Acrylic enamel vs. polyurethane

Written by chris deziel Google
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
Acrylic enamel vs. polyurethane
Acrylic enamel and polyurethane are both plastic coatings (red rose sprayed with gold paint image by ennavanduinen from

Acrylic enamel and polyurethane are both synthetic coatings. Whereas the latter can be brushed or sprayed, the former is almost always sprayed. While they give similar protection, acrylic enamel is primarily used on metal while polyurethane is manufactured for general use.

Other People Are Reading

Chemical Structure

Polyurethanes are a type of rubber and have a more complex chemical structure than acrylic enamels, which are plastics. This makes them more resistant to chemicals and gives them a brighter gloss.


Polyurethanes are generally not as hard as acrylic enamels, which also means they are more flexible and adhere better. Thus a polyurethane finish is likely to last longer without cracking.


While both products can be sprayed onto metal, polyurethanes manufactured for wood finishing can also be brushed. There is no comparable acrylic enamel. Both products are available in two-part formulas, but single-part polyurethanes are also common.

Resistance to Sunlight

Both products have comparable resistance to sunlight although, owing to its complex structure, polyurethane gives superior protection from UV with successive coats.


A two-part polyurethane for spraying on metal surfaces costs more than a two-part acrylic enamel.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.