Which are best, oil based paints or water based paints? The type of solvent in a paint determines whether it would be oil based or water based. It is one of the most important steps in the painting procedure which should be pre determined so your project could have a complete finish. Based on the liquid component that evaporates, oil-based paints use organic paints while water-based paints have water as the solvent. Organic solvents release harmful gasses or VOCs, the petrochemicals in these organic solvents release toxic fumes as they evaporate which is dangerous for your health. However, they do leave a neat finish and often tougher, which leaves many with a decision to make. Whether to choose oil-based or water-based paints?

The answer depends on personal choice as well as the place that needs to be painted. Nevertheless, there are some advantages and disadvantages that should be considered beforehand:

  • Water-based paints are quick to dry, leaving behind no or less odour and can be washed off easily with water. 
  • Oil-based paints are completely opposite, leaving behind a strong odour and take a long time to dry as well. High exposure to these toxic chemicals leads to headaches, rashes and irritation. Oil-based paints give you the liability of multiple coats in order to get that perfect polished exterior or to smooth out the paint, thanks to their slow drying property. 
  • Oil based paints often are tougher and chip less easily. 

Water based paints are ideal for external wood material:

The comparison so far, makes it clear that water-based paints are a far better option. They lead to no harmful chemicals and are safe to use around your family. It is assumed that water based paints even though are quick drying but are not long lasting. This assumption is not true as water based paints are a very good choice for external paints as they are more flexible than oil-based paints so have the tendency to stay for a longer time. 

Internal resistance towards direct sunlight:

External wood material is prone to damage by direct sunlight if they are kept outside. This can lead eradicate moisture quite easily and crack paints which makes them ephemeral. Water-based paints can manage such movements and hence are ideal for using on external materials. Their microporous nature allows the evaporation of water without forming cracks or damaging the paint. This can be found in some oil-based paints as well which are specifically built for this purpose. Oil-based paints take longer to dry but once they dry, these paints form a tough inner resistance which makes them attractive. The toxic fumes however are still a problem that poses a serious question against the benefits given by oil-based paints. 

Environmentally friendly water-based paints:

Water-based paints give off no toxic chemical, not contributing in polluting the air that you breathe in. Which is not the case in oil-based paints, due to the high VOC amount. Both types offer some benefits but if you prefer oil-based paints then make sure to properly ventilate the room that is painted. Proper ventilation will prevent the harmful chemicals from affecting your health.