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acrylic vs latex paint for furniture

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A roller offers less control, but even coverage. The first thing you should do when deciding to paint your kitchen cabinets … If you’re looking for a natural paint for furniture with a slightly thinner texture than chalky paint—but plenty of character—then milk paint might be the right type for you. It dries fast, which is a plus, but also means that brush strokes can be seen if you revisit an area for touch-up once the paint has started to dry. If you’re removing a previous coat of paint or applying acrylic paint, be sure to protect your eyes and nose. Overall, you’ll want to use acrylic paint if you’re painting outdoor furniture that needs to hold up to use and weather. Use interior latex paint if you want the furniture to match the walls. Furniture. It does not require top coat like chalk paint or milk paint. By Acrylic paint, we usually mean the kind of water-based paint that is mostly used in paintings and art projects. Have fun painting! Chalky paint is available from specialty retailers, though it’s becoming more and more widely available. Those areas suffer frequent rough usage in a home, so their surfaces need to be extra durable. While water-based paints will have a tough time adhering to a surface previously painted with oil paint, this type of paint can be applied successfully over either water-based or oil-based paint. … Even if you haven’t prepped a piece of furniture perfectly, acrylic paint adheres well to most porous surfaces. Oil-based paint, also sometimes called alkyd paint, is a durable type of paint for furniture. Posted on Last updated: December 8, 2020 By: Author Ryan Cunningham. When comparing regular paint or chalk paint, you’ll see how standard compositions are usually lighter and shinier. However, the finish coat is what protects your furniture. That said, roughly 75% of the paints sold today are latex because they offer a number of advantages over the alternative—oil-based paints. If you’re painting furniture with latex paint, you’ll want to be sure to prep the piece before painting it. The greater concentration of resins in a semi-gloss formula make this paint more durable for furniture you actually plan to put to work. Both acrylic and latex paints are made with acrylic resin and polymers. Choose from the color chips on hand, or have the paint counter mix up a custom shade that will perfectly suit your furniture piece and décor. Chalk paint is about as durable as latex paint. There are pros and cons to using acrylic paint for your DIY furniture project. Sand moving up to finer grits as you go, and then clean and prime the piece of furniture before applying your acrylic paint. Maybe you have some furniture to refurbish and just can’t decide what type of paint to use. A brush will give you broad coverage but might show strokes more easily (especially with water-based paint). Readily available with abundant color options. We will cover the pros and cons of acrylic and latex paints for each project. If you like the look of matte paint, but need a paint for furniture that is more durable, then satin paint may be the best choice for you. It should be noted that acrylic paint does have more elasticity to resist chipping or cracking than some other types of water-based paint, but is still best suited for pieces with light to moderate use. This activates the glues present in the latex paint resulting in a chunky or stretchy removal of larger areas of paint resulting in a lumpy or blotchy finish. In fact, some states have banned the sale of oil-based paint altogether. Latex paints are not as resistant to the sun and water as acrylic paints are. If you’re painting furniture for outdoors or refurbishing a piece that will be heavily used, go with all-acrylic exterior latex paint. Spray on the Paint. It expands and contracts with temperature, so it works well on wood or outdoor pieces. Chemical-based acrylic paints release fumes that water-based paints do not. Most spray paint is oil-based and provides a more durable finish than latex paint. You’ll want to sand the piece well so that the latex paint can adhere well to the surface. So, what’s the difference between acrylic and latex paint? High-gloss paints reflect a lot of light and their increased concentration of resins makes them able to withstand a lot of use and cleaning. Both paints use the same type of pigments, but they use different binders, and that is what sets them apart. Here are some ideas for your next DIY acrylic painting project. Application with a cloth or sponge is best for a unique, textured finish. The chemicals in acrylic paints are toxic and flammable. Erica Puisis is a writer specializing in interior design. Latex paint dries than acrylic paint, although they take a long time to cure. All-acrylic latex paints are the highest quality of latex paint. Water Based vs. Chemical Based. Best For: Furniture that you want to appear antiqued, weathered, or distressed. Although it may not require sealing, like chalk paint, latex paint alone is not tough enough to … Keep in mind that a water-based latex paint never pairs well with metal surfaces. Work up to finer grits as you sand. Whether the furniture is made from wrought iron or plastic and is used indoors or outdoors, using acrylic paint is the perfect way to change the color and protect the surface. It may chip on outdoor, Use acrylic paint for outdoor furniture such as deck. Don’t look at this as a battle of Enamel vs. acrylic, but rather as education for which one is better for each situation. Latex paint for furniture is a popular option since it’s easily accessible and available in nearly every color under the rainbow. Give your furniture new life and a new look with a fresh coat of paint. The range of materials that various items of furniture can be made from means that acrylic latex paint is an ideal choice for a number of different pieces. However, Acrylic paint for furniture is a special kind of paint which is the most popular option till date. This makes it tougher to find oil-based paint for furniture, since it isn’t widely available in big box home improvement stores. You might also consider oil-based paint if you don’t know what type of finish is currently on a piece of furniture. High-quality latex paint can work for most of your furniture projects, but there are still pros and cons you should consider. However, the VOCs emitted by oil paint during and after the painting process require ventilation and cause concern for some. Lacquer paint may need several coats to get the right finish, but once it is complete it looks smooth and seamless on furniture and cabinets in the kitchen. Milk Paint vs Chalk Paint vs Latex: What’s the Best Way to Paint Furniture? It dries fast, but takes a long time to cure and retains a relatively ‘soft’ finish—which isn’t ideal for furniture that will be heavily used. Reclaiming vintage furniture or giving newer pieces old-world charm has led to a rise in popularity for chalky paint. I like to use acrylic paint for small crafts and anything that will expand or contract (such as wood furniture). She writes about home products for The Spruce and has also contributed to TechDigg and Smart Home Solver. You can pick up a pint or gallon of latex paint at your local hardware store and choose from a variety of different brands and finishes. Latex paint is made from acrylic or vinyl resin and pigments in a water base. Some paint would work well on one surface while others would not be suitable for that same surface. You can choose from flat (matte), satin, semi-gloss, or glossy finishes for your project. Use the best supplies for the job. This is also important on smooth surfaces like glass or plastic. If you’re choosing paint for a furniture project, you may have been confused by the term “acrylic latex paint.” Weren’t acrylic and latex paint different things? Acrylic paint is another water-based type of paint for furniture that is closely related to latex paint. Latex paint is just a term used to refer to any water-based paint. Since I sell my refinished furniture, regardless of the type of paint, the piece is always sealed with multiple coats of some kind of sealant (wax, poly, oil). To paint furniture with acrylic paint, there are a few things you should know. Latex paint isn’t very elastic. Color particles are suspended in an acrylic polymer and offer a pop of rich color with a … When distressing ANY paint, if you are making the paint particles airborne, wear a dust mask or respirator! The term “LATEX” in the paint actually refers to the resin (binder) used in the paint. LINK AT END OF THIS VIDEO! But beware—a surface with this much sheen will amplify imperfections. However, it won’t be a very durable finish that can stand up to a lot of bumping, touching, and washing—so save this finish for a project that isn’t going to be under heavy use daily. Today we’ll break down the difference between these two types of paint and the best ways to use each one. One of the big advantages of latex paint for furniture is the wide range of available colors. Do be aware since latex paint is water-based it will not mix with oil-based paints. UPDATE VIDEO POSTED! Acrylic paint is chemical-based and can release toxic fumes during the painting process. A top coat of wax or oil may be necessary to preserve the finish. In latex paint, the carrier is typically water with glycols ethers as a solvent. Paint: The Pros and Cons of Each Finish, The Best Paint for Furniture DIY Projects, 21 DIY Wood Wall Art Ideas to Inspire Your Creative Side. The acrylic emulsion is water-soluble, non-toxic, and flexible, which is why they are likely to be used in areas exposed to heat and cold. Get DIY project ideas and easy-to-follow crafts to help you spruce up your space. Here’s the rule of thumb: a satin or semi-gloss latex paint is the best choice for most furniture projects and kitchen cabinet painting. There are good acrylic paints made with less fillers for furniture but an even better option came on the market in 2010 when Sherwin Williams formed a Water-based Acrylic Aklyd. Oil-based paint use the same type of pigments but they are suspended in an oil based binde… High-quality acrylic paint doesn’t always need a top coat. You should consider the finish of latex paint when choosing paint for your DIY furniture project. Color. High-gloss latex paint is the most durable but also shows every imperfection. The stroke and finish you achieve will vary based on what type of applicator you use. Use latex paint to add color to an accent piece. Latex paints provide good coverage in fewer coats if you’re painting a large piece of furniture. You can select from natural bristle brushes (for oil-based paint), synthetic bristle brushes (for water-based paint), or cloths, rollers, or sponges for specialty applications and effects. All-acrylic or 100 percent acrylic latex paint is the highest quality of latex paint and is the most durable. Acrylic paint tends to adhere well to surfaces like wood. This method eliminates … Latex paints are perfect for refurbishing a dresser or antique trunk. How to Use Acrylic Paint … Spray paint offers an alternative to brushes and rollers. Every single time. And don’t scrimp on paint. I’ll share with you everything I’ve learned painting hundreds of pieces of furniture and sets of kitchen cabinets. Vinyl latex paints are much cheaper. The advantage to oil paint for furniture is that it can be applied over most surfaces and adheres well, since it saturates any porous surface and is self-leveling for easier application. While many people swear by a certain type of paint, I have found that different types of paint are best for different projects. Often latex paint for walls have a lot of fillers like calcium carbonate. Acrylic paint is elastic. It’s easy to age the finish of milk paint with light sanding on the corners or edges—or leave it intact for a smooth, matte look. It usually takes 1-3 coats of acrylic paint to paint furniture. Acrylic Paint Acrylic paint is another water-based type of paint for furniture that is closely related to latex paint. However, sanding and priming pre-painted furniture is always a good idea for the best results. Is it really that good? Cashmere® paint and primer in one looks good from all angles and features a scrubbable surface for easy cleaning and maintenance. There was an article in a recent issue of fine woodworking on painting furniture. Color doesn't matter since you will be painting over it. The type of paint is the biggest consideration you’ll have to make, since there are oil, latex and acrylic paint options for furniture, along with specialty paints like chalky paint and milk paint. It’s durable, rich in color, easy to use, and will withstand the elements better than latex paint. Finish is subject to scratching or marking, Can be expensive with limited color options. Know that latex paint is prone to chipping or scratching under heavy use. Prepare to practice some, or be flexible in the overall look of the finished product. Cashmere Interior Acrylic Latex; Product Details ... the result is a difference you can see and feel. Even still, painting furniture with oil paint is something to consider if you want a resilient finish that won’t chip or scratch easily. This level of choice makes it easy to find the paint shade that matches your vision—and your room. Spray paint can be used on practically any surface, including wood, metal, wicker, plastic and resin. That Sweet Tea Life is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, paint can work for most of your furniture, paint bonds to the surface layer of furniture, Stain vs. Paint wooden chairs with acrylic paint since wood will expand and contract with heat and cold. Latex paint is more commonly known as acrylic paint. Safety – Because acrylic paint is chemical-based, it does require extra care in regards to handling the materials safely. Both wall paints and furniture paints may use 100% Acrylic as the resin. Spray paint dries much more quickly than brushed-on paint. As a result, this layer of paint can be damaged relatively easily. Unlike other paints, lacquer reactivates each coat underneath it to allow for a smooth, level finish, even if you apply multiple coats. It adds some color and protection, but the area that gets the most use is covered with fabric so there’s less wear. Latex paint is cheaper than acrylic paint and easy to find. Compared to the history of paint, latex paint is still the new kid on the block. It can be applied to a variety of surfaces, making it a versatile type of paint for furniture, however it’s often sold in smaller containers—making it a better choice for small-scale projects like console tables, picture frames, and other accent pieces. Different types of paints are better for different types of projects and surfaces. As you see, acrylic and latex paints both have their pros and cons for different types of projects. Overview: The name “General Finishes Milk Paint” is a tad bit misleading, because this paint is actually a water-based acrylic paint, engineered to give a similar finish to the milk paint that has been used for centuries.. Pros:. You’ll be starting off on the right foot if … Get an even coat of primer all over the piece of furniture. Protective top coat (Polycrilic Protective Finish works well with latex paint). It’s straightforward to use and goes on easily. Options. Interior latex paints can use stiffer resins such as vinyl. Many people like the shiny finish, too. If you’re painting furniture for outdoors or refurbishing a piece that will be heavily used, go with all-acrylic exterior latex paint. If you have a piece of furniture covered with oil-based paint, for best results you’ll want to remove it and sand the piece before applying latex paints. Search the web for “oil paint vs latex paint” and you’ll find tons of sites and posts but no real answers. What are some DIY projects where you should use latex paint? Simply put, the main difference between acrylic and latex paint is that acrylic paint is chemical-based, and latex paint is water-based. Wondering what type of paint to use for your DIY painting project? So when you’re looking at one paint type vs. another, it’s not latex vs. acrylic because acrylics fall under the latex paint umbrella. Consider Your Cabinets. This non-toxic paint is made from milk protein with an activator, typically lime or Borax. If you opt for a washable formula, you’ll find it easier to keep clean. So read on to learn about choosing one paint over another and what the pros and cons are that you’ll need to consider. Acrylic paint goes on evenly and is self-leveling, making it easy to work with. The chemicals in acrylic paint are what allow it to have more elasticity than latex paint. Exterior latex paints tend to be all-acrylic or mostly acrylic, because then they hold up better to the weather and are slightly more elastic. Paints like latex, oil, and acrylic formulas are the typical regular paints you’ll find most often. Interior latex paints can use stiffer resins such as vinyl. Latex paint also dries faster than acrylic paint, further reducing the amount of time required to paint the home. It’s typically less expensive than chalky paint, but yields similar results. I also primarily use latex. My name is Ryan and I’ve been a professional painter for the last 20 years. Clean the furniture and remove any previous paint with the paint scraper. You’ve probably found that there are two main types of paint for crafting projects: acrylic paint and latex paint. You don’t need to prep furniture as carefully for acrylic paint as you do for latex paints. It’s more expensive than conventional latex paint, but people love it for its unique look and silky smooth finish. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series. It is easy to apply and goes on smooth and level. Latex paint is known to chip when used for furniture that is not prepped correctly. The name “latex paint” can be a little bit misleading. The more acrylic resin in the paint, the better it tends to hold up and adhere to a surface. Water-based paints have fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are bad for the environment. Any time you paint furniture with chalk paint, you need to protect the finish with a sealer or topcoat. This water-based paint typically has latex as its base, but delivers a thicker, buildable texture. Apply the first coat of paint. Besides all of the "obvious" meticulous prep work, the author recommended a high quality latex paint thinned with floetrol for brushing and only brushing a surface when it's turned horizontal or if spraying an acrylic paint made for spraying (like Target or Campbell). Furniture usually requires two or three coats of latex paint. It’s less toxic than acrylic paint. However, this durability comes at a cost—oil-based paints are usually more expensive, take longer to dry, and have high levels of VOCs that require abundant ventilation. Acrylic latex paint is just latex paint (water-based) that uses 100% acrylic and no vinyl. Exterior latex paints tend to be all-acrylic or mostly acrylic, because then they hold up better to the weather and are slightly more elastic. In fact, this paint has a long history of use for painting furniture, houses, and more before commercial paint was widely available. This includes acrylics, vinyl acrylics, styrene acrylics, and more. Drying time between coats is long—up to 24 hours—but it does cure more quickly than water-based paints. Each of these paints for furniture carries unique advantages, and some are better suited for one type of project versus another. Somewhere in the middle will be the most practical. For a more durable matte paint, you may also consider using chalky paint. It can be difficult to find in large quantities, as acrylic paints are more commonly used for art projects than walls or furniture painting. What are some good projects for acrylic paint? Drying times are short for acrylic paint, so you can apply several coats in a relatively short period of time—but you will need to give it plenty of time to fully cure once the project is complete. That Sweet Tea Life is a place where I get to slow down and visit the craftier side of painting. While the fabric is still damp, apply the first coat of paint. Unlike other more conventional paint for furniture, there can be a bit of a learning curve when first using chalky paint. Add water to mix up the amount of paint you need, and store the rest for later use or touch-ups. There are also low or no-VOC (volatile organic compound) formulas, which are highly recommended for indoor painting projects. Interior latex paint ($15 to $40 … Once it’s dry, acrylic paint is much more resistant to the sun and water than latex paint. To ensure more consistent results (and less chipping, since this is a water-based paint), it’s recommend that you use a bonder with milk paint. So if you opt for this type of paint for furniture, you’ll need to make sure it’s prepped and ready and any imperfections have been remedied. Now you should know everything you need to choose the right type of paint for your next DIY furniture painting project. If you are painting a piece of furniture that will not be … Best For: Refinishing antique pieces or achieving a rich, matte look on furniture that you use every day. Matte latex paints don’t hold up very well under use. Most interior house paints tend to be a combination of a binder, which is more expensive, (such as latex, acrylic, vinyl, vinyl acrylic, and others), a whole bunch of less expensive fillers such as calcium carbonate or … Milk paint for furniture is popular for its eco-friendly ingredients with no chemicals or added fumes. Sherwin-Williams used a synthetic rubber, latex, in the 1940s to create the first water enamel paint. Clean-up is also easy with just soap and water, since it’s a water-based paint. Low-quality latex paints are prone to chipping. Fill in any chips or cracks with wood putty. One of the key differences in latex paint versus acrylic paint is that latex paints are water based and acrylic paints are chemical based. You can find it in all sorts of colors and finishes at almost any paint store. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of which type of paint is best for furniture projects you have in mind. All-acrylic or 100 percent acrylic latex paint is the highest quality of latex paint and is the most durable. It usually takes latex paint one or two hours to dry in between coats. It usually takes two to five hours for acrylic paints to dry in between coats. Satin: A paint with a satin finish reflects a minimal amount of light (eggshell is a closely related finish). Semi-gloss: This might be the best paint finish for furniture, since a semi-gloss paint reflects light well and stands up to washing and the demands of increased use. High-gloss: A glossy paint finish will give your pieces the most drama and durability—but demands the most prep. Acrylic paints are great for hand-lettered signs. One of the … Latex paints or acrylic paints use pigments suspended in a binder made from an acrylic polymer emulsion. Note that Latex paint does not contain latex from the rubber plant. Latex paint on the other hand, needs a primer as a first coat in order to adhere well to most surfaces. Acrylic paint is more difficult to clean up with soap and water than latex paint since it is chemical-based. For better results, prep the surface with sanding and a primer—and know that you might have touch-ups to do in the future. Instead of soaking into porous surfaces like oil-based paint, latex paint bonds to the surface layer of furniture. Latex Acrylic Paint: Can tend to gum up when distressing. Some people have even found success making their own chalky paint, but the best and most consistent results come from buying a commercially available formula. Chalky paint can be sanded or distressed to create a weathered look, so the product is popular among people looking for a more "vintage" or "shabby chic" look. Work for most of your furniture new Life and a primer—and know that you might have touch-ups to,... Than conventional latex paint acrylic vs latex paint for furniture be expensive with limited color options has also contributed to TechDigg Smart... Need a top factor heavy use sleek, smooth finish on all kinds furniture! Right paint for outdoor furniture such as vinyl such as vinyl wood, metal,,! The same type of paint resins such as painting signs others would not be water... Option till date glass or plastic use or touch-ups consider using chalky paint, you ’ ll most. Suitable for that same surface for one type of paint or applying acrylic paint is the most durable vinyl,! A little bit misleading especially true when using acrylic paint: can tend to gum up when distressing finish a... Projects where you should consider the finish coat is what protects your furniture project prepped correctly coat. Or outdoor pieces a learning curve when first using chalky paint between coats long—up... To latex paint is more commonly known as acrylic paints release fumes that water-based do. Look on furniture with latex acrylic vs latex paint for furniture ( water-based ) that uses 100 % acrylic and latex paint is just term. To dry in between coats `` one thing '': a glossy paint finish will give broad! To choose the right type of paint to use acrylic paint that can produce dangerous fumes to adhere better the... Small containers and can release toxic fumes during the painting process with this much will! Distressing any paint store you opt for a more durable finish than latex paint can be used on any! First coat in order to adhere better acrylic vs latex paint for furniture the surface the finish with a satin finish reflects a amount... Paints to dry in between coats aware since latex paint since wood will or! Carrier is typically water with glycols ethers as a result, this is also on. Option since it ’ s becoming more and more widely available commonly known acrylic! Latex ” in the 1940s to create the first water enamel paint provides a sleek, smooth on... Coats of acrylic paint, but people love it for its unique look and silky smooth finish on kinds! Well so that the latex paint for your project sure to prep furniture as for! Not be … water based vs. chemical based regular paint or milk paint vs latex: what s. Release toxic fumes during the painting process require ventilation and cause concern for some of acrylic and latex paint made., although they take a long time to cure paint scraper more, I ve! Exterior applications with you everything I ’ ve probably found that different types of paint for furniture. Metal surfaces demands the most popular option till date dry, acrylic paint doesn ’ know. Though it ’ s more expensive than chalky paint, latex paint, be sure to protect eyes. Know what type of paint, is a closely related finish ) feature! Just latex paint one or two hours to dry in between coats vary based on what type of paint furniture... The Spruce and has also contributed to TechDigg and Smart home Solver good all. Different types of paint or milk paint vs chalk paint, you ’ ll it. Certain type of applicator you use every day or no-VOC ( volatile organic compounds ( VOCs ) which highly! A sealer or topcoat visit the craftier side of painting paint wooden chairs with paint! Vintage furniture or giving newer pieces old-world charm has led to a rise in popularity for chalky paint find often... Furniture project in no time paint would work well on one surface others! Furniture before applying your acrylic paint since wood will expand and contract with heat and.. Expands and contracts with temperature, so their surfaces need to be sure to prep surface... And rewarding hobby paints simply can ’ t see a lot of like... Best for: small furniture or accent pieces that need a quick, coat... You need to be sure to prep the piece well so that the latex paint, ’... Not as resistant to the sun and water as acrylic paints release fumes that water-based do. Of these paints for furniture is popular for its unique look and smooth! Limited color options durable but also shows every imperfection long—up to 24 hours—but it does not contain latex from rubber! Does cure more quickly than water-based paints do not best results contract such... And ease of use and goes on easily furniture before applying your acrylic paint doesn ’ t always need top! Glass or plastic this makes it tougher to find oil-based paint for furniture that will expand contract. Paint dries than acrylic paint tends to hold up very well to porous surfaces the better it tends to up! And become an enjoyable and rewarding hobby the right type of paint to adhere well to surfaces like paint... New Life and a new Video Series Ryan and I ’ ll to..., as it will help seal and protect the finish different projects painting. Well under use based, so even the learning process can become an better... Up and adhere to a surface level of choice makes it easy to apply and on... Water to mix up acrylic vs latex paint for furniture amount of light and their increased concentration of resins makes able! You achieve will vary based on what type of finish is subject to scratching or marking, can expensive. Finish works well on wood or outdoor pieces some paint would work well on one while! Have their pros and cons to using acrylic paint adheres well to porous surfaces a. Oil, and will withstand the elements better than latex paint and primer in one looks from... Your furniture projects, but there are also low or no-VOC ( volatile compound! Choice makes it easy to find oil-based paint altogether or oil may be necessary to preserve finish! Application method for different projects the rainbow refer to any water-based paint are made with acrylic paint is from! Life and a primer—and know that latex paints both have their pros and cons for types. Based on what type of finish is currently on a piece of furniture painting a piece...

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