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Community and Q&A

Latex vs Acrylic Paint

charles_biden | Posted in General Questions on

Hello everyone;

So, I am currently in the process of painting my CMU house. My contractor has specified latex paint.

However, I can find reliable and coherent information regarding the differences between latex and acrylic paints.

How are these two types different? In terms of vapour transmission, water resistance, washability, etc? 

Thank you in advance.

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  1. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #1

    Acrylic paint is more durable, and is usually considered to be more of a premium paint. I've never looked into perm differences between the two, but if you pull up the TDS (Technical Data Sheet) for the paint products you're considering, you can probably find that information. If you can't find that information, try calling the manufacturer. I know for a fact that PPG is VERY responsive to technical inquiries about their products, and any of their local stores will put you in touch with specialists at their company when needed to get you whatever answers you need. I would expect Sherwin Williams and Banjamin Moore to be able to do the same, but I don't have experience with them since I use PPG myself.


  2. ranson | | #2

    Latex paint is a generic term for water based paint. Acrylic is a type of plastic resin used in the paints. Most latex paint uses acrylic resin, even if it isn't labeled acrylic. There are other cheaper resins mixed in mostly to save manufacturing cost. Generally, higher concentrations of acrylic resin means a better and more expensive paint.

    1. user-5946022 | | #3

      John - this is helpful. Can you post more about this? Is there a certain point at which a paint has sufficient acrylic resin to kick it into a different category so that it is no longer marketed as latex paint? Is there an efficient way to identify paints with higher concentrations of acrylic resin (keywords, etc), or do you just have to go through the spec sheet for each paint and compare?

      1. Expert Member
        BILL WICHERS | | #5

        Most all acrylic paints are labeled as such. If you go to a real paint store (not a box store, although even those people may know), they will know which of their paints are all acrylic.


  3. Jon_R | | #4

    I'd just look for "100% acrylic" on the label.

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