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Acrylic Paint Versus Latex Paint

Exterior Paint

Exterior Painted Home

There are many decisions that have to be made when doing any sort of house painting project whether it is interior or exterior painting. Not only does the homeowner have to choose from among many colors, they also have to choose what type of finish and what type of paint to use for each residential painting project. Two types of paint that are used frequently are acrylic and latex paints. Even though the two share some qualities since they are both made from acrylic resin, they still have some key differences.

Water Based vs. Chemical Based

One of the key differences in latex paint versus acrylic paint is that latex paints are water based and acrylic paints are chemical based. The chemicals in acrylic paint are what allow it to have more elasticity than latex paint. However, this difference in composition also means that there are differences when cleaning up. When using latex paints, water can be used to rinse brushes and for general clean up. But when an acrylic paint is used since it is chemical based, chemical products such as paint thinners are required to clean it up.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Latex Paints

There can be some benefits to using latex paint for NJ house painting projects. Latex is generally easier to apply to surfaces and they dry much faster than acrylic paints. Latex is usually substantially less expensive than acrylic paints and it is much easier to clean up. When using water based latex paints, there are less fumes to have to deal with which also means there is very little odor associated with using this type of paint. Since latex paints dry quickly, it can tend to peel if there are any imperfections on the surface being painted. However, latex paint typically covers very well with fewer coats, especially for interior painting. This type of paint usually resists chalking and retains its color for longer periods of time over other types of paints. Latex paint is a good choice in areas of high humidity since it can be resistant to the growth of mildew but it will not go on well if there is a lot of humidity in the area being painted since it will be difficult for it to be applied properly. Latex is commonly used on a wide variety of surfaces including various types of siding, brick, stucco, concrete, galvanized metal, or wood.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Acrylic Paints

Many homeowners are starting to use acrylic paints for exterior residential painting projects. This is because acrylic paint tends to contract and expand with varying temperatures due to its composition. Since it will expand and contract it will usually offer a better hold than latex paint, especially on exterior surfaces. Because it is able to withstand the effects of weather and sun, acrylic paint is a great choice for exterior residential painting. Touching up is very easy when using this type of paint; and when surfaces are primed properly it has strong adhesion properties to a wide variety of materials. It is also breathable which means that moisture is allowed to escape and will not cause loss of adhesion or blistering. Acrylic paints are resistant to fading and will be able to resist damaging UV rays longer than some of the oil based paints available.  Acrylic paints are chemical based which will make them a little more difficult to clean up and they will exude more odors and fumes than latex paints.  Acrylic paint will not dry as hard as an oil based paint which simply means more scuff marks in areas that have a lot of traffic.

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