Behind the jargon the differences between oil and acrylic.

Behind the jargon the differences between oil and acrylic.


In this week's blog, we take a look at the differences between Oil and Acrylic from drying time to its longevity.

Drying time

One of the most significant differences between oil and acrylic paints is their drying time. Oil paints are known for their slow drying time, which makes them ideal for blending and shading. Acrylic paints, on the other hand, dry very quickly, often within minutes of application. This makes them an ideal choice for artists who prefer to work quickly or who need to create several layers of paint in a short amount of time.

Colour intensity

Another significant difference between oil and acrylic paints is the intensity of their colours. Oil paints tend to have a deeper, more vibrant colour than acrylic paints, and they can be mixed and layered more easily to create a variety of shades and hues. Acrylic paints, on the other hand, tend to have a more matte finish, which can make them less vibrant than oil paints.


Oil paints require solvents like turpentine or mineral spirits for clean-up, which can be messy and potentially hazardous if not used correctly. Acrylic paints can be cleaned up easily with soap and water, making them a more convenient choice for many artists.


Both oil and acrylic paints are versatile mediums that can be used for a wide range of painting styles and techniques. However, they each have unique properties that make them better suited for certain techniques. For example, oil paints are often used for glazing and layering, while acrylic paints are ideal for creating bold, textured paintings.


Oil paints have been used for centuries, and many famous paintings from the Renaissance era are still around today. However, acrylic paints are a relatively new medium, having only been introduced in the mid-20th century. While their longevity is not yet fully known, they are known to resist fading and cracking over time.

In conclusion, oil and acrylic paints have several key differences, including drying time, colour intensity, clean-up, versatility, and longevity. Understanding these differences is essential for any artist looking to create high-quality paintings, as each medium offers unique advantages and disadvantages. By experimenting with both oil and acrylic paints, artists can discover which medium best suits their style and techniques.

23rd March 2023

Back to news