Acrylic vs. Latex Paint

In almost all home decor and improvement projects, painting is involved. After all, the primary purpose of paint is aesthetics, and when it comes to any kind of decoration or renovation, color plays an essential role.

If you’re new to painting, then you may not be familiar with the acrylic vs. latex paint dilemma. If that’s the case, then this article can enlighten you as it will explain what each of these types of paint is and what you could use them for. As a result, you will be able to determine which paint type your DIY project needs.

The Similarities and Differences Between Acrylic and Latex

Acrylic and latex are two different types of paint, and each has its separate uses. However, one can be used for the other. Having said that, you want each paint job to be as best as it can be, which is why you should use the right paint for the right job.

What is acrylic paint?

Acrylic is a chemical-based paint. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is that it is durable in harsh environmental conditions like in high humidity or high-temperature areas.

This is because acrylic is made with certain chemicals that allow it to be more durable. However, due to its chemical makeup, this type of paint is more toxic and requires good ventilation. Furthermore, your brushes will need specific cleaning products in order to remove the paint.

What do you use acrylic paint for?

Acrylic paint can be used on basically anything, including wood, metal, and cement. Since acrylic paint is more durable, especially in harsh spots, it is ideal to use outdoors or on exterior surfaces. But you can use acrylic indoors as well.

In fact, in the case of latex vs. acrylic paint for furniture, acrylic is the preferred choice as it prevents wear and tears sooner. Keep in mind that if you do use acrylic paint indoors, you have to ensure good ventilation as this paint leaves a strong chemical odor.

What is latex paint?

On the other hand, latex is a water-based paint. The good thing about this is that it can be easily washable, even by soap and water. However, having high water content means that it is not as durable as acrylic paint. So as you can figure, the question of latex vs. acrylic exterior paint goes in favor of acrylic.

For latex vs. acrylic interior paint, though, latex takes the price as it is much cheaper to purchase and has no strong odor due to the lack of chemical compounds in the paint. Moreover, you can get more volume out of latex compared to acrylic. Therefore, if you’re working on a large surface area or have a lot of painting to do, then opting for latex paint would be the budget-friendly choice.

What do you use latex paint for?

Just like acrylic paint, you can use latex on any surface. And as mentioned, it is advisable only to use it indoors since it will not last as long in harsh environments. This paint is vulnerable to change and cannot expand as well as acrylic. However, latex paint dries very quickly as opposed to acrylic’s slow drying time, so most beginners tend to use this type despite its lack of strength.


In summary, latex paint does prove to be more convenient. It’s fast-drying, costs less yet has more volume, is odorless, and easy to wash off. But acrylic paint is much more durable and longer-lasting thanks to its chemical components.

Of course, there are other factors that you can consider if both options sound useful to you. You can take into account your budget, the surface you’ll be painting on, and even the kind of painting tool you’ll use. As you take these factors into consideration, along with your newfound knowledge of acrylic and latex, you will certainly be better informed to decide between latex vs. acrylic paint.

About The Author

MyUnfinishedHome Staff

We are a team of enthusiasts thriving to provide you with helpful advice on buying everything you may ever need to finish your home and make it a lovely place.

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