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Oil vs. Latex Paint

Posted by Nolan Painting on December 6, 2016
paint cans

Oil vs. Latex Paint

paint cansIf you have only a passing familiarity with paint, you’re probably aware of the fact that there are two different kinds of paint. There is oil-based paint and water-based paint, also known as latex or acrylic-based paint. How do you decide on latex vs. oil paint exterior for your home? What is water-based paint, and what are the advantages of oil-based paint vs. water-based paint? Here’s everything you need to know.

History of Oil vs. Latex Paint

For many years, oil-based paints were popular for home painting. From the 1920s to the 1960s, oil-based paint, which covered in fewer coats, leveled beautifully and was highly durable, was considered a miraculous innovation. When latex-based paints arrived following World War II, they quickly began gaining favor due to their being more environment- and user-friendly.

Manufacturers of oil-based paints did little to improve their eco-friendliness, with the result that latex-based paint is now easily the leading choice when it comes to painting. In fact, oil-based paint has been outlawed in Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the northwest and northeast – although some primers are still oil-based without a latex alternative – partially because oil paints are responsible for massive amounts of pollution.

In addition, oil-based paints to do not meet the low-VOC requirements for residential paints, first instituted in 2005. VOCs are volatile organic compounds which are found in many chemical formulations, especially paint, and which can be harmful to human beings and to nature.

Advantages of Oil-Based Paint vs. Water-Based Paint

Naturally, oil-based paints had a lot going for them. They were great at adhering to surfaces, they had harder finishes and as mentioned, better leveling. They tend to have a more natural look than some latex-based paints as well.

However, water-based paints make up for these in a lot of ways. For one, latex lasts longer. You’ll see less color fade. For another, acrylic-based paints are mildew-resistant. Most importantly, latex paints are much better for you and your surroundings, with low levels of VOCs, meaning fewer harmful fumes and less overall damage to the environment.

There are ways to make latex-based paints close to the equal of oil-based paints in those other areas, such as adhesion-friendly primers and sandpapering surfaces before painting to improve adhesion. Latex paints are also continually improving in terms of hardness. Finally, as environmental regulations get stricter and stricter, oil-based paints may be phased out altogether.

The Best Latex-Based Paint for Your Home

Nolan Painting prides itself on using only the finest latex-based paints for your home, from trusted names in paint like Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore. If you need professional house painting in the Philadelphia area, contact Nolan Painting today for a free estimate.