Acrylic Vs Latex Paint [Comparison] [All You Need To Know]

Looking for a detailed comparison on Acrylic vs Latex paint? You’re at the right place.

While many do-it-yourself painters feel that a single sort of paint will suffice for all of their tasks, our experience has shown us that this is not always the case.

There’s a lot of confusion about the differences between acrylic vs latex paint, which is why we’ve prepared this article.

Latex and Acrylic paint is fundamentally different in that they include different ingredients. Latex paints have been created as water-based, whereas acrylic paints are chemically based.

Acrylic paints have a greater degree of flexibility than latex paint because of the ingredients in acrylic paint. Cleaning up is also slightly different for each of the two methods.

Acrylic paint, on the other hand, is not water-soluble when dry. When latex paint is washed with soap and water, it can be cleaned. When using acrylic paints, you must ensure that they do not dry on the clothing or brushes.

After each use, make sure to promptly wash your brushes and garments in warm, soapy water. However, acrylic paints appear to be more resistant and lasting than those made of latex, but they are costly as well.

Many commercial paints laud the longevity of latex paints, which are never compared to acrylic paints but are constantly compared to latex-based paints.

Latex paint is favored for commercial and residential painting, while acrylic paint is preferred for artwork. Now that the basics have been addressed let’s take a closer look at the primary distinctions between acrylic vs latex paint.

What Is Acrylic Paint?

Acrylic paints, as previously stated, are created from acrylic resins and chemicals. Their texture and pigmentations come from these resins.

Acrylic paints are well-liked by both crafters and painters because of their ease of use and speed of drying time after application. Unlike oil-based house paint, acrylics require thinners to remove from your surfaces and brushes.

For indoor and in certain cases, external use is intended with them. To put it another way, they will last longer than conventional artists paint on the wall. There are larger cans of acrylic paint for home projects, so you can paint more areas, whether it’s a single room or the entire house.

Keep Reading: Process To Use Acrylic Paint On Skin Safely

Types Of Acrylic

After you go through the definition of acrylic paint, you must understand various types of acrylic paints to learn the actual comparison between acrylic and latex. Here you go!

Craft Paint

Craft paint can be purchased in a variety of locations, including art supply stores and department stores. Because of its low price, it’s also one of the cheapest acrylic paints you can get your hands on.

If you’re a crafter, you’ll love using craft paint! It has a thick, creamy texture. It may be applied to nearly any surface with a little bit of paint.

On the other hand, craft paints are woefully inadequate for use in a professional art studio. Because craft paint contains so little pigment, it’s mostly made up of fillers, making it difficult to blend.

Because you can’t create such colors by mixing, craft paint is available in such a wide variety of hues and tones. You won’t be able to create a brilliant color on your own if you use a lot of fillers and insufficient pigment, which makes colors seem muddy very quickly.

Student-Grade Paint

Compared to craft paint, student-level paint is a major step up! Instead, it’s more like a gigantic step. Student-grade paint is created by the same companies that provide artist-quality paint, unlike craft paint!

The pigment content in student-level paint is substantially higher than in craft paints, letting you experiment and mix colors with better results, making student-grade paint ideal for fine art.

Compared to artist-quality heavy body paint, it has a slightly softer consistency. The cost of student paint is higher than that of craft paint, although it is still relatively inexpensive.

There are still fillers in these paints, which can have an impact on the vibrancy of your combined colors. These paints are designed to deliver as high-quality when staying within an acceptable pricing range.

The amount of filler used in paint is determined by the color of the paint. Cobalt blue, for example, comes from a natural source, whereas dioxazine purple, which is a synthetic pigment, comes from a synthetic source.

On the other hand, student paints are an excellent entry point into the world of painting for those just starting out because they are less expensive.

So if you like a particular color, you can upgrade to the professional version of the color, rather than having to go through the process of searching for a paint that matches the color you prefer in the first place.

Keep Reading: Painting Cardboard With Acrylic Paint Guide

Professional Paint

Acrylic paint made for artists is the highest quality you can get. When it comes to artist-quality paint, the price is not dictated by a budget but rather by the pigments.

As a result, some colors will be more expensive, based on the difficulty of obtaining the pigment in question, which is the case with artist-quality paints.

It’s not uncommon for pigments made with cadmium to be among the most expensive ones due to the rarity of cadmium.

The pigments used by professional artists are of the highest quality and are easy to use and apply to your canvas. Use artist-level paints if you’re having trouble mixing colors with student-grade paints and don’t mind spending a little extra money on the colors you’re having trouble with.

  1. Heavy Body Paint: A viscosity of this type is the most commonly used. Body paints with a butter-like substance spread easily with a palette knife or brush. Brushstrokes and peaks are retained, but a fluid medium can be used to thin it down. To learn more about that, check out this post! If you want to learn how to paint on canvas with a range of brushstrokes that have varying textures and thicknesses, this is the paint for you.
  2. Soft Body Paint: A heavy cream-like consistency is what you get with soft body paints. There are no brush strokes, and the viscosity is something between a thick body paint and ink. However, the acrylics’ opacity is preserved, which is a significant distinction. A color that is non-transparent in heavy body acrylics will also be non-transparent in fluid acrylics. When it comes to covering previous layers, fluid acrylics are different from acrylic inks.
  3. High-Flow Acrylics: Since they’re so fresh, these Golden acrylic paints have a viscosity that’s similar to that of ink yet with the quality of a professional artist’s acrylic paint. They are so fluid that they may be used for paint markers and airbrushing. Heavy body and fluid acrylic paints keep their opacity with opaque colors in these high flow paints, those are available in several shades of the same colors.

Advantages Of Acrylic

This area can help you determine whether or not you want to give it a try, whether you’re looking for a new option or an appropriate paint.

In the same way that oil paint is sold in tubes, acrylic paint is often used by painters. You may need a larger container like a tub or a bottle if you’re painting a lot. It is an acrylic polymer resin-based paint that dries quickly.

Non-Toxic

Toxic substances may not be absorbed through the skin or pollute water or land if they are disposed of in this manner. Toxic pigments, such as cadmium oxides, can be found in some professional-grade paints. The disposal of paint products must always be done with caution.

Keep Reading: Explanation On Using Acrylic paint On Fabric

Water-Soluble

The water-based nature of acrylic paint means that it can be washed away with soap and water instead of requiring additional solvents.

To clean up post to a painting session, water-based paints are considerably easier than oil-based paints, which require oil or turpentine. You don’t have to use flammable chemicals to clean your brushes or your hands.

Suppose gels and other mediums are used with it. In that case, acrylic paint can be utilized in the same manner as conventional oil paints, specifically if any other mediums are used in conjunction with it.

Appearance Oil Paints

Acrylic paints may mimic the look of oil paints and provide the sense of oil painting, but they do so in a fraction of the time.

In comparison to oil paint, which takes longer to dry, acrylic paint is available for other paintings in just a few hours and is often ready to ship or sell the next day. When an artist works on a painting that must be shipped on a tight schedule, swift drying periods are vital.

Watercolour Finish

Acrylic paints are used instead of watercolors by novices who want a softer painting style. Although they both have their advantages and disadvantages, dry acrylics turn into the desired color, while watercolors produce surprising effects. You can accomplish the beautiful transparent layering that watercolors are known for with acrylic paint.

Versatile And Powerful

The finished painting might look like either water-based or oil painting depending on how much water is used to dilute the paint. Acrylic painters can only use specific techniques and are subject to certain limits that don’t apply to other mediums.

Playing with acrylic paint may be as enjoyable as playing around with watercolor paint because it has its own distinct features that can be explored.

As long as they’re dry, acrylic paints are highly resistant to the elements and can be completely waterproof in some cases.

The paint’s thickness and the surface on which it is painted both play a role. It’s a good idea to shield nearby surfaces from accidental spills and splatters.

Keep Reading: Painting Plastic Surface With Acrylic Paints

Drawbacks Of Acrylic

Acrylics have the disadvantage of having fewer colors accessible; oil paints and watercolors, on the other hand, have an incredible range of colors.

Another benefit of using acrylics generously is the glossy, smooth surface they achieve after drying. Despite this, they work well together and may be mixed with a wide spectrum of colors, as well as with additives and mediums to alter the final texture.

Speedy Drying Time

If the paint is drying too quickly, this can be a negative. Temperature and climate can have an effect on how long our paint is usable, but in most cases, it will last long enough to finish a session.

Consider the fact that the artwork can be totally reworked if desired by painting over the top of the dried paint. If you’ve ever tried to remove acrylic paint from a carpet or a piece of clothing, you’ll know that it may be a challenge.

Brushes and other equipment must be cleaned frequently to keep them in good working order.
When pallet knives are coated in dried paint, they become more salvageable, but restoring them to their original luster can be time-consuming.

Keep Reading: Process Of Leather Painting With Acrylic

About Latex Paint

First, we need to know what the paints are, how they are manufactured, and why people use them before confirming their advantages.

We’ll begin by painting with latex. Latex paint is frequently asked, “Is it water-based?” Yes, that’s the quick answer. In contrast to water-based acrylics, latex paints are chemically based.

Because of this, latex paint is very easy to remove from paintbrushes and surfaces after it has dried. As a result of the thinner consistency, this paint dries significantly faster.

Unlike acrylic paint, which typically has a matte appearance, latex paint can be purchased in a variety of different gloss levels.

Uses Of Latex Paint

Do you know where latex paint is used? It is totally different from the use of acrylic. Check it out.

Walls

If you’re painting your home’s inside like ceilings or walls, latex paint is a wonderful option for the walls and trim. As opposed to oil-based paints, it dries faster, making it possible to apply a second layer sooner.

On the other hand, oil-based paints tend to show brushstrokes more readily. Clean-up is also a breeze with latex because of its water-based formula.

Soap and water are often sufficient to do the job. Unlike oil-based paints, latex paints contain fewer VOC. Paint fumes can cause health problems if you’re overexposed to VOCs.

Wood

Wood is well-protected by latex paint. Latex paint can be used to paint wood paneling, furniture, siding, and for any outdoor use. Cleanup and VOC emissions are lower with water-based paint than oil-based paint. If the wood you’re painting is going to be exposed to lower temperatures, make sure to check the paint’s label.

Concrete

Concrete can be covered using latex paint. Concrete floors, steps, decks, and garages can be painted with latex masonry paints that are specifically intended for this purpose.

These coatings are designed to keep the concrete from becoming soaked by water. On a concrete floor, scuffing and chipping are required. Soap and water will clean latex masonry paint-coated concrete.

Keep Reading: Guide On Using Latex Paint Over Oil-Based Primer

Aluminum Siding

Instead of replacing your old and aged aluminum siding, it is possible to clean paint it using 100% acrylic outdoor latex paint. It can withstand the effects of the sun’s rays, as well as other external factors, and maintain its color.

The paint will remain in good condition for many years because it will not chalk. In addition, oil-based paints tend to break more easily than latex paints because of the siding’s tendency to contract and expand in response to temperature changes.

Stucco

Stucco, like concrete, can be coated with masonry-specific latex paint. The latex paint is water- and mildew-resistant. It won’t lose its vibrant color if left out in the sun.

Some minor imperfections in the stucco can be disguised using latex paint. A second coat can be applied within some hours if you use latex paint that dries quickly. Soap and water can be used to maintain the cleanliness of your stucco.

Benefits Of Latex Paint

Why should people try latex paint? Well, people who love using latex paint have several points to mention. Check them out, and you, too, can give it a try.

Low-Cost

Due to latex’s simple constituents, it is one of the most cost-effective options. With that in mind, latex paint is the way to go when it comes to painting on a tight budget.

Non-Toxic And Non-Flammable

Latex paint is non-flammable even when dry, making it easier to dispose of and store. Here, you can go without this fear that the object you painted may cause hazards if it comes in contact with fire.

Easily Cleanable

Water is all you need to remove the paint from rollers, brushes, and clothing after you’ve finished painting. The color can be removed without the use of any special chemicals. The fact that it is non-toxic means that you won’t have to be worried about where to dispose of it.

Greater Variety

Because latex paint is the most often used, it’s easy to get your hands on because most stores carry it. It’s easy to figure out the color you’re looking for online or in a brick-and-mortar location. If you want to combine colors, this is a great way to do it.

Easy To Apply

It adheres well to nearly any surface, even if minor difficulties or preparation are required. A second coat will go on much more smoothly because of this. A drop of water can also be used to fix any faults.

Keep Reading: Painting Rubber Surface Guide

Drawbacks Of Latex Paint

Before you rush out to buy latex, there are a few negatives to keep in mind.

Prone To Cracks

The lack of water resistance in latex may allow the painted wood to expand. It’s possible that this will cause the paint itself to fracture or peel as a result. Because of this, it can manage a large area when used outdoors, but it also requires more ongoing upkeep than an indoor tree.

Takes A Long Time To Cure

The fact that it dries quickly does not guarantee that it cures quickly as well. Because you can touch the wall, you’ll need to keep an eye on it, even though you can.

Curing can take up to a week from the time the paint was initially applied, and a second layer may be necessary. Rain during this period could need a second layer of paint, which is not ideal.

Unable To Cover Dirt

As a result, it’s not the ideal option for painting over an unclean wall using latex paint. Make sure the surface you’re painting on is well cleaned before applying the paint.

Can’t Be Used On Furniture

Latex paint isn’t usually meant to be handled or played with because of the way it behaves on a rough surface. Because of its tendency to peel and shatter, it’s best used for painting non-moving things.

Acrylic Vs Latex Paint – Comparison

This section will take a closer look at the quality differences between acrylic vs latex paints. When determining which paint is best for your project, there are many factors to consider.

Adherence

Latex isn’t as good at sticking as acrylic. When properly primed, acrylic paints attach effectively to a wide range of materials, including wood, metal, masonry, and even plastics. Latex paint is generally used on wood and drywall.

Rustoleum, used for metal and masonry paint, both use acrylic paints because of their durability.
Metal and stone surfaces are more easily scraped or peeled off by latex paints.

Weather-Resistance

As an exterior coating, acrylic often beats out latex because of its higher weather resistance. This flexibility allows latex and acrylic to expand or contract with temperature changes. To avoid cracking and peeling, they use water-based paint instead.

Acrylic is more flexible than latex, which means it is more weather resistant. Acrylic’s water resistance is improved as a result of this. When it comes to UV resistance, acrylic paint is better than latex paint since it has greater binding agents.

This means that it will hold its color far better than latex paint. As a result, acrylic is easy to touch up later because the can’s color will match the color on the surface.

Longevity

Acrylic is more durable than latex, but both are good options. Additionally, acrylic paint is better at preventing wear and tear than latex paint, which is more susceptible to weathering. Acrylic paint is more resistant to scuffs and marks than latex paint.

Because of this, acrylic paints are commonly used on high-traffic areas like furniture, floors, outside doors, and stairways, whether indoors or out.

User-Friendliness

You don’t have to be an artist with latex paint to get it right. In general, latex is easy to apply and provides good coverage. There is no need to worry about the paint’s workability because its drying time is long enough. Just a little water is all that is needed to clean latex.

On the other hand, acrylic paint dries far faster than oil paint. On larger jobs, this can be a problem because freshly applied paint is difficult to mix with the drying paint.

If you’re working with acrylic paint on an outdoor project, you’ll need to move swiftly. Latex goes on more smoothly than acrylic.

Many times, it’s thicker. Acrylic paint is more likely to show brushstrokes than latex paint because of this. When painting with acrylics, you must use high-quality rollers and brushes.

In the past, acrylics needed paint thinner to be cleaned up after usage. Paint thinner cleanup can be time-consuming and nasty, so this can be a hassle.

The VOC content of paint thinner is very significant, putting the user at risk of inhaling toxic vapors. Fortunately, the majority of acrylic paints on the market now are water-soluble and can be cleaned with warm soapy water.

Availability And Cost

Latex paint is readily available at most home improvement businesses that sell paint for the home. There are many various brands of latex paint to choose from, so it’s easy to choose something that works for your needs and your budget.

To put it simply, acrylic paint costs more money. Acrylic paint is usually twice as expensive as latex paint. This type of paint is also more challenging to get, frequently necessitating a trip to a paint specialty store frequented by industry professionals.

In contrast to latex paints, acrylic paints tend to be either high-end or contractor-grade.

Final Verdict

Hope this detailed guide has been useful to you on acrylic vs latex paint. If you are on the verge of taking up a DIY painting project while choosing the right paint for you, this comparative guide will help you out.

Many people prefer latex, and many do the same with acrylic. Most people are confused about what to choose for the painting project.

This is why we created this comparative study. We tried to keep everything as detailed as possible, starting from the definition, the types, the usages, and the benefits and drawbacks.

It is because we want to help you understand these two paints in detail from an unbiased point of view. Lastly, we made a comparison of the acrylic vs latex paint of some crucial factors for paint. Share your thoughts on this and let us know what you prefer to use. Happy painting!

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Shelley Stevenson

Shelly Stevenson is the full-time editor responsible for painting, flooring, bathrooms & home climate coverage at StyDomIo. She is a home improvement expert with an eye for design and the skills to get the work done. She knows what turns a house into a home and has the advice and ideas to make upgrades easy and fun.

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