I need some help with something. I am trying to find the word for oil paint. Artist oil paint, like the stuff Winsor & Newton makes.

But I can not find the exact word. 油彩 is the closest I can find, but I'm not sure if this is actually the physical paint or the painted canvas itself. Also, I would like to know what these other words mean, and their differences.

  • 油漆
  • 涂料
  • 油彩

I know 油 refers to oil, but I don't understand the differences. It doesn't really help that "paint" is both a verb and noun, and my dictionary doesn't distinguish between the two senses.

Could someone explain the differences please, or give other popular words I should use? Thank you.

  • oil paint = 油画颜料 && oil painting = 油画. 油漆 seems to refer to any type of paint in general, 涂料 looks to refer to more of a paint coating, and 油彩 is greasepaint.
    – Mou某
    Commented May 31, 2015 at 5:11

2 Answers 2


油画: oil paint (the artwork or 'painted canvas')

油画颜料/油性颜料: oil paint (the painting material)

油彩: grease paint (the painting material, for artwork or cosmetics)

水彩: water color

颜料: paint (materials in general, usually refers to that for artworks)

涂料: paint/coating (materials in general, usually refers to that for industrial purposes such as painting a house)

油漆: oil-based paint (usually refers to that for industrial purposes)

  • one upvote for this answer after 2 days....
    – Mou某
    Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 9:10

from my experience as native speaker. I don't know about what 油彩 exactly means. But 油漆 means something you paint on your wall at home or to the outside of the buildings.

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