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Painters Concord – Latex or Oil-Based, Pros and Cons of Each

Painters Concord – Latex or Oil-Based, Pros and Cons of Each

painters Concord

Whenever you have a project involving paint or painters in Concord, one of the first decisions you will have to make is whether you want latex (water-based) or oil-based paint for the job. Each type of paint has pros and cons, and choosing is more complex than it may seem.

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Oil-based paints

Oil-based or alkyd-based paint was the only paint option way back before the advent of latex paints, with many advantages that made it the primary choice.

Here are the following benefits of using oil-based paint:

  • It bonds easily to nearly any surface.
  • It provides excellent coverage (one coat is often sufficient coverage).
  • Oil-based paint takes time to dry, which aids in the smoothness of the finished product. The slow drying time also allows you to manipulate or correct the paint on the surface before it completely dries, thus giving it a smooth and glossy finish.
  • Since it is not affected by water, the oil-based paint doesn’t need to wait for perfect weather before using it outdoors.
  • It is durable and resistant to stains and scratches.
  • It holds up very well in areas with a lot of traffic and usually has a shiny finish.
  • It is versatile. You can use this paint for most materials. Masonry surfaces require a pre-treatment or sealer. However, it is not recommended for galvanized metal.

However, the potential negatives of oil-based paint are many, as well:

  • It requires solvents (such as turpentine and other mineral spirits) to clean it up.
  • It must be disposed of in a proper manner for hazardous materials.
  • It has higher amounts of VOCs, contributing to its fumes with a very strong smell. The fumes can be dangerous if the area is not well-ventilated.
  • While it is an advantage for oil-based paint to dry slowly, it is also a disadvantage. It takes 12 to 24 hours or more for the paint to dry, which may allow dust and dirt to stick to the surface.
  • It costs more than latex.
  • It is not as resistant to mildew.
  • It tends to fade or yellow after about a year, affecting your chosen color.
  • It will become brittle over time, resulting in cracks, chips, flakes, and peeling areas.

Other important considerations about oil-based paint:

  • Never, ever pour your oil-based paint down the drain. A local waste management facility regulates disposal. You should check the local government pages for more information regarding this matter.
  • Several cities have local hazardous waste collection centers that accept oil-based paints, stains, and other products.

Latex paints

While latex (water-based) paint is relatively new to the world of painting, it has become a front-runner. Latex paints account for around 80% of the residential paint market. People often choose water-based paint due to several reasons:

  • It is much easier to clean up since soap and water are the preferred methods.
  • It dries very quickly.
  • Its smell is not nearly as strong and is less likely to cause health or environmental problems (though good ventilation is still necessary).
  • It does not turn yellow or fade quickly.
  • It is non-flammable, making latex paint a more sensible environmental choice.
  • It can be used on various surfaces, and dries to the touch very quickly. It is also much less expensive than oil-based paint.
  • Painters find latex paints more widely available than oil-based paints.
  • It comes in many colors and finishes.

However, there are potential issues with latex paint:

  • It has possible problems with sticking, especially to surfaces previously painted with an oil-based paint (although new paint with acrylic binders takes care of this problem).
  • Its finish is usually less shiny than oil-based.
  • While the quicker drying time is an advantage, it can also be a disadvantage. When the paint dries too quickly, getting a smooth finish or cleaning up errors can be problematic.
  • When painting on wood, latex paint can swell, which leads to a need to sand between coats.
  • Since it is easily washed away by water, painting outside when there is a chance of rain can be useless. It usually needs primer and requires several coats for good coverage.

Where to use oil-based and latex paints?

It pays to know the best places to use oil-based and latex paints.

Latex paints are best for:

  • Drywall or interior walls
  • Stucco
  • Concrete
  • Aluminum siding

Oil-based paints are best for:

  • Interior and exterior trim
  • Doors
  • Cabinetry
  • Kitchens and baths
  • Metal surfaces

The importance of using the right tools for oil-based and latex paints

Part of a paint job’s success is using the right tools, particularly paint brushes and roller covers. The tools required for latex and oil-based paints are different, so selecting the right ones are important.


  • Natural brushes – These are made from natural animal hairs, such as badger, hog, sable, goat, pony, or ox hairs. They are best for jobs that require oil-based paints.
  • Synthetic brushes – These are often made from nylon, polyester, or both. They are recommended for latex paints.

Some manufacturers offer other paintbrush options that work well for all paints. DuPont, for example, introduces a brush called “Chinex,” which can be used for oil-based and latex paints. It is also easier to clean, which extends the brush’s useful life.

Roller covers:

  • Natural roller cover – This type of roller cover is made of any of the following materials: mohair, lamb’s wool, lambskin, sheepskin, or a blend of polyester and lamb’s wool (or another animal hair). It holds more paint and is easier to clean, making it best for oil-based paints. However, it tends to be more expensive than other roller cover options.
  • Synthetic roller cover – It is made of nylon or polyester. It resists matting and holds its shape well for a long time, making it ideal for applying latex paints.
  • Foam roller cover – This type of roller cover works well with oil-based and latex paints, especially on porous surfaces (such as bare drywall).
  • Microfiber roller cover – It works well with oil-based and latex paints to provide a smooth finish and is best used for surfaces with a bit of texture.

If you paint quite often, investing in high-quality tools is essential.

More painting tips

  • Oil-based and latex paints have chemicals, so wear gloves to minimize paint contact on your skin.
  • Use latex if you’re painting walls or doing some simple decorative effects. If working with wood, you may want to use oil-based paint.
  • When in doubt, consult the local paint professionals, who will gladly offer advice. With all the new products out there for latex paints, you’ll have more choices to create a more decorative finish!

Let the pros choose a suitable paint for the job.

Are you debating whether oil-based or latex paints are suitable for your next paint job? Let the pros help you with that.

When painters in Concord choose the right paint for the job, it helps to know your needs. Time available and traffic of the area, whether you’re covering a dark color with a lighter one, and how glossy you want the finish will all affect your choice.


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