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Exterior Oil-Based vs Latex-Based Paint – Which is More Durable?

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Harriet in Georgia is on the line with a painting question. What are you working on?

    HARRIET: I have a brick house and the trim is wood. My house was built in ’78 and originally, the trim was painted with oil-based paint. And since then, it’s been painted with latex paint. And I felt like the oil-based paint lasted better, longer. And I wondered, which do you all recommend?

    TOM: Well, Either works. I mean certainly, oil-based exterior paint is more durable in terms of wear and tear because it’s harder. But if you have latex on it right now and you want to go back to oil or back to solvent-based paint, you’re going to basically have to sand that to make sure there’s no loose paint left. And then you’re going to have to prime it and then put your topcoat over that.

    Because my concern is that if your home’s exterior is not prepped properly, the paint might peel off. You’ve got to get rid of that top layer of paint by sanding it to make sure that whatever is left is really well-adhered to the surface that it was originally applied to. Does that make sense?

    HARRIET: Yes, it does. Well, if I did the oil-based paint and did sand it, would – is that a better paint than latex or does it really matter that much?

    TOM: Well, it’s maybe a little bit more durable but there’s plenty of good-quality latex paints that are out there today. The thing about paint is you don’t want to kind of cheapen out on it; you want to use the best paint from a good manufacturer. Because if you use like, for example, a Benjamin Moore or Sherwin-Williams, you’re going to have good results. The only time I exclusively suggest oil-based paint these days may be on a floor, if you’re going to paint a floor, because it’s really durable for that or perhaps on something like kitchen cabinets, where the doors are getting banged around a lot.

    But for trim, for the most part, you can use a latex-based paint.

    HARRIET: OK. I’ll do that. Thank you so much.

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