Acrylic: Acrylic surface coatings are used in all three of the paint and coatings market categories—architectural coatings, product finishes for original equipment manufacture (OEM), and special-purpose coatings. Protective coatings other than paints, such as fabric and leather finishes, floor polishes, and paper coatings, can also be based on acrylic polymers; however, these coatings are not included in this report.

Acrylic coatings can be used in organic solventborne, waterborne, powder, or radiation-curable formulations. They are used mainly in architectural, or decorative, finishes, and to coat industrial goods. Acrylic surface coatings are the leading finishes used in the paint and coatings industry, having surpassed alkyd finishes over the past few years. Based on acrylic and/or methacrylic polymers or copolymers, acrylic surface coatings are noted for their inertness and excellent color retention when exposed to outdoor conditions. In 2010–17, consumption rose in most areas of the world. Acrylic coatings now account for about 25% of all coatings on a global basis. For environmental reasons, there has been a shift toward waterborne acrylics used in architectural and automotive coatings. Acrylic latex coatings have captured a good portion of the North American and Western European market for architectural coatings as replacements for solventborne coatings. Use in developing regions as replacements for solventborne coatings and other low-quality, low-durability budget coatings is expected to continue to grow.