Oil vs. Latex Based Paints

Oil vs. Latex Based Paints

While perusing through your local home improvement store’s paint aisle, you may be wondering whether to choose an oil or latex (water-based) paint. Here are some pros and cons of each to help you make your decision.

Pros – Oil-Based
First and foremost, oil-based paints are ideal for high traffic areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. The reason behind this is that it is easier to clean off than latex-based paints. For your exterior steel furniture or gates, oil-based paint is good at adhering to metal, steel and dirty surfaces.

Cons – Oil-Based
Probably what oil-based paint is best known for is its distinct and strong odor. When painting with oil, or latex for that matter, you will definitely want to paint someplace with a lot of ventilation. Another knock on oil-based paint is the time it takes to dry – sometimes up to 24 hours. You also might want to avoid spilling oil-based paint at all costs. It can pretty much can only be cleaned up with turpentine. You also have to be careful when disposing of it because it is considered hazardous material.

Pros – Latex
One of the best advantages of the latex-based paint is that it dries much faster than oil-based paint (1-2 hours). It also has fewer odors and it much easier to clean in case you have some sort of spill. Because it is not toxic, it is also much easier to dispose of.

Cons – Latex
A disadvantage to latex is that it’s susceptible to stains, making it bad for high traffic areas of your home. Another problem is that it usually needs a clean surface to adhere to so you might be doing some extra cleaning of where you want to paint.