Difference between acrylic and alkyd paint

Acrylic and alkyd paints are often used in construction and renovation. What are their features?

What is acrylic paint?

To acrylic are water-dispersed (dissolved in water) paints, in which the main coloring agents are various polyacrylates. As a rule, the composition of these materials also contains polyacrylate copolymers - they are added to the paint as film formers.

Acrylic paints come in a wide variety of varieties - for painting, building and renovation. Their most remarkable property is resistance to water after drying, despite the fact that these paints, as we noted above, are water dispersible.

What is alkyd paint?

To alkyd are paints that are made on the basis of alkyd resins. They are supplied for sale dissolved in turpentine, kerosene, white spirit. In some cases drying oil is added to paints. They use other resins as film-forming agents, as well as various oils.

Alkyd resins are of some natural origin. They are obtained by heat treatment of various vegetable oils, as well as mixing them with acids.

Alkyd paints are most often used in interior decoration. Their main advantages are resistance to atmospheric moisture and temperature extremes. But, as some experts point out, alkyd paint is still less weather resistant than acrylic paint.

Alkyd paints are aesthetically pleasing as they provide a glossy surface with vibrant color. Can be applied to metal, wood and many other materials used in construction and interior decoration.


The main difference between acrylic paint and alkyd paint is that the first is of synthetic origin, the main binder in it is synthetic polymers. Alkyd paint is based on a suitable type of resin, which is made using raw materials that are of some natural origin.

Acryl is marketed dissolved in water. Alkyd paint is sold dissolved in petroleum products.

The materials under consideration also differ in the scope of their application. So, alkyd paints are rarely used for painting. But they may be preferable to acrylic for finishing, if the color of the painted surface should be bright, and the object itself, covered with paint, should shine.

Acrylic paints are considered by some experts to be more weather resistant than alkyd paints. Therefore, repainting of surfaces when they are activated is usually carried out less often. But acrylic paints are usually more expensive than alkyd paints.

Having determined what is the difference between acrylic and alkyd paint, we reflect the conclusions in the table.


Acrylic paint Alkyd paint
Made on the basis of synthetic polymersMade on the basis of alkyd resins
Water-dispersedDissolves in petrochemical products
May produce a surface with less sheen and less vivid colorsOften produces a surface with more sheen and vivid, saturated colors
Worth more expensiveCosts less