As a parent, we are supposed to appreciate our children’s artistic talents, but enough is enough! I can’t bear to look at my walls anymore. The drawings and scribbles are just too overwhelming.
I know what you’re thinking – just paint the walls.
That’s easier said than done. I thought picking a color all my home mates agree on would be tough. But, boy, was I wrong. We couldn’t get past the oil-based paint vs. latex debate.
Now, if this sounds like your scenario, hop on board. This blog is for anyone who plans on painting their property but can’t decide what paint to use. I’ve got a list of differences between the two to help you choose the paint that is best for you.
I know you’re excited to get started, so let’s dive right in. But first, I want to take a moment to discuss what oil-based and latex paints are.
All paints consist of three basic components:
Pigments give the paint its color. They do not dissolve in the paint but rather stay suspended in it.
A binder helps create a continuous layer of pigment on the surface that is being painted. The type of binder used in paint influences its durability, adhesion, and resistance to staining.
A solvent helps hold the pigment and binder together to create an emulsion. Once the solvent is absorbed or evaporates, the paint is technically dry. And what you see is a smooth layer of pigment particles held together by the binder.
So what’s the difference between oil-based paint and latex?
The pigments in oil-based paints are suspended in an oil-based binder and thinned out with turpentine (the solvent).
On the other hand, the pigments in latex paints are mixed into an acrylic polymer (the binder) with water (the solvent). Hence, latex paints are also known as water-soluble. Acrylic paint is another popular water-based paint. The main difference between latex and acrylic paint is that acrylic paint contains chemicals in its solvent. This makes it more elastic, water-resistant, and durable than latex paint. But let’s save this topic for another day.
Now that you have a better idea of what both paints consist of, let’s take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of each one.
Oil-based paints are slightly more expensive than latex paints. However, if you have the budget, opt for oil-based paints. It’s a good choice for places or items that are used more frequently, such as kitchens and bathrooms. The paint is tough and durable to withstand daily use. Plus, it can easily be wiped down without ruining the finish. That makes it an excellent choice for wooden furniture and kitchen cabinets.
Since latex paints are water-based, they should not be used on wooden surfaces because the grain in the wood could swell. Similarly, water-based paints should not be used on metal since the paint could cause it to rust. In such cases, opt for oil-based paints for wood and metal objects.
Latex paints are a good option for painting the interior. Since they are less toxic and have a nominal smell, they can be easily used, even in poorly ventilated places.
However, latex paints do not adhere to the walls properly in a wet, humid climate. For this reason, they’re not suitable for bathrooms. Similarly, they do not adhere to walls in cooler conditions (under 50° F). In both cases, it’s better to use oil-based paint.
If your walls have oil-based paint, you can use latex paint on top of it. However, you need to prepare the walls before applying the paint. First, lightly sand and clean the surface. Then apply a primer and let it dry. Now, you can apply your latex paint.
You can use oil-based over latex paint. But you need to prepare the surface properly otherwise, the two paints may not adhere well. If that happens, cracks may develop in the oil-based paint, and it could begin to peel over time. So it’s best to avoid painting over latex with oil-based paint.
If you can’t determine whether your walls are painted with acrylic or oil-based paint, dip a clean cloth with rubbing alcohol. Rub it on an inconspicuous spot on the wall. If the paint rubs off onto the cloth, then it’s acrylic paint. However, if nothing comes off, it’s oil-based paint.
As we reach the end of this oil-based paint vs. latex paint comparison, you can see each comes with a boatload of benefits. However, you need to select the one that’s best for your home. Your choice can depend on several factors, such as your budget, whether you have young children, the local climate, the material of the surface, and whether the area receives a lot of wear and tear. Remember, the paint you choose can significantly influence the value of your home.
If you have doubts about what type of paint to choose, consider getting in touch with our painting experts at Fish Painting. We’ll be more than happy to guide you on your home-painting journey. We can even suggest new products to take your home to the next level.
Let’s pick the right paint for your home today!