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I have a gallon of interior latex paint (with primer mixed in) and a gallon of interior acrylic paint (with primer mixed in). The color I want is somewhere in between the two.

Can I blend these two paints together? Will it affect how it dries or how long it will last?

The internet yields inconsistent and confusing results. Also this answer implies acrylic and latex paints are the same, but I'm not sure if it's the same context (I don't know what "water dispersion paint" is).

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    One way to find out. – isherwood Feb 16 '16 at 21:56
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    Paint doesn't just dry, it cures. Has a chemical reaction to turn into very long-chain molecules which are tough and durable - but not having htat chemical reaction while sitting in the can. Paint resin is a very tricky chemistry, especially with the VOC regulations making it harder. You could break the curing mechanism for both flavors of paint, resulting in a royal mess stuck to your walls that won't perform. You could wind up having to tediously strip it off your walls just to get the next coat of paint to stick. Paint is cheap. Your time is not. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Feb 17 '16 at 0:15
  • @Wolf Harper, I don't believe that latex paint cures, in the sense of undergoing chemical reactions. The polymers are all created in the manufacturing process. The drying process involves the water and remaining solvent evaporating and the polymers coalescing, but doesn't include any chemical reaction. – Joel Keene Feb 17 '16 at 2:25
  • Being non-wasteful is good, but if all we're talking about is a $40 gallon of paint, why would you spend time mixing a sample, applying it, waiting for it to dry, doing destructive testing, then discovering that you didn't get exactly the right color anyway so you'll have to go back to the mixing bench? If the goal is hobbyist-paint-fun, then have at it. If the goal is getting the paint on the wall once and getting on to better things, then just bite the bullet and buy new. – Aloysius Defenestrate Feb 17 '16 at 13:38
  • Joel, think of curing as the process which makes paint resistant to its own solvent. if they didn't cure, you could scrub the paint off with a wet rag. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Feb 21 '16 at 0:18
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There actually is no difference between latex and acrylic paints because there is no latex in latex paints. Let me explain. All water based paints today are referred to as "latex", even though there is absolutely no latex rubber in the formula. ... Better quality paints have more acrylic resins than vinyl.

The acrylic paint for walls simply are thicker with more teeny acrylic beads that bind together when the water evaporates. THey pull together and tighten creating a coated surface of plastic polymer. The liquids in the paint may have some additives to strengthen and thicken this process. The thinner the paint (cheaper) means the less polymer beads the paint has in it. Thus making the issue of multiple coats to fill in the areas that the beads were spread apart. Pigments are the colors added to the medium (polymers & Liquid). Curing in the case of Acrylics is simply a drying process that tightens and pulls the polymer beads together. No chemical change is needed other than evaporation. Its not oil based.

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No. The color may be fine but the binding properties you have no idea. And when I say binding, it is not only while it is going on but also after it cures - if it does cure.

  • I think I believe you, but are you sure? The internet yields inconsistent and confusing results. Also this answer implies acrylic and latex paints are the same, but I'm not sure if it's the same context (I don't know what "water dispersion paint" is). – Jason C Feb 16 '16 at 21:10
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    I've never seen a distinction between latex and acrylic - they seem to be used interchangeably. – JPhi1618 Feb 16 '16 at 21:15
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    That answer is right for certain house paint but is not an overall representation of paints. Acrylic paints do not have to have latex quality binding additives. Most/all paints currently bought in big box stores are basically the same but this was not always the case and why the question you linked to is right most of the time. But I can buy acrylic paint from the craft store and mix it to color with latex paint and I am not sure what I would do to the chemical binding reactions. So without seeing the cans of paint I say no... – DMoore Feb 16 '16 at 21:18
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    So really I can't think of a case where a can of paint just said acrylic when it had latex additives. Shoot a picture of both cans and let us see. – DMoore Feb 16 '16 at 21:19
  • @DMoore I will as soon as me, the paint, and a camera are in the same place. Stay tuned. – Jason C Feb 16 '16 at 22:00
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"Can I blend these two paints together?" YES

"Will it affect how it dries or how long it will last?" YES

When mixing "water based" paints together (which I have personally done many, many times) you should test it on a representative sample surface to ensure that it rolls/brushes on satisfactorily and dries/cures to the color you want in the time you want. There is no practical way for a home user to test how long it will last.

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I am an artist, and I create and experiment. I also live on a tight budget. I Wanted to paint my old shed to match the new blue gray siding on my house and I had a can of blue exterior blue paint but it was too bright. I grayed it down by adding artist acrylic paint, tested it on an object; when it seemed to work OK, I painted the shed. It went on smoothly, dried normally and after 3 seasons including a harsh winter it still looks great. However how long it will last I don't know but I hopefully until I can afford new paint. Success made depend on colors, paint brands or other factors, but I figure it was worth a try and if it didn't work then I would have had a different answer for you.:)

  • What was the rough proportion of acrylic to latex in your experiment? – feetwet Jun 11 '17 at 22:52
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The answer to this is quite simple. When in doubt phone the paint company and ask for their Technical Department. These wonderful people know everything there is to know, not only about their own product but usually most of their competitors as well and they love to pass that information on. Phone numbers are usually found on the back of the tin, through the retailer or a simple internet search will yield results.

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I was doing an artistic composition.

Artist grade acrylic dries almost rubber like and acts like an adhesive or glue like in application.

When I tried mixing artist grade acrylic with latex wall paint the results went on smoothly and I was hopeful, but in the drying the excess moisture in the latex wall paint caused some undesired effects.

The acrylic pulled tighter in places and the latex caused the gesso to crack (I think due to excessive moisture in the wall paint) so painting over the mess caused the acrylic to ball up and pull from the canvas. (in other words, whether painting a wall or doing a composition, I will never mix the two again)

I will definitely never use gesso with a common latex again as well.

  • @SDsolar were you thinking you were responding to a question instead of an answer? – Brad Apr 2 '18 at 18:14
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I did this a long time ago. About 1 bottle to 1 gallon. It looked nice for about two years. I noticed a slight marble look in some areas after it faded. It wasn't horribly noticeable to others since they didn't live there but we noticed it when up close.

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