Difference between Tempera And Acrylic Paint

If you’re an artist, or you just like to dabble in painting from time to time, you’ve probably heard of tempera and acrylic paint. But what’s the difference between these two types of paint?

Tempera paint is a water-based paint that has been around for centuries. It’s made with egg yolks or whole eggs, which gives it a creamy consistency. This type of paint is ideal for creating smooth, even strokes on your canvas.

Acrylic paint, on the other hand, is a synthetic polymer paint that was invented in the 1940s. It’s made with plastic resins and pigments, which makes it thicker and more opaque than tempera paint. Acrylics are perfect for creating bolder, brighter colors on your canvas.

Difference between Tempera And Acrylic Paint

What is Tempera Paint?

Tempera paint is a fast-drying, water-based paint. It has been used for centuries and is still popular among artists today. Tempera paint is made from pigments that are ground up and mixed with a binder, usually egg yolk.

This type of paint dries quickly, so it is ideal for use in painting classes or workshops. Tempera paint can be thinned with water and applied to a variety of surfaces, including paper, cardboard, and wood.

What Is Acrylics Paint?

Acrylic paint is a versatile medium that can be used for a variety of projects. It is perfect for beginners and professionals alike. Acrylic paint is easy to use and can be mixed with other mediums to create unique effects. With so many colors to choose from, you can create any type of painting you can imagine.

Whether you are looking to create a masterpiece or just want to have some fun, painting with acrylics is a great way to express your creativity. The main fact about acrylics is that it is perfect for any project you want to try.

What Are The Difference Between Tempera And Acrylic Paint?

 It is easy to become confused when deciding which paint to use for a project. Tempera and acrylic paint have their benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to understand the difference before making a decision. Here are the facts that separate tempera and acrylic paint:

Type Of Paint

  • Tempera paint is a water-based paint that is made from pigment and a binder.
  • Acrylic paint is also water-based paint, but it is made from synthetic materials. It was invented in the 1940s and has become the preferred choice for many artists.


  • Tempera paint has a thicker consistency and is not as smooth as acrylic paint.
  • Acrylic paint has a thinner consistency and is smoother than tempera paint.


  • Tempera paint is available in many colors, but the colors are not as vibrant as those of acrylic paint.
  • Acrylic paint is also available in a wide range of colors, but the colors are more vibrant than those of tempera paint.

Drying Time

  • Tempera paint dries quickly, but the colors may fade over time.
  • Acrylic paint dries slowly, but the colors will not fade over time.


  • Tempera paint is not as durable as acrylic paint and is unsuitable for outdoor use.
  • Acrylic paint is more durable than tempera paint and is suitable for outdoor use.

Popular Uses

  • Tempera paint is often used in school art projects.
  • Acrylic paint is often used by professional artists.


  • Tempera paint is less expensive than acrylic paint.
  • Acrylic paint is more expensive than tempera paint.

These are the main differences between tempera and acrylic paint. As you can see, each type of paint has its own advantages and disadvantages. It is important to consider these factors before making a decision about which paint to use for your project.

What Is the Best Use for Tempera Paint?

Artists most commonly use tempera paint for creating paintings. This type of paint is made from a pigment that is suspended in an egg-based medium. The pigments are usually ground-up minerals or plants.

Elementary school students most commonly use tempera paint. It is a water-based paint that is easy to clean up and relatively inexpensive. Tempera paint can be used on a variety of surfaces, including paper, cardboard, and wood.

The best thing about tempera paint is that it dries very quickly, so you can continue working on your painting without waiting for the previous layer to dry.

Another advantage of tempera paint is that it’s very easy to clean up since the medium can be dissolved in water.

However, one downside of tempera paint is that it doesn’t have a lot of staying power and can eventually fade over time if it’s not properly protected.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint Instead of Tempera?

There are a lot of different types of paint out there, and it can be tough to decide which one to use for a project. If you’re trying to decide between acrylic and tempera paint, here’s a quick rundown of the differences between the two.

Acrylic paint is a synthetic paint made from plastic resin. It’s water-based, so it’s easy to clean up and dries quickly. Acrylic paint is also very versatile – you can use it on various surfaces, including canvas, wood, and metal.

Tempera paint is a traditional type of paint made from eggs and water. It’s been used for centuries, and it’s known for its bright, vibrant colors. Tempera paint is also water-based, so it’s easy to clean up. However, it doesn’t dry as quickly as acrylic paint, so you’ll need to be careful not to smudge your work.

So, which paint should you use? It really depends on your project. Go with acrylic if you need a quick, easy-to-use paint that will dry quickly. Tempera is a good choice if you want bright, vibrant colors and are willing to take a bit more time to let your paint dry.

Is Acrylic Paint Safe To Paint Over Tempera?

If you want to paint over tempera paint with acrylic paint, it is possible. To do this, start with a clean surface. If the previous paint were wax coated, you would need to remove any existing wax from the surface of the tempera paint. This can be done by using a mild solvent such as denatured alcohol.

Once the wax is removed, you will need to sand the surface of the tempera paint to create a rough surface for the acrylic paint to adhere to. Now you can proceed to paint over it with acrylic paint.

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The Difference Between Tempera vs. Acrylic Paint Explanation

Can Acrylic Medium Be Used with Tempera Paint?

Yes, acrylic medium can be used with tempera paint. When mixed together, the acrylic medium enables the tempera paint to gain a smoother texture and improved adhesive qualities. This combination allows artists to experiment and create unique effects in their artwork.


Tempera paint is a water-based paint, while acrylic paint is a synthetic polymer paint. They differ in their permanence, transparency, and texture. In fact, each type of paint has its own unique properties that make it ideal for certain types of art projects.

If you need paint that dries quickly and can be used on a variety of surfaces, then acrylic paint is probably the better option. However, if you need paint that is more traditional and provides bright colors on your project, then tempera paint would be the better choice.

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