How To Seal Acrylic Paints for Outdoor Use

How To Seal Acrylic Paints for Outdoor Use

Acrylic paints are one of the most popular and easiest to use types of paint. These paints come in a variety of colors, so you can use them for anything from home decor to large-scale murals. Many people love using acrylics because they’re easy to work with: they don’t need to be diluted before use, they don’t need to be used in a high-humidity environment, and they do not require an airbrush. 

However, because these paints are water-based and therefore won’t stand up well against harsh outdoor elements, it’s important to seal them properly. Follow these simple steps to learn how!


If you want to paint outdoors with acrylics, there are a few steps you need to take in order to seal the paints. Acrylics are known for being easy to work with and also for being water-based. This means that they won’t stand up well against harsh outdoor elements. In order to make them last, it’s important that you seal them properly after using them.

Sealing acrylic paints will help protect the colors from fading in sunlight and will also help keep the paints from peeling or cracking when used on an outdoor surface. Follow these simple steps below to learn how to do it!

What is Acrylic Paint?

Acrylic paint is a type of paint that can be used for a variety of purposes. Acrylics are water-based paints, which means they are easy to use and don’t require any special environments. They come in a variety of colors, so you can use them for anything from home decor to large-scale murals. 

About 89% of marketers say methods such as SEO have been successful when using digital marketing strategies, and many brands use these types of paints in their advertising campaigns because they’re easy to work with and available in a wide variety of colors.

How do Acrylic Paints Work?

Acrylic paints are water-based, so they won’t stand up well against harsh outdoor elements. For example, if you’re painting a mural outdoors, the paint will peel and crack. It’s important to seal these types of paint with a clear sealer before use to protect them from the weather. Acrylic paints work by adhering to an acrylic medium rather than the paint surface. 

This means that it’s easy to add depth and dimension to your work, as these paints can be mixed or blended together. One thing to note is that acrylic paints dry pretty fast and are typically used on surfaces like fabric, paper, canvas, or other nonporous surfaces.

Why seal acrylic paints for outdoor use?

The primary reason to seal your acrylic paints for outdoor use is because when exposed to the elements, they will eventually start to fade. If you’re painting a mural or an outdoor design, this will make it difficult to tell what the original design was before it faded. This can also be problematic if you’ve used a variety of colors and want to keep them separated.

For example, say you wanted paint in a can that has three different shades of blue. Without properly sealing the paints, the lightest blue will start to turn into green and the darkest blue will turn into black.  The result may not be what you expected when you first started painting.

 For example, people who create murals outdoors as part of their business might find themselves needing to reseal their paint every few months in order for it not to fade or grow moldy.

Using acrylic paints requires some extra steps compared with other types of paint; however, these steps are necessary in order for your work of art not only look its best but last forever!

Step by step instructions on how to seal acrylic paints for outdoor use.

  • Mix a small amount of matte medium with the acrylic paint.
  • Add a little water to the mixture and stir.
  • Apply this paint to your painting surface and let it dry overnight.
  • Coat the painting surface with varnish–either traditional varnish or water-based varnish–to seal the paints from exposure to water and UV rays.
  • Use a gloss or satin finish for extra protection against dirt, rust, and other outdoor elements.
  • Let this dry for 24 hours before putting your artwork outside.

Selecting the Right Sealant

The first step to sealing acrylics for outdoor use is choosing the right sealant. There are two types you can use: an acrylic resin sealer and a gloss varnish. If you choose to use a varnish, it’s best to do so before you paint your project; if you prefer to use a resin sealer, you can apply it after your project has dried. Most people opt for the varnish because they don’t have time to wait for their projects to dry.

Applying the Sealant

Before sealing your acrylic paints with varnish, you’ll need to give them a final coat of paint. Depending on the type of paint, you may want to lightly sand it first.

It’s important that the surface is completely dry before applying the sealant. If there are any damp spots left after painting, use a hair dryer or heat gun to dry them out.

After giving the paint a last coat and letting it fully dry, apply a thin layer of varnish over the top. This will seal both the paint and any brush marks that could come through when painting outdoors. Allow this coat to dry before painting on top of it with more acrylics or adding other types of paint like oil-based paints. You can also use polyurethane instead of varnish if you decide to seal your acrylics outside!

Letting the Sealant Dry

It’s recommended to the sealant dry for about 24 hours before applying it. You should apply two thin coats of sealant to the acrylic paint. This will help ensure that the paint is sealed and that any scratches or scuffs will be covered up.


Acrylic paints are a great option for creating high-quality outdoor art. But acrylic paints are not always formulated for outdoor use. The sealant you choose and the way you apply it is essential to the longevity of your artwork.

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to seal acrylic paints for outdoor use.

  • Select a sealant that is designed for outdoor use, such as one that contains urethane or polyurethane.
  • Apply the sealant with a foam brush and allow it to dry for at least 48 hours before applying another layer or painting over it.
  • If the sealant is still not opaque, apply a second coat and allow it to dry for 48 hours.