Acrylic Or Oil?

Acrylic or Oil?

Choosing the perfect paint marker for you next project can be difficult if you don’t have the right information. That’s why Carmel made this little summary of the advantages of both acrylic and oil paint marker.

Drying time

One of the biggest difference between acrylic paint and oil paint is the time it takes to dry. While oil paint can take up to 12 hours to dry completely, acrylic paint dries really quickly, as fast as 2 to 7 minutes, leaving you less time to work.


Acrylic paint is great on all surfaces, from glass to stone and everything in between.

When using oil paint on canvas or pre-printed canvas some painters apply a primer first.


Many brands offer a wider range of color in their acrylic line of paint than in their oil-based paint.

Carmel permanent acrylic paint will keep its colors because the pigments used in its formula have great lightfastness properties, keeping it from fading over time. Acrylic paint also produces crisp edge, allowing the artist to paint complex graphic compositions. However, the binders will dry clear which may cause a subtle color change, especially in darker colors, while drying.

On the other hand, oil paint allows for a much better blend of color due to its longer drying period. To achieve the same blend results, you’d need to add a retarder or a soft gel gloss to the acrylic paint. The binder in oil paint go yellow over time, however, which contributes to color fading.

Working indoors?

Everyone who had to work, even for a short period of time, with oil-based paint in a confined space will tell you that oil-based paint have strong odours that can make you light-headed and uncomfortable. The solvent based acrylic Paint Markers will have a similar effect from the solvents. However, the Permanent Water Base Acrylic Paint Markers are odour-less and their emanations are non-toxic, which makes them great to work in confined spaces and will avoid the problems of the solvent based ones.

As you can see, both oil-based and acrylic paint marker both have their advantages, based on the usage you have in mind for them. To be sure to make the right choice, think about the project you have in mind:

  • Does it require blends of colors?
  • Will your project be shown for a long period of time?
  • What kind of environment outdoor or inside, in a confined space, will you be working in?

If you still have questions, Carmel’s team of color experts is there to help you find the right products for your next project.

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