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Is acrylic paint latex?

Is acrylic paint latex

Are you looking to paint a new room in your house or apartment?

Choosing the right paint is important and this decision is not to be taken lightly. It can bring you some inconvenience if you make the wrong choice.

But don't panic, we are passionate about this subject and know exactly how to help you.

In this article, you will discover:

  • What is acrylic paint
  • What is latex paint
  • The advantages and disadvantages of each type of paint
  • The differences between these two paints.

You'll get the answer to your question in this article. You will know exactly if acrylic paint is latex.

Let's find out together right now.

What is acrylic paint?

Acrylic paint is a type of paint (material) composed of pigments mixed with a water emulsion of polyacrylic or polyvinyl synthetic resins developed in the middle of 20th century.

These paints are mainly used in interior and exterior decoration and in visual arts.

Acrylic paint is made up of two main elements:

  • The pigments: similar to those in oil paint, of mineral or organic origin, natural (rare) or synthetic.
  • The binder: an emulsion of water and acrylic resin or polymer. A variant is the acrylic-vinyl binder (vinyl paint). The texture of the binder is more or less fluid depending on the manufacturer.

What is latex paint?

Latex paint was originally composed of a natural latex-based resin that was invented in the early 20th century. It has evolved greatly as it is now synthetically manufactured without the presence of latex, although it is still incorrectly called latex paint. Its composition is very similar to that of acrylic resin-based paint.

The difference between acrylic paint and latex paint

The main difference between the two paints is that acrylic paint is chemical-based and latex paint is water-based. The chemicals in acrylic paint make it more elastic than latex paint.

This means that acrylic paint will contract and expand better than latex paint.

As for cleaning, latex paint being water-based is easier to clean. All you need to do is use soap and water. Acrylic paint, on the other hand, needs paint thinners because it is chemical-based. Its chemical composition also requires extra precautions when handling. Proper ventilation is strongly advised as acrylic paint can give off dangerous fumes.

The advantages and disadvantages of each paint

Because acrylic and latex paint are different, they are used in different contexts.

Advantages of latex paint

The advantages of latex paint are as follows:

  • Applying this latex paint to a surface is easy and it much faster. This is a great feature when painting a small area such as a bedroom or bathroom.
  • This paint is less expensive than acrylic paint.
  • It is easier to clean up because you can just use soap and water to remove dry paint spills on the floor for example.
  • Latex paint is less harmful because it produces fewer toxic fumes.
  • You will need fewer coats of paint to get a good result.
  • It is less expensive than tile. Latex paint is often used where there is an increased need for cleaning, such as on stairs and public buildings.

Disadvantages of latex paint

  • It has a low diffusibility
  • It can only be painted with "bold" colors
  • Over the long term, there can be mold and mildew formation under the coating
  • It is relatively fluid
  • Its high gloss

Benefits of using acrylic paint

Here are the main advantages of acrylic paint:

  • The chemicals in acrylic paint give it greater elasticity. This means that the paint will expand and contract properly as temperatures fluctuate. This reduces the likelihood of cracking and peeling.
  • This paint is more durable.
  • Acrylic paint is moisture resistant and has good coverage. It can be easily applied to walls and ceilings with a roller. It is suitable for exterior painting. Acrylic paint is more resistant to the sun than latex paint and oil paint.

Disadvantages of acrylic paint

  • The speed of drying that can sometimes be a problem. 
  • It sometimes requires several coats, especially when the color is high in pigments.
  • It is sometimes less resistant, that it is frequent that traces of resumption remain and that it has a less smooth appearance than oil based paint.

In conclusion

As you can see, acrylic paint is not latex. However, the composition of acrylic paint is sometimes close to latex paint.

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