Can I Use Wall Paint On Canvas – All You Need To Know

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While cleaning my closet, I came across some beautifully painted canvases by me. The nostalgia called for a painting day. I quickly grabbed the new canvases lying around in the house for years. I also managed to sneak out some paint brushed from my daughter’s stationery set. The only thing I fell short of was paint. I recalled we had leftover paint from last month when I painted my interior. So it was time to give house paints a try on canvas.

You can use wall paints on canvas if you have no canvas paints available. However, wall paints are designed to last a couple of years, generally on a concrete surface. In contrast, canvas paints are specific to cloth and last way longer. Therefore, using wall paints on canvas will not produce as brilliant outcomes as canvas-specific paints.

Using wall paint on canvas helped me save money as I did not have to purchase new colors for canvas. However, the colors were not as bright, and they started peeling off from the surface as they dried up. To utilize your leftover wall paint on canvas, you must know what you’re getting yourself into.

Using Wall Paints On Canvas.

Art has no boundaries. You can use any paint in any form on any surface you want. That is what has been taught to us over all these revolutionary years in painting. However, the outcomes of each type of paint will vary based on the quality of the color, its elasticity, binding ability, and the texture of the paint. 


The paint quality varies when comparing a brand with another or one type of paint with the other type. Quality refers to the kind of pigment added to the paint and its consistency. High-quality paint has higher solid content, which makes the paint more concentrated, denser, and more durable. 

On the other hand, low-quality paints have a lower solid concentration, which means they are less dense, thus, are easier to peel off. Wall paints generally have a low-quality formula and are intended to last a couple of years only. 

Acrylic paints are specifically manufactured for canvas painting have a high-quality recipe. They give off radiant colors that last years.

Binding Ability 

The binding ability of a paint is the strength the paint holds to adhere to a surface. It also measures how the pigments are held together in the base. 

Wall paints bind strongly to hard surfaces such as wood, bricks and concrete. This means that they are not designed to last long on cloth. 

In contrast, acrylic paints have a strong binding ability to bind to primed canvas cloth. The binding ability of acrylic paints ensures that the acrylic colors stay on the canvas for decades. 

You can use wall paints on canvas; however, they will begin peeling off in some time due to their chemical buildup.


Elasticity in paint is its ability to withstand changes in external pressure and temperature without cracking. It is a measure of how flexible a paint is. This information is utilized when designing paints for specific purposes. 

Acrylic paints have higher elasticity and are more suitable for painting on cloth, which is a soft surface. However, wall paints aren’t as flexible as they are designed to stay intact on concrete walls and do not require flexibility.

Price of the Paint

Another important factor is the money involved. Usually, higher-quality paints cost more than lower-quality paint. The difference in prices is mainly due to the top-notch quality of ingredients and dyes used in the manufacturing process. 

Acrylic paints require better-quality pigments to last longer. Acrylics also need high elasticity and binding ability specific to soft surfaces like cloth, so they are sold cheaper. 

On the other hand, wall paints are more affordable than acrylic paints. Thus there will be a difference in the vibrance and longevity of the results.

Moreover, an established brand will always charge more than an emerging paint brand.

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Famous Artists That Have Used Wall Paints on Canvas

Despite the compositional difference in both paints, wall paints are widely used in canvas painting. In addition, professional artists have been using wall paints to create their art on canvas over time.

Pablo Picasso is known to be one of the first artists in history to use house paints in his artwork. A study conducted in 2013 showed that Picasso used the inexpensive “Ripolin” house paint back in the 20th century to give his paintings a glossy surface.

Another famous artist, Jackson Pollock, has used oil-based gloss enamel house paints in his drip paintings. According to him, enamel paints have the perfect consistency for action painting which he used to create his masterpieces. 

Contemporary artists like Sarah Morris, Damien Hirst, and Gary Hume also have their fair share of using house paints for their art pieces. In addition, they have used gloss paints to reflect lifestyles, advertising, and consumerism both on a large and small scale. 

Joe Pagac also uses wall paints instead of acrylics for his famous mural art, which has earned him the title of “Mural Joe” around the globe. 

Making use of wall paints in the artwork is a great way to reduce the cost of paintings and make them more affordable for the public. 

Pros and Cons of Using Wall Paint on Canvas

Everything comes with its fair share of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s look at what the wall paints offer on the canvas and at what cost.

Readily available in your garageNot so long-lasting
Environment friendly – promotes saving resourcesLacks elasticity
Easy on the pocketVariable consistency

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions that might arise in your mind regarding canvas painting:

Can I use House Paint For Art?

You can use any paint to create art. However, it is not recommended to do so. Household and art paints are formulated for different purposes and should not be used interchangeably. 

Pigment concentration, blending ability, and the number of additives in both paints vary, creating differences in durability and appearance. Hence, using house paint for fun art activities is alright, but not if you are working on professional projects. 

Is wall paint the same as acrylic?

No, wall paint is water-based latex paint, while acrylic paint is chemical based. While latex paints are easier to scrub and clean, they are not designed to handle temperature fluctuations and cracks efficiently. On the other hand, acrylic paints offer more durability and elasticity and can withstand peeling and cracking. 

Can you use wall paint for acrylic pouring?

Wall paint can be used as a cheaper alternative to acrylic pouring. However, there are a few downsides that you must face if you choose to use Wall paint instead of acrylic. 

Wall paint has a shorter lifespan as compared to its acrylic counterparts. This is because they do not have the elasticity and durability that acrylic paints possess and hence chip and fade away quickly.

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The Final Verdict

Canvas-specific acrylic and wall paints are different kinds of paints manufactured for different purposes. If you’re looking for budget-friendly options to use on canvas, you can go ahead with wall paints. However, acrylic paints produce better results and should be your first choice.

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