Latex-based Paint

Definition - What does Latex-based Paint mean?

Latex-based paint is a general term used for water-based emulsion paints made with synthetic binders such as 100% acrylic, vinyl acrylic, terpolymer or styrene acrylic. It is a stable emulsion of polymers and pigment in water.

This type of paint is usually made from a water-soluble base, which applies smoothly and wears well in both interior and exterior use. It is non-toxic and has less of an odor than other paints.

Latex-based paint is also known as latex paint, and in the UK is known as emulsion paint.

Corrosionpedia explains Latex-based Paint

Latex-based paint is made with water and an acrylic resin binder, which is used to solidify the paint into a film. The binders are now made from synthetic resins of polyvinyl acetate and styrene butadiene as well as other synthetic binders. Latex-based paint is good for general painting projects such as walls and ceilings.

Latex-based paint using vinyl acrylic is the most popular type. Latex paint uses only one binder, called an elastomer, which means that latex paint has a surface that is not hard, but elastic. After latex paint is applied to a wall, it remains flexible, meaning that as the temperature changes the surface can expand or contract. Latex paint is also porous and allows moisture to escape from the paint surface.

Latex-based paint is as good as oil-based paint, and in many ways is superior to it. Latex-based paint is easier to work with and dries more quickly than oil-based. Its surface is extremely durable and resists scuffs and scratches. Its washability and breathability provides superior adhesion to the painted surface.

Disadvantages of latex-based paint include:

  • Not suitable for painting over steel without first using a primer
  • Does not adhere well to dirty or chalky walls
  • Shrinks more than oil-based paint
  • More sensitive to temperature changes
  • May stain when contaminated with a water-soluble mixture
  • Takes longer to cure than oil-based paint
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