Acrylic vs Latex Paint: What Is The Difference?

Acrylic vs Latex Paint_ What Is The Difference

If you are thinking of painting or repainting your home or artwork, one of the foremost and most important decisions is to think of the type of paint to use. Acrylic Paint and Latex Paint have different compositions and applications. You will learn acrylic paint and Latex Paint, their pros and cons, and other special features.

Let’s dive right in:

What is the difference between acrylic and latex paint?

The main difference is the composition, latex paint is water-based, while acrylic is compound-based. Because acrylic has chemicals, it is more flexible than latex paint. Acrylic paint shrinks and stretches better than latex paint. Acrylic paints are mainly used for artistic creations, while latex paints are mainly used for interior or exterior surfaces, such as walls and houses. Acrylic paints are much more expensive than latex paints.

Do you think the difference between Acrylic Paint and Regular Paint is just about compound substance composition? Here’s what this article will help you to learn:

  • Compare and contrast to know what suit your need
  • What is the difference between Acrylic, Latex and Enamel paint?
  • Understand the pros and cons of these paints
  • Know what these paints are
  • Surface applicable to each paint

You can give your home or artwork the most excellent look by completely transforming it with various paints of your choice. However, you have to decide which paint types will suit your need and taste. Knowing the difference between these choices of paints will help you determine the one that will match your needs.

Let’s go ahead!

Acrylic Paint

Everyone loves it when their paintings become dry a few hours or days after their application. Not many paints could offer this feature. Acrylic Paint is all you need for people enthusiastic about getting ready to move into their homes within a few days after painting.

What Is Acrylic Paint?

Acrylic Paint is water-based, fast-drying paint consisting of pigment suspended in acrylic polymer emulsion. They are waterproof when dry entirely and can be used for painting in various settings. Additionally, Acrylic Paint can be suspended in other materials such as stabilizers or plasticizers.

You may choose to modify the Acrylic Paint by diluting it with water, acrylic gels, or other suitable liquids. Acrylic Paint can look like watercolor or even oil painting.

Which Surface Is Acrylic Paint Perfect for?

Craft acrylics are paints suitable for canvas, wooden, and metallic surfaces. In addition, you can also use acrylic paints on fabrics and ceramics. As decorative paintings for ordinary life objects, acrylic paints perfectly fit faux finishes. It doesn’t matter whether you mix the colors; there are specifications for the pigments.

Do not use house paints in place of acrylics on your fabrics and artworks. This is because acrylic paints are famous for their great aesthetic appearance, light-fastness, and durability.


  • Acrylic Paint has more versatility, making it possible to apply it on any oil or wax-free surface. If there is proper preparation of Acrylic Paint, it is suitable for almost everything, including metal, wood, glass, and other related surfaces.
  • Acrylic Paint dries off quickly and makes it works fast
  • While it is yet to dry, you can wash off Acrylic Paint due to its water-soluble nature
  • Affordability
  • It can resist water when it dries
  • Flexibility
  • Durability


  • Its quick-drying feature requires painters to work fast
  • It is difficult to get rid of when applied to clothes or nails
  • The end color appears dark dry
  • Some refer to it as paint with less value compared to other paints
What is Acrylic Paint

Latex Paint

When you hear the word latex, you will certainly understand where this paint derives its name from. Like Acrylic Paint, there is not much difference between Latex Paint and Acrylic Paint. They offer everything you need, not just because they work better but also have an easy-to-clean feature.

What Is Latex Paint?

Latex Paint is also a water-based paint that can be used for various paintings. This paint is called latex due to its previous rubber base, but now, the rubber base is not in use anymore.

Latex Paint now has a water-soluble base while built on acrylic and vinyl. Because of this, painters will find it a less rigorous exercise to clean up Latex Paint if need be. Latex Paint is used for different painting jobs. Many homeowners prefer to use Latex Paint for exterior painting due to its durability.


  • Easy application
  • Easy to clean with water
  • It does not fade, crack, or peel quickly
  • Quick-drying
  • Non-flammable


  • It doesn’t hold up properly in wood
  • Two coats are often needed if there is a need to go from a dark color to a light one

Acrylic vs Latex Paint: What Is the Difference and Which Is Better?

Both Acrylic Paint and Latex Paint have great qualities. Despite their qualities, certain features still differentiate them from each other.

The significant difference between these two paints is:

  • Composition: Acrylic paint contains chemicals, while latex paint is water-based.
  • Uses: Acrylic is mainly used for artistic creation, while latex paint is mainly used for houses and walls.
  • Durability: Acrylic paint is more elastic and more durable than latex paint, which is more malleable.
  • Color: Acrylic paint is richer in color, while latex paint is relatively simple in color.
  • Easy to clean: Latex paints are easier to clean than acrylic paints, even with just water and soap.
  • Cost: Acrylic paint is more expensive than latex paint.
  • Drying time: Acrylic paints dry faster.
  • VOC: Both are low VOC.

Enamel Paint

What is Enamel Paint?

Enamel paint has a good gloss and texture. The Enamel Paint got its definition more from its qualities than what it contains. Broadly, Enamel Paint refers to any paint (solvent-based) that dries to glass-like or hard surfaces.

Application of Enamel Paint

Enamel Paint is a complex and glossy type of paint used for different paintings, such as the standard nail polish.

Many people, including Modelers and Hobbyists, have adopted enamel paint to add vivid colors to make small crafts durable.

Users love Enamel Paint because of its glossy and texture finish. People widely adopt it for both interior and exterior painting. Most of the paint options you will find are either water-based or oil-based.


  • Easy application
  • Extreme durability
  • It is surface-friendly


  • It is expensive
  • It is potentially toxic
  • Special tools needed

Acrylic vs Enamel Paint

  • Acrylic paint is a chemical-based type, while enamel paint is mainly oil-based.
  • The application of acrylic paint produces a matte finish look. At the same time, the result of enamel paint will give a glossy look.
  • In the aspect of color variations, enamel does not have too many varying colors. It only has a few colors available.
  • Acrylic paint is best applicable for more minor projects indoors, such as acrylic model paint.
  • Enamel goes best with the indoor area, such as the kitchen or bathroom, with moisture.
  • Acrylic paint retains its initial color when it dries, but enamel turns yellow.

FAQs of Acrylic vs Latex vs Enamel Paint

Can I apply acrylic over enamel?

Yes. You can apply it. However, you will need to prepare the surface properly. The application of only a coat of water-based paint will not properly stick to the surface, leading to the quickly fading of the color.

Does acrylic paint have a waterproof feature?

Yes, Acrylic Paint can resist water slightly but does not offer a waterproof coat. You can, however, make it waterproof with an application of a seal over the paint.

Can you use latex paint for acrylic pouring instead of acrylic paint?

You can use latex paint for acrylic pouring. Latex paint is more economical than acrylic paint, and you will get better results with better latex paint. Latex paints for pouring need to be of the proper viscosity, and be careful not to add too much water or medium.

Can I use acrylic paint over latex paint?

You can use acrylic paint over latex paint, wipe the area you want to cover thoroughly, then apply a water-based primer to get good adhesion between coats, and finally mix the coat.

What Is The Difference Between Acrylic Paint and Regular Paint?

The direct answer to the question is substance composition. While acrylic paint is made from chemicals, latex paint is water-based. It implies that Acrylic Paint differs from regular paint in that the chemicals provide it with elasticity feature, compared to other paints.

Water-based paints are easy to clean up with soap and water. However, acrylic paint has an edge in terms of durability and beautiful outlook. Oil paints, for instance, are known for their richness in pigment, making them produce clearer and richer colors.

On the flip side, acrylic paints become slightly dark as they dry on the canvas. Hence, the color mix on acrylic paint changes on the canvas.

Did I Cover All You Wanted to Know About: Acrylic vs Latex vs Enamel Paint?

Our contrast between Acrylic Paint and other paints does not mean to draw any line about which is better. Instead, it points out the unique features and properties of each type. As a general rule of thumb, each surface requires different paint to match it.

Generally, Acrylic paints provide artists with richer colors, and latex paint is the first choice for exterior and interior painting for most homeowners because of its durability.

However, it is best to find out everything about each of these paints before you choose to know what they offer. Applying a specific paint that isn’t wood-friendly on a wood project may end up disfiguring its look. If you need to choose paint, you should research more on what you choose.

Now the ball is in your court to decide which of the paints you’re going for. Don’t forget to read the details of each paint product you’re buying before you put in your hard-earned money on it.

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