latex and acrylic paints will be the only paints that are intentionally made for murals and art pieces.
Ultimately, you need to know what paint will do well for which part of your project and how to allow them to work together to create what you are planning.
It’s not the easiest process, but after a bit of research, you will be more than capable of planning and executing the whole process.
Latex paint is routinely used for indoor painting jobs and covering entire walls or larger areas. Latex paint is much easier to clean up than acrylic paint because it is water-based, so it is routinely used for home projects.
Latex paint doesn’t adjust to temperature and humidity changes very well, so it isn’t recommended for outdoor use. Latex paint is often used for body art, masks, and costumes, just as it is used for home use due to its flexibility.
Latex paint usually won’t crack or break when your house is settling, or if you use it on costumes and the joints move and twist. Latex is a good choice for projects that may be subject to movement and flexing over a long period of time.
Acrylic paint is used mainly for art pieces and intricate details. Acrylic paint is chemical-based, making it harder to clean up, but it frequently has more vibrant colors and better texture.
Acrylic paint does well with adjusting to humidity and temperature changes; therefore, it is used for outdoor painting and will chip and crack far less. They are also more resistant to sunlight and UV exposure so that fading won’t be an issue.
Acrylic paint does well to adhere to a primed or rougher surface and won’t dry well on a glossy wall, so you need a clean area to paint. However, acrylic paint adapts well, so as long as your space isn’t glossy, you should be fine using acrylics.
(Source: Hills Brothers, Natural Born Painters)
If you weren’t aware, you could combine latex and acrylic paint to achieve a unique texture that works better for your art project. Simply add as much, or as little, as you need until you achieve the texture or color you are looking for.
Since you have two different paints mixed with very different uses for each of them, the best use for the combination paint is to be used inside, or a wall or a canvas. Using this for a specific art project is most likely the way the paint will last the longest.
(Source: Hills Brothers, Natural Born Painters)
While researching, you may stumble upon tempera paint for significantly cheaper than most other kinds of paints. Tempera paint is not recommended for wall art or any kind of painting that you want to last for a while.
Tempera paint is made specifically for children because it is non-toxic, washable, and incredibly thin to allow for easier painting. These characteristics don’t add up to a good paint to do wall art or murals with.
|Type Of Paint||Pros||Cons|
|Latex||Great for large coverage areasEasy Cleanup|
|It doesn’t do well with temperature changes|
Not for outdoor use
|Acrylic||Great for small details and large areas|
Adjusts to humidity and temp changes well
|Not easy to clean up due to chemical base|
Resistant to UV exposure
|Combination||You can pick your texture and color more independently|
Great use for indoor art
|Not for outdoor use|
No specs on resistance or element response
|Tempera||Great for painting with kids|
|It doesn’t last very long|
Can bleed into other painted areas
Highly Rated Paint Types For Wall Art
Overall, while there may be paints rated super high, what makes a paint the best one to use, is the paint you prefer for your specific needs. However, most of the time, your favorite paint will be rated well rather than one that is rated lower.
You also may need both types of paint for one single art job, so it is always good to know you have the best options for the job. Certain paints are great for small details, while others may work best for covering larger areas.
Chroma Acrylic Paint
Chroma acrylic paint is a great choice for your wall art due to its versatile characteristics. It is non-toxic, making it perfect for young kids wanting to do projects because there is no fear of damaging internal issues if it is ingested.
Chroma paint is also waterproof, so it stands up well through rain and other precipitation, making it a good candidate for outdoor wall art.
It comes in various sizes and color selection, making it a relatively good choice no matter the paint’s project or intent.
Overall, out of thousands of reviews, Chroma paints have an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars. It seems like everyone who uses them loves them and has minimal complaints.
(Source: Wow Pencils, Art Is Fun)
Crafts For All Acrylic
If you are painting smaller areas or smaller projects, it may be better to get acrylic paints that aren’t quite as large in volume so they won’t dry out before you get done using them.
Crafts for all is a 24 pack of paint that has 24 different colors in 12ml bottles. This is a perfect amount for small details and canvas painting.
Due to the wide variety of colors, you can mix to get any color you desire, and it also comes with several different paintbrushes for different purposes.
Overall, it has 4.5 out of 5, with the most common complaint being that the bottles weren’t big enough.
(Source: Just Paint, Nova Color Paint)
Valspar Interior Self-Priming Latex Paint
You may need to colorize larger areas for a larger scale wall art piece before adding in small details. It is easiest to do this with latex paint, preferably self-priming, to reduce the number of steps you have to go through.
Latex paint provides a good base for acrylic paints and the result’s good finish and texture. Latex paints can be customized to any colors you need and have various sizes for any project.
Overall, Valspar latex paint has a 4.9/5 star rating and works well for interior art projects or just painting rooms in general.
Magicfly Acrylic Paint Set
Magicfly acrylic paint sets are recommended highly for hobbies and artists. The colors are vibrant, and the texture is the perfect thickness, allowing for thinning out if necessary.
The bottle comes in 9.47fl oz and is resealable to maintain the freshness of the paint.
Overall, magically paint is rated 4.7/5 stars for any indoor art project, including those kids may be doing. Magicfly is non-toxic and cleans up with minimal trouble.
(Source: Just Paint, Nova Color Paint)
Caliart Acrylic Paints
If you are looking for a good collection of different, vibrant colors without purchasing a large amount of paint at once, then caliart collection is probably good for you.
This comes in a 24 pack or different colors in 2oz bottles. If you have a large project to do, this may not be enough paint for you; however, they have larger and smaller options for other projects as well.
Caliart acrylic paints are rated at 4.8/5 stars, with various reviews explaining the different hobbies that these paints can and have been used for. They are very versatile and long-lasting.
Keebor Acrylic Paints
For a more cost-effective option with acrylic paint, keebor acrylic paints are a great option. You get 18 different colors, all extremely vibrant. The paint is thick and great for a variety of hobbies and projects.
These paints are highly rated with 4.7/5 stars with raving reviews. This is an 18 count acrylic paint set with 4oz bottles perfect for beginners’ smaller projects.
This set also comes with a great box for storing your paints without needing anything else to store them in.
|Type/Brand Of Paint||Star Rating||Best Uses|
|Chroma Acrylics Paint||4.8/5 Stars||Outdoor wall art|
Indoor wall murals
|Crafts For All Acrylic||4.5/5 Stars||Indoor art pieces|
Works well with most mediums
Large color selection
|Valspar Self-Priming Latex||4.9/5 Stars||Great for covering large areas|
Removes the need for priming step
It can be customized to any color needed
|Magicfly Acrylic Paint||4.7/5 Stars||A large volume of paint|
Easily resealable bottles
|Caliart Acrylic Paints||4.8/5 Stars||Good variety of colors|
Good bottle sizesVibrant colors
Good for a wide range of hobbies
|Keebor Acrylic Paints||4.7/5 Stars||Cost-effective18 different colors|
Good sizes for beginnersVibrant Colors
(Source: Just Paint, Wow Pencils)
The Right Paint Brand For You
Overall, choosing the right paint brand for you and your project boils down to a few things, such as:
- Amount you need
- Colors you need
- Type of project you want to complete
- Whether you want to prime or seal the paint
You want to purchase larger varieties for larger projects, and for smaller projects, you have a smaller volume that you can purchase. The great thing is, most paints have screw-on lids that allow them to be resealed, so the paints stay fresh.
Your preference for which paints you want to use matters far more than an average rating, so while it is important to pay attention to ratings, so you don’t get terribly quality items if you believe in a certain brand that has a lower rating, then nothing saying you can believe its the best.
How To Seal Acrylic Paints On A Wall
Finishing your wall art doesn’t just end with waiting for the paint to dry; if you don’t seal it correctly, you will have chips and scratches all over your mural.
Even if you put a seal on it, if you don’t use the right product or don’t use it correctly, it will not help protect your art.
Once you figure out what seal you need for whatever kind of paint you have, you can take a wide brush and lightly paint the sealant over the art in one direction.
Once it dries, paint on a second layer in the opposite direction and allow it to dry.
Your art should now be protected from being scratched or scuffed if the wall gets hit.
(Source: Liquitex, Just Paint)
What You Need To Know When Painting Wall Art
Painting wall art is a great way to express yourself or make a space represent a culture or individual. However, you don’t want your art to chip and flake after you’re done with it, nor do you want to make corrections and fixes regularly.
Knowing the process of properly preparing your wall and your tools can help your process go smoother while also making your art last longer.
What Material Is Your Wall Made Of?
Understanding that different paints react and are set differently on different materials is crucial before you paint. Some paints are better be used on concrete, and if you were to use paint for drywall, you might end up flaking and cracking once it dries.
It is important to research the paint you are buying before using it to ensure it goes well with the material you are painting on.
If you don’t have time to research or aren’t sure about your walls, you can always pick a paint that works well for any material.
(Source: The Spruce, Art Is Fun)
Strip The Paint
Depending on what paint has been previously put on your wall, you may need to strip the paint off to allow for a better surface to start with.
If the current layer of paint is water-based paint, you can usually paint over it with no issues; however, if you aren’t sure what it is, you need to strip it.
You can get the paint off of a wall by sanding it down, which only requires a few tools such as:
- Sanding mask
- Sanding block or power sander
- Vacuum capable of getting up small particles
- Water and clean coth
You want to sand down your wall to an even layer where everything looks relatively even and fresh. Starting with an even and rougher texture of a wall allows for better paint application and allows the paint to hold to the wall better.
Once you wipe the wall down, you can begin to apply the primer so your wall will have a smooth texture, free of other residues from previous paint jobs.
Clean Your Wall
No matter where you are painting, even if the wall looks clean, you need to wipe it down. Using household soap and water will work just fine; however, you can also use multipurpose cleaners.
Try to avoid anything that may have an oily residue because it can cause the paint to run or separate.
Not cleaning your wall may cause your paint to have bumps or chips where dirt and dust got under it. While this may be easy to fix, cleaning the wall first allows you to not go through an extra step.
If you have a high gloss paint on the wall currently, you can usually use abrasive cleaners to clean and sand down the paint enough for you to paint over it with no issues. High-gloss paint won’t allow any other paints to adhere to it due to the finish.
If you are dealing with mold or mildew, you will need to use bleach and water to eliminate the issue, then go back in with soap and water to ensure all the bleach is gone.
Trying to paint on a wall that still has bleach residue can cause premature fading and peel later.
(Source: Art Is Fun, Family Handyman)
Do You Need A Primer?
Primer is painted on the wall before any paints, and it helps with a few things such as:
- It helps conceal imperfections or stains, so they don’t show through the paint.
- Creates a uniform base for the paint to be applied to
- Allows colors to be brighter
- It creates a barrier that helps to require fewer coats of paint.
While primer helps fix many issues that can arise from painting, you can find paint that works for your specific situation with primer built into it if you don’t want an extra step.
You will most likely end up with the same result while having to complete one less step.
(Source: Family Handyman, The Spruce)
When to Use Latex vs. Acrylic Paint
When planning to paint a mural or any art on a wall, you need to know what parts will be acrylic and what exactly will be latex paint.
While you may choose to do all of it with acrylic-based paint, frequently, using latex paints for certain parts can help reduce your time spent on covering the wall.
Latex paint may help cover larger areas when you paint things such as:
- The sky
- Bodies of water
As long as you choose a paint with no gloss finish, you can paint acrylic-based paint on top of your latex base and allow yourself less time to cover a larger area.
You can grab different colors of latex paint in different sizes that specifically work for your project.
Latex paint is thinner and easier to paint with most of the time, so it would be extremely helpful to include both in your project.
Ventilation Is Required
It’s possible that you may not notice the smell of the paint you are using, latex or acrylic-based. However, no matter how strong or weak the fumes are, you have to ensure proper ventilation is happening in your area.
If you are in a small room, opening the doors and windows is great, but it is also recommended that you have a fan in there to push the air around and help the fumes get out.
It is also highly recommended that you wear a mask specially designed for paint fumes particles.
The dangers that come along with inhaling too many paint fumes are not worth the risk or lack of preparation. No matter how large or small the project is, ventilation is necessary and the only way to ensure you will be safe with no long-term effects.
(Source: Family Handyman, The Spruce)
When choosing the right paints for your art project, the largest decision you need to make is latex versus acrylic. Once you make that choice, it’s all about colors and the amount of paint.
No matter your hobby, there are huge varieties of brands and colors for you to choose from that will make your art-pop.