Water-Based Paint Vs. Oil-Based Paint: When to Use Each


When looking at the naked walls of a room in need of a paint job, it’d be fair to say that all you need to do is decide on a fresh color to get the undertaking underway.

But the reality is that choosing a coloration is honestly secondary to a lesser-known but similarly important mission: choosing the right type of paint for your needs.

“It’s essential to understand the differences between paint types so you can select which one is excellent for your house and the specific assignment you’re tackling,” Joey Corona, the senior merchant at The Home Depot, says.

The various additives that make up a paint-like, whether it’s oil-based totally or water-based, totally, for instance—can impact how its standard shade adheres to a floor and appears through the years. So, it’s crucial to weigh this pre-portray information so you can replace a room with lasting outcomes. Don’t worry, though; you’re not about to deal with this to your personal. Joey broke down what to remember while choosing the proper paint for your assignment and what will make the whole procedure much much easier to address.

Water-Based Paint

What to Know Before You Go to the Store

Pinpoint the cutting-edge type of paint it truly is on the walls. “Sometimes, simply knowing a surface’s present paint system will help you choose the right paint for a new coat or coloration,” Joey says. “If you don’t know if the present paint is oil-based totally or water-based on looks alone, then wipe the surface with denatured alcohol. If the rag chooses up to the paint, it’s water-primarily based. It is likely oil-primarily based if no paint rubs off on the rag.”

Determine the extent of sturdiness you need. “Walls and trim are not created identical,” he maintains. “Typically, painters will use a mixture of paint sorts for optimum sturdiness, depending on what they may be painting. So, as an example, if you’re focusing on the trim, that aspect of the wall wishes greater sturdiness to protect it from heavy touch.”

Decide how often you plan on painting. “In addition to durability, do not forget how often you’re likely to trade the color of the surface,” he adds. “Areas like indoor door trims and moldings commonly acquire an impartial or white paint variant, while walls commonly get extra color. These hues and finishes trade the form of paint you’ll likely want.”

Weigh your sheen alternatives. “Sheens imply how sleek paint is in its dry country,” Joey says. “Glossy paints are shinier and replicate greater light, but matte paints diffuse the mild to make the floor much less brilliant. Reflective sheens, like satin and semi-gloss, are easy to handle but show extra imperfections on the wall. Non-reflective sheens show fewer imperfections; however, they are not commonly as smooth. Overall, matte finishes are true for low-traffic areas like bedrooms, even as different sheets are better for high-site visitors like kitchens or bathrooms.”

When to Use Water-Based Paints

“Water-primarily based paints, which can be referred to as latex paints, include a pigment and binder with water used as a provider,” Joey keeps. “They are the most common and environmentally accountable paint option. They offer fantastic shade retention over the years, dry quicker than alternatives, and convey fewer odors. And ultimately, water-based paints can typically be used over current oil-based totally paints—the opposite isn’t actual.”

Since water-based paints preserve their color longer than alternatives, Joey recommends them for exterior partitions, which might be uncovered to the elements, and indoor partitions that revel in plenty of moisture, consisting of kitchens, lavatories, laundry rooms, and mudrooms. Water-primarily based paints are available in various finishes and can be cleaned with cleaning soap and water.

“You ought to use water-based total formulas for maximum DIY painting initiatives, like partitions, ceilings, and doorways,” he provides.
When to Use Oil-Based Paints

“Oil-based paints contain either herbal oils, like linseed oil, or a synthetic alkyd,” Joey says. “They consist of a pigment and a resin in a solvent thinner. When the thinner evaporates, the resin paperwork a difficult coating. Painters ought to use an oil-based paint for any floor in which they need the finish to close for a long time, and they are now not planning to trade the color regularly.”

Oil-primarily based paints are extremely long-lasting and might resist ordinary contact, making them ideal for moldings and trims. Due to the fact the resin of an oil-primarily based paint creates a hard coating that isn’t breathable, this feature resists stains and rust through the years. Keep in mind even that oil-based totally paints have a more potent odor than water-primarily based paints and will take more time to dry. They’re additionally tougher to clean, too.

“I suggest having paint thinner, mineral spirits, and turpentine on hand for any oil-based total undertaking,” Joey adds. “These items can quickly detect any missteps or spills at some stage in software and help with put-up-undertaking cleanup of brushes.”

What to Note within the Details

After you’ve selected the paint you watched is fine, Joey recommends that you read the label to understand its binders, pigments, and beverages. This last step will give you a complete understanding of what you can shop for to understand precisely what’s going to cover your partitions.

Binders: “These are plastic-like polymers that bind the pigment collectively to shape a hard, non-stop film,” he notes. “Search for drying oils, like linseed or modified oil in oil paints. In latex paints, search for 100 percent acrylic binders.”

Pigments: “These fine floor debris or powders that provide color and insurance,” he notes. “The maximum commonplace prime pigment is titanium dioxide.”

Liquids: “These are the pigment and the binders, which evaporate as paint dries,” Joey adds. “Mineral spirits are utilized in oil-primarily based paints, while water is used in latex paint. When liquids in oil paint evaporate, a hard, hard film is left at the back. Latex paint carries water because the primary liquid stays bendy and durable through weather and temperature changes. Water also facilitates latex paint to maintain its coloration, particularly in direct daylight.”