Can You Mix Acrylic and Latex Paint? (You Must Know That)

As an artist, you might have heard that acrylic and latex paint are similar. Yes, they are indeed similar but not the exact same thing. They are very compatible with each other and tend to mix well.

However, there is a right way to mix them together. You can easily use acrylic paint in the form of commercial tints for painting purposes. Acrylic paint is called the artist paint, sold in a concentrated form that is rather expensive.

On the other hand, latex paint is termed house paint sold in bulk quantities ranging from gallons to pints. Both of them are water-based and can be mixed for better consistency.

So, how can you mix it the right way? First, let us check out the method and understand more about the difference between latex and acrylic paints.

Mix Acrylic and Latex Paint

Important

Adding acrylic paints to latex colors can help change the final color quickly. Although you can mix the two, it isn’t typically recommended that you mix the two color variants together, especially if you are unsure of the final result. 

The key is to create a patch test first. Start by mixing a small amount of acrylic paint with latex to check if the final color and consistency work in your favor. It will help you determine the exact ratio, texture, and consistency you need for the project. Also, it will help avoid any wastage. 

Most artists don’t like using house paints for any fine art applications. It is because it won’t last as long as the acrylic colors. However, mixing the thicker acrylic with latex paint ensures that you can get the right texture and the exact color required without paying for any other paint variant. 

The prime difference between acrylic and latex paint is the moisture content. In simple words, although it is termed latex paint, it doesn’t actually contain any latex or rubber content. The only thing that varies is the moisture content. Therefore, Better-quality latex paint would have more acrylic resins than vinyl content. 

So, you can easily mix your latex paint with acrylics when you do it by following the steps outlined in this blog.

Properties of Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is a water-based concoction comprised of several minute plastic acrylics and resin particles suspended within the water or an acrylic-polymer emulsion or pigment.

Once the water evaporates, this color’s resin particles start fusing together, forming a solid and durable paint. The final result would also vary depending on the type of acrylic paint you select.

In terms of characteristics, here are some of them explained for you:

Acrylic colors are water-soluble when wet.

The colors become water-insoluble, permanent, and flexible once they start to dry. As the surfaces build up, it remains free of chips and cracks. These colors are minimally flexible when left in low temperature or cold weather. However, it turns softer when exposed to warm weather. 

It can be left to air-dry and let the moisture evaporate. For example, a thin paint layer would take about 10-20 minutes to dry out completely. On the other hand, a thicker layer would take anywhere between 1 hour to 3 days to bone dry. 

The surfaces of any acrylic-based paintings can easily be cleaned with the help of a soapy water solution. Remember to be gentle as you wash and don’t scrub the surface whatsoever. 

Acrylic brushes must be kept wet for easier cleaning. Simply rub the colors in water and soap solution and wipe off with tissue or a clean cloth. 

Acrylic paint doesn’t produce any toxic fumes. So, it can be safe for use around kids. It makes use of non-toxic paint thinners and mediums. You might notice a bit of odor, but it isn’t harmful to your health. 

Make sure you don’t mix acrylic colors with any type of oil or turpentine. You should only mix acrylic emulsions or other water-based mediums.

Properties of Latex Paint

Latex paint is similar to acrylics in its make. However, the consistency of the same is different. Latex paint comprises solid synthetic materials that are similar to plastic and are dispersed in a microscopic form in the water.

Its dispersion is milky white similar to that of latex rubber, which is why latex paint has nothing to do with latex being a part of the concoction. There isn’t any latex in latex paints. 

Here are some features of latex paint that will help you understand how similar or different it is to acrylic paint.

Latex paint is very easy to work with in terms of application, given its fluid consistency. They also dry out fairly quickly as compared to acrylic paint. It can easily be applied with the help of a brush, spray, or roller. 

Latex paint can be applied on fresh or worn-out plastered surfaces. Moreover, it can be applied on surfaces such as concrete, wood, stucco brick, vinyl siding, galvanized metal, aluminum siding, and so on. 

Like acrylic paint, latex paint is also water-soluble when wet and becomes water-resistant after it dries out. However, if you want to make latex paint waterproof, you must add some additives. 

It can also be cleaned just as easily with the help of water and shows good adhesion for most substrates. Moreover, it has a superior fading or chalking resistance even when kept under bright sunlight. 

Latex paint also doesn’t have much odor and releases any toxic fumes. 

Adding mildewcide additives helps discourage mildew growth while maintaining a super fresh appearance. 

Latex paint can be purchased in a semi-glossy, matte, or satin finish. It is ideal to be used as exterior paints.

What Happens When you Mix Acrylic with Latex Paint

Acrylic paint has a rubber-like consistency when it dries out completely. It also serves as an adhesive or glue when connecting two surfaces. When you mix acrylic paint with latex paint, you will get a pleasing texture and consistency when used to paint anything. 

However, the excessive moisture content in latex paint can dilute acrylic and create a different effect after drying. The final result would also vary depending on the brands of latex paint you choose.

How to Mix Latex and Acrylic Paint Properly? (Step by Step)

If you are looking for the right way to mix acrylic and latex paint, let us get into the right steps to do it. Here is a step-by-step rundown of all necessary to get the job done without any wastage.

Ingredients Required:

  • A plastic container or small bucket
  • Latex paint (1-pint)
  • Paint stirrer
  • Tubes of acrylic paints

Step-1

Open your latex paint can and pour some of it into your container or bucket. It is ideal to start working in small batches. Even if you plan on painting a big surface area, you would be better off mixing it in small batches to avoid any mistakes.

However, if you have the right consistency with the perfect ratio, you can mix in a bigger batch. 

So, keep stirring the color to ensure it doesn’t dry off during the painting process.

Step-2

Pour out a small chunk of your acrylic paint and start mixing. Make sure you use the smallest possible amount to get you the best color. It is easier to pour more color into the mix than removing some.

Step-3

Mix your paints thoroughly. Once you feel the mixing process is complete, test the consistency, color, and coverage of paint on a paper or the corner of your wall that needs to be painted. If it needs more color, you can add a bit more of the acrylic paints to get a strong color tint. Once you get the right color of paint, you can stop stirring. 

Make sure you use a stick or brush to blend the colors in this DIY custom paint. You can also use your hand but wear your gloves during the process. 

If you feel the acrylic latex paint mixture is too thick, you can always add some water to get the right consistency. Make sure you store the leftover paints properly to avoid drying issues. When painting it on a given surface, you can use exterior paint binders to add some permanency to the project.

Frequently Asked Some Questions (FAQs)

Q: Are Latex And Acrylic Paint the Same?

Latex and acrylic paint aren’t the same. Acrylics are chemical-based, while latex is actually water-based. When comparing the two, acrylic paint shows more elasticity than latex paint. Chemicals in acrylic paint make it more pliable and might require paint thinners to ease the consistency.

Q: Can You Mix Acrylic and Water-Based Paint?

When you mix acrylics with watercolor, you can create a paint mixture with unique characteristics in terms of opacity and color. It can also be adjusted depending on the ratio of latex and acrylic paint and the amount of water used for the mixing purpose.

With the help of a high-quality palette knife and a bit of acrylic color, you can blend several colors together to obtain a beautiful tint.

Q: Is All Acrylic Paint Water-Based?

Yes, acrylic paint is water-based. However, it also packs in fast-drying chemical pigments and paint components such as plasticizers, polymer emulsion, defoamers, silicone oils, stabilizers, and metal soaps. Although they have a water-based consistency, they tend to attain a water-resistant identity when dry.

Q: Is Acrylic Paint Thicker than Latex?

Yes, acrylic paint is thicker than latex. You will notice this right away when you paint with latex paint. Therefore, it might not flow as smoothly when compared to latex.

So, you are highly likely to notice the presence of brush strokes with acrylic paint as opposed to latex. This is why you need to use the best quality brushes and rollers when painting with acrylics.

Final Word

Experimenting is the key to obtaining some amazing results. Adding acrylics with latex paint can make it more vibrant, fun, and inexpensive.

Whether you paint on your wall or a canvas, painting with an acrylic and latex mixture can be a fun experience. Do not forget to start with test patches and then decide what works best for your project.

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Loard Eva

Hi there! I’m Eva, artist, designer, photographer and mom of three little gentlemen altogether. When I’m not playing with my kids, you’ll find me researching and writing for ChooseMarker.

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