Can Latex and Acrylic Paint Be Mixed? Are They the Same?

Six open paint cans of different colors on a blue-and-gray table.

Latex paints, acrylic paints, acrylic latex paints – when it comes to picking the perfect paint for a project, there is no shortage of varieties to choose from.

You may wonder what the difference is between these particular kinds of paints and whether these paints can be combined if need be.

Can you mix latex with acrylic paint? Latex and acrylic paints can indeed be mixed with gratifying results as they are both water based, but drying time and durability may be negatively affected. Typically, the main purpose for mixing the two is to change the color of the latex paint by tinting it with acrylic.

If you’re interested in learning the difference between latex and acrylic paints or what kind of acrylic paints can be mixed with latex paints, then this article is for you. 

Mixing Latex With Acrylics 

When mixing latex with acrylics, you want to start by adding a small amount of acrylic paint to the latex paint.

If the acrylic paint is of a thicker consistency, you may want to thin it with water before stirring it into the latex paint. 

Now that you know the absolute basics, let’s explore the issue in depth.

What’s the Difference Between Latex and Acrylic Paint?

Acrylic paint is more flexible and weather resistant than latex paint, making it a better choice for exterior projects.

Latex is a more cost-effective option and is often used for interior projects, such as walls or ceilings.

Most acrylic and latex paints are water based, meaning that they use water as a solvent, but some acrylic paints do have higher chemical contents.

Where this question can really get confusing is when it comes to acrylic latex paint.

What in the world is acrylic latex paint, and how does it differ from plain old acrylic or latex paints on their own?

Is acrylic paint latex? This question can be answered by first defining what makes acrylic and latex paints different from each other.

Acrylic latex paint is simply water-based latex paint with an acrylic resin as a binder.

It tends to be a higher quality latex paint than vinyl acrylic latex paint, although vinyl latex paint is likely to be less expensive.


Acrylic and latex paints both contain a number of ingredients, including solvents, binders, and  pigments.

Pigment is what gives the paint its color, while the binder is what holds the pigment particles together.

Solvents help to dissolve the pigments and binders in order to control the viscosity and drying time of the paint. 

Latex paint, as the name implies, was originally made with rubber as its binder, but in modern times latex paint now uses acrylic or vinyl as a binder.

Acrylic paint uses an acrylic polymer as its binder. 

Latex paint and most acrylic paints use water as a solvent, meaning that they are easy to clean up using soap and water.

Once the water evaporates, the paint dries, leaving the hard shell of acrylic binder and pigment behind.


Acrylic paint can contain more chemicals than latex, making latex paint a generally less toxic option than acrylic. 

While both latex and acrylic paints are water resistant when dry, acrylic paints tend to be more flexible, making them less prone to peeling and cracking than latex paints.

Both latex and acrylic paints can dry to a durable shell.

Latex paints generally require fewer coats for full coverage than acrylic paints do, making latex paints a better choice for painting large areas. 

Why Latex and Acrylics Can Be Mixed

Latex and acrylic paints can be mixed because they are both water based.

The important things to remember when mixing latex and acrylic paints is to use as small an amount of acrylic as possible to transform the color of the latex and to thoroughly stir them together before applying.

What Type of Acrylic Paint Can Be Mixed With Latex? 

  • Fluid acrylics: Fluid acrylics are the easiest to mix with latex, and can simply be stirred into the latex paint.
  • Tube: Tube paints are higher viscosity than fluid paints, and you may need to add water to them before stirring them into the latex paint.
  • Exterior: Exterior acrylic paints tend to have more chemicals in them, and mixing them with latex could affect the durability and longevity of the paint.
  • Artist grade: Artist-grade acrylic paints are water based and should mix well with latex paints.

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Does Mixing Latex and Acrylics Affect Drying Time or Durability?

Both latex and acrylics are water based, which means that they tend to have fast drying times.

However, if you choose to use an acrylic paint that has more chemicals added to it (such as those designed to withstand the elements), that can affect the drying time.

If you choose to mix latex paints with acrylic paints that have higher chemical content, the end result may be longer drying times and decreased durability. 

When To Mix Latex and Acrylic Paint

A light blue paint being stirred into a large container of white paint.

You can mix latex and acrylic paint when you are looking to change the color of or tint latex paint.

In general, you want to add smaller amounts of acrylic paint to larger amounts of latex paint until you get the hue you’re looking for. 

When Not To Mix Latex and Acrylic Paint

If you’re looking to paint a project that requires longevity or will be exposed to the elements or high-moisture environments, it’s best not to mix latex with acrylic.

Instead, choose an acrylic or acrylic latex paint that is specifically designed to be weather resistant and waterproof. 

Can You Paint Over Latex Paint With Acrylic?

You can certainly paint over latex paint with acrylic. You can actually paint over latex paint with most paints, whether they are water or oil based.

You do want to avoid painting latex paint over oil-based paints, however.

Is Acrylic Latex the Same as Latex Paint?

Latex paint is a water-based paint that does not contain chemicals.

Acrylic latex paint contains acrylic resin, which makes it better able to adhere to certain surfaces such as wood or metal that latex paint isn’t generally a good choice for.

Acrylic latex also tends to be more weather resistant than latex paint, making it a better choice for exterior painting projects.

Related Question: 

Can Acrylic Paint Be Mixed With Epoxy Resin?

Epoxy resin is a versatile and extremely adhesive product that can be used for a wide range of projects.

It is heat resistant and durable, making it an excellent choice for creating things such as bar counter tops, jewelry, and coasters. 

Epoxy resin is activated by mixing epoxy, which is a polyepoxide, or thermosetting resin, and resin, which is an insoluble, flammable organic substance, with a hardening agent. 

While it’s a better choice to choose a colored epoxy resin, if you wish to color your epoxy resin with acrylic paint, it can be done.

The key to successfully combining acrylic paint with epoxy resin is using the right ratio when mixing. Make sure to use 1 part acrylic paint to 10 parts epoxy resin for best results.

Learn more about using epoxy resin in this article.


You can absolutely mix acrylic and latex paints together.

To ensure best results, use acrylic paints that have a lower chemical content, and be sure to thin the acrylic paint as needed before stirring it into a larger portion of latex paint. 

Don’t miss my full comparison of acrylic vs. latex paints! You’ll learn how they’re similar, how they differ, and which one to use for specific projects. 


Last update on 2024-05-26 at 15:09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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I am a writer and an artist taking opportunities every day to transform my dreams into reality. I love learning new things and am always creating and innovating. I worked as an Art Instructor, teaching painting and art techniques to artists of all levels and ages. I have hosted countless paint parties and taught children’s art classes both in my home as well as an art teacher at a Montessori school.