Craft Paint – Finding the Right Type

Craft Paints can be acrylic or enamel; some can be washed off of clothing and skin, and others are very permanent. They can be water or oil based. Oil based paints tend to be thicker and more permanent, while water based paints can be washed more easily and can be diluted for a thinner coat.

Craft Paint Types and Tips for all of your Painting Projects | Discount Craft Supplies

Acrylic vs. Enamel Craft Paint

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is a pigment mixed with an acrylic polymer. You can paint with an acrylic paint directly out of the tube for an opaque effect, or you can dilute the paint by mixing it with water to create a lighter wash of color. Acrylic paint is created with an emusion of water, so it is considered a "water based" paint, rather than an "oil based" paint. This paint dries very quickly, and can be washed off with water. Glass, fabric, and home/garden projects require a special acrylic paint.  Acrylic paint can be bought in tubes, pots, or jugs.  This paint is perfect for posters, signs, kids art, stamping, wooden crafts, Styrofoam crafts, and more.

Enamel Paint

Enamel Paint is mostly used on furniture and other hard surfaces. It can be water or oil based and is much more permanent than acrylic paint. It takes around 24 hours to dry and creates a hard and glossy surface that is more difficult to chip than acrylic paints. It is not ideal for blending colors or using on softer surfaces made from fibers. Use enamel paint on glass, metal, tiles, or ceramics.

Craft Paint Varieties

Craft Paint Lines

In search of the perfect palette of paint colors? Whether you are tole painting, or making a portrait, here are some paint lines with a extensive color selection to choose from.

Delta Ceramcoat Acrylic

Paint Sets

Many acrylic paints are packaged with a variety of colors in a paint set. Rather than buying colors individually, you'll have all of the paint you need available.

Poster Paint

Use this paint for signs, finger painting, or a variety of kids crafts. Intended up be used on paper. Easy to wash this paint off of hands and most fabrics.

poster craft paint

Glitter Paint

Many acrylic paints have the addition of glitter for an added sparkle. Some glitter paints have a clear base coat, while others have a base to match the color of the glitter. For an opaque glitter coverage, use multiple thin coats of glitter.

Metallic Paint

Resembling the shiny pearlescent finish of metal, these acrylic paints can give you the look of gold or silver accents inexpensively.

Chalkboard Paint

Use chalkboard paint on a wall, board, box, or frame to create a finish that can be written on and erased with a piece of chalk. Generally available in black or medium green colors, but some lines are introducing chalkboard paint in bright and kid friendly colors as well.

Plaid Chalkboard Paint

Dimensional or Puffy Paint

This acrylic paint is usually squeezed from a tube, and is easy to write words or draw pictures onto clothing, felt, fabric, or any thick material.

Glow in the Dark Paint

This paint will illuminate at night or in a dark room. Great for Halloween costumes, safety items, or just fun designs!


Enhance the look of wood by painting it with a stain. This semi-opaque paint will deepen the color of the wood, but still allow the grain to show through. Generally only available in the colors of wood, such as oak, cherry, walnut, maple, etc.

Patio Paint

Specially forumated weatherproof paint, that you can use to spruce up terra cotta pots, lawn ornaments, rocks, bricks, and a variety of other surfaces. Very durable, and will last under all kinds of weather conditions.

DecoArt Patio Paint

Fabric Paint

Can be used to paint a design on fabric or clothing. It can be washed, but take care to read the washing and drying instructions on the specific paint you use. Some fabric paints need to be heat set with an iron, but others can air dry. To learn more about fabric paint, visit the fabric paint buying guide.

Stencil Paint

Extra thick paint that is designed to be used with stencils, and will not bleed around the edges of the design. Generally, stencil paint will work on a variety of surfaces, including wood or plaster.

Enamel Paint

Can be used on smooth surfaces that regular acrylic paints have trouble adhering to such as wood, glass, and metals.


Add a specially formulated medium to a regular craft paint to change the appearance or consistency of the paint. It can be used to antique, frost, or give the paint a matte effect.

Plaid Craft Paint Medium

Spray Paint

A permanent enamel paint that is ideal for painting furniture. It comes in an aerosol can and coats an object with an even and thin coat. It is best for painting items with corners and crevices that cannot be easily painted with a brush.

Face Paint

A water based paint that sits on top of the skin instead of soaking in. It easily and gently washes off skin, but should be used with caution on clothing. It is a great touch for Halloween costumes and birthday parties.

Crackle Finish

A texturizer that is painted on top of a color layer that breaks apart when dry, creating an aged crackle effect. Crackle finishes only work with a base coat of paint underneath.

Soy Paint

A natural and eco-friendly paint option made from plant based soy ester resin. Soy paint uses less water than traditional acrylic paint, and is thicker and less likely to drip.


Window Frosting

Creates ice and snow patterns on windows, mirrors, and other glass surfaces. It is mainly used for holiday and winter decoration.

Ideas and Inspiration with Craft Paint

  • Mix an acryllic paint with resin to form a bubbly effect. Make sure to wear a mask and work in a well venillated area when resin painting.
  • Paint rocks with glow in the dark paint and line your garden path for extra illumination at night. They will charge with sunlight throughout the day.
  • Paint the top of an old desk with chalkboard paint for a homework station.
  • Use a medium to antique painted furniture
  • Spray Paint random toys and objects bright colors for fun and unique decor

Projects Using Craft Paint

Sandy Seashore Painting 

Valentine Painted Birds

Painted Bear

Painted Pine Cones

Puffy Paint Window Clings

 Sandy Seashore Painting

Check out the Think Crafts blog for more projects that use craft paint.

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