Hardness, porosity, and microstructure of film-forming in polyvinyl acetate/alumina coatings from aqueous suspensions were investigated with a minimum film formation temperature (MFFT) bar, Vickers hardness tester, and scanning electron microscopy. (SEM). The hardness of opaque composite coatings (alumina:latex = 1:2 by volume) increased abruptly at the MFFT of the latex, suggesting that the alumina particles did not change the latex film formation behavior and that the hardness measurement is an alterative to the optical criterion. Studies of coatings from latex particles that were smaller or larger than a common size of ceramic, particles indicated that the composition of maximum hardness, called critical Vickers hardness concentration (CVHC), matched conventional critical pigment volume concentration (CPVC). More efficient polymer binding in the, coatings from the smaller latex gave them higher peak hardness and CPVC.