Nearly all of interior wall paint is latex based. Some use oil based. Here are the pro/cons.
Advantages of oil:
- It goes on smoother
- Covers more thoroughly in one coat
- Shrinks less
- Takes longer to dry so you have more working time
- Holds up well in high-traffic areas
Disadvantages of oil:
- It’s more likely to crack, fade and yellow over time.
- The fumes can be overwhelming.
- Cleanup solvents like mineral spirits and turpentine are necessary for washing brushes. These hazardous chemicals need to be managed carefully (look in the phone book’s government pages for local facilities).
Other important considerations:
- Oil-based paints should never be poured down a drain. Disposal is regulated by local waste management agencies (look in the government pages for more information).
- Many cities have local hazardous waste collection centers that accept old paint and stain. No matter which formula you reach for, oil or latex, use a laundry or bath sink for minor cleanup. Paint can ruin kitchen disposals.
Latex (Water-Based) Paint
Advantages of latex:
- Doesn’t yellow over time
- Is better for the environment
- Dries faster
- Much easier to clean up by using soap and water
- Latex is far more forgiving, primarily for cleanup, making it a great choice for the weekend warrior.
- Many painters are finding latex is more widely available than oil.
A disadvantage of latex is it swells the grain of wood, making sanding between coats a necessity.
The main thing with today’s paint, it is way better than in the past. Most come with primer built-in. DO NOT skimp on the paint! Cheap paint is just chalk water and will require more coats and repainting in a short while. Spend your money on the best, which is Behr paint, and you won’t regret it.