latex vs acrylic paint

Latex Vs Acrylic Paint: Major Differences

Wondering what’s the major difference between latex vs acrylic paint? That’s exactly what today’s article is all about.

Here’s the point: As a homeowner, there are many decisions you have to make when painting or repainting your home.

Not only do you have to make a choice of colors, but you also have to decide on the type of finish and type of paint you’re going to use whether for your interior or exterior painting project.

That said, the two types of paint that are frequently used are latex and acrylic paints. Even though they both share a few qualities since they are made from acrylic resin, they still have some significant differences.

Let’s talk about that acrylic vs latex paint.

Latex Vs Acrylic Paint

latex vs acrylic paint

Latex and acrylic paints are both made from acrylic resins, as I mentioned earlier. However, the major difference in their compositions has to do with the bases that support these resins. Acrylic paints are chemical-based while latex paints are water-based.

And because acrylic is based on chemicals, it is considered to be more elastic than latex paint. Basically, acrylic paint contracts and expands more than the latex paint due to its elasticity.

Another noteworthy difference is that acrylic paint generally lasts longer than latex paint as it resists peeling, flaking, chalking, and cracking – and while latex paint is mostly used for house painting projects, acrylic paints are widely used for artworks.

Latex paint is also available everywhere as you can typically buy them from any paint shop or hardware stores. On the contrary, acrylic paint can be purchased primarily from craft stores.

Furthermore, because acrylic paints have chemical compounds in them, they are flammable as, unlike latex paints. Besides, the acrylic is also seen to be more toxic than latex paint, which is one of the reasons why it’s not good for house painting.

When it comes to painting the surfaces, acrylic paint is generally more difficult to apply than latex paint – and latex paints also dry faster compared to acrylic.

Aside from that, removing latex paint is very easy using soap and water. However, it is really difficult to remove acrylic paint and you’ll need thinners to do so.

Advantages of Latex Paint

acrylic vs latex paint

Professional house painters often choose latex paints over acrylics for several reasons.

1. Convenience

Latex paint covers very well with fewer coats, especially for indoor house painting. This will help to minimize the time needed to complete painting projects.

Interestingly, latex paint equally dries faster than acrylic paint – and is also much easier to apply to surfaces and easier to clean up than acrylic, as I stated earlier.

However, latex paints tend to peel off if there are any flaws on the surface being painted. This is why you need to adequately prep the surface by removing old paints before applying latex paint.

Finally, this type of paint is formulated to resist chalking and retain its color for extended periods more than other types of paints.

2. Cost-Effective

Generally, latex paints are not just more affordable than acrylic paints, but they equally offer better coverage.

This means that you can actually paint an entire house with fewer coats, which is more vital when carrying out large painting projects.

3. Safety

As a chemical-based, acrylic does require proper care when handling it. Every painting project needs ventilation, especially when using acrylic paint that produces toxic fumes.

However, water-based latex paints produce less dangerous fumes, which means there is very little smell associated with using this type of paint, which also means that it’s much safer than acrylic paints.

4. Mildew Resistant

Latex paint also is ideal for areas with high humidity since it’s resistant to mildew growth.

Finally, latex paint is commonly suitable for a wide range of surfaces, including various types of wood, siding, stucco, brick, concrete, and galvanized metal.

Advantages of Acrylic Paint

latex paint and acrylic paint

Lots of homeowners are beginning to use acrylic paints for exterior residential painting because of the reasons we’ll share with you below:

1. Contract and Expands

As I mentioned earlier, acrylic paint has a tendency of contracting and expanding with varying temperatures because of its composition.

As a result of its expansion and contraction ability, it will usually provide a much better hold than latex paint, this is especially true on exterior surfaces.

2. Resists nature

Acrylic paints are formulated to surmount the effects of sun and weather, which made it a wonderful paint option for outdoor residential painting.

That’s not all, acrylic paints are also resistant to fading and are designed to resist damaging UV rays longer than the majority of the oil-based paints available on the market.

3. Easy touch-up

Touching up is pretty easy when using this paint type. And it has strong adhesion properties to a wide range of materials when surfaces are properly primed.

Additionally, this type of paint is also breathable, meaning that moisture is allowed to escape and will not lead to blistering or loss of adhesion.

However, aside from these acrylic paint advantages; as chemical-based paint, they are also harder to clean up and will emit more toxic fumes and odors than latex paints.

Finally, acrylic paint doesn’t dry as hard as oil-based paints, which will usually result in more scuff marks in high traffic areas.

Choosing the Right Paint Finish

You must bear it in mind that the finish will ultimately determine the durability and appearance of your paint.

Therefore, areas that need to be more resistant to dirt, water, hand stains, and other elements, might benefit more from paint with a greater amount of sheens, such as high-gloss, or semi-gloss paint.

Acrylic Vs Latex Paint | Conclusion

By now, I believe you already know the
remove acrylic paint. As you can see, acrylic and latex paints are both fantastic in their own unique ways and are mostly used for different purposes.

While many painters are now using acrylic paints for exterior house painting, I’ll still recommend latex paint for that purpose.

This is because I’m not comfortable with the toxic fumes that come from acrylic paint. However, I believe you know what you want and will make the right choice.

If you have any questions regarding latex paint and acrylic paint, do let us know via the comment section below.

Can you use acrylic paint over latex paint?

Using Acrylic Paint to Paint Over Latex Paint

Acrylic paint is water-based so it can usually be applied directly to latex-based paints without any issues. However, you have to clean the surface from any dust or debris before you paint acrylic paint over latex paint.

What is acrylic latex paint used for?

Latex paint is popular with amateur and do-it-yourself painters. It is easy to use, and cleans up effortlessly with soap and water. Acrylic resins in the paint spread evenly and emit less odor than oil-based paints. Latex is thin, and therefore shows brush strokes, but multiple coats take care of any imperfections.

Can you mix latex and acrylic paint?

Because both are water-based, you can mix them. Most artists do not want to use house paint for fine arts because it doesn’t last as long as artist’s acrylic, but you may want to mix acrylics with latex to get the exact color or texture you need for a specific project.

Can you use acrylic paint on baseboards?

When painting your baseboards, you will find three options of paint in different available sheens. In most cases, the best paint for baseboards is a water-based or Acrylic-Alkyd hybrid paint with a semi-gloss paint sheen is the best choice for painting baseboards and trim.

Is acrylic paint the same as water based paint?

Although the vast majority of acrylic paints are water based, not all water based paints are acrylic. Acrylic paints are usually based on acrylic polymers suspended in water making them water based but water color paints are usually pigment suspended in water and gum arabic making them water based too.

Can I use acrylic paint on my walls?

Acrylic paint is one of the most highly recommended types of paints for walls because it offers a superior color intensity when compared to latex and oil-based paints, as well as a superior color intensity when compared to latex and oil-based paints.

What do you use latex paint on?

Latex paint is great for interior and exterior paint jobs. It is washable with soap and water after drying. Even though latex paint is safer to use than oil, still be sure the area is well ventilated, and that you are wearing proper breathing equipment. Use it on trim, siding, ceilings, and walls.

Is 100% acrylic paint water based?

The acrylic paint is water-based and it adheres extremely well so it’s durable. The 100% acrylic sticks so much that it can be applied to almost any surface. An inconvenient is that the acrylic paint is glossier than latex.

Can you paint pour with latex?

The Acrylic Pour technique is unique to the properties of acrylic paint. Some artists have used latex house paint to initially flood the canvas before adding the pigments. Though latex house paint IS the closest of all these to acrylic paint, it is not archival quality and might compromise your painting over time.

What is System 3 acrylic paint?

System 3 is a popular student-level acrylic that offers an excellent painting experience at an economical price. These colours have a soft body consistency that is suitable for covering large areas without visible brush strokes. The colours can be thinned straight from the tube or thinned with water.