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Will Acrylic Paint Ruin Car Paint?

Are you considering adding acrylic paint to your vehicle to ‘spice’ up the look up temporarily? Or maybe you want to write a message on your car window. In this article we go over everything you need know to safely apply acrylic paint on your car. 

So, will acrylic paint ruin car paint? No, it will not. As long as you use acrylic paints that are safe and don’t contain harsh chemicals, it can be used on your car. 

This is because acrylic paint is a water-based paint. There are no oils in normal acrylic paint which will damage the rest of the paintwork. Although being water-based, it does mean that it isn’t really ideal for use outdoors in the first place, but we will talk more about that in a short while. 

Your main problem won’t be so much the acrylic paint damaging the paint surface anyway. The main issue stems from the fact that at some point the acrylic paint will have to come off. The techniques that you use to remove the acrylic paint will determine whether you damage the rest of the paintwork.

My top recommend acrylic paint for cars and windows is this Arteza Set. These paints are non-toxic, and they come in tons of colors! 

For special offers and discounts, you can also go to the Arteza website and shop their amazing products.

Does Acrylic Paint Wash Off Cars?

When we discuss acrylic paint, we are talking about standard, non-toxic kind of paint, that you can temporarily decorate your vehicle with, such as this MagicFly Set. This is because most vehicles are painted with an acrylic polyurethane enamel paint, which is difficult to wash off. 

If the acrylic paint is still wet, then you can easily wash it off your car. This is due to acrylics being a water-soluble paint. All it takes is a bit of water and some soap, and you will be good to go! There will be no damage to the rest of the paintwork at all. 

However, once the acrylic paint starts to dry, it becomes tougher and tougher to remove with just water. This is because dried acrylic paint can become water-resistant, and unless there is a protective layer over the paint, that acrylic paint is probably going to be coming off eventually.

The problem is that removing dried acrylic paint may cause damage to your vehicle’s bodywork, so, you will need to be careful.

If the paint has dried, I recommend using some rubbing alcohol, diluted with water. Applying a small amount to the acrylic paint and leaving it there for a few hours should allow the rubbing alcohol to soak into the acrylic paint. This may allow you to just scrape the acrylic paint off gently, and I do mean gently.

Once you have removed the paint from their vehicle, you can even add a bit of car wax to the area to help protect the rest of the bodywork. This is because the rubbing alcohol will have also broken down the wax that was in the area, leaving the rest of the car’s bodywork unprotected.

Abstract Painting

If you are attempting to remove the entirety of the paint on your vehicle i.e. you are stripping back to the bare metal, then we recommend that you get a professional to do it instead. You run the risk of damaging the bodywork if you do not know what you are doing. Trust me, this is going to be a far, far more difficult problem to deal with than removing paint.

How Much Acrylic Paint Do I Need to Paint a Car?

Quite a bit. Assuming that you are painting the entirety of your car in acrylic paint, then you will need to have several gallons of acrylic paint handy. 

Your base coat will be a minimum of 1.5 gallons of acrylic paint. You will need a further three-gallons on top of that to cover the vehicle with the main coat of paint. Then you will need three more gallons of clearcoat to finish up the job. 

This Sargent Art Paint comes in gallon sizes, and with a few colors in the set. This is recommended if you are going to be painting a significant area of your car. 

Remember, most vehicles will be painted in an acrylic polyurethane enamel paint. This is basically an acrylic paint with a few additives to make it more resistant to the weather and from washing away. 

This means that these measurements will apply to an average-sized car that uses this type of paint. If you use a lower-quality acrylic paint, then you will probably need to use even more of it to give the vehicle an even coat that looks decent. 

Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Car Windows?

Yes, you can. However, do not use your average acrylic paint designed for cars here. Instead, you will want to use your average water-soluble acrylic paint i.e. one that will wash off easily. I highly recommend these Acrylic Window Markers. They are specifically made for windows, and wash off super easily! 

If you go to a store, you will likely notice that some acrylic paints state that they are fine for temporary painting on windows. They are the ones that you need. You can also use this acrylic paint set that is safe for windows. 

In the vast majority of cases, you will be able to scrape the paint away with a window scraper when you are done with it. Although, you may want to add a touch of rubbing alcohol onto the window first to make the job a little bit easier.

Remember, paint should only ever be a temporary solution on car windows. Do not leave it in place permanently. It is dangerous as it will obscure your vision, and could be very difficult to get off later on. 

This means that painting some words on the window to celebrate things should be fine, but completely covering the window with paint isn’t.

What Temporary Paint Can I Use for My Car Windows?

A lot of acrylic paints will be rated for temporary use for car windows. If a paint doesn’t say for temporary use on windows, or non-toxic, then you should probably avoid it. Standard acrylic paint won’t be that hard to remove from a window, as long as it has not been in place for too long.

Some people will also go down the route of tempera paint. Check out this great MagicFly Tempera Set here. You will often find these kind of paints referred to as ‘poster board’ paint. While it is technically a permanent paint (most artwork produced centuries ago used tempera paint), it has mostly been specially mixed nowadays to make it easier to clean up. 

This means that, in many cases, you just need to use a bit of soap and some warm water to remove the tempera paint from your car window. 

Final Thoughts  

Acrylic paint most likely won’t damage your car paint. This is assuming that you are using standard acrylic paint. However, always remember to follow my recommended steps when you are removing the paint from your car and windows. 

Don’t forget to check out my other articles for all your painting Q&A’s. Happy painting! 

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