Choosing the type of paint for your house is something a lot of people leave to professional house painters. However, if you have the time, experience, and dedication, this is something that you may be able to do yourself. In the long run, it may cut your costs significantly.
The two types of paints that people choose from are oil and latex. Conventional wisdom says that you want to choose oil paints, however, modern latex paints can provide just as much durability as oil did in the past. This guide will help you pick which one is right for your home.
Oil Based Paints For Exterior Painters
Old school professional painters sometimes say that oil provides a better finish compared to latex, especially on surfaces that are distressed. Oil based ones are long lasting, and resistant to water. When they dry, they provide a solid finish, which is why they are the paint of choice for many professional exterior painters. This type is also easy to level, and can stay exposed to the elements longer before it dries. If you are repainting a house that has used oil in the past, it’s best to use oil again. You will want to stir these frequently as letting them sit can cause the paint to separate and degrade. Keep in mind that you can’t use any old brush for oil – you have to use specialized rollers and brushes. These should be designated on the packaging. Additionally, it tends to yellow in sunlight over time, is flammable, and requires you to use a solvent when cleaning it up.
Latex Based Paints for Exterior Painters
Latex paint used to be a hassle for house painters, due to temperature restrictions and consistency issues. However, with improvements in research and development, they have improved greatly, and can be just as long lasting as oil paints. The main advantage of latex is that they are easier to work with. They have less odor, dry faster, can be cleaned up using water, are more flexible, they aren’t a fire hazard, and they don’t yellow over time due to sunlight exposure. They also do better with mold and mildew.
However, they do dry much faster than their counterpart, so you have to get the job done quicker before doing it. Also, there is a difference between exterior and interior types, so you will want to get the proper one. Additionally, don’t use latex, if you’re covering oil. If you go this route, you will have to scrape and sand away the other paint before you lay down a new coat. If your surface isn’t distressed, most professional house painters suggest going the latex route due to its safety and ease of use.
How To Know If You Have Oil Or Latex Paint
First, find a large, loose chip, and pick it off. If it’s latex, bending it will provide some give before it shatters. The opposite is true for oil, which tends to break without much pressure. If you want a surefire answer, bring it to a paint shop. They can test it there. Once again, no matter what paint you are using, you will have to use whatever paint a house painter applied before to prevent improper layering which results in chipping. It’s also smart to sand and scrape away any excess, old paint, before applying a new layer. This allows for continuity, and durability no matter what paint you use.
So there you have it. If you decide to do it yourself, or hire a professional house painter that acts as an interior painter, or an exterior painter, you now know which ones are the best for your home. While all painting requires you to throw down cloths, remove excess paint, and tape off trim, the difference between applying latex and oil is different, and comes with different pros and cons. Now you can make an informed decision based on your circumstances.