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Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Poster Board?

If you need to make a poster for something, you need to make sure you use a paint that is compatible with the surface. While there is paint specifically designed for use on poster board, you might not always be able to find it, ir have it handy. If this is the case, you might be wondering what other types of paint you can use instead.

So, can you use acrylic paint on poster board? Yes you can! Acrylic paint is a great option to use on poster boards. It dries quickly and adheres to the surface easily. Just be careful when applying the paint, because too much paint in one spot can impact both the drying time and the surface of the poster board. Thin layers are best for acrylic paint.

Painting on poster board with acrylic paint is easy and will allow you to bring a pop of color into all of your projects. You can use a stencil to make the process even easier and give you straight lines. It’s best to use thin layers so you don’t warp the poster and the paint will dry quicker. Let’s read on to learn everything you need to know for using acrylic paint on poster boards.

How Long Does Acrylic Paint Take to Dry on Poster Board?

Acrylic paint is known for drying extremely fast. In most cases, the paint will be dry to the touch between 10 and 20 minutes. This is when you can add another thin layer if necessary. The thinner you make your layers of paint, the faster it will dry. You want to avoid using thick layers of paint or it won’t dry properly.

My favorite and top pick is always Arteza Acrylic Paints. They have so many different colors, and the quality is amazing! I usually use Arteza Paints for all my projects.

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Dry time will vary based on the brand of paint and the conditions of the environment you are working in. You can technically control the speed that your acrylic paint dries at if you control the conditions of your workspace.

If you need your paint to dry faster, there are a few changes you can make. First, decrease the humidity of the room with a dehumidifier. You can then increase the air flow and the temperature in the room. The most important thing is to make sure you keep your layers thin.

If you think your paint is drying too quickly and you want to slow it down, you will want to increase the humidity and lower the temperature of the room. Decrease the airflow by closing windows, turning off fans, and closing air vents. You will still want to paint in thin layers, but you can make them slightly thicker. 

Before you try to move the poster board, you will want to make sure the paint is completely cured and not just dry to the touch. If you don’t wait until the paint is cured, there is a high risk of the paint getting ruined. It will usually take an hour or two for the acrylic paint to completely cure and be safe to move. 

What is the Difference Between Poster Paint and Acrylic Paint?

You might be wondering what the differences are between poster paint and acrylic paint. While they might seem like the same thing, there are actually quite a few differences between them. The main difference is the thickness of the formulas.

Poster paints will typically have a thinner consistency than acrylic paint. This is because acrylic paints, though they are also water-based, usually contain plastic polymer as well. This makes them naturally thicker. Due to poster paints having a thinner consistency, they will dry faster than acrylics.

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Acrylic paint has the ability to be used on multiple different surfaces, while poster paint will only work well with poster board. This makes it easier to remove poster paint from surfaces than acrylic paint.

Poster paints come in a liquid form and are usually packaged in little glass or plastic containers. They have a pretty wide range of colors, so you can typically find what you need. These paints are also designed to be used with trifold or bifold posters without rubbing off onto the other side. Poster paints are non-toxic and safe to use.

Acrylic paints are thicker than poster paints because it is more of a professional paint. You can use water to thin the acrylic paint if you need to because the paint is water based. Since acrylic paints are geared more towards professionals, they will be slightly more expensive than poster paints, but they will last longer.

What Kind of Paint Do You Use on Poster Board?

You can use just about any kind of paint that you would want on a poster board, but you will have the best experience using poster paint. Since this paint is designed for use with poster board, it will have the best adhesion. It will also have the best durability because it won’t rub off on bifold and trifold posters. 

Tempera paint is another great option for painting on poster board. Tempera paint is water-based, non-toxic, and cleans up with just soap and water. One main downside to tempera paint is that it isn’t permanent, so it isn’t ideal for long-term projects. You will usually see this paint used in classroom art projects because it is safe and works well on poster board.

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If it has crossed your mind to use watercolor paints on poster board, it probably won’t turn out well. Watercolor paints are designed to be used on absorbent surfaces, like watercolor paper. Poster board has a slick surface, making it close to impossible to use watercolor paints on it.

As stated earlier, acrylic paint also works well on poster board. You will need to make sure you apply it in thin layers and give it plenty of time to dry before you add another layer. If the paint is too heavy or too wet, it can damage the poster board and ruin your whole project.

Some people say that you can use oil paint on poster board, but it isn’t really recommended. Oil paints take a very long time to dry, so it isn’t ideal if you need to move the poster board for a presentation.

If you need to paint a poster board one solid color as a background, spray paint is going to be the best way to do this. It is light weight, easy to apply, and dries quickly. Make sure you use any spray paint outdoors because the fumes it lets off can be dangerous.

You can also use unique paints such as glitter paints, glow in the dark paints, and metallic paints. This is great for school projects because it is fun and brings more attention to the presentation.

I also recommend using Acrylic Paint Makers on your poster board. They work just like acrylic paint, but it’s less messy and gives you the same result.

Final Thoughts

If you are creating a presentation on poster board, such as for a school project, you need to use a paint that is compatible to the surface. The best paint for the job is going to be poster paint, but acrylic will make a very close alternative. It dries quickly and is also water-based, so it isn’t toxic.

Some other options you can use on a poster board include spray paint, tempera paint, and specialty paints like glitters and metallics. You should choose a paint that will dry quickly and adhere to the slick surface of poster board. This means watercolor paints are a no-go and should be avoided.

Make sure to follow all my tips and recommended products to ensure your poster board project turns out great! Also, don’t forget to check out my other articles for all your painting Q&A’s. Happy painting! 

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