Acrylic Paint Vs. Latex Paint: Which is Better?

Just about everyone has at least one can of paint in their home. But did you know there are different types of paint? In this article, I will compare acrylic VS. latex paints and discuss which is better for your home.

One of the key Differences between acrylic and latex paint is that acrylic is Chemical-based, while latex is water-based. Latex paint has become very popular in recent years because it cleans up with soap and water without harsh solvents or chemicals. Latex Paint is cheaper and has shorter drying times than Acrylic Paints. Another difference is that Latex paints release less odor and hence are convenient. 

If you’re like most homeowners, you may not know the difference between acrylic paint and latex paint. Both are popular types of paint, but which one is better for your needs? In this blog post, we’ll explore the differences between acrylic and latex paints so you can make an informed decision about what to use on your next project.

Anatomy of Paint

First, it’s important to understand the three main parts of paint. They consist of a pigment, binder, and solvent. Acrylic is a plastic resin, so its main ingredient is usually a polymer or acrylic resin. The binder is the material that binds the pigment and solvent together. Acrylics use an acrylic resin as their binder, while latex uses Styrene-Acrylate Copolymer. Latex has a smaller percentage of oil in its formulation than acrylics because it needs fewer oily substances to bind to water.

The type of solvent also determines your paint’s properties. Latex paint has a high percentage of water solvents to help it dry quickly. In contrast, acrylic has smaller amounts of water in its formula to increase durability and resistance to weathering.

If you were wondering why there are pigments listed on the back of all paint cans, it’s because the pigment determines whether the paint is opaque or transparent. The pigment is what gives paint its color. Pigments are made from rocks or minerals which have been crushed to create a fine powder or sand-like consistency so they can be evenly mixed with paint.

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Acrylic vs. Latex: Which Paint Should You Use?

Latex and acrylic paints are popular types of house paint for a good reason. They both offer easy clean-up with soap and water, which is especially convenient if you accidentally drip paint on your floor or countertop.

They are both available in a wide variety of sheens, colors, and finishes, giving you more of an option to choose the right type of paint for your home’s unique needs. So what’s better – latex or acrylic paint?

Acrylic paints are often divided into two categories: interior and exterior. Interior acrylic paint is a little more durable since it needs to stand up to regular wear and tear from foot traffic, fun kids, etc. It’s usually water-resistant as well as washable. Latex exterior paint is durable but may require two coats for maximum coverage.


In terms of finishes, latex paints come in flat, eggshell, satin, and semi-gloss. On the other hand, acrylic paints are available in matte, semigloss, and gloss finishes.

Of course, always make sure to test out any new paint on a small area of your wall before painting an entire room with it to check for desired sheen level and color vibrancy.

The Winner May Vary Depending on Your Needs…

So which type of paint is better overall? As with many things in life, the answer may depend on your unique needs and preferences. Latex paints are often less expensive than acrylic paints. They’re also smoother to the touch, making them ideal for accent walls or areas with less regular foot traffic.

On the other hand, while acrylic paint is more expensive than latex, it dries faster and offers greater color vibrancy. Acrylic paint doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals like VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that may affect indoor air quality, making it good for children or pregnant women’s rooms.

Latex Paint: Overview

Latex house paint is a water-based paint that can be used indoors and out. It is easy to apply, provides good coverage, and has an even sheen that dries quickly. You can clean up with soap and water after using latex paint – no special products are required.

Latex paint is cheaper than Acrylic Paint. It is a popular choice among homeowners, apartment renters, and commercial property owners due to its wide availability in various colors, finishes, and sheens.

However, latex paint is not a good choice if your home or office has low humidity or you live in a climate that doesn’t receive much rain. If this is the case, the water-based paint may dry out before it has a chance to cure, resulting in unsightly peeling.

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Latex Paint: Pros and Cons

– Pro: Provides good coverage with an even sheen that dries quickly – Pro: Cheaper than acrylic Paint – Pro: Water-based formula makes for easy clean-up with soap and water – Con: Not a good choice if your home or office has low humidity and doesn’t receive much rain

Acrylic Paint: Overview

Acrylic house paint is a water-based paint that can be used indoors and out. It’s available in different sheens and finishes and can be cleaned up with soap and water. Acrylic is easy to apply, provides good coverage, and dries quickly.

Acrylic paint is more expensive than latex, but it dries faster, which means you don’t have to wait as long to apply a second coat on any missed spots on your wall or ceiling.

On the other hand, while acrylic isn’t harmful like its oil-based cousin, it does contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that may affect indoor air quality.

Acrylic Paint: Pros and Cons

– Pro: Dries quickly – Con: More expensive than latex paint – Pro: Provides good coverage with an even sheen that dries quickly – Con: Contains VOCs (volatile organic compounds), making it not ideal for rooms with children or pregnant women – Pro: Can be cleaned up easily with soap and water

Difference Between Acrylic Paint and Latex Paint

The main difference between acrylic and latex paint is their composition. Latex paint is primarily of water with a small amount of acrylic binder mixed in. On the other hand, acrylic is made up mainly of acetone and ethyl methacrylate.

Properties: Comparison

Water-based – Both types are water-based, making them easy to clean up with soap and water.

VOCs – Some brands of acrylic paint contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that may be harmful to indoor air quality when they evaporate into the room.

Sheen – Latex paints come in various sheens, including flat, satin, and eggshell, while acrylic paints come in matte and high gloss.

Durability – Latex is less durable than acrylic, so it may not be a good choice for areas that receive heavy foot traffic or high humidity. It also tends to fade more quickly over time compared to acrylic paint.

Cast – Acrylic is usually more expensive than latex, although this can vary depending on the brand and the size of the container you purchase.

Can You Mix Latex and Acrylic Paint?

While you can mix latex and acrylic paint, the resulting product will not dry quickly due to the high water content in both types. Acrylic paint (the main component) is more durable than latex, but it won’t replace the other ingredients in your latex-based paint formula.

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Mixing should only be attempted to create your custom paint color. The two types should not be mixed because the acrylic binder will change the ingredients in your latex formula, making it less water-resistant than its original state.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I paint latex paint on acrylic paint?

No. Latex and acrylic-based products should not be mixed. Acrylic is a binder, which means it will change your latex paint formula and make it less durable and water-resistant than its original state.

Which is more durable, acrylic or latex paint?

Acrylic paint is more durable than latex. It’s less water-resistant, however, so it may not be ideal for areas with high humidity or heavy foot traffic.

Should I use Acrylic or Latex Paint in the kitchen?

Like many things in life, the answer depends on what you like. Latex paint is easier to clean up and has a more even sheen than acrylic paint. On the other hand, latex paint won’t stand up as well against high humidity or heavy foot traffic compared to acrylic-based paints.


Whether you’re trying to decide between latex and acrylic house paint or are simply looking for a new type of paint with which to try your hand, there’s no right or wrong choice when it comes to the two types. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but deciding on one over the other will depend on what you need in terms of cost, application, and durability.

If you’re painting your interior walls, acrylic paint may be a better choice for its speed of drying. If you choose to use both types, avoid mixing them to maintain the durability of your latex formula. Either way, remember that preparing your surface properly is one of the best ways to ensure optimal results with your new paint.

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