When Should You Use Oil-based Paints VS Water-based Paint?

Painting a house can give a new life to your house. It is an inexpensive way to change the look of a house from dull and drab to exciting and lively. But you must select the paint carefully so that it looks the best and lasts a long time. 

One of the choices that you will face when selecting paint is whether to select an oil-based or water-based paint. The information in this blog post will help you in choosing the right paint for the job. 

When to Select an Oil-Based Paint?
Oil-based paints consist of pigments suspended in dry oil. The pigments are suspended in either natural linseed or synthetic alkyd oil. Alkyd paints are more common since they are cheaper and last for a long time. 

Using oil-based paints has certain benefits. The paints are slow drying that result in a glossier and smoother finish. Moreover, the paints dry with hard enamel making them resistant to staining and scratches. 

When compared to water-based paint, most people argue that oil-based paint looks smoother, glossier, and more polished. If a surface is already painted with oil-based paint, you should paint it with oil-based paint again as it will adhere to the surface better than water-based paint. 
Oil-based paint is perfect for almost every surface. Here is a list of surfaces for which oil-based paints are particularly suited. 

  • Metal surfaces
  • Cabinets
  • Doors
  • Exterior and interior trims
  • High moisture rooms such as bathroom and kitchen
  • Accent walls

Water-Based Paint
Water-based paints consist of pigments suspended in water. The main benefit of water as a carrier is that there are no or low volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This makes water-based paints more environmentally friendly as compared to oil-based paints. 
As compared to oil-based paints, water-based or latex paints dry more quickly. Cleanup is possible using water and soap. Moreover, the paint is less prone to cracking and yellowing over time. But the con of the paint is that it is less durable and difficult to apply uniformly as compared to oil-based paints. 

Latex-based paints are best for painting on exterior surfaces. The paint is resistant to peeling, blistering, and flaking when exposed to the sun.  This type of paint is best for the following surfaces:
  • Wood
  • Stucco
  • Plaster & drywall
  • Porch floor 
An important thing to keep in mind is that latex-based paints should not be used on metal surfaces. Water mixed with metal results in rusting. You should use oil-based paint on metal surfaces. Oil-based paints will give a smooth, glossy finish without causing rusting of metal surfaces. 

Remember that there is no true saving in buying cheap paint. You should always go for the best quality paint that you can afford. Additionally, you should select the right premier for the paint type. Oil-based primer is required for oil-based paint and a latex primer works with latex paints.