Less Expensive: Acrylic or Silicone Coatings?


The main selling point often touted by those who carry acrylic coatings is that they are less costly than silicone coatings. This is actually true and it’s a claim we won’t refute: per gallon, acrylic coatings are less expensive than silicone coatings. However, on a project basis (which is the way you should be evaluating your costs anyways), acrylic coatings are either roughly the same cost or more expensive than silicone coatings. Why is that? How is a material that is less expensive per gallon, more expensive per project?

Increased Labor

When you apply an acrylic coating, there are two major steps required that increase the amount of labor involved: fully reinforce the coating and apply the coating in two coats.

Full reinforcement

Fully reinforcing the coating means that you are laying down a layer of fabric in the coating to give it extra strength. This is extremely time consuming, requires lots of practice, and requires lots of labor.

acrylic coatings truly less expensive

Do you want to apply two coats of acrylic to this roof, or one coat of silicone?

Apply coating in two coats

On top of the fabric reinforcement, acrylic coatings also require two coats in most applications, which means you have to do the same amount of work as you would if you were installing a silicone coating two times, rather than just one.

Both of these additional steps greatly increase the amount of labor required to complete the roofing project, which drives up cost. Let’s see how else an acrylic coating is more expensive than silicone.

Require More Material

As mentioned above, acrylic coatings require fabric reinforcement and two coats, which not only increase the labor required for the job, they also increase the material required. Fabric isn’t free, and coating certainly isn’t free, so you’ve got to pay to get these layers installed on your roof.

Can’t Stick Without a Primer

In addition to what we mentioned in the two previous points, acrylic coatings require a primer to adhere properly to a roof. This adds more time, labor, and cost required to complete a job. Silicone coatings on the other hand, can adhere to almost any roof surface without the need for a primer, saving you time and money.


As you can see, acrylic coatings require a lot of extra time, labor, and material, including additional material to strengthen the coating. This is what makes them more expensive than silicone as a system, while they are less expensive per gallon. Make sure when you are evaluating your roof options, you’re looking at the entire project cost, not just the per gallon cost, because those can often be two very different amounts.

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