As you begin to learn how to paint, you have many options available to you. A good place to start is the type of paint you’ll be using Oils, acrylics, and watercolors are three of the most popular types. In general, it’s easy to distinguish the difference between watercolor paint, acrylic paint, and oils, but it’s more difficult to distinguish what makes the other two types of paint different. Their packaging is often similar to that of paint tubes, but there are many differences between them. Our guide is for those who are uncertain of which paint they find most appealing. We break down acrylic vs oil paint, as well as ways to enhance your skills, so that you can choose the right paint for your needs.

What is the Difference Between Oil and Acrylic Paint?

Despite their similar appearance when squeezed out of a paint tube, they are dramatically different when it comes to how they are made.

A classic oil is a work of art that has a long history. Some of history’s most iconic paintings were created with them like the Mona Lisa and Van Gogh’s Starry Night. They were first developed in the 12th century. Pigments are suspended in oil (typically linseed oil) in order to make this chemical composition. Cleaning and maintaining them can be a bit complicated, but they are timeless Water is incompatible with them, so the only way to thin or clean them is with white spirit or turpentine.

In contrast to this, acrylic is a much younger material. The pigment is suspended in acrylic polymer emulsion and the first commercially available types were produced in the 1950s. It is only necessary to use water to thin acrylics instead of chemicals when you thin oils. It is for this reason that they are a great choice

How Do Characteristics of Acrylic vs Oil Paint Compare?

See what we have to offer!


The biggest difference between the two types of paint is the drying time. Oil paints take a long time to dry. During that time, the pigment will fully set. You can then step away from the work in progress and come back to it at a later time. Once you have completed the task, you can pick it up at the point Getting perfect transitions in realistic-style paintings is possible due to their malleability. You can push the paint in different directions and blend it to achieve an effortless appearance. The opposite is true for acrylics, which dry Depending on the situation, it can take only a few minutes for them to be set up. You can use acrylics if you’re working in a graphic style or if you want to complete your painting in one sitting.


When exposed to light, lightfastness describes how quickly a color fades. It is determined by how long a color remains stable. It is the light conditions that affect oil paintings and acrylic paintings differently. Seeing an old painting will make the oil paint fade. If you’ve ever seen a dated painting, they might seem Because of this, the pigment becomes visually dull with time, allowing the oil binder to show Despite their excellent lightfastness, acrylics are very durable. It looks the same right now as it will a long time from now.


It’s one of the most noticeable differences between painting with oils and acrylics — and acrylic paint is clearly the winner here. The ability to experiment with acrylic paint makes it popular. The mediums are substances that can be mixed into acrylic paint to make them take on additional properties you can add mediums that will make the paint really thick (for palette knife paintings), or those that will slow down the drying time and make acrylic The flexibility of oil paints is not the same as that of acrylic paints. If you enjoy working in mixed media, or if you have ever thought about experimenting with pigment viscosity, then acrylic would be the best choice for you.

How Do You Know What Paint Is Best For You?

After learning what to expect from the two paints, you will be able to select the one that’s perfect You may want to ask yourself the following questions. Can you tell me about the kind of painting you are Is something that’s experimental and more design oriented on your agenda? Acrylics are a good choice if you can afford it. When you’re after traditional painting styles that go with realism, oil paint is the best option. Also, how much time you have to devote to your project should be considered. Painting with oil paint is a luscious colour, but it can also be smelly–especially with the cleaners you use to keep your brushes clean. In order to protect yourself, ensure that you are working in a well-ventilated area when working with them.

Paints That Artists Love

What are you waiting for? Start painting now! Choose one of these highly rated sets if you have never painted before, whether you start with oils or acrylics.


Set of 24 paintings colored in oil, $8.97 Set of 24 tubes with 12mL of each hue in a professional set. The paint container is ideal for beginning or experienced artists who want to take their paints on the go. Set of Winton Oil Colors by Winsor & Newton for A 10-color set from one of the most respected paint brands, this set includes all the essentials you’ll need in a 21mL tube.


The Winsor & Newton Artist’s Acrylic goes for $34.99 It boasts pigments that have a buttery consistency while still maintaining the quick-drying qualities of acrylics, making it a great set for beginners and professionals alike. $34.27 for Liquitex Basics Acrylic Are you eager to experiment with This set was designed to enable experimentation with non-painting approaches as well as traditional painting techniques.

By Peter