Are Acrylics Vegan?

Yes, acrylics can be considered vegan-friendly. Acrylic paints are typically made from a synthetic polymer called acrylic resin, which is derived from petroleum. The manufacturing process of acrylic paints does not involve the use of any animal-derived ingredients or by-products, making them suitable for vegans.

Ingredients of Acrylic Paints

Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients commonly found in acrylic paints to understand why they are considered vegan:

  • Acrylic Resin: The main component of acrylic paint, acrylic resin, is a synthetic polymer made from petroleum. It does not contain any animal-derived ingredients.
  • Pigments: Pigments are responsible for giving color to the paint. Most pigments used in acrylic paints are synthetic or mineral-based, avoiding any use of animal-derived pigments.
  • Binders: Binders are added to hold the pigment particles together. In acrylic paints, acrylic resin acts as the binder, which is plant-based or petroleum-derived.
  • Additives: Various additives like surfactants, dispersants, and defoamers are used in acrylic paints to improve their performance. These additives are typically synthetic and do not contain animal ingredients.
  • Water: Water is the medium used to dilute acrylic paints. It is, of course, vegan-friendly.

Alternative Vegan Paints

While acrylic paints are considered vegan, some individuals may prefer to explore alternative vegan paints. Here are a few options:

  1. Watercolor Paints: Watercolor paints are typically vegan as they consist of pigments mixed with a binder like gum arabic or vegetable glycerin.
  2. Gouache Paints: Gouache is similar to watercolor but has a higher pigment concentration, resulting in a more opaque finish. Vegan gouache paints are available, made with plant-based binders.
  3. Oil Paints: Traditional oil paints typically contain animal-derived ingredients like beeswax or animal fats. However, vegan alternatives made with plant-based waxes or binders are also available.

If you’re uncertain about the vegan status of a specific brand or product, it’s always recommended to check the label or reach out to the manufacturer for clarification.

Animal Testing and Acrylic Paints

Another concern for vegans is animal testing. Some artists may want to ensure that the products they use are cruelty-free as well.

Fortunately, many reputable acrylic paint manufacturers have taken steps to eliminate animal testing. They rely on alternative testing methods or use ingredients with a long history of safe use. Look for products labeled as “cruelty-free” or “not tested on animals” to support the companies that align with your values.


To recap, acrylic paints can be considered vegan-friendly as they do not contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products. The synthetic nature of acrylic resins and pigments makes them suitable choices for vegans. However, if you prefer alternative vegan paints or have concerns about animal testing, explore watercolor paints, gouache paints, or vegan oil paints. Always check the labels or contact the manufacturer for specific information regarding a product’s vegan status or animal testing practices.