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What is the Best Paint for Canvas

what is the best paint for canvas

There are many reasons why many artists prefer canvas compared to other mediums. For one, canvas feels great under the brush and lasts longer too. Canvas is also lighter and easier to transport from one place to the other.

If you are using canvas, it is also essential to use the best paint for this medium. So, what is the best paint for canvas? Acrylic and oil paints are two popular paints which are perfect for canvas. Other paints which can be used for canvas will be discussed in this article.

Oil Paint

If there is a paint that works best with canvas, it should be the oil paint. The thickness and the texture’s viscosity of oil paints need a strong surface which the canvas provides. Canvas is strong and will not degrade once the oil is put on the surface.

Also, you do not need many colors to start painting oil on canvas. You only need to use a few basic colors to get started. Oil painting on canvas also allows the painter to mix colors easily. Oil painting on canvas will let you experiment with different color combinations making your painting session more fun and enjoyable.

Oil pains when applied to canvas also dries slowly, so you can stop your painting sessions anytime without worrying much. Then, the colors of oil paint will stay true once it dries on the surface of a canvas.

Another advantage of using oil paint on canvas is the room for making mistakes. If you make a mistake, it is not a big issue because you can easily paint over it. Painting oil paint on canvas is fun. So, once you start using oil paint, you will never go back.

Acrylic Paint

acrylic paint for canvs

There are many reasons why acrylic paint is so popular among painters painting on canvas. First, it is easy to use on canvas and only needs minimal supplies. The versatility of acrylic paint also makes it perfect for canvas painting.

Acrylic paints also dry quickly when used on canvas. This feature will allow you to finish your painting project quickly. Using prime canvas will be the best fit for acrylic paint with the use of a brush or a palette knife.

In addition, acrylic paints are also more lively once painted on canvas. The colors of acrylic paints are brighter and bold, making them more intense. The paint lays well on the canvas, making lines and other details very clear.

Another upside when using acrylic paints on canvas is its affordability. Buying a full acrylic set is affordable compared to oil paints. Acrylic paints are also non-toxic, which means it is safer for you. This type of paint is easy to clean especially if it is not dry.

Watercolor Paint

Watercolor paint is also an excellent paint for canvas. This water-based paint provides a unique quality that no other paint can provide. But it is essential to use watercolor canvas as it is specifically made for watercolor paint.

Also, watercolor paints, when used on canvas, will allow you to mix and match different color blends allowing you to create beautiful and impressionist paintings. Watercolor paints will also rest longer once applied on canvas compared to other mediums.

Using watercolor for canvas will also mean that sizing will never be an issue. Canvases already come in different standard and non-standard sizes, giving you plenty of options to choose from when it comes to sizes.

Lastly, using watercolor paint on canvas will also give you affordability because watercolor paints are relatively cheap. Watercolor paints are also easy to use and are easy to clean even if the paint has already dried up.

Gouache Paint

gouache paint for canvs

Gouache paint is popularly known for being used on paper. But this paint can also be used on canvas too. This paint combines the characteristics of both the watercolor paint and the acrylic paint, which makes it perfect for the canvas.

This paint may look great when painted on paper but applying it on canvas also brings an impressive result. Gouache paint, when applied to canvas, will give an excellent result as it shines and provides a heavier look. Painting gouache paint on canvas will give a non-transparent result with brilliant colors once it has dried up.

If you will be using gouache on a canvas medium, the best way to use it is to apply a thick layer while adding a minimal amount of water. The only downside of using gouache paint on canvas is the amount of paint you will be using when painting on the canvas.

Tempera Paint

tempera paint for canvs

Another type of paint which can be used for canvas is tempera paint. This type of paint can be used for canvas but may not be the best and ideal medium overall. Tempera paint does not have the thickest consistency to do well when applied to canvas.

Yes, it is still possible to use tempera paint on canvas. The only issue is that this paint will eventually fade or even crack. Also, water can damage the tempera paint’s surface when it is dry.

If you want to use tempera paint, better to use it on cheaper projects. This paint will provide creamier consistency and a matte finish. Tempera paint also dries evenly when applied to canvas. Tempera paint can be used on canvas but may not be an ideal medium for long-term painting.


Learning what is the best paint for canvas will give you an idea of the best medium you can use once you start painting. The most popular are acrylic and oil paints, as they are being used by painters using canvas. Other paints can be used but may not provide the best results once applied on canvas.

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