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Acrylic vs Latex Paints: What’s the Difference and Which One You Should Use

Acrylics and latex paints are two of the most common paint types at home improvement stores. Both are popular options for painters because they are easy to find, relatively affordable, and available in a wide range of colors. 

But how do they differ? And which one should you use on your next project?

This article will describe the characteristics of each paint type and help you decide which one to use for your paint job. 

Acrylic paints

Acrylic paint is made from a compound of acrylic polymer emulsion and is a chemical-based paint. It dries quickly to a high-gloss finish that is resistant to fading or scuffing. 

If you're looking for something that will stand up to outdoor conditions, acrylic paints are your best bet. Not only are acrylic paints resistant to UV rays and water, but they’re also elastic so they will expand and contract according to the temperature outside. These characteristics make acrylic paint more durable than latex paints. 

However, because acrylic paints aren’t water-based, they’re harder to clean with soap and water compared to latex paints. Secondly, most acrylic paints come in a glossy finish so if you’re looking for a more matte look, you may have to consider latex paints.

Latex paints

Latex paints are made from synthetic latex (hence the name) and are water-based paints that are often used indoors because they're easy to clean up with soap and water. Latex paints are also available in matte, gloss, or semi-gloss finishes—allowing you to get more depth and texture in your paint job.

Latex paints are easy to apply without needing special tools like those required for acrylics. They also dry much faster than acrylics—in as little as an hour! Because of this, latex paints are a popular choice for indoor paint jobs.

However, when it comes to exterior painting, latex paints don’t hold up as well as acrylic paints. Because they aren’t as resistant to UV rays and water, latex paints won’t last long outdoors.

To Sum It All Up

There are a lot of options when it comes to painting your home. You have to decide what type of paint will work best in the space, whether you need more than one coat, and if you have any special concerns about your health or the environment. 

We're here to help you make sense of it all.

For high-quality and durable paint jobs with a professional finish, contact us!