Latex or Oil-Based Paints: Which One Should You Choose?

Springtime is a beautiful time of year, and what better time to get your painting projects completed than now! The weather can be a little cold in the winter months, but spring tends to be warmer and more moderate, which allows for the perfect paint curing and drying environment. There are different types of paint available on the market, so you should always check which one would be the best for your project. For most projects, a latex or water-based paint can be used, but there are situations and projects in which an oil-based paint would be best. But when do you use each? Let’s dive into the particulars of both types of paints and how each can best serve you.

Oil-Based Paints

Oil-based paints include pigments in a drying oil and can be thinned out using a variety of solvents to change to its viscosity. Because of its makeup, it is imperative that it is disposed of correctly so as to not harm the environment. However, the efficiency of the paint makes it a great choice for use on more difficult surfaces.So, what are the advantages to using oil-based paints? Let’s discuss a few:

  • Oil-based paints are hard and durable.
  • Oil-based paints apply smoothly.
  • Oil-based paints are mostly moisture-resistant.
  • Oil-based paints take longer to dry, so you have more time to complete your project and perfect it.
  • Oil-based paints hold up well in high-traffic areas.

If you are using an oil-based paint, you will want to take advantage of its features to best put it to use. For example, because of its durability in high-contact areas, oil-based paints can be used in areas such as moldings and baseboards within your home. However, this type of paint does take a while to dry and tends to yellow over time, which is why it’s recommended that you use a professional painter who has experience with oil-based paints.

Latex Paints

Latex paints, though the name suggests otherwise, are not made of latex, though they used to be. Latex paints are now made from a water soluble base. Because of this, they are easier to clean with water and are becoming the more popular option by consumers. There are three types of latex paints:

  1. Vinyl-acrylic: Best for interior walls and cheapest option
  2. 100% acrylic: Highest performance paint
  3. Alkyd-modified latex: Best for exterior projects

Latex paints have plenty of great aspects to them that makes them a great choice for springtime painting projects for both outdoors and indoors.

  • Latex paints have little to no odor.
  • Latex paints have a fast dry time.
  • Latex paints resist mildew.
  • Latex paints do not yellow over time.
  • Latex paints have a high level of flexibility.

If you are considering a latex paint, you can take advantage of its properties to best complete your paint project. Because it has a quick dry time and little to no odor, it is a great option for painting walls and ceilings in your home. It can also be used for siding and projects on the porch because of its resistance to mildew and non-yellowing properties.

Choosing the right type of paint is just as important as choosing the right color of paint for your project. Knowing the characteristics of oil-based paints and latex paints can help you make the best decision based on the type of project you are wanting to complete. If you have any additional questions about what type of paint is best for your project, ask the professionals at JMA Painters. Their well-trained exterior painters are right near you, ready to answer your questions and help you get the best results!


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