Latex, acrylic, waterborne definitions

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Old 02-17-08, 10:22 AM
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Latex, acrylic, waterborne definitions

Could someone please clear up the confusion between the use of the terms latex, acrylic, and waterborne when referring to finishes that are water thinned?

I am especially confused about products such as Benjamin Moores' waterborne Impervo enamel often recommended for trim. How is this "waterborne" enamel different than high quality "acrylic" wall paints? Is the chemistry different?

Thanks!
 
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Old 02-17-08, 10:32 AM
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I'm not a chemist and for sure don't know the technical answer but basically latex and acrylic are the same sometimes with minor differences depending on the formula.

Waterborne is somewhat of a hybrid - has a lot of the characteristics of oil base but cleans up with water.

I'm sure one of the smart guys will be along later with a more definitive answer
 
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Old 02-17-08, 11:05 AM
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To expand on Marksr's response...

Technically, any paint that is water-base could be called "Waterbourne". In fact, I'm surprised the folks at Behr have not taken some junk paint and slapped that label on it...

When "Waterbourne" is referred to here, folks are typically only referring to Waterbourne Impervo, and ProClassic from Sherwin.

As marksr said, these are coatings that emulate their oil-base cousins in their final look. That said, they dry quicker, clean up easier, and smell less than the oil-base brandmates.

One thing to note with these coatings is that the behave very differently from ordinary wall paint... their "open time" is very short; that means that the paint tacks up pretty quickly, and if you mess around with it after it tacks up, you will leave trench-like brush marks in the final coating. (This is probably why BigBoxCo doesn't sell the stuff... if you don't know about this charachtaristic ahead of time, it is not very DIY-friendly; not to mention the chance of the staff at BigBoxCo remembering to warn you about this is quite low.)

The advantage to these enamels over just using semi-gloss "ordinary" paint, is that it forms a hard "shell" over the surface which is tough to damage, and very easy to clean. In addition, when used on shelving, the contents of the shelf will not stick to the coating. (This is a big problem if you try to use wall paint on a shelf.) Note that this "shell" takes a week or so to fully cure. If you slap books on your shelf 4 hours after you put on the last drop of paint, that is not going to work.

SirWired

How is the chemistry different from wall paint? Good question... no idea.
 
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Old 02-17-08, 05:26 PM
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Thank you.....I think. It must be something like how auto wax and polish are used interchangeably now a days on consumer products, even though a true polish is not a wax. Or, the similar confusion with varnishes, "oil"s, poly's, etc..

It seems like the difference is the "enamel" part....a harder, maybe less porous finish than with typical wall paint.

I wonder how the "waterbourne" terminology came to be associated with the Impervo? Why not just acrylic enamel?

Thanks for the tip about Impervo's open time. Does anyone use Impervo on walls? Maybe in a grimy work shop setting?

By the way, all this stuff fascinates me, if you couldn't tell. So many products! Last year, I was asking about ceramic paints (not the insulating ones).
 
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Old 02-18-08, 03:58 AM
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I've not used the impervo waterborne but I've used a lot of SWP proclassic waterborne and understand them to be similiar.

Shortly after I started using it, [which was mainly because I started to suffer from occupational over exposure to oil base coatings], I had sprayed a dozen or so doors in a new construction home. I don't remember how it happened but several of the doors had gotten knocked over unto the floor before the paint had dried I was pleasantly suprised how well they sanded the next day a latex or acrylic enamel would have been next to impossible to sand out the dirt/grit 24 hrs after application.

While waterborne enamel can be applied to walls, there are cheaper coatings that will preform well and would be easier to apply. I would expect waterborne enamel would be a good choice for walls in an extreme setting.
 
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Old 02-18-08, 07:03 AM
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You can't even rely on the "enamel" part. Behr calls their standard "Premium" paint an "enamel", but it is nothing like Impervo/ProClassic.

SirWired
 
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Old 02-18-08, 05:09 PM
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Re: Enamel

Yes, that's one of the reasons why BM and SW call their premium 'latex' trim enamels 'waterborne', to differentiate them from the cheap builder's paints that are also technically enamels
 
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