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How to Tell Acrylic Paint From Enamel

    • 1). Check for fading. Enamels are more likely to fade with prolonged exposure to sunlight. Acrylics, on the other hand, stand the test of time. Select an area of your home that receives extended exposure to the sun. Look for fading between the areas exposed to sunlight and the shady areas of the house.

      Enamels also have a tendency to yellow over time, looking dingy and dirty. This will be clearly visible to the naked eye.

      Another way to test for enamel versus acrylic paint is to look for cracking, since enamel lacks the elasticity of its acrylic counterpart.

    • 2). Look for mildew. This is a nearly sure fire way to spot if your painter used acrylic paint or enamel on your home. Enamel paint encourages mildew growth, and acrylics discourage it. If there are several areas on the exterior of your home infested with mildew and stains, your paint is likely enamel-based.

    • 3). Scrape off with a paint scraper a bit of paint from an area with prolonged sunlight exposure, a shady area and an area receiving half sunlight and half shade. The paint is acrylic if it scratches easily when scraped off. The paint is enamel if it resists removal with the paint scraper because enamels are scratch resistant.

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