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Oil Paint VS. Latex Paint

Picking a paint colour is hard enough as is. Having to decide the paint’s sheen and product type makes it all more difficult, but we’re here to help. One choice you’ll need to make is whether to use oil-based paint or latex paint. There are quite a few differences between the two and you’ll definitely want to have all the facts before you make your decision.

What is the Difference Between Oil Paint and Latex Paint?

Latex paint is more commonly known as acrylic paint. In latex paint, the carrier is typically water with glycols or glycol ethers as a solvent. Note that latex paint does not contain latex from the rubber plant. The term ‘latex’ in the paint world refers to the binder.

Pros of Latex Paint
  • Keeps it colour of the years
  • Better for the environment
  • Quick dry time
  • Easy to clean with soap and water
  • Durable and flexible
  • Adheres well to exterior surfaces
  • Resistant to common paint failures like flaking, blistering and peeling
Cons of Latex Paint
  • Can occasionally swell grains of wood
  • Needs sanding in between coats in some areas
Shutterstock 1694960098 Scaled
Pros of Oil Paint
  • Provides a hard and durable finish
  • High viscosity. Fewer coats are needed to cover imperfections
  • Less shrinkage
Cons of Oil Paint
  • Laborious clean up
  • It’s thicker, stickier and harder to work with
  • Oil-based paints have a strong odor
  • More likely to crack and fade over time
  • Less room for error

Can Oil-Based Paint be Used Over Latex Paint?

f you already have a surface that is painted with latex paint, you really shouldn’t paint an oil-based product directly over it. It is possible to do, but only if a sealing coat is used to separate the layers. Generally, it’s best to avoid painting oil-based paint over top of latex paint.

If you’re looking to paint your home and want a little help choosing the right paint for your home, Van Isle Paint has got you covered!


Van Isle Paint

Victoria, BC, and Beyond

(250) 412-3885

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