Latex or acrylic paint? Differences

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Choosing the perfect paint for the interior is not just a matter of color. It’s also a decision about what type of paint we decide on. This is not only related to individual preferences, but also depends on the place we will paint, as well as the surface to be covered. Latex and acrylic paints usually appear in stores. What are the differences and which one turns out to be better and more versatile? 

When we go to a home improvement store to find the perfect paint with which to add the final touches to the finishing touches on a home or apartment renovation, we feel like we’re about to go crazy. The wide range of different manufacturers in terms of both types and colors of paint can be intimidating. Among the most popular are acrylic and latex paints. How do they differ?


Their first and primary difference is the composition. True, both contain resin, but the key thing here is the resin content. Latex paint has much more of it, which makes it easier to apply, smoother, and definitely more durable, both in terms of room conditions and daily use. The resin in latex paint also guarantees better coverage with the first coat compared to its acrylic counterpart.

Application and drying speed

When we talk about painting with acrylic and latex paints, we have to admit that the former is a tad more pleasant to apply. It also leaves a slight sheen, which for some may be an added advantage.

In terms of drying, however, latex paint leads, with a second coat that we can apply after just four hours or so, while acrylic emulsion needs about six hours to do so. Unfortunately, latex products have their own characteristic odor, which is not acceptable to everyone and can still float indoors up to a few days after the painting is completed, which can be an additional disadvantage. 

Durability and resistance

This is probably the most important aspect we consider when choosing a paint. When we talk about resistance to washing, abrasion and scrubbing, both paints have similar parameters, but in the final analysis latex paint wins this clash. Responsible for its advantage is its resistance to strong and persistent sunlight. Manufacturers assure us that even in bright rooms exposed to high sun exposure the paint will not fade for up to 7 years. 

However, when we are dealing with dark rooms, acrylic paint should completely suffice and beautifully decorate the walls of a bedroom or living room. Walls covered with latex emulsion are also a bit more resistant to scratches and other mechanical damage that may occur during daily use. This is certainly why they are especially recommended for hallways and hallways.

Latex paint, due to its composition, is also recommended for any rooms exposed to moisture, such as kitchens and bathrooms. 


This is another aspect that differentiates the two products. Due to their properties, latex paints are usually more expensive. Sometimes it is also the case that the price will be even several times higher. It may also be related to the performance of both paints, as due to better coverage, latex paint only needs to be applied once, while acrylic paint may require another coat.

main photo: Vaitkevich

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