The a long time-lengthy argument about whether to make use of oil-based mostly or water-primarily based paint is not — more than 80-p.c of all paint sold right this moment is water-primarily based, in response to the American Coatings Association (ACA). The explanations are many, however in a nutshell water-based paint breathes and is less toxic than oil-primarily based paint, which varieties a stable coat that blocks moisture and causes cracking.


Offshore, Ocean, Sea, Platform, Gas, RigThe pigments in oil-based mostly and water-based latex paints are usually the same, however that is the place the similarity in the paint’s makeup ends. The carrier, the unstable element of the paint that evaporates while it dries, is the first apparent difference, writes Paulette Rossi in “Northwest Renovation” Journal. The carriers hold the pigments and binders collectively — in water-based paint these are water with solvents added to hurry the drying time whereas oil-primarily based paints depend on oil as the principle provider with mineral spirits as the standard solvent.


Binders are the a part of the paint that we see as soon as the paint has dried; they assist the paint and pigments stick with the surface and keep there. Oil-based mostly paint binders come from petroleum products like alkyd and polyurethanes and natural oils equivalent to linseed and tung oil, whereas water-based mostly binders are typically acrylic resins, however may also embrace vinyl acrylics and polyvinyl acetates.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Merchandise Laboratory analysis proves that exterior water-based paints increase and contract with siding whereas oil-based paints dry very laborious, which can block moisture in and trigger cracks and blisters, in accordance with Fran Donegan’s article in “This Outdated Home” Journal. Water-based paints additionally dry sooner, allowing for a quicker job, and in excessive-humidity climates, oil-based paints can stay tacky for lengthy periods of time. On the other hand, oil-primarily based paint may be utilized at a lot lower temperatures.

Environmental effects

Contractors initially started utilizing water-based mostly paints as a result of they had been much less flammable and simpler to wash up off both brushes and themselves. But, in line with the ACA, more stringent air laws forced the business to move towards water-based mostly paints due to their lower counts of Risky Natural Compounds — the carriers that evaporate because the paint dries, hurt indoor air quality and assist produce smog. As well as, water-based mostly paint is easy to recycle while oil paint is taken into account hazardous and should be disposed of accordingly, costing both state and federal governments cash.

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