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Whether to use latex or oil-based paint is one of the most popular questions homeowners ask us here at Matthews’ Painting. Like many other homeowners, a majority of homeowners in Warsaw and Syracuse Indiana don’t know when to use latex or oil-based paint.
Well, the two types of paint are quite different, and each excels in different areas. Decades ago, paints were formulated on-site by addition of linseed oil, colorant, some whiting, and driers by local painters. However, with the development of pre-mixed oil paints in the mid-1900s, manufacturers had perfected the art of pre-mixing oil-based paints, which improved quality and consistency.
The quality of the oil-based paints, however, suffered from the introduction of air-quality restrictions and increased regulations in the late 1990s. Manufacturers then focused more on improving latex paints, and oil-based paint was somewhat neglected. Nonetheless, the two types of paint are still in the market, and here are some tips on when to use each of them:
When to Use Oil-Based Paint
When it comes to oil-based paints, there are not too many options in the market, partly due to increased regulation. Many painters tend to use oil-based enamel paints because they form a nice, hard, glossy, and smooth finish when dry. For this reason, oil-based paints are a perfect choice for doors, windows, and trim.
When painted on the windows and doors, they form a hard, durable coat that is not tacky –it’s hard to achieve this with latex paints. Also, as earlier mentioned, oil-based paint is the perfect candidate for high-traffic areas because it doesn’t easily scuff or peel, and it’s easy to clean compared to the latex options.
If you’re planning to paint any metal surfaces such as the stair railing, metal gate or metal garage door, you’re better off using oil-based paints for two reasons: first, oil-based paint adheres better to metal surfaces and second, unlike latex paint, it’s not based on water suspension, so there is no potential of developing rust.
You can also get a number of specialized paints designed for use on metal surfaces. They might not be very common, but they can come in handy when painting things like the metal railings, steel windows, and iron cast tubs.
Oil-based primers are also preferred options, especially if you can’t tell the type of previous paint used before. They create a suitable, even surface for paint adherence, and can bond well with both latex and oil-based paint. Whether you’re transitioning from latex to oil-based paint or oil-based to latex paint, an oil-based primer will work just fine.
When to Use Latex Paint
Latex paints are probably the most common paints you will find in most paint stores, and many of them are now technically 100% acrylic, which is a more improved formulation. They’re water-based and the best option when painting things like drywall and plaster, siding (wood, fiber cement, aluminum), and stucco.
Thanks to their huge array of options and advancement in technology, you can actually find water-based paints that are suitable for painting windows, doors, and the trim. Being easier to clean-up, lower in VOCs, and ever-improving performance, latex paint may eventually replace oil-based paint in many areas.
As you can see, oil-based and latex paint have different areas where they excel, but with the advancement of paint technology, there is no hardline boundary in terms of the type of surfaces each can paint. Paint manufacturers often recommend the type of surface each paint type can paint on the label, and the paint store attendant is also always happy to fill you in.
So even if you don’t know the technical differences, you will least likely pick the wrong type of paint for the job. However, for full technical assistance on paint types, paint colors, and the painting project itself, you might want to hire a professional painting contractor like Matthews’ Painting Company.
We offer professional painting services in the areas of Warsaw, Indiana, Syracuse Indiana, Lake Tippecanoe area, Winona Lake area, Columbia City, and surrounding Indiana cities.
Give us a call (574) 834-3575 today to get started!