Your Guide to Buying an Antique Acrylic Painting

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Your Guide to Buying an Antique Acrylic Painting

Antique Acrylic Paintings are one of the most popular types of art that are for sale and they are incredibly affordable whilst at the same time looking beautiful wherever hung.

The paintings come in all manner of designs with valuation dependent on the period they are from. This buying guide will explain in detail what an Antique Acrylic Painting is, how to find one and the best way to complete a purchase safely and securely using eBay..

What is an Acrylic Painting?

eBay actually offers one of the widest selections of antique acrylic paintings on the Internet, and it’s a marketplace that caters for all art enthusiasts. This is extremely important due to the diversity of acrylic painting on offer from every corner of the world.

Before going into any more detail there needs to be an understanding as to what an Acrylic Painting actually is.

Acrylic refers to the type of paint used by the artist to paint the picture and below is a list of Acrylic Paint’s characteristics:

  • Fast-drying paint that contains a pigment suspension infused into an acrylic polymer emulsion.
  • Can be diluted in water and this has a drastic effect on the final appearance of the paint.
  • Becomes water-resistant when dry and forms a hard coating regardless of how much water is used.
  • Can give a gloss or matte effect once dry, and a satin sheen is most common.

The next section examines what makes a painting antique.

How is a Painting Classed as Antique?

For a seller to be able to call a painting antique there are a number of criteria that it must fit. The following list outlines the main characteristics that it must have:

  • Work should have a date that is pre-1900.
  • Some observers think a better parameter is a painting that is at least 100 years old. Either is applicable.
  • Painting has been made in the style of an earlier period and it can be proved that it came from that era.
  • Some pieces of art will have a certificate to state they are officially able to class themselves as an antique.

The guide now looks at the different varieties of acrylic paint that can be used to create paintings.

Varieties of Acrylic Paint

When looking through Antique Acrylic Painting listings on eBay buyers will notice that some listings will allude to different varieties of Acrylic Paint.

The table below explains what each variety is, how it should look, and the surfaces it is used on:

Paint Variety


Acrylic Gouache

Combines features of fluid and craft acrylics.

Is opaque like other gouache paints, but has a matte finish.

Water resistant when dry.

Can be used on most surfaces.

Decorative and folk art use it.

Craft Acrylics

Colours are pre-mixed.

Used on fabric, ceramic, wood and metal.

Decorative painters and those looking to achieve faux finishes use them.

Smooth consistency.

Exterior Acrylics

Can withstand outdoor conditions.

UV and water-resistant.

Used on most surfaces.

Iridescent, Pearl, Interference or Metallic Acrylics

Standard pigments are combined with powdered mica to achieve a metallic effect.

Level of effect depends on the amount of powder used.

Used for crafts as well as fine art.

Fluid Acrylics

High concentration of colour.

Thin consistency.

Help artist achieve a watercolour effect.

Can be sourced in artist and craft quality.

Ideal for canvas painting.

Heavy Body Acrylics

Paint is a lot more thick and viscous than other varieties.

Can be used on any surface.

Signed Limited Editions

Some of the Antique Acrylic Paintings for sale on eBay will claim to be a signed limited edition.

This means that the original artist has signed the work and produced a limited number of them. The list below explains in more detail what the painting must have to make it a Signed Limited Edition Antique Acrylic Painting:

  • Signature – Picture must have a signature if it is to have any credibility. It’s very important to check the right person has signed it and that it’s the correct autograph. Any irregularities will bring the value down.
  • Edition Number – Expressed as X of X (for example 1 of 20) and tells the buyer how limited the painting is that they are buying. This must be present along with the signature for the Antique Acrylic Painting to be authentic.

Antique-Style Paintings

In recent years, modern artists have begun to alter paintings so that they appear to be antique when they are in fact from an era that cannot be classed as antique. The technique creates paintings that look extremely similar to antique ones whereas the truth is that they have been painted much more recently. One way to discover whether the painting is from an antique period is to set the date parameters on eBay to the right level. Dependant on the buyers preference in the time period will provide a necessary step to the final purchasing decision. Undertaking background research on the painting is another way to check that it’s an antique and not an imitation. It helps to make sure the item being bought is worth the money and not a copy.

How to Buy a Antique Acrylic Painting from eBay

Art is a huge part of what eBay offers to buyers and Antique Acrylic Paintings sit alongside a selection that is unrivalled anywhere else. The large numbers of credible sellers present, mean that experience is never far away. Buyers can be assured that buying from eBay’s competitive marketplace is one of the safest ways to buy works of art online.

To search for Antique Acrylic Paintings on eBay, go to the category tab and click on Art.. Follow this by scrolling down to the Paintings sub-category and scrolling down to Antique (Pre-1900) underneath that and clicking on it.

  • From there scroll down to the list titled Medium on the left hand side of the page and click the tick box next to Acrylic. A number of other options will then come up including Date of Creation, Condition, Style and Subject, all of which help to narrow down the search even further.
  • When searching for any type of art on eBay, it’s sometimes more helpful to use search terms to locate an item. This can be done by typing the item name into the search box at the top of any eBay page.
  • If at any time you’re unsure about item details, the Ask the Seller option gives the buyer the chance to find out more. There is even a Buying Tips section that will provide even more help if required.
  • Once all this has been considered the buyer should be ready to either make a Bid, lodge a best offer or Buy it Now if the option is available to do so.

Safety Considerations When Buying

Perhaps more than some other things on eBay, acquiring any work of art means the buyer having to take extra consideration when finalising a purchase.

  • Reading the item description is of utmost importance and anything that is unclear should be put to the seller using an Ask the Seller submission. The description should contain detailed information about the artwork and some high-resolution images to provide the buyer with the utmost confidence in the purchase.
  • When looking at any item for sale on eBay the buyer must carefully check the seller’s transaction history to make sure they are legitimate. Any negative feedback that has been left on the profile must be carefully considered and if there’s anything you’re unsure about then Ask the Sellerabout it.
  • Another thing to watch out for are eBay sellersthat have no feedback on their profile. If none is present, it’s another reason to have a careful look over everything again before completing a purchase.
  • Before placing a bid read through the conditions of sale another few times and if there’s anything that looks untoward then Ask the Seller.


Antique Acrylic Painting’s are works of art that require knowledge and research before purchase to make them as worthwhile a buy as possible. The items can be extremely valuable and as such there are a few things that should be taken into consideration before a purchase is completed:

  • Double-check the item is from a period that means it can be classed as antique – either 100 years old or pre-1900.
  • Make sure the item is appropriate for the location. For example, if it’s being kept outdoors then correct paint must have been used.
  • Confirm the painting being bought is not simply an antique-style painting.
  • If it’s a signed limited edition check to make sure that everything is present that make it one.
  • When all of this has been taken into consideration, you should be able to make a firm decision on an item and decide on a final sale.
  • None of the answers should in anyway limit you in and the final decision rests with what the buyer desires.

When you have considered all the information available, there are few better places to buy Antique Acrylic Paintings online than eBay, and using PayPal will make the transaction as smooth and safe as possible.

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