While oil-based paints still are widely used, “latex” paints that typically combine water and plastics have increased dramatically in popularity, particularly with do-it-yourselfers. The term latex originally referred to the use of latex from rubber trees for the solid part of the paint that actually creates the paint film. Today various plastics are used such as polyvinyls, polyurethanes, polyesters and acrylics. (“Acrylic latex paint” is sometimes mistakenly used to refer to any water-based paints that use plastics.)
These latex paints take advantage of various properties of plastics. These plastic based paints are quick to cure, durable and washable. They often cover in one coat and clean up with water for minimal fuss.