Latex Based Paints

When it comes to painting your home or office, choosing the right paint is crucial for a successful outcome. Among the numerous types of paints available in the market, latex-based paints have gained immense popularity due to their versatility, durability, and eco-friendliness.

What’s the best way to improve the look of your home? Painting! With a new paint job, your home can go from looking neutral to brand new. Although knowing what paint colour to choose is important, knowing what type of paint to use is just as important, if not more.

In this comprehensive guide, we will dive deep into the world of latex-based paints and explore their benefits, applications, and tips for achieving the perfect finish.


What are Latex-Based Paints?

Latex-based paints, also known as water-based or acrylic paints, are a type of paint that uses water as its primary solvent. “Latex” refers to the binder used in the paint, typically a synthetic polymer made from acrylic, vinyl, or a combination of both. These binders give the paint unique properties, such as flexibility, adhesion, and resistance to various environmental factors.

Latex based paints work very well and are relatively easy to clean up compared to oil-based paint. They are called “latex” because they have a rubber base, but not anymore. Now, latex-based paints use a water-soluble base and vinyl/acrylics. This means that they clean up easier with water and soap. This paint can do the trick for exterior jobs because they are durable and versatile. 

Comparing Latex vs Oil-based Paint

Latex Vs. Oil Based Paint


Oil-based paint is a very durable paint base. While it isn’t as durable, latex paint is much easier to work with because it dries quicker than oil-based paint. Also, latex is suitable for painting projects like walls and ceilings, while oil is good for wood-based projects. Applying a coat of primer before painting will help you significantly when working on unfinished walls. If you plan to use latex paint, use a latex-based primer. Oppositely, if you use oil, use an oil-based primer.

Oil-based paints

VOCs are becoming stricter due to government regulations, and the main reason why paint use is decreasing. When paint cans are labelled as “low VOC,” it is because they contain fewer than 50 grams per litre of volatile compounds. In its totality, “low VOC paint” means it is lower than other paints. In addition, low VOC paints are usually latex-based and are something professional painters would suggest you use. 

Disadvantages of oil-based paints

When considering choices, some advantages and disadvantages can make your decision a little easier to handle. The disadvantage of oil-based paint is its powerful odour compared to water-based paint. This essentially means that it will take longer to dry. It is also harder to clean. Taking longer to dry means that you need complete care in your cleaning. The work is already messy, so try to use extra precautions.

Make sure that there is no contact with the wet surfaces. As time passes, the paint will start to harden, causing splitting. If the wood shrinks, splitting almost always happens. Use a pure bristle brush if you want a flawless finish on your surfacesIf you want a flawless finish on your surfaces, use a  pure bristle brush.

Latex Paint vs. Acrylic: Key Differences

1. Environmental Impact

One of the primary benefits of latex paint over acrylic paint is its environmentally-friendly nature. They contain fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than acrylic paint, which releases fewer harmful chemicals into the air as it dries. This makes latex paint a safer option for indoor and outdoor use, especially for those with allergies or sensitivities to strong odours.

2. Ease of Use

Latex paint is known for its ease of use, making it an excellent choice for DIY projects. It is easy to apply with a brush, roller, or sprayer and dries quickly, usually within a few hours. Also, they can be easily cleaned with soap and water, making post-painting clean-up a breeze.

3. Versatility

Latex paint is highly versatile and can be used on various surfaces, including wood, metal, and masonry. This makes it a popular choice for both interior and exterior painting projects. While versatile, acrylic paint may require additional preparation or priming when used on certain surfaces.

Latex Vs Acrylic

4. Durability and Maintenance

While latex and acrylic paints offer durability, acrylic paint is generally considered more resistant to wear and tear, especially in high-traffic areas or harsh weather conditions. However, latex paint is still a durable option for most home applications and is easier to touch up when needed.

When to Choose Latex Paint

Given its numerous benefits, latex paint is an excellent choice for various projects. What is latex paint used for? Consider using this paint for the following applications:

• Interior walls and ceilings

• Exterior siding, trim, and doors

• Furniture and cabinetry

• DIY projects and crafts

While acrylic paint may be better suited for specific applications, such as murals or areas with extreme weather conditions, latex paint offers a versatile, user-friendly, and environmentally-conscious option for most home painting projects.

Painter Painting Interior Trim


Some of the key benefits include:


They have lower volatile organic compound (VOC) levels than oil-based paints. This makes them a more environmentally friendly option, as they release fewer harmful chemicals into the air during application and drying.

Quick Drying:

Due to their water-based nature, latex paints dry relatively quickly. This allows you to apply multiple coats quickly, speeding up the painting process.

Easy Cleanup:

Cleaning up after using this kind of paint is a breeze. You only need soap and water to clean brushes, rollers, and other painting tools, making the process hassle-free and convenient.

Different Types of Latex Paints

There are three types of latex-based paints: alkyd-modified, vinyl-acrylic and 100 percent acrylic. Alkyd-modified work well with exterior jobs, especially for peeled, chalked, and flaked siding. Vinyl-acrylic is perfect for interior walls and is highly inexpensive.

For high-performance paint jobs, interior painting services suggest using 100 percent acrylic because it is excellent with adhesion and retains colour well.

Something to consider: Do not use latex paint on wood or steel because the steel will rust and, subsequently, will raise the grain on the wood. 

Benefits of Latex Based Paints

• Suitable for DIY painters as well as professional painters

• Smooth application (not very difficult for a beginner to master)

• Dries quickly

• Cleans up easily with water and soap

• Non-flammable

• Resists mildew well

• Fades less on exterior painting work

• Contains few VOCs (less toxic)

• A small amount of odour (unlike oil-based paint)

• Comes in a variety of paint finishes


They offer excellent durability and long-lasting finishes. They resist yellowing, cracking, and peeling, ensuring your painted surfaces look fresh for years.


This paint can be used on various surfaces, including wood, metal, masonry, and drywall. This makes them a go-to choice for various painting projects, both indoors and outdoors.

Disadvantages of Latex-Based Paints

• When it comes to glossy walls or other surfaces, latex paint might not adhere as well.

• Requires above-freezing temperature storage

• Chips are faster than oil-based paint

• Needs 30 days before you wash it

Tips for Using Latex-Based Paints

To ensure the best results, follow these tips:

Surface Preparation:

Properly prepare the surface before painting by cleaning, sanding, and priming if necessary. This will ensure better adhesion and a smoother finish.

Home Painters Priming Wall

Temperature and Humidity:

Latex-based paints perform best when applied at temperatures between 50°F and 85°F (10°C and 29°C) and with relative humidity below 70%. Avoid painting in extreme temperatures or high humidity, as it can affect the drying time and final appearance.

Quality Tools:

Invest in high-quality brushes, rollers, and other painting tools for a smooth and even application. Using the right tools can significantly impact the final outcome of your painting project.

Paint Mixing:

Always stir the paint thoroughly before use to ensure consistent colour and texture.

If you’re using multiple cans of the same colour, mixing them together in a larger container is a good idea to avoid any colour discrepancies.

Painting Technique:

Apply the paint using even strokes in a consistent direction. This will help to avoid streaks, roller marks, and brush strokes in the final finish.

Exterior Paint Jobs

Technology is advancing daily, meaning so has painting. Various latex paints are durable enough to use for exterior work. Although that is the case, sometimes you might consider using oil-based paint on heavily touched areas. This includes doors, trim, porch floors and wrought iron.

These areas see a lot of wear and tear, so the increased durability of oil-based paints is beneficial. In addition, it is highly recommended not to paint oil based on top of latex paint. Avoiding this dilemma will allow for a smooth surface. In its entirety, in today’s trend, using latex-based paints is excellent because it dries quickly and allows for a smooth application. It is also less toxic (contains fewer VOCs) than oil-based paint.

Painter Painting Using Roller or Brush on Wood Exterior
Painters Painting Exterior Front Door

In Conclusion…

Latex-based paints are an excellent choice for various painting projects due to their numerous benefits and versatility. You can achieve a professional-looking finish lasting years by understanding their properties, applications, and best practices. So, the next time you plan a painting project, consider latex-based paints for an eco-friendly, durable, and beautiful result.

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Now that you know all about latex-based paints, is it time to work on that painting project you’ve been putting off? Or maybe you need some professional painters? If so, we can help! Our home painting services have been around for over 36 years now. Call us at 416.494.9095 or email for a FREE quote or visit our website Home Painters Toronto.  And don’t forget to follow us on all our social channels below!