Acrylic Paint – Achieve Lasting Results


Whether you are painting an interior or exterior, 100% acrylic paint can provide exceptional and enduring results. In the past your choices were oil base paint or true latex paint. This lasted for decades, but a change was around the corner. Water based paints, such as latex paint, is a drastic change from the past.


Latex paint offered ease of use, water clean up and greater resistance to the environment, but fell short of these promises and did not last as long as oil base products. In these early years professional painters did not favor water-based products.


Now we have 100% acrylic paint with many advantages!

Although acrylic house paint isn’t for every job, it is the most appropriate paint for many projects. Plus, the list of advantages is very impressive.


  • Strong adhesion to a wide range of materials, when properly primed. These include exterior and interior wood, masonry, metals and some plastics.
  • Flexible, able to expand and contract without cracking or splitting. Cracks can allow water beneath the paint film, causing peeling.
  • Breathable, allows excessive moisture to escape without causing blistering or loss of adhesion.
  • Resistant to mildew. Many brands have anti-mildew chemicals incorporated into the paint.
  • Superb color retention. Able to resist the effects of the sun and UV longer than oil base paints.
  • Maintains the sheen longer.
  • Touch-up is easier. Doesn’t show a shadowing or difference in sheen as severely as oil base paint.
  • Dries very fast. Allowing a second coat to be applied sooner.
  • Low VOC’s. Very low odor when compared to alkyd finishes. Especially important when painting an interior room.

These are convincing advantages when compared to other house paints.

Acrylic paint has some disadvantages too.

The foremost disadvantage is the application over multiple layers of oil base paint. The ability of the paint to stretch can tear or loosen the layers of old oil base paint. Damage to wood siding and premature peeling can occur during this process. This can occur to older homes. Because of this problem, older homes should be painted with alkyd paint instead of acrylic.


Another drawback is the paint doesn’t flow as well as oil base. This has a tendency of showing brush marks. The use of an acrylic enamel and paint conditioners can lessen this effect.


Finally acrylic paint isn’t as hard as oil base when fully cured. Usually this isn’t a problem, but scuff marks and damage can occur on high traffic areas. This is especially true for interior wood trim, such as base and door casing.


Even with a few drawbacks, this finish is capable of out performing the standard latex and alkyd paints on almost all painted areas. Especially recommended for exterior use due to its ability with stand the effects of the sun and weather. In order to achieve all the benefits, always choose a 100% acrylic paint and combine it with a good primer. Buying the best will save a lot of money and labor in the future.

8 Responses

  1. Yes, use either an acrylic DTM (direct-to-metal) paint or an acrylic porch and deck paint. Primer might be needed for the porch and deck paint but the DTM should stick well without it. Check with our local paint store for product options. The porch and deck paint is a good choice for the stair treads as it is harder and good for foot traffic.

  2. I have an old fireplace with cement mantel and hearth. Can I use masonry paint i.e. acrylic cement paint on it? I have just resurfaced the brick with a creamy romobio paint finish in which some of the brick peeks through. However, the mantel and hearth now look dingy.

  3. Yes you can. You can use the paint you used on the brick, different color maybe, or a combination of colors for a unique look. The Romobio Mineral Masonry Paints and lime wash look very interesting.

  4. Acrylic over acrylic (house paints) is fine without doing much. A washing is recommended for dirt, dust or greasy surfaces. The Rustoleum product should be fine without priming as ling as it doesn’t have very reactive solvents, very smelly paint can react with the surface film causing bubbles in your finish. If you want to use a hot solvent paint over standard acrylic house paint I recommend priming with an oil based primer first.

  5. Have Hardie Board that is 10 years old and although ordered white showed up grey and the decision by the contractor was to paint the grey white so they could finish building and turning over the house on time. Now the paint is starting to both fade and some small area are needing to be scrapped. Hardie board suggested we use 100% acrylic water based paint. Should we wash and touch up bare spots before painting the entire house or do you have another possible solution?

  6. Yes, a good washing is needed. If using a pressure washer use about 2000 psi and a wide fan (white tip). A injectable house wash is also a good idea. Rinse well and let dry. Spot prime after scraping if raw siding is visible. Otherwise, no primer is needed if a good quality paint is used. Practically all house paints are acrylic now days. Spot priming should be a good quality acrylic primer. As for the paint; Make sure to use something good like Benjamin Moore Regal (or better) or Sherwin Williams Duration (or better).

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