Mix Acrylic With Latex Paint? (Here’s How To Do it)

You can mix different types of paints to get a detailed finish. However, you must know which type of paints 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 paints are water-based. In a broad sense, they are both latex paints that have similar features.

You can also mix interior latex paint with interior acrylic paint. However, acrylic paints come in tubes, so mixing them with latex paint is difficult. But, we have made a step-by-step guide that explains how to do it.

Acrylic Paint Sticks to Latex Paint

Acrylic paint sticks to latex paint because latex paint, when dry, has a textured finish. The textured finish of latex paint allows most paints (including acrylic) to stick. Also, both paints have the same solvent (water), which makes them compatible.

Since both paints have the same solvent and have similar features, latex paint also sticks to acrylic paint. 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 the paint is formulated (or designed) to be used on different surfaces, including slick surfaces. In addition, acrylic paint has more additives in its formula that allows the paint to stick better.

After applying latex paint to walls or furniture, you can apply acrylic paint over it to add extra detail or color.

You Get a Thicker Acrylic Paint

If you mix latex with acrylic paint, you get a thicker acrylic paint. The acrylic paint will add more color (paint pigments) to the latex paint, resulting in a more colorful finish. That’s because acrylic paint is formulated with more paint pigments than latex paint. 

Since latex and acrylic paints are water-based paints, they use the same solvent (water). As a result, both paints have similar features; they dry fast, are easy to apply, etc. So, both paints are compatible with each other.

But, they also have different features. For instance, latex paint is lighter than acrylic paint. That’s because latex paint is made to paint furniture and buildings, while acrylic paints are made for arts and crafts. Since acrylic paint is thicker, you must mix it before using it. So, you can’t apply acrylic paint directly. 

Also, acrylic paint has chemicals in its formula, while latex doesn’t. The chemicals in acrylic paint are added to improve the elasticity of the paint. Also, acrylic paints have more paint pigments. Since acrylic is used for artwork, designs, and murals, the paint needs a more colorful finish. 

So, you can mix acrylic paint and latex paint because their water-based nature (solvent) makes them compatible. But, the mixed paint will be thicker and more colorful. If you want a detailed and brighter finish, mix these paints.

How to Mix Acrylic Paint With Latex Paint?

Mixing acrylic paint with latex is an easy task that you can take on yourself.

To mix both paints, you need a few tools:

  • 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

Pour Both Paints into a Container

Before pouring both paints, check if the paints are in good condition. If one of the paint is expired (or gone bad), you shouldn’t use it. 

Since latex paint comes in a container, you can pour the acrylic into the latex container. However, it’s better to use another clean paint bucket.

First, pour the acrylic paint. To pour acrylic paint, squeeze the required amount into a measuring cup or empty bowl. The acrylic paints come in tubes, so you must squeeze the paint out. Since acrylic paint is thicker, you must thin it. 

2. Thin The Acrylic Paint

Thin The Acrylic Paint

Since acrylic paint is water-based, you can thin (dilute) it with water. When you thin acrylic paint, the paint gets lighter, and you can apply it easier. 

To thin acrylic paint, add a few drops of water to the acrylic paint. Add 15-30% water to the acrylic (ratio 1:3). If you use more than 30% water to thin acrylic paint, the paint loses its bonding qualities and won’t stick. 

After you add water to acrylic paint, stir the mixture. You can use a turning stick or a paint mixer to stir the mixture. Stir until the paint has a consistent color and flow. 

3. Mix & Stir for 10 Minutes

Mix & Stir for 10 Minutes

After you thin acrylic paint, pour the thinned acrylic into a clean bucket (or into the latex paint container). If you haven’t already, pour the latex over the thinned acrylic paint, and mix them. 

To mix acrylic and latex paint, use a turning stick or paint mixer. On average, you must stir the mixture for 10 minutes. Ensure to stir the bottom of the container so all the paint can be mixed. 

4. Test The Mixture

Test The Mixture

After 10 minutes of stirring the mixture, you must test it. To test, apply the mixture (of acrylic and latex paint) 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 the paint takes too long (or dries too fast), you must add more paint to the mixture and stir again. The mixture of latex paint and acrylic paint takes 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. Latex paint will adhere to the acrylic paint. 

When dry, acrylic paint doesn’t have a glossy finish. Instead, it has a textured finish. Most paints, including latex, will stick to the textured finish of the acrylic paint. Also, latex paint has impressive adhesive qualities. So, it will stick to almost any paint.

Also, you can use acrylic paint as a base coat (primer) for latex paint. If painting porous surfaces (such as wood), you need a base coat to prevent paint wastage. Since acrylic paint 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 paint and latex paint are both great paints. Both paints are 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 acrylic paint more elastic than latex paint. Acrylic paint is designed to expand and contract based on the temperature. This makes the paint more durable and better for outdoor and indoor usage. 

Also, acrylic paints are thicker than latex paints. This means you cover more surfaces with less amount of acrylic paint. Also, since acrylic paint has more paint 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 the paint 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. That’s because the latex paint has a more subtle look. Though acrylic paints are more colorful, no one wants to paint their furniture with paint that’s too bright. So, for painting interiors or exterior furniture, latex paint is better. 

Final Words

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.

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