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Oil-based Paint

Here are the Pros and Cons of Oil-based Paints for Your House

Oil-based paints have been replaced by the water-based paints in many areas. However, there are certain surfaces where these paints are still the preference.
Pragya T
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2019
Painting home interior
When it comes to house painting homeowners are faced with two choices - water-based or oil-based paint. So, which is the superior paint when it comes to house painting? Neither. A combination of the paints is required to achieve the best results.
When it comes to home painting instead of giving preference to price, type of paint, or the drying time of paint one should give priority to the result produced by the paint. Both, oil-based and water-based paint have their own set of advantages.
Before Painting
When it comes to painting the house using oil paints, various coats are used. First comes the preparation of the wall for interior painting. Holes are filled up, and uneven surfaces are smoothened out.
Painter at work
Once this is done, a primer is painted on the wall surface. This ensures that the coat of paint will adhere properly to the wall surface. A primer is also necessary if you are thinking of going oil-based over latex or vice versa.
To know if the existing paint surface was oil or water-based, take a paint chip from the surface, if it breaks with a snap it is oil based.
Drying Time
After this layer of primer dries, a coat of the main paint is applied, which can be an oil-based or water-based paint. Oil paint drying time is very much longer compared to the water-based paints. The drying time is longer because, it contain oils or synthetic resins as its base.
Oil paint dries by oxidation when it is exposed to air. But, in case of water-based paints the drying time is less, because they dry as evaporation occurs.
Fumes of Oil Paint
Major disadvantage of using this paint is that the paint fumes can be toxic and cause some respiratory-tract related problems. This paint has higher concentration of volatile organic compounds, which are the chemical molecules that vaporize as the paint dries.
These compounds are in lesser amount in water-based paint. So, when using airless paint sprayers with oil paint, maintain safety by wearing mask, gloves.
Earlier oil paint used to contain many toxic chemicals in it. But, the ones available today are much safer. So, one need not worry about using oil-based paint, but should maintain proper safety while painting using oil paints.
Many people tend to consider latex paint over oil paint which is good, because on most surfaces you can use latex paint. However, there are certain surfaces on which only oil paint works the best.
Surfaces to be Painted
These are tough-resistant paints which makes them ideal for exterior painting. These paints and varnishes are used for boats and shipbuilding, as they can stand the damage done by elements and saltwater.
Areas of the house which need to be waterproof, or floors or objects which need to stand many falls or hits are areas that should be best painted with oil paint. To name a few - wood, metal objects, wall trims, kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets, bathroom, and exterior surfaces can be painted with oil paints.
So, oil-based paints should not be completely neglected. But, a combination of oil-based and latex paints should be done to achieve the best-looking, resistant walls.