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Choices In Paints: Latex or Oil-Based?

Jul 20, 2008
Reasons to Use Oil-Based Paints for Home Projects

There are some specific reasons to employ oil-based paints for home improvement projects. Of course, there are two options when it comes to choosing paint. Water-based latex paints are just fine for covering the walls, while oil-based paints are generally the best choice for high-traffic areas, doors and wood trim.

There are a couple of additional factors involved in using oil-based paints, including a bit of special attention in preparation and in cleaning up. Oil-based paint tends to be a bit thicker than latex/water-based paint. For this reason, the two types require different rollers and brushes for best results. Oil-based paints should always be used in an area that is well ventilated since this type of paint tends to put off stronger fumes. (However, it is best to provide good ventilation with all painting.) Oil-based paints are available at just about every hardware and home improvement store. These suppliers should be able to mix any color or shade of color needed.

A successful painting project begins with careful preparation of the surface. The area to be painted should be clean and smooth (free of dust and large bumps). It will probably be necessary to put a prime coat of paint on first, since oil-based paints can peel off more quickly without a prime base. Some paint experts urge using a tinted primer if painting over a dark color. Each situation should be evaluated carefully.

Latex/water-based paints are a bit easier to clean up, since it will not be necessary to use solvents or chemical mixes that are specifically meant for cleaning up after painting with oil-based paints. Oil-based paints should be carefully stirred before using, to properly mix the oils and pigments and to get a consistent color. Oil-based paints will generally take a bit longer to dry to the touch than latex paints. Good ventilation and relatively dry conditions are most conducive to drying. Use caution when using paints, cleaning up after painting and when disposing of paint cans and unused paint.

Oil-based paints stand up to wear a bit better than latex paints, so this type of paint is often used on doors, baseboards, window trim, chair rails etc. Inside doors painted with an oil-based paint will stand up to the everyday use they get, and the painted surface will be easier to clean as well. Using oil-based paints on outside doors is also a good idea, because the tougher dry surface should handle weather conditions better than some latex paints.

Oil-based paints can be a good choice for small woodworking projects as well, especially if the surfaces are properly cleaned and prepared. Raw wood should be sanded and well cleaned before any paint is applied. In addition, oil-based paints can work well on metal surfaces, if the surface is cleaned and primed first.

In fact, oil-based paints are a good choice for just about every area of the home, if care is taken with preparation and priming. A bit of patience before and after the actual painting will make the project more successful.
About the Author
Focusing on latest developments in cordless air compressor, Robert Carlton published especially for http://www.insidewoodworking.com . You can come across his writings on cordless compressor over at http://www.insidewoodworking.com .
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