Paint Types – Should You Use Latex or Oil-Based Paint?

There are two kinds of paint types. They are water-based or oil-based. They are both durable, but here are pros and cons.

Water-based paint (also called latex paint): Latex, vinyl, or acrylic is the binder used in this paint. (The binder is the element that holds the pigment particles together.)


    • It dries quickly;
    • It has little or no odor; and

Cleans up with soap and water.


  • It is not as durable.

Oil-based paint (also called alkyd paint):


  • Because oil-based paint is slow drying, this allows the paint to spread out more evenly and smoothly over the wall surface for a nicer look.


  • This paint is more difficult to apply.
  • It can take up to 24 hours to dry; and
  • Brushes, rollers, and spills have to be cleaned using paint thinner or turpentine.


  1. It is a good idea to stay with the same paint manufacturer until you are finished with your project. This is because manufacturers vary in their colors and finishes.
  2. We use water-based paint instead of oil-based paint for our interior painting. It is simply because of the easier cleanup and the low odor.The only exception has been when we needed to paint over smoke and nicotine, then we use oil-based primer first.
  3. We use water-based flat-finish paint on the ceiling. Durability is not an issue. Also, ceilings have more flaws and a shinier the finish, the more obvious the flaws.There is a paint especially formulated for ceilings. You may want to give that a try.
Dave Altman

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