Latex paints are water based paints which come in a number of different finishes, such as; glossy, partially glossy, and flat. There are many types of latex paints for both exterior use and interior use. Latex paints are very popular in the paint market, making up for more than half of it. Latex paint is considered to be a better option as compared to regular oil based paints. Latex paints have an array of uses, and provide a very good quality finish.
In the olden days, latex paint was made using resin from a rubber tree; latex as a binding agent. But, due to advancements in technology and progress in the paint industry, rubber resin isn’t used nowadays. Latex paints are made from synthetic materials which are more durable and ensure better integrity. Rubber resin is no longer used in the manufacturing of latex paints but the name stuck, and is still used today.
Latex paint is more flexible and porous as compared to oil based paints, meaning that they can withstand climate changes and control moisture. Nowadays, latex paint has become more and more durable, resisting scratches, dust, and moisture. Acrylic latex paint is one of the better quality latex paints available in the market. Latex paints are now considered to be superior to oil based paints.
Generally, latex paint is rather easy to work with and the paint dries up quickly. Some latex paints may not be as durable as oil based paints, but are still regarded as a good choice. Latex paints work best when coupled with a latex primer, the initial undercoat of a primer ensures better adhesion, water and crack resistance, and increases the paint’s lifespan greatly.
Uses of Latex paints
Latex paints have a good number of uses, but are mainly used to paint decorative items like furniture, and crafts. Latex paints can be used to paint many different types of surfaces, such as; walls, doors, concrete, wood, etc. Since latex paint is a more flexible and versatile alternative to oil based paints, it can be used on most of all surfaces. Different surfaces call for different types of finishes, there for various types of latex paints are there to choose from.
Priming is totally optional when dealing with latex paints, unlike oil based paints which surely require a primer undercoat before the initial coat of paint. Latex paints are suitable for many different environments, and atmospheres. Some of the many various uses of latex paints are detailed below:
• Painting walls
Latex paint is ideal for interiors, and especially walls. Latex paint dries up rather quickly which makes the second coating quicker, in the end making the whole paintjob process a lot faster. A painter doesn’t need to wait for a very long time to apply the second coat of paint, as he would if he was painting with oil based paint. Latex paint is very smooth; leaving no visible brush strokes after the paint is dried, making the finishing look better. It is also rather easy to clean as compared to oil based paints, as latex paint is water based. It can be cleaned off with a simple combination of soap and water, but some tricky spills might call for different measures.
Latex paint is very widely used on furniture and wooden installments. Latex paint works great with wood, and gives a very neat finishing look. Latex paints are mainly used on wooden panels, furniture, and sidings. It’s easier to clean up if the job goes slightly wrong, which makes it an all-around better choice for painting wood. Latex paints don’t host as many VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) as other types of paints do, making it safer for human health. VOCs are the reason behind the pungent smell after a paint job.
Special kinds of latex paints are made to be used on concrete, which suit the concrete texture best. These special kinds of latex paints are mainly used on; stairs, floors, garages, and other such surfaces made with concrete. Special latex paints are ideal for both indoor and outdoor environments. These special masonry latex paints, help in protecting the concrete from moisture, and also helps in resisting chipping and scuffing. All these characteristics are considered to be very necessary for any concrete surface. This type of paint can easily be cleaned by the soap and water combination, in the event of a spill.
•Arts and Crafts
Latex paint works very well with a number of arts and crafts; due to the wide range of colors it’s available in, and also due to its quickly drying nature. Latex paint can work with all canvases, toys, models, or any other similar surface. Latex paints can also be used on larger scales, by using an airbrush. Furthermore, these paints can be used with a range of different paint brushes and rollers. Latex paints are the ideal choice for painting arts and crafts, of any scale. It is already used widely across the whole decorative items market.
Latex Paint Removal Tips
It is not uncommon for latex paint to cause a mess during a paint job. It’s best to take all the necessary prevention measures when painting with latex paint. The prevention measures include; covering all the areas which do not need to be painted, by using drop cloths and masking tape. Paint spills can be inevitable, especially if the paint job is done by a person who’s not a professional. A paint spill should never be left unattended, as it may be hazardous to the health of both pets and animals.
When painting a certain surface, full sleeved clothing should be worn to protect from any drips or splatter on the painter’s skin. But, in case of a spill or splatter, many methods can be followed to remove the paint successfully. A paint stain is never permanent, and can be eliminated by the help of many removal solutions freely available in hardware stores. Some of the many latex paint removal methods are given below:
Removing latex paint from clothing
Removing latex paint stains from clothes is possible, and can be done so by a variety of different methods.
• Lacquer thinner
Lacquer thinner is especially made for thinning or dissolving latex paint, and is a perfect fit for the job. The lacquer thinner should be applied on the paint stain on the clothing and then gently scrubbed by using a brush. Excess use of the thinner may cause damage to the fabric, so it’s best to use a moderate amount. After the thinner is applied, and scrubbed, the fabric should be rinsed with warm water, and then washed.
• Dishwashing detergent
Dishwashing detergents are made especially to break up oils, and can be used to remove stains from fabrics. The detergent can help in dissolving the paint stain and then removing it. The detergent should be mixed with warm water, and then applied on the paint stain. The fabric should be allowed to soak for some time, and then the paint stain is to be removed by using a clean cloth or brush to scrub it. The mixture can be reapplied if necessary. After the process is done with, the cloth should be washed as normal.
Removing latex paint from skin
When painting on some flat surfaces, it’s common to get splatters or drips on a painter’s skin if not covered properly. These splatters and drips, however can be easily cleaned by using any of the below mentioned methods.
• Soap and water
Since latex paints are water based, they can easily be cleaned off by using this simple combination. The paint stain on the skin should be moistened with warm water, and then soap should be rubbed on the area, making a thick lather and then thoroughly scrubbing the paint stain with the lather. Liquid soap is ideal for this method, but regular soap bars can work just as well. Then the hands should be washed, rinsed, and then dried off by using a washcloth. This method can be repeated until the stain is completely gone.
• Commercial paint removers
this method isn’t recommended, but if all else fails this can be used to get rid of the paint stain. Many different latex paint removing solutions can be found at hardware stores. These commercial paint removers may contain certain chemicals which may be harmful the skin. But, if a moderate amount is applied and then rinsed of almost immediately this method can be harmless.
A small amount of the commercial paint removing solution should be applied on the paint stain on the skin and then gently rubbed by using the fingers. When the paint starts to come off, the skin should be then washed using warm water. It is best to wash the area with soap and water, after the stain has been removed to get rid of any residue of the chemicals. After washing the skin, it should be dried using a washcloth. It is very important not to use an excess amount of these solutions as the chemicals contained within them can be very hazardous to human health.