The term “latex” in the context of paint simply
means an aqueous dispersion; latex rubber (the sap of the rubber tree that has historically
been called latex) is not an ingredient. These dispersions are prepared by emulsion polymerization.
Latex paints cure by a process called coalescence where first the water, and then the trace, or coalescing, solvent, evaporate and draw together and soften the latex binder particles and fuse them together into irreversibly bound networked structures, so that the paint will not redissolve in the solvent / water that originally carried it.
The residual surfactants in paint as well as hydrolytic effects with some polymers cause the paint to remain susceptible to softening and, over time, degradation by water.
There are many benefits of using latex paint. LATEX PAINT, ONCE APPLIED, IS EXTREMELY DURABLE AND WILL RESIST ANY FORCES THAT ATTEMPT TO REMOVE IT. Latex paint offers a great sheen and depth of color, almost comparable to that of oil-based paints, and it can also be thinned with water to cover a larger area at the expense of vividness.
Latex paint also dries extremely quickly and adheres to rubberized surfaces and previously latex-painted surfaces much better than other forms of paint.
It is also non-flammable and somewhat less toxic than other forms of paint. It applies smoothly and wears well in both interior and exterior use. Latex paint is much more environmentally friendly than other paint types. It is not considered hazardous and may be disposed of with regular waste.
Advances in latex paint have resulted in less fading on exteriors, no yellowing on interiors, and less likelihood of cracking or peeling. Another major advantage to latex paints is its faster drying time. If a second coat of paint is required, there usually is no need to wait more than an hour after the first coat.