Does Freezing Acrylic Paint Ruin It?

If you find yourself creating art pieces and are looking for a type of paint that dries fast, produces vibrant colors, and is relatively easy to use, then you may have come across acrylic paints. This type of paint has fast-drying properties since it is mainly water-based and made of dispersed pigments in acrylic polymer emulsion. Acrylic paints come in handy tubes that can be conveniently stored and are generally easy to clean. 

Freezing acrylic paints affects their quality and consistency. They can be prone to freezing due to their water-based formulas and fast-drying properties. If they freeze, the thawing process almost always ruins them.

Some may buy more paint than they actually need and this is when storage of the extra tubes becomes quite a daunting task. Other people resort to freezing the paint for use in their next project. To learn more about how freezing affects acrylic paint, keep reading.

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Different colored acrylic paint placed next to pain brushes, Does Freezing Acrylic Paint Ruin It?

Will freezing Acrylic Paint ruin it?

As mentioned earlier, acrylic paints are quite prone to freezing because of their water-based and fast-drying properties. Generally, it is best not to freeze the paint to ensure that its quality remains. A change in storage temperature of the paint, acrylic paints, in particular, affects the quality and consistency of the product which in turn will give a different finish to your project.

If your paint wasn't frozen for too long, it can be salvaged. Once it has thawed, you can simply shake the tube until all the elements have combined again.

Unlike oil-based paints that are more adaptive to temperature changes, acrylic paints require a little more attention. It is best to remember that the acrylic paint’s fast-drying characteristic can be fully used to one’s advantage when its original consistency is kept. 

Even if a completed acrylic painting somehow freezes, the painting can crack and become distorted. This emphasizes the importance of keeping acrylic paints (whether in its tubes or on a completed work) in an area with regulated temperature.

What Temperature can Acrylic Paints Withstand?

Nowadays, manufacturers have developed different temperature watches for each specific acrylic paint they produce. It is largely recommended, however, to store acrylic paints at storage within a 60°F-57°F (15°C-24°C) temperature. It can also withstand as low as 45°F, but storage lower than the recommended will affect the paint’s quality. 

Rooms within the recommended temperature will be the best storage for the paint. Something worth noting is that if you begin to notice that your paint extends like gum or stretches when mixed, replacing them is your better option.

How do you Thaw Acrylic Paint?

There are many ways to thawing frozen paint. One method is to soak the sealed tubes in warm water. Place the tubes or paint cans in a container, fill it with water enough to soak the paint, and use a weight to hold the paint down until it is thawed. This makes the process of unfreezing faster. However, one needs to make sure that the seals are tightly in place to avoid getting the water inside the tube. 

The safest but most time-consuming method is to keep the frozen acrylic paint at room temperature and allow it to thaw on its own. This way, it will slowly recover its consistency. When the paint is frozen, the water and pigment may be separated. This is normal and you can correct it by thoroughly mixing the contents through stirring or shaking.

An important thing to look out for when using frozen acrylic paint is to closely watch its consistency when thawed. Acrylic paints are always smooth because it is water-based but the freezing may cause them to become lumpy, close to cheese-like consistency which then makes it difficult to handle and may give off a different color saturation than expected. 

Does Acrylic Paint Go Bad in the Heat?

Blue and white colored paint on a white background

Acrylic paint is water-based and would easily dry up when exposed to heat. Extreme temperature conditions greatly affect paint consistency and quality. Although freezing the acrylic paint may still make the paint usable to an extent and may be repaired when thawed, hot temperatures will completely dry up your paint, and mixing it with water won’t really do the trick.

A tube of acrylic paint can usually go in storage for a reasonably long time. If you are lucky enough to take some of it from the tube, you can mix it with water and use it again. However, acrylic paint that has been exposed to high heat temperatures and dries out would crack because it has lost the moisture needed to keep it usable. 

It is important to note that acrylic paints are not flammable. Unlike oil paints that contain properties that can easily make it flammable, acrylic paints are adaptive in terms of general storage because it is based on water and do not contain any properties that may be reactive to flame or heat.

How to Liquefy Hardened Paint?

Working with hardened paint or paint that is too thick may be tricky but because acrylic paints are based generally on water, they can also be used as a solution. Use your paintbrush to dab water to the hardened acrylic paint and add more as you see necessary. The same goes for thick acrylic paint. Applying water as needed can help the paint recover its original consistency. One must make sure not to dilute it with too much water as its saturation may also be affected. 

Aside from consistency, it is best to also check the paint’s odor. Bad paint gives off an odd and sour odor. When your stored paint smells, it has probably gone bad and would no longer be suitable for use. 

In Closing

Ultimately, proper storage temperatures and good storing habits are best for your paints. It is best to buy paint that you would need for your current projects because using the correct amount of your inventory will ensure your project is of high quality, and storing excess materials will not be a problem. Paint, regardless of what kind, be it acrylic, oil, and other types, is best used when its consistency and saturation are at their finest.

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