Oil – The Best Paint For Durability
If you are looking for the smoothest finish and high durability, oil-based paints might be the best paint choice. The results usually look fantastic, though the drying times are typically very high. Oil-based paint is more durable than latex and is commonly used for trim, doors, and high traffic areas. It is also the best paint choice for metalwork, such as railings.
The cleanup is more involved than latex when you consider the need for paint thinner or turpentine. Brushes and other tools must be cleaned immediately. Oil-based paint is also typically more expensive than other paints. As with most things in life however, you get what you pay for. Paint is no different.
Latex Paint – Best For Most Uses?
Latex paint is a great choice for walls and ceilings. It is easier to apply than oil-based paint, and is usually the best paint for large jobs. Latex paints have also improved dramatically in recent years. Some of the best latex paints now rival the finish and durability of oil-based paint.
If you are concerned about VOC’s, latex will be the best paint choice. The clean-up process for latex paint is also much easier, usually only needing soap and water. Latex paint also dries much faster than oil which is a benefit when multiple coats are required.
Acrylic Enamel – Best of Both Worlds?
Acrylic enamel paints combine the finish and durability of oil with the simple cleanup of latex. These also come in low-VOC versions, making them the best paint to use in place of oil-based products. Acrylic enamel tends to be on the expensive side, therefore isn’t always the best paint choice for large areas.
Choosing Your Finish
Finishes vary all the way from flat to high gloss. To get an idea of what you prefer, start looking at walls. Look at them everywhere you go. Some people choose flat paint – no gloss and no shine. High gloss is pretty unusual to see on walls, but is good choice for high-moisture areas. Satin finish, which is just below a semi-gloss is popular.
You might choose different finishes for different rooms in your home. Go with what you like and don’t be afraid to try something! After all, it’s just paint. You can usually live with your choices, and if you simply can’t, then you can always start over.
Do A Test Run
Always try a nice large swath of the paint you chose on a wall in each room. Let it dry and really give it a good look. Imagine it filling the entire room. Chances are that you’ll be pleased and maybe even pleasantly surprised by how much you love the look of the new paint you chose.
Whether you choose oil-based, latex, or acrylic enamel paint, spend the most your budget will allow on the best paint you can afford. It is worth your while. Quality paint simply lasts longer and is more durable than cheaper paints, and you will be happier with the result.
For more advice, we recommend this article from Sherwin-Williams.