Tempera Vs Acrylic Paint

Tempera Vs Acrylic Paint – What Is the Difference

When starting as a newbie artist, the first thing you need to know before starting your first painting project is to figure out what art you are about to do and which paints are suitable for your art. In the market, you’ll hear mostly about two types of paints: Acrylic and Tempera. When it comes to deciding which one to choose among Tempera and acrylic Paint, is always considered a tough task.

 Tempera and Acrylic paint are both different from each other because of their formation. Acrylic paint has a glossy and thick texture, plus it is long-lasting, but if you want your paint to dry immediately and to have a thin consistency, then you should purchase Tempera paint. 

Tempera Vs Acrylic Paint
Tempera Vs Acrylic Paint

Tempera Vs Acrylic Paint? Detail Explanation

In this article, I have stated some major factors to help you choose the best one for you. To help you know the difference between both paints, I have discussed some basic comparisons of Tempera Vs Acrylic paint along with the details of tools that work best for both of them. Let’s dig into it.

What Is Acrylic Paint?

Acrylic paints are durable, and you can’t wash them off easily, so use these paints when you want them to stay permanent. You can only wash acrylic paint when it is wet. These paints have a glossy and plastic-like finish.

Tempera Vs Acrylic Paint
Tempera Vs Acrylic Paint

Water-based acrylic paints are made with a binder, synthetic polymer, and vehicle. That’s why acrylic paints don’t fade under the light, so your art will remain the same after years.

What Is Tempera Paint?

Tempera paints are a composite made of calcium carbonate, pigments, and water, so these paints are washable even after they get dry. Its composition is almost the same as the chalk which children use in schools.

how to use tempera paint
how to use tempera paint

Although these are non-toxic paints, so children can use them freely without the tension of chemicals, the texture of tempera paint is creamy, and it gives a matte finish.

For professional use, there is another Tempera paint available in the market, which is manufactured with eggs and gums. These paints stay for longer and are not washable. Some egg tempera paints are toxic, and some are non-toxic, so purchase what you want.

What Is the Difference Between Tempera and Acrylic Paint?

Tempera and acrylic paints are changed from each other because of their composition, texture, and durability. Here is an overview of what is the difference between Tempera and acrylic paint:

1. Resistant

Acrylic paints resist for longer than Tempera. It is very easy to rub out tempera paint even after it dries out. On the other hand, acrylic paint isn’t removable after it gets dry, but if it is wet, you can remove it. Even If I make a comparison between egg tempera paint and acrylic paint, acrylic paint is more durable.

2. Formation

Acrylic paint is made of three components such as water, gum Arabic-based binder, and pigments. The color of acrylic paint doesn’t get dim or horrible and remains the same as before because of the combination of polymer and binder.

The tempera paints are manufactured with non-toxic ingredients such as starch, water, and calcium carbonate. The other version of Tempera paint is composed of egg yolk or egg white and a binder.

is tempera paint acrylic
Is tempera paint acrylic

3. Washable

Both Tempera and acrylic are washable when the paint is wet, and you can repaint the surface. If the paint is fully dried, then the scenario will change. Acrylic paint will stick permanently on the surface, and then you can’t scratch off the paint.

Meanwhile, Tempera paint is easily washable after getting dry, so whenever you feel the paint is fading, then you can wash the painted area and paint it again.

4. Stability

As I discussed above, tempera paints have a thin consistency, and you can spread the paint smoothly on the whole surface. As acrylic paint is also a water-based paint, it has a thick consistency, and it takes little time to spread.

5. Drying Period

Because of their thin consistency and simple composition, tempera paints get dry within 4 to 5 minutes. In contrast, acrylic paint takes 15 to 20 minutes to dry properly.

6. Texture

After getting dry, acrylic paint gives a plastic-like stiff and glossy to semi-glossy finish and the paint sticks properly on the surface permanently. Comparatively, tempera paints provide a matte and smooth finish.

Tempera Vs Acrylic Paint
Tempera Vs Acrylic Paint

7. Mixing

When it comes to mixing then, no doubt both acrylic and tempera paints mix the colors very well. You can mix both paints with your hands and brush.

Hand mixing is more recommended for Tempera than acrylic because tempera paints are thin and creamy. As I explained earlier the consistency of the acrylic is thick, so you should use brushes to blend the shades instead of hands.

8. Use of Material

If you want to paint on paper-type things, then tempera paints are the best choice for you, but you can’t use them on wood, fabric, and metal. But if you are looking for the best paint for metal, canvas, fabric, and wood, then go with acrylic paint.

9. Age of Paints

Acrylic paints have a long life. They stay on the surface you have painted for years, and they don’t fade or look old. But the Tempera stays only for days. After a few days, it looks horrible. So, tempera paint is good for school students for their artwork.

Tempera Vs Acrylic Paint – Chart Comparison

FactorsTempera PaintAcrylic Paint
ResistantPaint can scratch off whenever you want to and paint gets dim over timeNot possible to scratch off the paint after it get dry.
The Colour remains the same as new.
FormationManufactured with calcium carbonate, water, and starches. Another version is called egg tempera made with egg and binderBinder and polymers are used in the making of acrylic paint
WashableIn both situations as wet or dry tempera paint is washableIf the paint is wet then washable but after getting dry there is no chance to wash the paint
StabilityThe consistency of tempera is thin and creamyAcrylic has a thick consistency
Drying PeriodIt can dry within 5 minutes and sometimes it takes one hour to get dry properlyTo get fully dry it takes some hours
TextureTempera gives a matte finishAcrylic provides glossiness, smoothness, and toughness
MixingBlends properlyIt also blends well
Age of paintsTempera stays on paper-type things only for a few daysAcrylic paint stays the same even after years
PriceBudget-friendlyExpensive than tempera but affordable
Use on MaterialPaper-type things such as poster cards, cardboard, etcBest for metal, fabric, wood, canvas, and also for paper

Which Tools Do I Need for Painting?

To start with your painting procedure there are some tools you need to collect, not a lot but some basic artistic tools. Here is the list of tools that will help you in painting:

is tempera paint acrylic
Is tempera paint acrylic

1. Required Paint

The main thing I need for painting is different colors of your desired paint type whether you are using acrylic paint or tempera paints. Select all the colors that you think you’ll need to complete your whole painting project.

2. Selective Brushes

Round shape and long-sized brushes are ideal for acrylic paint, and the names of brushes that you should have such as fan brush, filbert brush, and liner brush.

3. Paint Plate

The paint palette has a different section for different colors and a big section for water which helps us to use multiple options in a painting. You can add two colors in a section to get the required shade.

4. Flat Palette Knife

It is recommended to use a palette knife instead of a brush to blend the colors properly because it can destroy the brush and will not mix efficiently. You can also use the knife to apply the paint to the surface so it will give a professional effect to the painting.

5. Surface

Before painting, you should know on which surface you want to paint. Then, it will be easy for you to understand how much quantity and consistency of color you need.

6. Bowl of Water

While painting, it is necessary to wash the brush before dipping it into another color. By doing this, you will get a clean and fine painting without facing a mess.

7. Scrap Paper

These are simple sheets that are used in printing and can be used to clean dirty hands during painting.

How to use Tempera paint?

In the market, tempera paints are available in vibrant shades, and these are non-toxic paints. So, children can use them freely without the tension of harsh chemicals. In my experience, Before starting the paint, you need to know how to use Tempera paint. To know this, here’s a step-by-step process for using tempera paints:

how to use tempera paint
how to use tempera paint

Step 1: Arrange the Items

First of all, you need to arrange things in a manner and put all the essential items in the range of your hands. The main tools are brushes, pencils, tempera paints, and a bowl of water to wash the brushes and many others.

If you don’t arrange things properly, then you can’t focus on your painting and your whole time will be wasted finding the tools.

Step 2: Draw an Outline:

Now, sketch in your mind that you are about to paint, and then it will be easy for you to outline on the cardboard with a pencil, after making the sketch cross check that your picture is ready to paint and then go to the next step.

Step 3: Blend the Tempera paint

Select the shades that you want to use, and then pour the limited amount of paint on the plate. Then mix it well with the stick. You can also do it with your finger, but it will create a mess, so a craft stick is the best option.

Step 4: Paint the Picture

Finally, it’s time to paint the picture with the use of paintbrushes. Dip the brush into the paint plate and start painting. If you want a neat painting, then apply only thin layers and give proper time for each layer to get dry.

When you want to use a different color in your painting, then don’t forget to wash your paintbrush. After painting the picture, leave it to dry. Now dip your paintbrushes in soap and water foam, then dry them with a towel.

how to use tempera paint
how to use tempera paint

Is it possible to Make Tempera Paint at home?

Making Tempera paint is not rocket science because you can easily make it at your home by using simple items such as CaCO3, egg, water, and pigments. To make Tempera paint at home, you need to follow this process:

Step 1: Find Colors at Your Place

The main ingredient is colors which you have to find in your kitchen or your makeup vanity box. From your kitchen, you can use spices like turmeric and paprika, and you can also use your blush and eyeshadow pallet for pigments. Colorful chalk can also be used as a pigment.

Step 2: The texture of the pigment you need

To make the paint, you need all these ingredients in a powdery form. So, crush the chalks in a manual or an electric chopper to get a fine powdery form.

Step 3: Palette for Paints

Now grab the empty ice cube tray or an egg tray and fill it with different powder colors that are created by yourself. Add an equal quantity of each color in tray portions

Step 4: Remove Yolk Sac

Separate the egg yolk from the egg white carefully and clean the all-excess white part from the yolk with the paper. Now, remove the sac of the yolk.

Step 5: Final Step

Pour one and a half tablespoons of water and some drops of vinegar into the yolk and beat it well to get a fine mixture. Divide this yolk mixture equally in each color and blend each color with a craft stick to get the creamy texture.

Your homemade Tempera paint is ready for painting!

How to Make Tempera Paint Thinner?

Sometimes Tempera paint has a very thin consistency that makes you worry, and a question will pop up in your mind about how to make the paint thicker. To know the answer read the below-mentioned steps in detail:

  • Grab a pan put a half bowl of corn starch and half bowl of water in it, then mix it well.
  • Now put 3 to 4 bowls of hot water in the pan, then move the spatula in the mixture until it gets boiled on medium flame. Leave the mixture for a while to get cool.
  • One spoonful of Tempera paint of any kind, like powder or liquid, is enough in the half bowl of this mixture.

Poster Paint Vs Tempera

Tempera and poster paints are water-based paints, but the consistency of both of them has changed. Poster paints are thick, and the Tempera is creamy. When Tempera gets dry, it always gives a matte finish, and in comparison, poster paint provides glossy to semi-glossy, satin, stiff, and matte finishing.

Tempera Vs Water Color

Tempera and watercolors are almost the same because both paints can scratch off easily and can easily be washed with hot water. Both are non-toxic paints, so children of all ages can use them. If you use professional-level Tempera and watercolor, then it will become more durable.

Tempera Paint Uses

1. Tempera Paint to Be Used on Wood

Yes, you can use Tempera paint on wood, but it is not a good decision because Tempera is not that reliable. So acrylic paint is recommended for wood due to its reliability.

2. Tempera Paint to Be Used on Fabric

It is possible to use Tempera on fabric, but the paint will get dim because Tempera can’t resist the sunlight. Tempera is also washable, so when you wash the fabric, the paint will be removed from the cloth.

3. Tempera to Be Used on Canvas

If you are thinking of painting on canvas with Tempera, then you shouldn’t waste your time. Tempera gets faded too early, and the paint also cracks and peels off over time. So, use acrylic paint on canvas for durability instead of Tempera.

Acrylic Paint Uses

1. Acrylic Paint to Be Used on Plastic

You can surely use acrylic paint on the plastic, but first, you need to prep the plastic surface with primer and sealant. Without preparation, you will not get a fine finish of acrylic paint on plastic.

Converting Tempera Paint into Acrylic

Acrylic and Tempera are different from each other, so making Tempera into acrylic is very difficult. You can only make the Tempera as thick as acrylic by adding starch and flour.

To get a glossy finish, you can add some quantity of sealant to the tempera paint. But unfortunately, you will not get the result as same as you want.

FAQs Section (Tempera Vs Acrylic Paint)

The answer is ‘No’. Both acrylic and Tempera don’t have similarities such as composition, texture, and durability.

In the making of acrylic paints, and polymers, gum Arabic-based binder is used, but Tempera is made with simple components like water and calcium carbonate.

Acrylic paint is not that waterproof. It might get a little effect if we use water, and if you want to make it waterproof, you can mix the paint sealant in acrylic.

Although Tempera paints also get dry, it takes a little more time to get dry on canvas than acrylic paints.

If you want to make your art durable, then it is possible to seal the tempera paint. You can use a waterproof spray or a high-quality sealant to block the paint. Both of them Quality sealants will give excellent results to waterproof spray.

Obviously, tempera paints can be used on rock, and if you want to do so, then don’t keep the rock under the sunlight because Tempera cannot resist outside.

Artists use Tempera when they want to give their art a traditional look, and they also choose Tempera because it takes very little time to dry.

Tempera paints are non-toxic because they are made with simple items, so they will not harm your skin at all. Comparatively, acrylic paints have some chemicals in their composition, so avoid using them on your body. If you do so, your body will get rash.

Final Verdicts

Now you surely know the difference between Tempera and Acrylic paint. I am not bounding you to buy the only one from both instead I would recommend you to buy the one which suits you the most.

If you want durable and thick and want your paints to have a glossy finish, then go with acrylic. Otherwise, for thin, creamy, non-toxic, and also for matte finishing, tempera paint will be the best choice for you.