We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Acrylic Latex Caulk?

By Adam Hill
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Acrylic latex caulk is one of several types of caulk used to seal gaps between building materials. It is water-soluble when wet, and can be painted over. Acrylic latex is also inexpensive and a serves as a good general purpose caulk. Unlike silicone caulk, it is easy to apply and to remove when it needs replacement.

The composition of acrylic latex caulk includes acrylic polymers, water, latex, and fillers. This particular mix of ingredients bonds very well to rough or porous materials such as masonry, wood, drywall, and plaster. It is not well-suited to filling large cracks, but good for small gaps in things like wood trim. This caulk cures, or dries, as the water in it evaporates, and it has a slight odor until it cures, which is not as strong as the sharp smell of vinegar that silicone caulk typically emits as it dries.

Some types of acrylic latex caulk contain silicone, or at least small amounts of it. This is mainly an attempt by the manufacturer to combine some of the qualities of silicone caulk with those of acrylic latex. It works to an extent, but these caulks also usually have a high filler content that tends to detract from their overall performance.

Acrylic latex caulk is best suited to indoor use because of its low tolerance for direct sunlight and temperature extremes. Because it does not contain oils, the caulk can be painted over, leading some to call it painter’s caulk. There are actually a variety of caulks to suit just about every need, including those that resemble brick mortar, concrete, and blacktop. For these applications, a type of foam called backer rod can be stuffed into the crack for stability and to take up space before the caulk is applied.

Caulk has been in use for many decades, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that acrylic latex was used. This is partly because the latex has to be derived chemically, and processes such as these have only been perfected in the relatively recent past. Newer chemical processes have also led to the creation of chemical blends with interesting properties. Some specialty caulks are available that are tailored for use on cold, damp surfaces, as well as surfaces that expand and contract with temperature extremes, such as aluminum gutters.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By cloudel — On Jun 18, 2012

My dad used to use silicone caulking, and it smelled horrible! I had to leave the area for hours until the odor had gone, because to me, it was unbearable.

Acrylic latex caulk smells so much better than silicone caulk. I had been living with small gaps around the baseboards for years, because I did not want to use silicone caulk, and I thought that was my only option. After finding out about acrylic latex caulk, I finally was able to fill them.

The paint covered up the caulk perfectly. I had never seen caulk that would hold paint like that before. Now, I use it whenever I have a gap pop up.

By recsteel — On Apr 13, 2009

The concrete slab of my house has cracked. The pattern is irregular, starting from one corner to the other. The cracks are not visible from the roof.

What are the reasons and how do I remedy these cracks?

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.