Milk Paint vs Chalk Paint vs Latex: What’s the Best Way to Paint Furniture? Add water to mix up the amount of paint you need, and store the rest for later use or touch-ups. Use latex paint to add color to an accent piece. Latex paint isn’t very elastic. High-gloss: A glossy paint finish will give your pieces the most drama and durability—but demands the most prep. It is generally sold in small containers and can be expensive. Finish is subject to scratching or marking, Can be expensive with limited color options. Color. It expands and contracts with temperature, so it works well on wood or outdoor pieces. Latex paint is cheaper than acrylic paint and easy to find. For better results, prep the surface with sanding and a primer—and know that you might have touch-ups to do in the future. 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. What are some DIY projects where you should use latex paint? Somewhere in the middle will be the most practical. You have many options when painting your furniture. They’re a fine option if you are looking for a cheap way to add color to an accent piece, but low-quality latex paint will not hold up well under much use. Consider acrylic paint if you are new to DIY painting projects. As you see, acrylic and latex paints both have their pros and cons for different types of projects. Matte latex paints don’t hold up very well under use. It does not require top coat like chalk paint or milk 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. I also primarily use latex. It’s good to put a clear top coat over latex-painted furniture, as it will help seal and protect the piece. Clean-up is also easy with just soap and water, since it’s a water-based paint. Here are some ideas for your next DIY acrylic painting project. 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. Posted on Last updated: December 8, 2020 By: Author Ryan Cunningham. Those areas suffer frequent rough usage in a home, so their surfaces need to be extra durable. In fact, some states have banned the sale of oil-based paint altogether. But beware—a surface with this much sheen will amplify imperfections. Give your furniture new life and a new look with a fresh coat of paint. Best For: Refinishing antique pieces or achieving a rich, matte look on furniture that you use every day. Color doesn't matter since you will be painting over it. Interior latex paint ($15 to $40 … Latex paints are not as resistant to the sun and water as acrylic paints are. Acrylic paint is more durable than latex paint and adheres very well to porous surfaces. Chalky paint is available from specialty retailers, though it’s becoming more and more widely available. There’s no rubber latex in paint with the name. Apply the first coat of paint. Get an even coat of primer all over the piece of furniture. Acrylic paint is more difficult to clean up with soap and water than latex paint since it is chemical-based. Acrylic Paint Acrylic paint is another water-based type of paint for furniture that is closely related to latex paint. Although it may not require sealing, like chalk paint, latex paint alone is not tough enough to … If you’re removing a previous coat of paint or applying acrylic paint, be sure to protect your eyes and nose. 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. Keep in mind that a water-based latex paint never pairs well with metal surfaces. 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. Learn how your comment data is processed. Prepare to practice some, or be flexible in the overall look of the finished product. 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. Even still, painting furniture with oil paint is something to consider if you want a resilient finish that won’t chip or scratch easily. Latex paint for furniture is a popular option since it’s easily accessible and available in nearly every color under the rainbow. How to Use Acrylic Paint … 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 … 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. You can choose from flat (matte), satin, semi-gloss, or glossy finishes for your project. 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:. It’s less toxic than acrylic paint. It’s more expensive than conventional latex paint, but people love it for its unique look and silky smooth finish. Instead of soaking into porous surfaces like oil-based paint, latex paint bonds to the surface layer of furniture. Now you should know everything you need to choose the right type of paint for your next DIY furniture painting project. Latex paints provide good coverage in fewer coats if you’re painting a large piece of furniture. This water-based paint typically has latex as its base, but delivers a thicker, buildable texture. Vinyl latex paints are much cheaper. Spray paint offers an alternative to brushes and rollers. Aside from choosing the right type of paint for your furniture project, make sure you choose the right application method. High-gloss latex paint is the most durable but also shows every imperfection. Latex paint dries than acrylic paint, although they take a long time to cure. A brush will give you broad coverage but might show strokes more easily (especially with water-based paint). Milk paint for furniture is popular for its eco-friendly ingredients with no chemicals or added fumes. The name “latex paint” can be a little bit misleading. Even more, I’m hoping to learn from you and become an even better finisher. There are also low or no-VOC (volatile organic compound) formulas, which are highly recommended for indoor painting projects. 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. 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. In fact, this paint has a long history of use for painting furniture, houses, and more before commercial paint was widely available. Erica Puisis is a writer specializing in interior design. Reclaiming vintage furniture or giving newer pieces old-world charm has led to a rise in popularity for chalky paint. Today we’ll break down the difference between these two types of paint and the best ways to use each one. Both acrylic and latex paints are made with acrylic resin and polymers. Higher-end latex paints are known to be the ones with less of these additives, which make them less durable in the long-term. Low-quality latex paints are prone to chipping. High-quality latex paint can work for most of your furniture projects, but there are still pros and cons you should consider. Acrylic Paint. 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. Color pigments are added to change the tint of the paint. In latex paint, the carrier is typically water with glycols ethers as a solvent. Acrylic paint is made from acrylic resins and pigment in a chemical base. By Acrylic paint, we usually mean the kind of water-based paint that is mostly used in paintings and art projects. High-quality acrylic paint doesn’t always need a top coat. A unique feature of milk paint is that it’s typically sold in powder form. 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. Latex paint also dries faster than acrylic paint, further reducing the amount of time required to paint the home. Fill in any chips or cracks with wood putty. 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. When comparing regular paint or chalk paint, you’ll see how standard compositions are usually lighter and shinier. Sherwin-Williams used a synthetic rubber, latex, in the 1940s to create the first water enamel paint. All-acrylic or 100 percent acrylic latex paint is the highest quality of latex paint and is the most durable. Cashmere® paint and primer in one looks good from all angles and features a scrubbable surface for easy cleaning and maintenance. Once it’s dry, acrylic paint is much more resistant to the sun and water than latex paint. If you’re painting furniture for outdoors or refurbishing a piece that will be heavily used, go with all-acrylic exterior latex paint. This method eliminates … 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. It adds some color and protection, but the area that gets the most use is covered with fabric so there’s less wear. Best For: Pieces of furniture that won’t see a lot of action and when affordability is a top factor. 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. Use interior latex paint if you want the furniture to match the walls. 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. You’ll be starting off on the right foot if … Water-based paints have fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are bad for the environment. 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. It usually takes 1-3 coats of acrylic paint to paint furniture. However, sanding and priming pre-painted furniture is always a good idea for the best results. While many people swear by a certain type of paint, I have found that different types of paint are best for different projects. Water Based vs. Chemical Based. The stroke and finish you achieve will vary based on what type of applicator you use. 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. Simply put, the main difference between acrylic and latex paint is that acrylic paint is chemical-based, and latex paint is water-based. Each of these paints for furniture carries unique advantages, and some are better suited for one type of project versus another. … However, the finish coat is what protects your furniture. Unlike other more conventional paint for furniture, there can be a bit of a learning curve when first using chalky 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. Latex paints are perfect for refurbishing a dresser or antique trunk. Paints like latex, oil, and acrylic formulas are the typical regular paints you’ll find most often. Cashmere Interior Acrylic Latex; Product Details ... the result is a difference you can see and feel. 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. 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. If you’re painting furniture with latex paint, you’ll want to be sure to prep the piece before painting it. 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. This level of choice makes it easy to find the paint shade that matches your vision—and your room. Latex paint is more commonly known as acrylic paint. 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. All-acrylic or 100 percent acrylic latex paint is the highest quality of latex paint and is the most durable. Clean the furniture and remove any previous paint with the paint scraper. Oil-based paint use the same type of pigments but they are suspended in an oil based binde… A roller offers less control, but even coverage. However, a primer is a good idea if you want the paint to adhere better to the surface. I’m hoping this will become the DeFacto reference for painting furniture and why you may choose oil paint or latex paint to complete your project. Chemical-based acrylic paints release fumes that water-based paints do not. Don’t look at this as a battle of Enamel vs. acrylic, but rather as education for which one is better for each situation. Interior latex paints can use stiffer resins such as vinyl. Since then, its safety, environmental friendliness, and ease of use have motivated the ongoing development of latex paint technology. Protective top coat (Polycrilic Protective Finish works well with latex paint). Any time you paint furniture with chalk paint, you need to protect the finish with a sealer or topcoat. 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 painting furniture has become a very popular thing to do, so even the learning process can become an enjoyable and rewarding hobby. Acrylic paint is closely related to Latex paint and offers a rich, smooth finish on all kinds of furniture. 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. Chalk paint, milk paint, mineral fusion paint and latex paint all have different qualities that make them easy to use, but some work better than others, depending on your project. You should consider the finish of latex paint when choosing paint for your DIY furniture project. It usually takes two to five hours for acrylic paints to dry in between coats. This includes acrylics, vinyl acrylics, styrene acrylics, and more. If you opt for a washable formula, you’ll find it easier to keep clean. Do be aware since latex paint is water-based it will not mix with oil-based paints. Regular paint refers to all those paints that instead of delivering a porous surface, offer a smooth finish. For a more durable matte paint, you may also consider using chalky paint. Use the best supplies for the job. 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. Satin: A paint with a satin finish reflects a minimal amount of light (eggshell is a closely related finish). Know that latex paint is prone to chipping or scratching under heavy use. You’ll want to sand the piece well so that the latex paint can adhere well to the surface. And don’t scrimp on paint. It is less environment-friendly than latex paint. Spray paint can be used on practically any surface, including wood, metal, wicker, plastic and resin. This is also important on smooth surfaces like glass or plastic. It’s durable, rich in color, easy to use, and will withstand the elements better than latex paint. How does chalkpaint compare to regular old latex paint from which it is made anyway? Consider Your Cabinets. Spray on the 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. So, what’s the difference between acrylic and latex paint? Spray paint dries much more quickly than brushed-on paint. Furniture. One of the … There was an article in a recent issue of fine woodworking on painting furniture. 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. Options. Latex paint is just a term used to refer to any water-based paint. You can find it in all sorts of colors and finishes at almost any paint store. It may chip on outdoor, Use acrylic paint for outdoor furniture such as deck. 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). One of the key differences in latex paint versus acrylic paint is that latex paints are water based and acrylic paints are chemical based. This non-toxic paint is made from milk protein with an activator, typically lime or Borax. Most times you paint furniture with latex paint, you need to protect the finish with a sealer or topcoat. Chalk paint is about as durable as latex paint. Compared to the history of paint, latex paint is still the new kid on the block. 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. Whether you want to paint a chair, table, nightstand, or specialty piece, this is a great DIY project that can give your furniture a unique look with just a few hours of work and some basic supplies. LINK AT END OF THIS VIDEO! This makes it tougher to find oil-based paint for furniture, since it isn’t widely available in big box home improvement stores. Maybe you have some furniture to refurbish and just can’t decide what type of paint to use. Overall, you’ll want to use acrylic paint if you’re painting outdoor furniture that needs to hold up to use and weather. When distressing ANY paint, if you are making the paint particles airborne, wear a dust mask or respirator! 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. 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. 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. 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. Some paint would work well on one surface while others would not be suitable for that same surface. Work up to finer grits as you sand. Acrylic latex paint is just latex paint (water-based) that uses 100% acrylic and no vinyl. A top coat of wax or oil may be necessary to preserve the finish. You’ve probably found that there are two main types of paint for crafting projects: acrylic paint and latex paint. The chemicals in acrylic paint are what allow it to have more elasticity than latex paint. That said, roughly 75% of the paints sold today are latex because they offer a number of advantages over the alternative—oil-based paints. However, Acrylic paint for furniture is a special kind of paint which is the most popular option till date. The term “LATEX” in the paint actually refers to the resin (binder) used in the paint. Search the web for “oil paint vs latex paint” and you’ll find tons of sites and posts but no real answers. Safety – Because acrylic paint is chemical-based, it does require extra care in regards to handling the materials safely. The greater concentration of resins in a semi-gloss formula make this paint more durable for furniture you actually plan to put to work. One of the big advantages of latex paint for furniture is the wide range of available colors. Acrylic paints are great for hand-lettered signs. UPDATE VIDEO POSTED! I’ll share with you everything I’ve learned painting hundreds of pieces of furniture and sets of kitchen cabinets. Acrylic paint goes on evenly and is self-leveling, making it easy to work with. Spray paint is easier to apply on furniture with spindles, small pieces, or intricate nooks and crannies. It can be used for both interior and exterior applications. Plus, oil-based enamel paint provides a sleek, smooth, rock-hard finish that acrylic latex paints simply can’t surpass. You’ll need to have a natural bristle brush and mineral spirits or turpentine on hand as paint thinner and for clean-up. Unlike other paints, lacquer reactivates each coat underneath it to allow for a smooth, level finish, even if you apply multiple coats. 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. While the fabric is still damp, apply the first coat of paint. Guide to the Type of Paint to Use for Which Room, The Best Type of Paint for Kitchen Cabinets, Best Trim Paint to Use for Windows, Doors, and Baseboards, 7 Best Cabinet Paint Brands for a Flawless Finish, The 10 Best Paints for Interior Walls of 2020, How To Paint a Dresser To Make It Look Like New Again, Choosing the Right Interior Paint Finish for Your Home, How to Refurbish Particleboard Furniture With Paint. 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. Latex paint is made from acrylic or vinyl resin and pigments in a water base. Color particles are suspended in an acrylic polymer and offer a pop of rich color with a smooth finish. Best For: Any type of furniture that is heavily used and needs a durable finish—but you’ll need to be prepared for the long drying times and fumes that come with this type of paint. Acrylic paint tends to adhere well to surfaces like wood. If you are painting a piece of furniture that will not be … You might also consider oil-based paint if you don’t know what type of finish is currently on a piece of furniture. Acrylic paint is chemical-based and can release toxic fumes during the painting process. Wondering what type of paint to use for your DIY painting project? While all painting projects need ventilation, this is especially true when using acrylic paint that can produce dangerous fumes. Drying time between coats is long—up to 24 hours—but it does cure more quickly than water-based paints. Interior latex paints can use stiffer resins such as vinyl. As a result, this layer of paint can be damaged relatively easily. 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. Furniture usually requires two or three coats of latex paint. You don’t need to prep furniture as carefully for acrylic paint as you do for latex paints. Both wall paints and furniture paints may use 100% Acrylic as the resin. To paint furniture with acrylic paint, there are a few things you should know. Latex paint on the other hand, needs a primer as a first coat in order to adhere well to most surfaces. Get DIY project ideas and easy-to-follow crafts to help you spruce up your space. Best For: Furniture that you want to appear antiqued, weathered, or distressed. I like to use acrylic paint for small crafts and anything that will expand or contract (such as wood furniture). Latex Acrylic Paint: Can tend to gum up when distressing. So read on to learn about choosing one paint over another and what the pros and cons are that you’ll need to consider. That Sweet Tea Life is a place where I get to slow down and visit the craftier side of painting. Even if you haven’t prepped a piece of furniture perfectly, acrylic paint adheres well to most porous surfaces. Latex paint is also available in multiple finishes. As far as the best latex paint for furniture, I prefer Sherwin Williams ProClassic (Acrylic Alkyd) as my first choice and Behr Marquee as a close second. Is it really that good? Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series. 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? The first thing you should do when deciding to paint your kitchen cabinets … It’s straightforward to use and goes on easily. It can be used on a wide variety of surfaces, but you should know that the finish can vary and sometimes is inconsistent in terms of saturation. Most spray paint is oil-based and provides a more durable finish than latex paint. Acrylic paint is elastic. Many people like the shiny finish, too. Readily available with abundant color options. Latex paints or acrylic paints use pigments suspended in a binder made from an acrylic polymer emulsion. Every single time. Have fun painting! It can be difficult to find in large quantities, as acrylic paints are more commonly used for art projects than walls or furniture painting. 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