Acrylic Vs. Elastomeric Paints: Which Is Most Recommended?
Posted Aug 10, 2020 by Dave Scaturro
For exterior painting, acrylic and elastomeric paints are among the most popular paint types to use due to their flexibility and resistance to the elements. In terms of basic differences, acrylic is a resin type and is usually thin and strong, while elastomeric, a property of paint, is thick and strong. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and it is up to the discerning consumer to determine which is better for their project.
Where Acrylic and Elastomeric Paints Differ
- Elastomeric: Stronger and thicker than acrylic. Elastomeric paint is often referred to as a stronger version of acrylic, and most even contain acrylic. It is thicker and tends to last longer. However, this can be both a blessing and a curse, depending upon how you use it. It's great on a variety of exterior surfaces when used correctly, including stucco (which it was made for), masonry, concrete, and even wood and log siding.
- Acrylic: It can breathe. Elastomeric: not so much. Wooden surfaces are where acrylic can have an edge unless you happen to live in a dry climate, because acrylic breathes, allowing moisture from underlying surfaces to escape, while elastomeric paint does not. If your wood is not fully dry when you seal it up with elastomeric paint, you can trap moisture inside, leading to mold, mildew, and rot. Even the slightest hole or ding in the paint can expose wood to this, so regular patching may be necessary.
- Acrylic: More versatile for interiors. Acrylic paint can also be used on your interiors with little need for additional treatment, but it is recommended that you use an epoxy if applying elastomeric paint to interior surfaces, but remember to mind moisture issues in areas like kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.
- Elastomeric: Extra tough at extra cost. This can add up even more when you bear in mind that it often needs primer, a base coat, and multiple layers. However, for exteriors that are exposed to harsh elements, especially in places you may leave alone for a long time like vacation homes or log cabins, a sealed and treated coating means you can leave it and rest easy.
The decision for which of these two paint types suits you best is really depending on the project you're focusing on. You can even look into hybrid paints that combine the two and reportedly last even longer; some manufacturers even offer extended warranties. Tackling your next project? Let the experts handle the heavy lifting. Click below for an estimate.