Your Exterior Paint: Latex or Oil-Based?

When choosing a paint for your home’s exterior, there are usually two choices of paint type available to you: oil-based and latex. What’s the difference? Here’s a quick breakdown of how each type of paint works, including their strengths and weaknesses.

Oil-Based: Oil-based exterior paints are often the choice of professional painters. They are extremely resistant to water and the elements, and they dry quite hard. The downside is that they can be “finicky” in terms of texture and separation, so be sure to stir oil-based paints often and use tools that are specific to oil-based paint application. Also, be aware that oil-based paints can be challenging to apply and take a while to dry, and you must use oil-compatible cleaners to get the paint off your tools later.

Latex: Latex paints are easier to work with, comparatively. They go on easier than oil and are nearly as durable, and your tools can be cleaned with water. High-quality latex paints can be also used on just about any surface, even metal. Latex doesn’t dry as hard as oil, however. If you go with latex, make sure that you choose an exterior latex paint, not an interior one, as both are available at paint stores.

If your home was previously painted with oil-based paint, you should definitely use oil-based paint again. So how can you tell which one was used previously? Peel a small chip of the old paint off your house and examine it. If it’s very hard and unbending, it’s probably oil-based (latex tends to be more flexible). You can also take a paint chip to your local paint professional and they can tell you for sure what sort of paint it is. Why does it matter? If you try to put a layer of latex over an old coat of oil-based paint, the latex will peel off, rendering all of your efforts useless.

Want a true professional at the helm of your exterior painting job? Give KrystalKlean’s pros a call – they can take the hassle of painting your home out of your hands so you can sit back and enjoy the results!

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