Oil-Based Paint versus Water-Based Paint

You need to paint the walls of your house or perhaps the inside doors. You want to refresh your old painted furniture with a new coat of paint. You need to repaint the floor or maybe only the baseboard. In all these cases, you have to buy paint and you are wondering which kind of paint is the right one for your job.

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In fact, when it comes to paint you must consider several factors.

1) Should it be eggshell, alkyd, matte, semi-gloss, gloss, acrylic or satin?
2) Do you need to apply a primer before applying the paint coats?
3) Is this paint safe for environment and for the people?
4) What quality of paint covers better and last longer time?

There are so many kinds of paint that can do actually, the same job but giving significantly various results. So, how can you choose? It is extremely important to find the right paint for your job. Only in this way, you can avoid making a costly mistake. It is true that a gallon of paint does not cost a fortune but the thing you are painting could be left without protection or even damaged.

Therefore, it is highly recommended to know the qualities of paint prior to buying it.

However, generally speaking the paint necessary for your household can be divided into two big branches: oil/solvent-based paint and water-based paint. Of course, there are many other types of paint but these are the most popular and they are widely used in residential and commercial projects.

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Water-Based Paint

Water-based paint is often also, named emulsion, latex or acrylic. In fact, water-based paint does not contain natural latex; everything is made only from synthetic polymers, so when you apply a water-based paint coat, you apply in fact a plastic layer. Not long time ago, water-based paint was used only for wall applications but today it is largely used in a lot more home applications. In fact, more than 80% of all paint sold is water-based paint.

It presents many advantages. Water-based paint can be easily applied and maintained, not to mention it can be cleaned up with plain water.

There is a wide range of sheens and colours available from matte (flat) to gloss (shiny) satin finish. It is low-odor paint and usually a safe paint.

Water-Based Paint Applications

It can be used on ceilings, interior walls, window frames, doors, doorframes, exterior walls, furniture, baseboards and furniture.

If you are painting for the first time a surface you need to apply first a coat of primer. It is not the case if you are repainting a surface; you can give up the primer coat unless you are changing the color or the shade dramatically, especially from dark to light.

Oil-Based Paint

Oil-based paint is well known also as solvent-based paint or alkyd (“gloss” in UK).

Oil-based paint is more lasting and hard-wearing than water-based paint. It is also lesser prone to flaking but its colours can dramatically fade over time under sunlight.

It is not a low-odor kind of paint. Actually, before drying has a very strong odor not to mention it takes much longer to dry. Oil-based paint can be cleaned up only with solvents.

Oil-Based Paint Applications

Oil-based paint is the best kind of paint for wood surfaces such as furniture, floors, baseboards, moldings, frames, doors, window frames, etc.

In many ways the application of this kind of paint is similar with the application of water-based paint. You have to apply first a primer coat if you paint an unpainted surface. More than that if you are repainting an old oil-based finish you need first to sand that surface.

The oil-based paint is ideal if you want to create special paint effects such as colonwash, marbling, etc.