Preliminary experiments have been carried out to characterize the potential deleterious effects of acidic deposition on three representative paints: an oil alkyd paint and two acrylic latex formulations. The base polymer latex common to both latex paints was also studied individually. Free films of paint have been exposed to relatively high levels of gaseous SO2 and ultraviolet light, and have been immersed in aqueous SO2 at pH 2.0. Several analytical techniques have been used to assess the resulting chemical and physical changes in the paint films, including sorption and diffusion measurements, attenuated total reflectance infrared spectroscopy, dynamic mechanical analysis, sol-gel analysis, contact angle measurements, differential scanning clorimetry, and electron spin resonance. All techniques show promise for characterizing the early stages of damage to paint films caused by acidic deposition. The major effects noted in the study include leaching of acid-soluble extender components upon immersion in aqueous SO2, and enhanced degradation of the base polymer upon exposure to gaseous SO2, and ultraviolet light.