Q: What are the differences between latex and oil paints?
What are the key differences between latex and oil paints? I am interested in when or why you would use one over the other. I am also interested in learning the differences in look, durability, drying time, and cost. Thanks.
A: Latex -vs- Oil
For me the biggest difference between oil and latex paint is clean-up. Latex paint is water-based and brushes and rollers clean up in the sink or with a hose when it's warm. Oil (or alkyd) paint, on the other hand, requires paint thinner to clean your brushes, and rollers are nearly impossible to clean. I use lambs wool roller covers (which are costly by comparison but very durable and re-useable for a VERY long time) because they apply the paint better and don't like to switch to a throw-away cover in order to paint with oil. Then there is always the question of what to do with the dirty paint thinner, which should be disposed of much like oil or any other petroleum product.
As far as performance, oil paint is harder than latex and 'lays down' (has a smoother look) than latex, but latex is more pliable in exterior applications, which is important with the temperature changes that occur in Colorado. The latex will expand and contract with the house better with less cracking over time than oil, but alkyd paints are tougher once they've cured. Latex is also more convenient when it comes to dry time - oil paint usually takes up to eight hours to dry whereas latex can br dry enough for a re-coat in less than two. the odor from alkyd paints also lingers for a VERY long time (days in some cases - vs - hours). When it comes to cost, a quality latex paint is very comperable to a good alkyd paint, and with the advances in technology a btter buy in my opinion.
If you are looking a quality latex that has the hardness and look of oil without the drawbacks, I would recommend Aura paint from Benjamin Moore. Aura is harder than regular latex, lays down like an oil, has the flexibility of latex, is a no-VOC (no odor) paint and dries even faster than regular latex paints. The price point, however is higher than any other paint they make. The good news is it's worth it!
Flag / Report
A: Latex better than Oil
Great info. Larry. You about covered it, very well. One more thing about Oils making less desired product than Latex, is the longevity, or life. Especially used outside, Oils tend to caulk out much quicker.
And that is about all I can add. )
Flag / Report
Answer This Question