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Latex vs. Acrylic Paint- Determining The Differences Between The Two

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Are you curious about the difference between latex and acrylic paint? The main difference between the two is their ingredients. However, there are several other factors to consider when deciding which type of paint to choose for your project. Continue reading to learn more about latex and acrylic paint, which might suit your project.

What Is Latex Paint?

Latex is a type of water-based paint that contains synthetic polymers, which form a challenging and safe film when the water evaporates. Latex is the most suitable paint for indoor use because it has the least VOCs, making it safe for children and pets. This paint provides a smooth finish on wooden furniture, cabinets, and more. It is easy to touch up and adheres well to wood. Latex is ideal for painting interior walls, concrete, ceilings, aluminum siding, plaster, drywall, wood, and stucco.

Pros and Cons of Latex Paint

Latex paint is a water-based paint ideal for beginners and nonprofessionals learning how to paint. It is easy to apply, dries quickly, and can be cleaned with water. It has several advantages, such as masking surfaces with just a few coats, resisting yellowing for years, coming in different finishes, being more affordable than other interior paint types, drying quickly between coats, combating moisture, emitting little odor, and low VOC levels. However, it may not bind well to metal and steel surfaces, and it may expose brush strokes on surfaces. Additionally, it can cause grain swelling on painted wood.

What Is Acrylic Paint?

Acrylic paint is a water-based paint made from binders, pigments, and acrylic resin. Unlike latex paint, acrylic has added chemicals that allow it to expand and contract, making it perfect for exterior spaces such as house siding and trim. It also retains its color and protects the surface it’s painted on. Additionally, it mildews, molds, and is water-resistant when dry, making it an excellent paint for rooms with moisture, such as bathrooms. Acrylic paint is commonly used for bathrooms, cabinets, exterior projects, metal surfaces, interior trim, covering rust, and siding.

Pros And Cons Of Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is an excellent choice for outdoor areas because it can withstand temperature changes and extreme weather conditions such as sun, heat, rain, and snow. However, it’s important to note that it does produce some VOCs and is generally more expensive than latex paint. Using acrylic paint provides the following advantages and disadvantages. 

  • Prevents cracking and peeling, especially during temperature fluctuations
  • Repels mold and mildew
  • Contains built-in UV protection
  • Forms a thick and durable film
  • Resists water when dry
  • Adheres extremely well
  • It’s more expensive compared to latex paint
  • Offers fewer sheen options compared to latex paint
  • Produces moderate levels of VOCs
  • Requires multiple coats to achieve full coverage.


We’ve moved from the Dobbin Road location to our new, roomy location just down the road:

Columbia Paint and Decorating, a Benjamin Moore Dealer: 6822 Oak Hall Lane, Suite C2, Columbia MD 21045 phone number: 443-319-4001

Expect the same one-stop shopping for all your decorating needs. We are a full-service Benjamin Moore dealer offering the best quality decorating products at the best prices. We have ample paint and paint supplies, wallcoverings, custom window treatments, fabrics, and new flooring selections from Kaleen Rugs and Luxury Vinyl Tile samples. And, of course, the same excellent customer service, knowledge, and customer satisfaction you’ve expected.


Clarksville Paint & Decorating, a Benjamin Moore Dealer

12447 Clarksville Pike, Suite 1A, Clarksville, MD

At Columbia Paint you'll find all the necessary tools to complete your project. We even offer color consultation to ensure your satisfaction. Visit our website, call us or stop in today!
6505 Dobbin Rd