Acrylic vs. outdoor acrylic

uptomyeyeballs(8)March 7, 2007

Evening all,

I am the school gardening mom for my son's class. I am attempting to make a garden sign for the class garden. I realize that there are acrylic paints that are for outdoors, but the color selection was pretty dismal.

Has anyone tried using the regular acrylics outside? and how do they hold up? I do plan to seal the sign after it is completed.


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Honestly, I've never heard of "outdoor acrylics." If however you do use acrylics outdoors, I would seal the paint with either a brush-on or spray-on varnish because acrylics do not hold up well outdoors over time. I am speaking of decorative paint brands such as Folk Art, Americana, Ceramacoat, etc. The varnishes come in either a matte or gloss finish. I would suggest you use an "enamel" paint outdoors. The basic rule for enamel (decorative) paint is you can either bake the paint onto your item (if possible), or let it set for 21 days before washing it. You might check out "Patio Paints" which are specifically designed for outdoor use. Find them next to the terra cotta pots at Michael's Craft Store. If not there, in the decorative paint section.


    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 6:40AM
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I have never used the outdoor acrylic paint. I looked at it but you are right- the colors are limited and the price was much higher. I just use regular acrylic and seal it with three or four coats of a good spray sealer. I have a painted mail box that's been out in the Wisconsin weather for three years and it looks as good as the day I put it out. Let me know if you decide to try the outdoor ones as I'd be curious to know how they hold up. Good Luck with your project :)

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 9:25AM
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I painted a bench with acrylic paints and sealed it with spray on varnish and its held up for two years now. I recoated it with varnish spray in the fall last year. It gets full sun/wind/rain etc and it still looks great.
Heres a picture:

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 9:33AM
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Patio Paints are the outdoor paints. I've used them and they hold up really well . In the paint section in the craft store - they sell "outdoor" sealer. It worked great for my projects.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 10:39AM
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No need to invest in the more expensive Patio Paints--just use your acrylics and like Bert said, just put two or three good coats of an exterior sealer on it. I like the Krylon spray on sealer, but most any brand will work--just be sure it says "exterior".

I have several yard stakes that have been out for several years and still look fine. However, I do think it is a good idea to respray them once a year just to be safe. My favorites however, are the ones that do start to get a bit "weathered"--just gives them that worn/rustic look and I love that in my garden. ;o)


    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 11:29AM
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Ya learn something new every day, silly me, I've seen the Patio Paints but never knew they were actually acrylics.


    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 4:11PM
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goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))

I always frquent the oops paint corner and buy the exterior house paint.Some of it says warranted for 15 years so I figure it should hold up awhile.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 10:39AM
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Goldenpond you are right. I know Lindasewandsew does that for her birdhouses. She says she gets it at great prices too. It will hold up much longer than acrylics--but you need more storage space for cans than bottles! Guess it just depends on how many things you will be painting. Luvs

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 12:39PM
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I've used the little bottles of "regular" acrylics for outdoor projects with good success. On projects that I wanted to be sure would last, I applied several coats of spar varnish over the top. On seasonal items, I just used a spray varnish and it held up fine!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 12:46PM
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lindasewandsew(So Cal 9)

I buy exterior latex paint (house paint), at HD, Lowes, Habitat ReStore, and anywhere else they have a mis-mix or oops! section. If you don't see it, ask for it. It costs $1 per quart (maybe slightly more at ReStore) or $5 per gallon. These are good brands of paint, such as Behr, American Tradition, etc. Check for it every time you go to these stores, because you never know when the colors you want will turn up. You probably have favorite colors that run out often, so having a quart can't hurt. I've found every color from shocking pink, purple, orange, red, yellow, many greens, blues, and of course, browns. I've never purchased craft paint, so don't know how it compares in price, but can guess that oops! paint is probably far cheaper. Storing paint cans upside down prevents the rust from forming around the edge of the lid. It can be poured into smaller containers for everyday use. Linda

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 7:25PM
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I have used all of the above except patio paints. I don't like the glossy look, and want a matt finish. I use Walmart clear mostly for my finish coat.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2007 at 11:37AM
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I use regular acrylic outside all the time.I mainly use ceramcoat.I then seal with several layers of a clear sealer/varnish.If you want a better varnish use Marine varnish that they use on boats.I've used the acrylics on wood,tin,cement and that hydrocal stuff.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2007 at 4:21PM
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You gave me the courage to use the regular acrylic, especially since I already planned on sealing it. The sign is almost done now. I just need to add a couple of finishing touches (like legs on a ceterpillar) and then seal it. Its a pretty heavy board (a 2x12 and about 24" long) and now I have to find a safe way to secure it to the garden fence at my son's school.
The kids also had a blast finger painting their own flowers on it. WHAT FUN! I get my service hours in, I get to garden and to craft at the same time!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 4:18PM
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Was looking for a sealer for my rocks that I painted with acrylic paints, I am making an old western town, and an Indian village for my cactus and rock garden. After reading about the sealers, I remembered that a few years ago, I painted my sidewalk with regular sidewalk paint, then stenciled a Indian design down the center of the sidewalk with regular acrylic paint...after a few months, the sidewalk paint started to wear off, but the design stayed, even with all the traffic walking on it...I repainted over the entire sidewalk, covering my design...but, a few months later again, the paint wore off....and below it was my design, looking like new...the acrylic paint never faded or anything, and was never sealed...
Since my rocks have acrylic paint on them, but also marks made from a sharpie, I think I will just spray a clear glaze enamel on them...really didn't want them shiny, but that will probably fade in a while...

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 10:41AM
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