You can mix different types of paints to get a detailed finish. However, you must know which type to mix, or you can ruin the finish. So, can you mix acrylic and latex paint?
You can mix acrylic and latex paints since both are water-based. In a broad sense, they are both latex paints that have similar features.
However, acrylic paints come in tubes, so mixing them is difficult. But, we have made a step-by-step guide that explains how to do it.
Acrylic paint sticks to latex because latex paint, when dry, has a textured finish. Its textured finish allows most paints to stick over it. Also, both paints have the same solvent (water), which makes them compatible.
Since both have the same solvent and similar features, latex paint also sticks to acrylic. So, it doesn’t matter which one you add first, both paints will stick together.
Also, acrylic is designed for arts and crafts. This means it is formulated (or designed) to be used on different surfaces, including slick surfaces. In addition, it has more additives in its formula that allows it to stick better.
After applying latex paint to walls or furniture, you can apply acrylic over it to add extra detail or color.
If you mix both paints, you get a thicker acrylic paint. The acrylic paint will add more color (pigments) to the mixture, resulting in a more colorful finish. That’s because it is formulated with more pigments than most paints.
Since both paints are water-based, they use the same solvent (water). As a result, both have similar features; they dry fast, are easy to apply, etc. So, they are compatible with each other.
But, they also have different features. For instance, latex has a lighter flow because it is made to paint furniture and buildings, while acrylic is made for arts and crafts so it has a thicker flow. You must thin acrylic before applying it because you can’t apply it directly.
Also, acrylic has chemicals and pigments in its formula, while latex doesn’t. The chemicals are added to improve the elasticity of the paint.
In summary, you can mix these two paints because their water-based nature (solvent) makes them compatible. But, the mixture will be thicker and more colorful.
How to Mix Acrylic Paint With Latex Paint?
Mixing acrylic paint with latex is an easy task that you can take on yourself.
Here are the tools you need:
- A Paint Bucket
- A Can of Latex Paint
- Tube(s) of Acrylic Paint
- Paint Mixer
- Measuring Cup
- A Bottle of Water
1. Pour Both Paints into a Container
Before pouring both paints, check if they are in good condition. If one of the paint is expired, you shouldn’t use it.
Since latex paint comes in a container, you can pour the acrylic into its container. However, it’s better to use another clean paint bucket.
So first, pour the acrylic paint. To pour it, squeeze the required amount into a measuring cup or empty bowl. The paint comes in tubes, so you must squeeze it out. You might also need to thin it.
2. Thin The Acrylic Paint
Since acrylic paint is water-based, you can thin (dilute) it with water. When you thin it, its flow gets lighter and you can apply it easier.
To thin acrylic paint, add 15-30% water to it (ratio 1:3). If you use more than 30% water, the paint loses its bonding qualities and won’t stick. After you add water, stir the mixture using a turning stick or paint mixer. Stir until the mixture has a consistent flow and color.
3. Mix & Stir for 10 Minutes
After you thin the acrylic paint, pour it into a clean bucket. If you haven’t already, pour the latex over the thinned acrylic, and mix them.
To mix them, use a turning stick or paint mixer. On average, you must stir for 10 minutes. Ensure to stir the bottom of the container so all the paint can be mixed.
4. Test The Mixture
After 10 minutes of stirring the mixture, you must test it. To test, apply the mixture to cardboard or dispensable material. If the mixture is too thick or hard to apply, you must stir again (for 10 minutes).
If the mixture has a consistent color and is easy to apply, that’s good. However, you must wait until the paint dries. If the mixture finish doesn’t have a uniform color, or if it takes too long (or dries too fast), you must add more paint to the mixture and stir again. The mixture should take 1-2 hours to dry.
You can use the mixture if the mixture dries fine, has a uniform color, and has a consistent flow.
Latex Over Acrylic Paint
Since both paints are water-based, you can apply latex paint over acrylic.
When dry, acrylic doesn’t have a glossy finish, instead, it has a textured finish. All paints will stick to a textured finish that doesn’t have a layer that prevents penetration. Also, latex paint has impressive qualities, so sticking over acrylic isn’t a problem.
Also, you can use acrylic paint as a base coat (primer) for latex. If painting porous surfaces (such as wood), you need a base coat to prevent paint wastage. Since acrylic is thicker, it will fill the wood fibers and produce a smooth and even layer for the latex paint to stick to.
Acrylic vs Latex Paint
Acrylic and latex paint are both easy to apply, dry fast, have good coverage, and adhere to most surfaces. However, each paint is used for a different surface.
Acrylic paints have some chemicals in their formula, while latex paints don’t. These chemicals make it more elastic and help it expand and contract based on the temperature change. This makes it more durable and better for outdoor and indoor usage.
Also, acrylic paints are thicker so you cover more surfaces with less amount. Also, since acrylic paint has more pigments, it offers a colorful finish.
On the other hand, latex paint is thinner than acrylic. This means the paint is easier to apply, you can control the flow and dries faster. If you aren’t experienced, using paint with a thinner flow is better.
Also, latex paint is ideal for painting furniture and buildings because it has a more subtle look. Though acrylic paints are more colorful, no one wants to paint their furniture with a color shade that’s too bright. So, for painting interiors or exterior furniture, latex paint is better.
You can mix acrylic and latex paints to get a thicker and more colorful finish. But, you must measure the required amount and mix both paints until you get a consistent color. Once you do, you can use the mixture paint.