What to Consider when Buying Acrylic Latex Paint

Acrylic latex paint is best suited for exterior use, but can be used with other projects as well.  If you are trying to decide what type of paint works best for your needs, here are a few things to consider about acrylic latex paint.


Acrylic latex paint has a more elastic quality than a standard latex base. This makes it ideal for outdoor use. As surfaces expand and contract with the changing temperatures, the paint will expand and contract with it. This lessens weathering, chipping, and cracking. The chemicals that are added to the acrylic help it with this quality. A latex paint is just water based, and could lead to weathering quickly.

Surface Application

Acrylic latex paints are great for any type of surface. It can be successfully applied to stucco, brick, concrete, wood, and plastics. Latex paint will peel off plastics and won't adhere to masonry surfaces as well. This means you can use this on the exterior of your home regardless of the material. It can also be used on a variety of crafting projects without needing to worry about whether the paint will adhere and withstand the conditions or elements it may be exposed to. The older forms of latex paint would cause raw wood to raise on the grain, and would cause steel to rust. The new acrylic latex paints won't do this.

Interior Applications

Acrylic latex will hold its color much longer than other types of paints. This makes it ideal for trim work. You won't have to touch it up as often. Since it is allowed to expand with temperature changes, it works well in kitchens and bathrooms as well. The moisture won't affect the paint as much as it would with latex paint. 

You generally won't need to prime before you use an acrylic latex paint, but on surfaces that have an oil-based paint already used, priming is suggested.

Clean Up

Latex based paints are very simple to clean up. Since the acrylic latex paint has both acrylic and latex, clean up becomes much easier than it would be with a standard acrylic based paint. Brushes, pans, and rollers can be cleaned up with simple soap and water. It will clean up from skin just as easily.


If you are going to paint an area that is typically hard to reach, such as trim work, baseboards, or exterior shutters, acrylic latex may be the best way to go. Since these paints are so durable you will find yourself touching up and repainting much less often. In children's rooms this paints adds the advantage of being cleaned easily. The walls painted with this can be wiped down without having to worry about paint pulling away from the wall or leaving dull spots.

Drying Times

Oil-based paints can take up to 24 hours to completely dry. The acrylic latex paints can dry in as little as an hour. They also have a low odor and are non-combustible, making it ideal to use in rooms that need to be used sooner rather than later.