Painting Over Acrypol (Can You Do it & How To?)

Acrypol is a waterproof coating that has a dull white or greyish color. So, can you paint over Acrypol?

Acrypol is waterproof, so you can’t paint over it. The flexible acrylic resins that Acrypol has will prevent liquid (paint) from penetrating its coating. So, if you paint over Acrypol, the paint won’t stick and will peel off.

The only way to paint over Acrypol is to sand and apply a primer over the Acrypol coating. Sanding will create tiny scratches (ridges) over the Acrypol coating that the paint can penetrate. The primer creates a base coat for the paint to stick to. 

Paint Doesn’t Stick To Acrypol

Since Acrypol is waterproof, paint doesn’t stick over it. The Acrypol coating is designed to repel all types of liquid, including paint. The resins and solvents of Acrypol prevent the liquid (paint) from being absorbed, so the paint won’t stick.

Paint must penetrate (soak into) the surface to stick. When applied, paints bite into the top layer of the surface to stick to it. If the surface is non-porous, the paint won’t stick because it can penetrate (or bite) into the non-porous layer. 

On the other hand, Acrypol is non-porous. When dry, acrylic becomes waterproof. The waterproof coating is designed to stop (prevent) water from penetrating the surface. Since Acrypol is waterproof by design, paints can’t bite or penetrate the Acrypol coat to stick. So, if you apply paint directly over Acrypol, the paint will peel off eventually due to lack of adhesion.

Acrypol Dry Time Before Painting

Acrypol must dry for 3 days before painting over it. This gives Acrypol coating enough time to dry, cure, and harden before applying paint. If you paint over Acrypol too soon, you will ruin the finish.

Once the Acrypol is fully dry, the coating becomes waterproof, hard, and compact. So, sanding a fully dry Acrypol won’t damage or remove it. However, if the Acrypol isn’t dry enough and you sand it, you will ruin the finish. 

To know if Acrypol is dry enough to be painted over, touch the texture of the coating. If the Acrypol coating feels moist or tacky, it hasn’t dried yet. On the other hand, if the Acrypol coating is hard and dry, you can paint over it.

You can speed up the dry time of Acrypol by increasing the evaporation rate and air circulation. 

How To Paint Over Acrypol?

Painting over Acrypol is hard because of its waterproof coating. However, if you sand and prime the Acrypol, you can paint over it. 

Here are the tools you need:

  • Sandpaper (Medium and fine grit)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Kilz 2 primer paint
  • The required paint (for this task, we’ll use water-based acrylic paint)
  • A pair of gloves
  • A portable vacuum
  • Waterproof sealer (for this guide, we’ll use polyurethane varnish)
  • A palm or orbital sander (for large surfaces like a roof)

1. Sand The Acrypol

First, sand the Acrypol coating with medium-grit sandpaper (80-20-grit). Sanding will scuff the Acrypol coating and create ridges that the primer (and paint) can stick to. After sanding with medium-grit sandpaper, use fine-grit sandpaper to smooth the Acrypol coating.

Once you are done, remove the dust using a vacuum.

2. Apply Primer Paint

Once the Acrypol coating is clean and sanded, apply a primer. The best primer to use over Acrypol is Kilz 2. The kilz 2 primer sticks to different surfaces and creates a good undercoat for the paint to stick. 

To apply primer over Acrypol, use a paintbrush or sprayer. Apply 2 coats of primer. 

3. Apply The Paint

Once the primer is dry, apply paint over Acrypol. The paint type you use depends on the primer. For example, if you use an oil-based primer, use oil-based paint. The same thing applies to water-based primer and paint.

To apply paint over Acrypol, use a paintbrush, sprayer, or roller. Apply 2-3 coats of paint. Wait until one coat of paint dries before applying the next coat. Sand between coats of paint with ultrafine-grit sandpaper, but don’t sand the final coat). 

4. Apply Waterproof Sealer

After the paint dries, you must apply a waterproof sealant over the paint. A waterproof sealer is necessary because the Acrylic waterproof coating is sanded and primed, so the coating won’t repel moisture anymore. 

So, to make the Acrypol waterproof again, apply a waterproof sealer. The sealer will produce a glossy waterproof layer over the painted Acrypol and protect it from water, moisture, and scratches. Common sealers to use over paint are lacquer, spar urethane, or exterior polyurethane. 

You need 2-3 coats of the waterproof sealer for proper waterproofing and protection. Once you are done painting and sealing the Acrypol surface, leave it to dry for 48 hours before using the surface.

Types Of Paints You Can Use Over Acrypol

Water-based paints stick better to Acrypol than oil-based paint. These include latex, acrylic, stain, and eggshell paint. However, the type of paint used over Acrypol depends on the type of prime used. 

Since you will apply paint over the primer and not the Acrypol coating directly, the paint you use depends on the primer. For instance, if you use oil-based primer over Acrypol, you must use oil-based paint too.

Paint Lifespan Over Acrypol

At best, paint will last about 7 years on Acrypol’s surface. Unfortunately, paints generally don’t last long on Acrypol because Acrypol isn’t designed to be painted. But, if you apply a waterproof sealer once the paint dries, it will last longer.

You’ll occasionally need to retouch the painted area at least every 24 months if you want the paint to last longer.

Tip: If you are dealing with a leak and you know you’ll paint the spot later, it’s best to use a waterproof sealer that can be painted. Common choices include wood caulk and Flex seal.

Final Words

You shouldn’t apply paint directly over the Acrypol as it won’t stick. To paint over Acrypol, you must sand, prime the coating, and then apply paint. Once the paint dries, seal it with waterproof sealant.

However, to get the best results, remove the Acrypol coating completely, and then paint over the same spot. 

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