Difference Between Enamel and Paint (With Table)

Colour adds grace and beauty to anything, from the faces of people to their houses, from their clothes to the accessories. Everything has an essence of colour, few things are naturally painted like colours of natural things, for example, the green colour of leaves, or the red of apples, and so on.

The artificial colours can be added to things by painting with colours to make things look attractive. For example, walls are painted to attract people to enhance the beauty of house, office, or any other place, cars or refrigerators, cell phones, bikes, etc. all are painted.

Every paint is not the same. There are different types of paints which are suitable for different materials, like the wall paint can be used for painting cars or refrigerators, because cars are metal surfaces whereas walls are cemented.

There are different types of paints manufactured by different brands, for every type of material, improvisations are done by manufacturers in paints. Every type of paint has different tools and techniques as well.

Enamel vs Paint

The main difference between enamel and paint is that enamel is a type of paint, whereas paint is a wider term that includes several other types of paint. 


Comparison Table Between Enamel and Paint

Parameters of Comparison




Type of paint

The wider term including pigmented liquid of every type.


Oil-based, water-based, latex-based

Cemented, aluminium, enamel, acrylic, etc..

Surface used on

Wood and metal

Walls, paper, wood, metal, plastic, rubber, etc


It is washable

Not every type of paint is washable



Semi-glossy, glossy, eggshell finish, etc..


What is Enamel?

Enamel is a type of paint which is traditionally oil-based, although variations like water-based or latex-based enamels are readily available in the market.

Enamel gets air-dried hard and used as protective as well. Enamel is considered best for the materials which are of regular use and thus enamel helps to protect the wear and tear products or the things that are subject to remain outside the shelter and faces every type of climatic conditions for example cars.

Thus, enamel is considered best for materials like furniture, vehicles or any kind of wood or metal. Enamel also gives a glossy shine to the objects, which enhances the beauty of things and a durable finish as well.

They have heat resistant property which makes it perfect for kitchen appliances as well for example refrigerators, microwaves, etc., unlike the acrylic paint enamel is washable thus it is considered the best paint for regular washable things.

Enamel is ideal for tolerating the harsh and moderate temperatures and itself it is hot paint as compared to others it is usually related to at least500 degrees Fahrenheit. And this property makes it of higher quality.

Enamel is used on a smooth surface, and not only enamel every paint is used on a smooth surface thus before using enamel the surface is smoothened by sanding and applying primer in case of wood. Metals are already smooth surfaces and thus do not need sanding. 

The oil-based enamels are pretty dangerous too their fumes and the solvents used to thin them can cause dizziness, headaches, or respiratory problems. But the water-based enamels have less or no impact like the oil-based enamels, they emit less dangerous fumes.


What is Paint?

Paint is a wider term used for any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, or solid mastic composition that application becomes a thin layer or gets into a solid form. Paints are generally used to add colour, texture to the object to protect any surface.

Designing and manufacturing of paints include four major components, those are; pigment, binders, liquid and additives. All of them are important to produce paint. And their individual quality determines the quality of the final paint as a product.

Binders help to grip on the pigment and solvent turns the binder and liquid into thinner and fluid liquid. Paints are of different types but these are the basic components in every type of paint.

The quality of good paint is determined by a few factors which are applicable for all types of paints; those qualities are; paint should have good hiding power, it should be good resistant towards the harsh atmosphere, the fluidity and easy application and of course the cost of it.

Some of the properties of ideal paint regardless of the type are; corrosion resistant, heat resistant, water-resistant, chemical resistant, opacity, tint strength, etc.. after manufacturing these properties are being checked properly before the retail sale.

There are several types of paints available in the market by different brands like oil paint, enamel paint, emulsion paint, aluminum paint, bituminous paint, cement paint, acrylic paint, velvet paint, synthetic rubber paint, anti-corrosive paint, etc..

Paints are also distinguished based on their uses for example external and interior or internal use.  For external use usually, enamel paint is preferred and for interiors, there is a wide range available like the satin finish paints, the eggshell finish paints, semi-gloss paints, etc.

Main Differences Between Enamel and Paint

  1. Enamel is a type of paint whereas paint includes a wide range of different types of paints.
  2. Enamels are usually used for wood and metal surfaces, on contrary paint can be used at any material.
  3. Enamel is of three types; oil-based, water-based, or latex-based, whereas paints are of several types like cement paint, acrylic paint, bituminous paint, aluminum paint, etc..
  4. Enamel provides the glossy finish on the other hand, not every paint provides the glossy finish when compared to enamel.
  5. Enamel is washable but every paint is not washable.



The difference between enamel and pain is negligible as enamel is a type of paint. Enamel is considered the best paint for surfaces like wood and metal as it acts as a protective layer for the surface. Enamel has qualities which not every paint has.       


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0043164807005704
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013935109001315