Top 7 Best Paint For Cardboard | A Complete Review + Buyer’s Guide

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Read the full review and buyer’s guide on the best paint for cardboard to help you make the right decision.

Cardboard is one of the affordable and versatile pieces to show your creativity. However, if you have ever tried painting cardboard laying around in your home, you must know how difficult it is to get the true colors on its surface and ensure no warping and wrinkling at all costs.

If you are struggling with the same issue, you have come to the right place!

Who Needs This Product

From experienced artists to DIYers, the paint used explicitly on cardboards makes it an excellent choice to make sure to bring the most out of your paintings. They aren’t just ordinary colors. These paints are packed with high pigmentation, durability, and variety to make your artwork second to none!

What Will Readers Get Ahead?

This comprehensive guide is a one-stop solution for everything you need to know about cardboard paints, things you need to consider to make the right choice for you, expert tips, and FAQs that are curated after weeks’ worth of rigorous trying and testing of the most popular paints out there.

So sit back; it’s going to be a long ride ahead!

Top 7 Best Paint For Cardboard

1. Pintyplus Aqua Spray Paint – Best Overall

Pintyplus Aqua Spray Paint - Art Set of 8 Water Based 4.2oz Mini Spray Paint Cans. Ultra Matte Finish. Perfect For Arts & Crafts. Spray Paint Set Works on Plastic, Metal, Wood, Cardboard

This Pintyplus Aqua Spray paint is your perfect companion for all the arts and crafts projects you currently have. Given that it’s a spray, it makes it effortless to cover a large surface at once, all while making sure that you don’t physically harm your hand. In addition, the advanced features come with incredible capabilities that minimize overspray and odor.

One thing that makes Pintyplus stand above the rest is how it can make it easier for you to use it on any surface ranging from wood, cardboard, metal, to plastic; it has got it all! In addition, you can count on its large variety of color options to carry out your entire artwork and maintain its durability throughout the lifespan of the work.

However, considering that it’s water-based paint, it won’t take much longer to erase with soap and water. This means you need to take additional caution to keep moisture away from the final painting. With this, you can put all your creativity into a single sheet of cardboard, finish off the painting in 30 minutes, and ensure its contaminants-free application makes it a safe choice for you and your little ones.


  • It is a watercolor which makes it an excellent option for beginners
  • It can be used on a variety of surfaces
  • Has a unit count of 33.6 ounces
  • With 1200 milliliters, this paint is enough to cover your entire painting
  • It has an overall matte finish


The paint has widely raved for its versatility. So after giving it a shot with various stencils, arts and crafts projects, and on different surfaces, I can certainly vouch for its low odor and safe use that is ideal to be used indoors. Moreover, the colors are pigmented enough to show each light and dark color properly without ruining the whole idea of the painting.


If you are a first-time spray paint user, you may have to struggle with the nuzzle and getting an even coat on the surface. This makes many people avoid using such kinds of paints. Other than that, there have been quite a few complaints regarding the pigment of the yellow color. As for my experience, you can get the correct pigment if you shake it well before use.

2. Krylon K02732007 Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint – Best for Beginners

Krylon K02732007 Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint for Indoor/Outdoor Use, Matte Black, 12 Ounces

If you are on the hunt for something that can help support your experiments, you can never go wrong with Krylon K02732007 Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint which is the most suitable choice to be used in a rough environment. Regardless of how many layers, styles, materials, and surfaces you use to craft your artwork, this Kylon spray paint will stay with you through thick and thin.

It has a special ability to adjust to outdoor and indoor environments and uses its ultimate rust protection to make it a no-brainer for metal surfaces. In addition, its black color gives an irresistibly beautiful satin finish that can be used to provide the ever-needed sleek and elegant look to anything you paint.

One of the main struggles that spray paint users go through is their inability to spray upside down. This exceptional Kylon spray paint eliminates that too. You can easily cover up to 25 sq. feet without having to worry about the direction of the can—how amazing is that!


  • It dries to touch in just 20 minutes
  • You can paint in any direction
  • It shows best results when used in temperatures that are higher than 55 to 75 degrees and below 60% humidity
  • Easy to store and reuse
  • Has a satin finishing result


They have quite vivid and appealing colors that are neither too bright for the eye nor too dull to ruin your painting. Moreover, as they can be used on a wide range of surfaces and rough environments, you can easily repaint the old card boxes to revamp their appearance. With this, you can cover large boxes of cardboard without breaking a sweat.


Although all the paints have nice colors, they have a slightly runny consistency, making it harder to get into details, especially for beginners. Most of the customers also had trouble getting the right colors shipped to them with ease. 

3. Rust-Oleum 249127 Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover – Best for Safety

Rust-Oleum 249127 Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover, 12 Ounce (Pack of 1), Flat Black

Rust-Oleum stands above the rest and offers one of the best finishes you can ever find out there to give character to dull cardboard. It has been trusted by many professional artists who require nothing but true quality to support their high skills. With this, you not only create extraordinary pieces of art but can use the leftover paint to amp up your house furniture as well.

In addition, the oil-based formula of this paint is great for letting the paint last for years and increasing its value and durability with time.  

Unlike most spray paints that are hazardous to health, Rust-Oleum excels at delivering unmatched results, all while making sure that it’s completely safe to use with kids. In addition, with its ultra-matte finish and exceptional durability, once you are done with the artwork, you don’t have to worry about the upkeep of the painting at all.


  • It doesn’t require many paint coats to get the final results
  • The spray doesn’t clog
  • Durable to use
  • It has an ultra-matte finish
  • Can be used with 10-16 inch of distance between the can and the surface


The flat black offers a solid black true-to-color shade, making it easier to carry on with your artwork without wasting time perfecting it. It dries to a beautiful matte and durable finish, which can last for as long as you want. Considering how it is an oil-based paint makes it a perfect choice for both experts and beginners to put their ideas into practice.


Where oil paints have their perks, it also has some drawbacks that you need to consider to balance everything out. Sure, they are durable, but it takes considerably longer to dry and take care of their runny consistency. It can also give a slightly gritty finish if used on plastics. Therefore, don’t touch the painted cardboard for at least 48 hours to prevent smudges and marks.

4. Mont Marte Acrylic Paint Set 24 Colors – Best for Convenience

Mont Marte Acrylic Paint Set 24 Colours 36ml, Perfect for Canvas, Wood, Fabric, Leather, Cardboard, Paper, MDF and Crafts

Covering large surface areas can be a complete headache, especially when you want to get over the initial background process and get into details. This is where the Mont Marte Acrylic Paint Set comes into the picture.

You can use the 24 colors to mix and match different shades and put all of your creativity once in a piece of cardboard. Unlike the ones mentioned above, this acrylic paint is for artists who prefer to favor detail and have a more professional approach to bringing out their best in them.

If you think that’s enough, wait till you find out how smoothly it glides on surfaces like leather, cardboard, plastics, paper, wood, plaster, and whatnot. The matte finish can only add an extra layer of aesthetics to these already perfect paint tubes.


  • It comes with 24, 26 ML paint tubes for added convenience
  • It also has a glossy exterior finish
  • Known as one of the most durable paints that you can find out there
  • Has an item volume of 36 milliliters
  • It can be stored and reused with ease


The pigments of the paint are highly easy to use and can be a great choice for people who frequently struggle with runny paints. You can also use it without mediums to create cool textures and add deeper meanings to your artwork. As all of the tubes in this set are in separate plastic trays, you certainly don’t have to pour them into an additional container to store them. This functionality helps Mont Morte take the lead in crafting just the right paint for beginners.


Although the paints are pretty pigmented and have variety, you may have trouble mixing different colors as they are acrylic. Unless you are experienced enough to handle the brush, you can also expect to see awkward brush stroke lines in the finishing result, which can ruin the quality of your artwork.

They are also not recommended for DIYers or artists who prefer thick consistency with their paints for cardboard. 

5. Apple Barrel PROMOABI Matte Finish Acrylic Craft Paint – Best for Affordability

Apple Barrel PROMOABI 18pc Matte Finish Acrylic Craft Paint Set, 2 Fl Oz (Pack of 18), Assorted Colors 1, 18 Count

Here comes the solution to all our paint problems. Apple Barrel PROMOABI is known for its specially formulated colors that can work well on all sorts of surfaces, all while ensuring the durability of the color. These sets of colors are the epitome of the perfect matte colors you need to amp up your artwork.

Whether it is a piece that requires many details or something with huge prints and textures, Apple Barrel bridges the gap between the picture you have in your mind and execution to ensure you always bring your best masterpiece on cardboards.

There is no restriction in using a wide range of paintbrushes to control every stroke you make and eliminate any concerns you may have about the aftermath of the painting process. They are easy to clean up, non-toxic, and water-based, ensuring that you get started anytime, anywhere with ease.

Thanks to the 18 different colors and shades, I didn’t have to waste time mixing different shades and creating the ever needed fresh look to my artwork. This factor makes it the perfect choice for people who need to get the job done without fiddling with other advanced tools and applications.


  • The 18 shades eliminate the need to buying any other paint brands to complete the look
  • It comes in barrel packaging for ease of use
  • The liquid form makes it effortless to paint for newbies
  • It is made to be used for indoor purposes only
  • Has an item volume of 2 fluid ounces
  • Dries to a matte finish


If you absolutely hate cleaning up the mess after finishing your artwork, this can be your best bet to go. Its easy to clean feature makes it the best choice for adults and kids who can simply clean it off with soap and water.

With great affordability and versatility, Apple Barrel is flexible enough to work with a wide range of tools like stencils, brushes, and stamps to make your painting look no less than a professional’s. In addition, it has a thick consistency which is great for improved durability and ease of use of the product.


Apple Barrel has a slightly low pigment in all of its shades. This means you may need to go for additional layers and ensure its thick consistency doesn’t give a cakey finish to the final results. This can also be a poor choice if you are looking for acrylic paints that can help complement your details and make them pop out.

6. Arteza Oil Paint Set – Best for Variety

Arteza Oil Paint Set, 24 Colors, 12ml, 0.4 US fl oz Tubes, Richly Pigmented Painting Art Supplies for Professionals, Students, and Kids

With Arteza, all you have to do is dream and let the paint application take care of bringing your ideas into action. The 60 colors present are no joke in bridging out the inner artist in you and use its premium-grade quality to offer a vibrant image of the overall masterpiece.

The most comprehensive selection of colors is specially made for all kinds of canvas and ensures sustainability for as long as you want. Thanks to the non-toxic formula of the paint, you can maintain complete safety during the making process and use its excellent application for a more long-lasting result.

That’s not even the best part; if you are unhappy with the product, the manufacturers give you the flexibility to refund the paint and get your full money back with no risk involved. They also make experimenting with the shade a breeze and become your perfect companion to make the creative process a lot more fun and memorable!


  • It has a glossy exterior finish
  • There are 24 tubes present in the set to give you a variety
  • It comes with an item volume of 12 milliliters
  • It is an oil-based paint
  • Made for both beginners and artists


These paints are highly affordable to buy, making the perfect choice for beginners interested in experimenting and learning new techniques. They are smooth to glide right on the cardboard, ensure n cardboard color peeks through it has a dry time a lot faster than most of the conventional oil paints that you can find out there.


While they have been widely known for their excellent texture and colors, the packaging of the tube makes it hard to store and maintain the quality of the paints. In addition, the poor cap quality can come right off if used with slight roughness, so you may need to be extra careful while using the Arteza Oil Paint Set.

7. ZenART Box of Whites Palette Professional Oil Paints – Best for Professionals

ZenART Professional Oil Paints Set - 8 x Large 45ml Tubes - Essential Palette for Artists, Eco-Friendly, Non-Toxic, and Lightfast Paint with Exceptional Pigment Load - The Infinity Series

Whether it is creating a painting with bright, vivid shades or something dreamier with darker tones, the extensive range of colors and application of ZenART Box of Whites Palette Professional Oil Paints are perfectly equipped with different tonal values to help you get exactly that.

It can suit all types of surfaces and has recyclable packaging to help you do your part of making the Earth a slightly better place for the generations to come. Crafted with the highest quality, safe paints, each ingredient is used in the making or together to give you an unprecedented painting experience.

What makes ZenArt better than the rest is the easy to mix feature that can make use of the whites and create shades that you want to create just the right masterpieces. The brand has been recommended by many professional artists as it helps make a bang for your buck by ensuring you don’t need a lot of paint to cover the entire surface.

Besides that, its range of finest pigments is the epitome of a buttery consistency and exceptional vivid results of your painting. This helps to make your painting stand out from the rest and enjoy the process throughout the making.


  • It has an oil paint type to help paint spread evenly
  • It comes in a box of whites
  • Great Zinc exterior finish
  • It can be used on any surface you prefer


The white combines well with the rest of the colors to create a beautiful mixture of shades and give professional-level results. You can feel free to experiment with cool and warm hues and customize your painting. Because the brand has a well-thought-out approach in all of its collections, you can count on ZenART to mix a few other palettes and make something extraordinary. 


Although the paint gives you enough flexibility to customize paints, it can be difficult for beginners who aren’t knowledgeable about color theory. The paint also has a slightly harder consistency, requiring a professional’s hand to get it right.

Buyer’s Guide: Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Paint For Cardboard

Now that you are full of the best paint to use on cardboard, you will never be satisfied with your purchase unless you know what you want the most. This means regardless of how effective the paint is, we all have certain priorities that distinguish a good paint from a bad one. Here are some of the factors to consider to get your hands on the best paint for cardboard.

Type of Paint

If you are working on cardboard, you need to consider a lot of hurdles to get the best results. You see, it’s hard to get the right shade and tone that can complement the original color of the cardboard. Therefore, you need to pay close attention to the type of paint that can help you get the job done.

Here are three types of paints formulated with extra care to ensure you don’t put too much effort into perfecting your craft.

  • Acrylic Paint: Acrylic paint is always water-based and is one of the most beginner-friendly paints, to begin with. They require priming with gesso to have a clean, bland surface to work on. You certainly don’t have to break your sweat with acrylic paint by dipping the brush in water before applying. However, it may take longer than usual to dry and apply the second coat.
  • Oil Paint: Oil paints are the most durable form of paint that you can go for. However, it also comes with a few drawbacks that can ruin your experience. It can quickly get Cakey if not used right in the second or third coat as they are tucker than usual. Besides that, the moisture present in the oil is also known to warp the cardboard in no time. Therefore, always prime the cardboard with gesso before starting with your paint.
  • Spray Paint: Spray paints are diel to cover large surface areas without putting too much effort. If this is what works best for you, go for a non-toxic paint that ensures to keep you safe against inflammation. Other than that, always apply a primer before going headfirst with spray paint to improve its longevity.

Dry Time

This is one of the most underrated features that many DIYers fail to consider. Think about it: if you create a masterpiece on your cardboard, it inevitably calls for a few layers that need the previous layer to dry out first completely.

Here, spending a week in only a single art piece doesn’t seem a wise thing to do. Therefore, go for water-based paints that take considerably less time to be dry to touch. This also works as a convenient option if you need to go for extravagant artwork with props and other materials.

Does it Need a Primer?

Oil paints always require a primer, and linseed oil works the best to bring out your artwork’s true colors. Although gesso is still the best option, if you currently don’t have access to it, there is no doubt that you can find better alternatives like a gel medium and oil painting grounds. However, if you are working with acrylic, you can work directly on the cardboard with no primer. This speeds up the work process and gets you excellent results in no time.

Ways to Paint Cardboard like a Pro

Here comes the part that you all have been waiting for. Sure, you are now armed with the right paints, but how will you ace your painting project? Well, this guide is all you need.

Working on cardboard is easier said than done. But, if you have tried it already, I’m sure you also struggled with a thin or flimsy surface that warps as soon as you are done with the painting process. That’s where these expert tips come into the picture. Here are the proven six tips to help you paint cardboard like a pro.  

Prevent using watercolors or anything with water straight on the cardboard as it can make a nasty mess and make it extremely difficult to recover. Therefore, many professionals tend to work for thick consistencies to support the cardboard’s material and are relatively more pigmented and durable.

As promised earlier, too flimsy cardboard can absolutely ruin your painting. And for some reason, professionals always manage to create incredible art pieces, all while keeping the shape of the cardboard. How? Simply glue two sheets of cardboard together so the grain section of the first sheet is perpendicular to the gain section of the second piece. This helps create an internal crosshatched structure. Too hard to grab? Read that again.

Do use a background layer for matte paints as they are already quite thick to sport their unique consistency and finish. As for glossier paints, always prime the surface with a primer and use a slightly thin consistency to get its ever-needed gloss.

When working with the gesso primer, let it dry for 24 hours before going ahead with the second layer. This helps create smooth layers without giving a cakey and cheap effect.

Alayna, sand the surface of your cardboard with 500-grit sandpaper if your surface is too rough. 

Instead of adding the paint to the cardboard and working from there, apply the paint directly to the brush or dip the brush into the paint bottle to avoid warping of cardboard as the paint doesn’t sink into the cardboard. This also helps to have evenly distributed strokes to cover the entire area with ease.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to Paint Acrylic or Oil Paint on Cardboard?

Using oil and acrylic paints is the best, mess-free way to put your imagination into practice. To rock this, simply apply gesso primer to the surface, let it completely dry first (for up to 48 hours), and get started with your paint. If the paint isn’t thick enough, go for the second layer only after it has been completely dried.

How to Prevent Warping and Curling of Cardboard?

Many people believe that moisture or watercolors are the reason behind warps and curls in your cardboard; it is actually PVA that is the real culprit to ruin your artwork. This is because PVA and water-based fillers can sink inside the structure of cardboard and weaken it. As a result, you see warped cardboard sitting on the surface.

Here, try to go for a brand new cardboard piece with no humidity and use a primer to keep the cardboard in its excellent condition.

What is the best way to paint cardboard?

Applying several layers of paint along with primer is key to getting professional-like quality in your cardboard painting. This also ensures that there are no see-through spaces in between the fine application of paint.

What can I use instead of gesso?

Gesso primers make the most crucial part of the whole painting process. However, if you currently don’t have one of these, you can go ahead without primers or use rabbit skin glue to do the trick for you. Some gel mediums can also do wonders in holding the paint well.


All in all, if you have reached here, you are fully equipped to get started with cardboard painting. Undoubtedly, choosing the tools and paints can be the key to making or breaking your experience with the paint, let alone the final result.

Therefore, it is never a bad idea to go the extra mile and compare and contrast the best possible options that work best for your needs. If you ask me, you can never go wrong with Pintyplus Aqua Spray Paint, as it helps create a perfect picture of everything you have in mind. It goes a long way, and the convenient packaging is ideal to reuse whenever the creativity sparks again.

So pick the best paint for cardboard and get started right away.

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