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The use of paint to beautify certain surfaces has become very popular. Similarly, it helps make surfaces durable by protecting them against damage. However, a lack of knowledge of the suitable paint types and materials for your painting projects can cause problems.

A particular type of paint may best suit the surface you plan to paint because latex and enamel paint are two of the most popular paint types. Whether you’re considering painting a portion of your home or just learning more about the enamel vs latex paint, we’ve got you covered.

Enamel Paint vs Latex

What is an Enamel Paint?

Enamel paints are oil-based paints. They are very hard and dry slowly which is perfect for hard coating surfaces. The good thing about enamel paints is that they provide a smooth and glossy finish. The most common use of enamel paints is for outdoor painting.

What is an Enamel Paint

Enamel paints can contain resin or varnish. This type of paint has a strong odor after drying due to its volatile organic compounds. Using enamel paint requires the use of respirator masks and proper ventilation.

Useful Resource: Read our One Hour Enamel Reviews to see if it’s the right choice for your project

What is Latex Paint?

A lot of water-based paints refer as latex paints. Many painters prefer latex paint because of its less odor and faster drying time. It does not contain rubber. It is common to use latex paints as primers for brick, drywalls, and stone walls.

What is Latex Paint

Differences Between Enamel And Latex Paint

Different paint bases carry pigments in unique ways. The base of the paint might not seem significant to you. However, it affects several other factors. These factors leading to many differences. Let us explain each factor in more detail.

Latex Vs Enamel Paint

Latex vs Enamel Finish Paint

Choosing a paint color that best matches the finish you want will help you narrow down your choice when it comes to the difference between latex and enamel paint. With latex paints, you can achieve an eggshell, flat and matte finish, whereas enamel offers a hard, glass-like finish that is easy to clean and more stain resistant.

Usually, oil-based or enamel paints are available in satin, high-gloss or semi-gloss finishes. Because of the enamel paint’s durability, it is commonly used on trim, cabinets, or other areas likely to be exposed to high impact. Furthermore, enamel paint will generally produce a longer-lasting, smoother finish than oil-based paint.

Also, a satin finish can be applied with both enamel and latex paint.


In a latex vs. enamel comparison, both paint types are durable, but how long the paint will last depends on its environmental condition. Latex paint won’t be as durable in fluctuating climates. However, enamel paints are better suited to the weather and temperature changes.

Drying Time

It may take a while for the drying process to complete, depending on the humidity and outdoor temperature. Paints such as latex dry quickly, so you need to work fast and level the paint to ensure it dries evenly.

A longer drying time will enable you to manipulate the paint, resulting in an even and thick coating. Most latex paints dry within an hour. However, enamel paints will dry in six to eight hours.


Latex paints require only water and a cloth towel for cleaning. You can clean most water-based latex paints easily. In contrast, if enamel paint is spilled on brushes and surfaces, you will need paint thinner to remove the paint. Additionally, you must be careful when disposing of paints.

Interior vs Exterior Use

It would help if you chose the paint based on the project. Both types of paint have interior and exterior applications. Although latex paint offers flexibility, it is less suitable for exterior projects. Most interior painting projects require latex paint.

Whereas Enamel paint provides a polished finish that may seem harsh in indoor areas. It is better suited to metal and outdoor spaces.


In terms of price, latex paints are often less expensive. Since latex paints are sold in large paint cans, they are usually more affordable in the long run. However, enamels are sold in small bottles.

Latex paints are cheaper because you don’t need paint thinner or solvents to clean them. You just need soap and water for cleaning purposes.


Significant amounts of paint fumes can cause headaches, breathing difficulties, or eye irritation. Latex paint smells less than enamel paint, so it’s a better choice for walls and more significant projects.

In contrast, Oil-based enamels produce more fumes (VOCs), so you should only use them on smaller projects or outdoors when the weather permits.

If you work indoors with either type of paint, choose a well-ventilated room or area with open windows or doors to allow air to circulate.


You can apply paint with a brush, as there are many brushes available, and some paints require specific brushes. It is best to use natural bristle brushes with enamel paints. Alternatively, you may use synthetic brushes for either latex or enamel paints.

The Conditions of the Surface

You know how important it is to paint on a good surface. When applying latex paint, a little bit of moisture is fine. As a result of the moisture, the paint may thin out slightly but will adhere to the surface better.

On the other hand, The best way to apply enamel paints is on a dry surface because oil-based paints tend to repel water. Therefore, they won’t stick to wet surfaces.

Conditions Of The Weather

You shouldn’t use latex or water-based paint on surfaces exposed to bad weather. Temperature fluctuations can impact the duration of time it takes for paint to dry. If this occurs, paint quality and finish may be compromised.

However, enamel paints can resist weather changes better. Therefore, Temperature fluctuations will not affect their quality or finish as much.

Latex vs Enamel Paint

Rust-Oleum Protective Best Enamel Paint

Best Enamel Paint

Rust-Oleum Protective Enamel Paint:

The Rust-Oleum enamel paint is designed to prevent rust. It is a high-quality oil-based paint that is very durable.

Whether it’s wood or metal, concrete or masonry, it’s ideally suited for exterior or interior surfaces.

To prevent the damage from rust and water, the painting formula is weather resistant and prevents corrosion. So this paint will resist the elements and other flaws throughout. It’s resistant to fading, chipping, and abrasion.

A few days back I tried to paint the metal front door. Thickly and smoothly, the paint went on. The finish was even and well-covered. Due to the enamel paint, my paint brushes did not remove it with water, so I wished I had bought cheap brushes to use for this project. My brushes and rollers dried quickly because I was painting in the breeze outside. My door was shiny & smooth once it dried – I’m so pleased with it! When it dried on my hands and on the can, it almost felt like glue!

On day one I didn’t wear gloves, and it came off my skin with my dawn dish soap & hand sanitizer. However, I wore gloves the next day, but they got extremely sticky quickly. So, you can use WD 40 that will help remove dried paint from your skin.

Best Latex Paint

How do you decide which paint to buy when there are so many options available? Interestingly, we will list the top quality latex and enamel painting products available in the market.

Montage Signature Eco-Friendly Latex Paint

Montage Signature Best Latex Paint

Most people buy expensive paint hoping for the best results, but are disappointed with the quality and end up overpaying for it.

If we choose the cheapest paint, we might end up applying countless coats just to meet basic expectations and lose time in the process. Take advantage of Montage’s affordable paint and stop hoping.

Montage Signature Paint is a low Sheen paint with a velvety finish that is super hard-wearing and easy to keep clean. This brand is based in the United States and it produces pollutant-free paints. As they produce paints from raw and post-consumer latex.

Compared to other brands, this brand is much more affordable. It is perfectly versatile and available in semi-gloss / low-sheen finish. Whether you are painting indoors or outdoors, Montage Paint is perfect for walls, ceilings and trim. Since it is water-based paint so it provides superior coverage while preventing mold and mildew growth.

Furthermore, the paint can also be scrubbed up and cleaned easily without affecting its color or finish and the sealing technology locks in the color for long-term durability. While testing this product at home, 1 gallon can easily cover up to 280-300 sq ft surface.

You can paint the latex paints for areas where frequent cleaning is easy , such as kitchen , balcony / laundry room. There are 24 paint colors available, as well as limited editions that add value to the product.

So as there is no fading, chipping, or abrasion of the paint. Also, there is an element of freshness to the glossy finish. So refreshing and refinishing is easier with this product.


  • There is great customer service at this company.
  • For such a high-quality paint, the price is very reasonable.
  • The coverage is very comprehensive. Although I was painting over a light color, I only needed one coat. The walls are pretty heavily textured, so only a few touch ups were needed.
  • It went on smoothly with both a roll brush and a paint brush.
  • Fast-drying and smooth paint with a perfect consistency. Like a satin finish or eggshell, it goes on smoothly.
  • It has a very low odor.
  • It was easy to clean up areas where I accidentally touched or dripped.
  • In terms of price, there is no comparison. My favorite part was that it shipped to my door during the workweek so I could work on projects on the weekend without having to go to the store. Even though the twilight color looks gray, it’s actually more of a blue gray, but it’s a very lovely neutral color. Blue undertones are just barely visible, but the gray dominates.


Due to the small swatch behind the can of the paint box and no wall, for example. it’s hard to tell what color it will be.

Conclusion On latex enamel paint

Hopefully, with this comparison of enamel vs. latex paint, you will be able to determine what type of paint is best for specific areas of your home. On average, enamel paint is a more versatile product than latex paint. Furthermore, you should consider how you use the paint and the type of paint that may be best for your project.

FAQs On Enamel vs Latex Paint

How is acrylic latex vs acrylic enamel the same?

Enamel vs latex vs acrylic

In contrast to Enamel paint, acrylic paint is completely non-toxic and water-based. A water-based acrylic paint called “acrylic enamel” or “acrylic latex enamel” is highly durable. These paints do not contain natural latex. Also, they have a semi-gloss or gloss sheen which is used on trims, doors, and windows.

Does enamel paint work well on wood?

When we compared enamel vs latex for wood, you can easily apply enamel paint on wood. It allows the surface to last longer, which is great for places like stairways, porches, wooden patios, and decks. Furthermore, it provides a non-slip surface for tables and chairs, easily cleaned.

Is latex paint suitable for wood?

It is relatively easy to paint furnishings with latex paint. A simple latex paint that you find at home stores is usually fine for painting wood furniture.

Is enamel paint suitable for painting furniture?

For enamel vs latex furniture, enamel paints are efficient and offer many advantages. This type of coating is ideal for painting surfaces for outdoor use. You can apply enamel paint to wood to give it a hard, glossy, and durable finish that will last for years.

Is it better to use enamel or latex paint?

In general, enamel paint is more durable than latex paint under the appropriate conditions. Enamel paints are designed to dry hard and are more durable for outdoor use because of the fluctuating temperatures and climates.

Is latex enamel suitable for cabinets?

Comparing enamel vs latex for cabinets, both paint types will produce excellent results. Acrylic latex is the paint of choice for cabinets. Acrylic latex paints are more durable and adhere better than vinyl acrylic paints. However, using enamel instead of wall paint on your kitchen cabinets will provide you with a durable and long-lasting finish.

Is enamel paint latex?

In general, enamel paint differs from latex paint mainly because of its paint base. The paint used on latex is water-based, while that on enamel is oil-based. These enamel or oil-based paints sometimes referred to as hard-surface paints dry slowly, but harden into a hard coating, which makes them suitable for rough areas.

Jennifer Marie-Holapaints writer

Jennifer Marie

Jennifer Marie is a general contractor with over the years of experience in home remodeling, DIY projects, and commercial painting projects. Her experience includes working with paint sprayers, painting tools, and other painting supplies. You can follow her on Facebook.

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