Difference between latex and acrylic paint

Among the most popular types of paints are latex and acrylic. What is their specificity?

What is latex paint?

The main feature of this type of paint is that it contains rubber, although not natural, but synthetic - in the form of a substance called styrene-butadiene. Its presence causes a significant increase in the stability of the painted surface, in some cases - its more aesthetic appearance, in comparison with the result of using many other types of paints.

Latex paint

The use of synthetic rubber in the composition of paints significantly expands the performance of the painted materials, as well as the scope of their application. In the structure of the considered paints, various copolymers can be present, which are also added in order to improve the quality of the painted materials.

Latex paints :

  • provide strength and durability of the painted surface;
  • Ensures high color saturation that retains brightness over time and is resistant to sunlight;
  • are characterized by the absence of toxicity;
  • have a high degree of elasticity, which makes it possible to apply paints to surfaces with any relief;
  • After drying, they are resistant to water and wear - which allows the removal of dust and dirt from the painted surface during wet cleaning.

Latex paints are classified into several varieties:

  • matte;
  • glossy;
  • front;
  • intended for painting walls, ceilings, floors.

But in general, the main properties of the above types of latex paint are the same.

What are acrylic paints?

Under acrylic paints (in pure form) it is customary to mean substances made just on the basis of copolymers - mainly those represented by polyacrylates. They may contain styrene, vinyl, silicone. These paints are often considered to be of higher quality than latex, more durability - and at the same time more expensive.

Acrylic paint

It should be noted that the scope of application of "classic" acrylic paints and their basic properties generally coincide with those that characterize latex paints. Both substances under consideration are produced on a water basis. However, the quality of the surfaces they paint may slightly differ - due to the fact that acrylic copolymers in many cases give them a higher resistance to external influences than artificial rubber.

The similarity of these two types of paints often determines the ambiguous perception of the differences between them. Let's consider in what aspects they can be traced.


The main difference between latex paint and acrylic paint is that the former are based on styrene butadiene, and the latter are based on acrylic copolymers. The basic physical properties of both types of paints are the same. But, as a rule, the quality of the surfaces painted with the first and second substances differs - as well as the cost of latex and acrylic paints.

It should be noted that many modern manufacturers of these types of products produce a wide range of paints obtained by mixing the two varieties under consideration. Thus, substances based on copolymers with the addition of styrene-butadiene can be sold.

Having determined what is the difference between latex and acrylic paint, let's fix the conclusions in the table.


Latex paints Acrylic paints
What do they have in common?
Latex and acrylic paints coincide in many consumer characteristics, both types of paints are water-based
What's the difference between them?
In marketing, “classic” latex paints are usually understood as those produced on the basis of styrene-butadiene as a binderUnder “classic” acrylic paints are usually understood as those produced on the basis of acrylic copolymers as binders
Usually cheaperUsually more expensive