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Oil vs. Latex Paint and Why It’s Important For You To Know The Difference

When it comes to oil vs latex paint, the main differences are in how easy it is to work with and how well it stands up to time and stress.

Find out more below-

Are We Really DIYing This?

“I’ll give it a solid maybe. I want to do some research to see if I can first,” says Stephanie.

David nods, looking doubtful. “Okay, I’m down with just looking into it first. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never painted a wall before. Seems like it might be better to hire one of the local painters.”

Stephanie shrugs. “I want to at least try it. It’s not like we can’t hire someone if we don’t do it right.” David nods slowly. “Ok, that works for me. Let’s start with the type of paint first.”

Stephanie takes out her phone to start searching. “That makes sense. Let’s start with finding the right materials first. Oh, here’s something about oil vs latex paint. Then we can look at the types of paint finishes.”

Here’s what the couple finds out:

Oil vs Latex Paint

Oil paint is more durable than latex paint but is harder to work with. It tends to look nicer than latex, but only at first. Oil paint yellows over time. Latex paint is better for the environment and easier to maintain, but it can swell wood grains. This means you may have to sand between coats.

Pros And Cons Of Oil-Based Paints

Oil-based paints are durable, apply smoothly, give you more time to work with them because they don’t dry as quickly, and shrink less.

But, the longer dry time can be annoying. The paint releases fumes that smell very strong, so you’ll want to ventilate well. It’s also more likely to yellow, fade, and crack as time passes. You’ll also need to use turpentine or paint thinner to clean up after using it. You need to handle and dispose of these carefully.

Don’t pour paint down a drain, especially oil-based paint. Local waste management companies can tell you how to dispose of it.

Pros And Cons Of Latex-Based Paints

Latex paints are easier to paint with and dry pretty quickly. This means you can use the room again more quickly. Plus, they smell way less than oil-based paints. They’re better for the environment, easier to clean up after, easier to find, and they don’t yellow.

But, latex paint isn’t as durable as oil paint. Latex-based paints can cause wood grains to swell. This means you’ll need to sand between coats.