Do Acrylic Paints Freeze? [Best Storage Tips]

Acrylic paints are water-based, so it stands to reason that they would freeze in cold weather. However, the answer is not quite so simple. Acrylic paint is made up of several different ingredients, including pigments, binders, fillers, and solvents.

The two main ingredients are pigments and binders. The pigments are what give the paint its color, while the binders act as a sort of glue, holding the pigments together. 

freezing acrylic paint

When acrylic paint is exposed to extremely cold temperatures, like those found in a freezer,  the water in the paint freezes. This causes the pigments and binders to separate, which results in a dull, lifeless color.

Not only that, but freezing can also cause the physical structure of your paint to change. Binders are what give the paint its body and thickness; when they freeze, they become brittle and can crack or flake off. This change makes it very difficult to apply evenly to canvas or other surfaces. 

However, not all freezing temperatures will damage your acrylic paint. If the temperature is cold enough, it can preserve your paint and prevent it from drying out. This can be useful if you’re working in a very dry environment or if you want to store your paints for an extended period.

So, can you freeze acrylic paints? Yes, you can. But it’s not recommended unless you’re looking to store your paints for a long time or you’re working in an exceptionally dry environment. Otherwise, you run the risk of damaging your paint. 

The Ideal Temperature for Acrylic Paint

The first thing to keep in mind is that acrylic paint doesn’t dry by evaporation alone like other water-based paints. Instead, it dries with the initial evaporation of the water vehicle in it, followed by polymerization, which means that the molecules in the paint link together to form a solid film.

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This process is inhibited by cold/room temperatures, so if the paint is cold or at room temperature, it will take longer to dry. Conversely, if the paint is too warm, it will dry too quickly and can become difficult to work with.

So what is the ideal temperature for acrylic paint? Unfortunately, there’s no single answer to that question because it can vary depending on the type of paint you’re using and the atmospheric conditions in your studio. Generally, most acrylic paints will work best at temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to Store Acrylic Paint for Long Periods of Time 

When properly stored, acrylic paint can last for years without losing its quality. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to store your acrylic paint so that it remains usable for years to come.

Choose the Right Container: 

The first step in properly storing your acrylic paint is to choose the right container. You’ll want to avoid using metal containers, as they can cause the paint to rust. Instead, opt for plastic containers or glass jars with tight-fitting lids. This will help to keep the air out and prevent the paint from drying out.

Check The Labels On Your Paint Containers Before Storing Them: 

Some manufacturers recommend storing their paint upside down so that the lid seals more airtight. Others recommend storing their paint right-side up so that the paint does not settle. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure your paint lasts as long as possible.

Store in a Cool, Dry Place:

Regardless of the manufacturer’s instructions, you’ll need to find a cool, dry place to store your paint. Avoid storing your paint in direct sunlight or humid areas, as both of these conditions can cause the paint to deteriorate. A dark closet or basement away from any heat sources is ideal. 

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Add a Desiccant: 

To further protect your paint from drying out, consider adding a desiccant to your storage container. A desiccant is a substance that helps to absorb moisture from the air. You can purchase desiccants at most hardware stores or online retailers. Simply place them in your container before adding your paint and screw on the lid tightly.

Check on Your Paint Regularly: 

Even if you follow the above steps, it’s important to check on your stored acrylic paint regularly. At least once every few months, open up your containers and give them a sniff—if the paint smells rancid or has changed colors, it’s time to throw it out and start fresh. With proper storage, your acrylic paint should last for years.

By following these simple storage tips, you can ensure that your acrylic paint will last for years.


Acrylic paint has a wide range of applications and is great for creating art or doing crafts. To get the best results, it’s important to store your acrylic paint properly. The ideal temperature for storing acrylic paint is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Choose the right container, follow any manufacturer’s recommendations when applicable, store in a cool, dry place, and add a desiccant if possible.

Lastly, check on your paint regularly to make sure it hasn’t gone bad. With the right storage methods, you can ensure that your acrylic paint will last for years.

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