Do It Yourself Painting Tips: What Is The Difference Between Latex And Acrylic Latex?

A guide to the important distinctions between latex and acrylic latex paints.

Paint can generally be defined as being a white or a colored liquid that is man - made. It is often used to protect, as well as add color to, a variety of surfaces. Paint dries from its liquid form to create a thin, protective covering. Paint is basically made up of pigments, binders, and solvents. It can also contain fungicides, thickeners, and other enhancements.

Latex paints are a popular type of paint. They are generally placed together in one classification. However, they are not the same. Nor are they the same paints that they started out to be. In their beginning, latex paints were manufactured with a base of latex rubber, hence their name. Here is an interesting tip: today, they are not made with any type of rubber. Instead, latex paints are all water or chemical - based paints. The latter have either acrylic or vinyl binders.

There are different types of latex paints, but this article is going to discuss the differences between latex and acrylic latex. Latex paint is water- based, while its acrylic counterpart has a chemical base. The chemicals are what give it elasticity. Acrylic latex paint is more suitable for exterior uses because it has one big advantage. Its elasticity allows it to expand and contract more easily. This is especially important when holding up against the searing heat of summer and the freezing cold weather of winter in some areas of the country. Its elasticity allows it to expand and contract without cracking as easily as plain latex paint. Acrylic latex paint, when used on the exterior of a building, also resists chalking, so it has a clean appearance longer. It also resists blistering, flaking and peeling. Acrylic latex paint can be successfully used on wood, concrete block, stucco, and even old, weathered aluminum siding. Here is a valuable tip: another advantage to using chemical - based acrylic latex instead of latex is that it can be applied to brand new stucco and masonry. You don't have to wait for either of these surfaces to cure first before you paint. This advantage can save you valuable time and money, especially if you are a contractor.



Acrylic latex paint is an excellent covering for interior walls, trim, and other surfaces too. Because of its chemical make - up, it offers a better level of color retention. It also adheres to the surface better than a water - based latex paint.

As for a difference in the costs, you can buy any type of paint and expect to pay varied amounts. Here is a tip for you to consider: the better the quality of the paint is, the more expensive it is going to be. As the old saying goes, "You get what you pay for." Going along with that saying, chemical - based acrylic latex paint is more costly than water - based latex paint. But, it offers the most advantages too.

Finally, latex paint has always been a winner in the area of clean up. It is easy to clean up because all you need is plain old soap and water to clean your hands, brushes, rollers, et cetera. So, there is no advantage over using latex or acrylic latex in this area. Overall, though, in the most important areas of durability and versatility, acrylic latex wins over latex hands down.

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