Difference Between Gouache and Acrylic Paint

Paintings, aren’t they beautiful and want to tell you something? Paintings are generally the stories that the artists want to portray through colors. And hence, colors are important as without them paintings are incomplete.

There are different kinds of paints used for different kinds of paintings. And Gouache and Acrylic paint are amongst them. So, we will differentiate between both under the next columns.

Gouache vs Acrylic Paint

The main difference between Gouache and Acrylic paint is that gouache is a water-soluble paint that can stay up to only a limited period. On the other hand, the paintings that are done with acrylic paint does not get destroyed easily, and hence it is durable enough. Gouache can stay for many years only you need to take care of it from water.

Gouache vs Acrylic Paint

Gouache is a type of paint used for paintings that are done on a canvas sheet and can not stay for many years. Such paintings can only be destroyed by water.

Therefore, you need to take proper care.Also, it is not even resistance. After a few years, the paintings are ruined because of the dust in them.

On the other hand, the paint is water-soluble and yet waterproof as soon as it dries. Therefore, such paintings are safe, and the plus point that comes with them is that it is dust-resistant paint and hence does not get destroyed by the dust easily.

And hence making it effortless to protect and make it long-lasting.

Comparison Table Between Gouache and Acrylic Paint

Parameters of ComparisonGouache Acrylic Paint
DurabilityGouache paint is not that long-lasting. A painting, that is done with acrylic paint is quite durable.
Dust ResistanceGouache is not dust-resistant paint. Acrylic paint can easily beat dust.
BinderA special kind of binder known as gum arabic is used as a binder for Gouache. To hold the pigmentation of Acrylic paint, the plastic Acrylic polymer is used for binding.
Surface for ApplicationGouache paint perfectly stays on paper. Several base surfaces like paper, glass, wood, and plastic are the surfaces used for Acrylic paint.
ToolsGouache paint only needs a paintbrush for its application on the surface. A paintbrush and also a palette knife compliments each other while applying Acrylic paint.

What is Gouache?

Gouache is a water-based color that can easily be spread with the help of water. Since Gouache is a water-based color, the paintings that can be done by it can easily be ruined since it is not waterproof and dustproof.

Water and dust destroy every bit of it. But, on the other side we came to know that since it is a water-based color, it has a greater significance. That is, the pinter can effortlessly make changes in it by adding the slightest amount of water wherever necessary.

Gouache paints like any other paint need a binder and the binder that is widely used for it is gum arabic. It gives a flat, matte consistency to the texture of the painting which looks like a classic piece.

This paint takes a little time to completely dry out, and the only thing that you need to take care of is that after application you need to check whether the color is spread evenly or not.

This is because if the color is not spread properly it can give some cracks to the painting. The painting that is done using Gouache are related to gesture, direct painting, and action can be perfectly drawn.

Such a painting portrays a soft touch. Some famous names of the painters that have worked with gouache paint and given us a fantastic painting are John Singer Sargent, Pablo Picasso, Valentin Serov, etc.

What is Acrylic Paint?

We all have heard about Acrylic paint. It has a thick and liquidy texture. It is used for painting beautiful paintings and a list of painters that have done some famous paintings using Acrylics are Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko, Roy Lichtenstein, etc.

Such paint is used to depict a bold and deeper meaning painting as it gives it the kick. Acrylics are 100% waterproof paint. Not the slightest amount can damage such paintings.

Along with the waterproof feature, it is also dustproof.You can even dust it after drying if the specks of dust attack it. As we know, acrylics are a thick consistency paint, therefore they can bear thicker stocks and can easily hold the color without cracking.

It only requires some time to dry because of the same reason. Hence receiving a high-class finishing piece. It is easy to spread and therefore a paintbrush and a palette for spreading the color is enough for it.

Plastic Acrylic Polymer is the go binder for the paint and hence providing it a better grip for holding it in bases like wood, glass, plastic, paper, etc. Also, a glossy vibe is created via acrylics paint.

The only concern for some people while using this paint is that once the paint is dried out completely, changes can not be done on it. So, while using this paint be careful with it.

Main Differences Between Gouache and Acrylic Paint

  1. Gouache paint easily gets destroyed. On the other hand, since Acrylic paint can beat dust and water, therefore it is long-lasting.
  2. Dust can destroy a gouache painting. On the other hand, no dust can ruin Acrylic paintings.
  3. In Gouache, the gum arabic binder is used. On the other hand, Acrylic paint can only be bonded by a plastic polymer binder and nothing else.
  4. Gouache paint smoothly melts on its surface paper. On the other hand, Acrylic paint can be held on different surfaces like paper, glass, wood, etc.
  5. Only a paintbrush is enough for applying gouache paint. On the other hand, with Acrylic paint, you need a brush and a palette knife to spread the color.
Difference Between Gouache and Acrylic Paint


So, as we have come to the end of the topic, I hope you are clear about the confusion you had earlier. Gouache and Acrylic paints are water-soluble paints yet they react differently with water when dried.

Gouache reacts even after drying, it can be termed as a plus as well as minus point for the painter. It can be reworked as well as ruined by water accidentally while Acrylic paintings do not ruin themselves even after you our water, but dust is its biggest enemy.

Gouache ain’t is used to give a smooth and light color to the painting and the bold and attractive looks can be created via Acrylic paint. It depends upon the painter’s theme of the painting.


  1. https://www.scielo.br/pdf/bor/v23n4/v23n4a07.pdf
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1367048410001335
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