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May 10 2011

Oil Based Paint
Now summer is really here with all the things we have to tackle - one of which may be some repairs and exterior painting. With the EPA cracking down on everything from lead base paint to mold one has to be careful about who to hire for any job and what products to use.
One of the major changes that will effect homeowners is the ban of oil base paint.  After some 300 years of use, most oil-based paints are beginning to be phased out.  Since 2004 in six states, the EPA has banned Oil Based Paints.  They include: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

Why?  The EPA is banning the paint to reduce ground-level ozone. It says ground level ozone can trigger a variety of health problems, including asthma.

Oil-based paint won't go away right away. Stores are allowed to sell the product they have on hand until it is gone. The ban doesn't affect quart-sized containers. In a whole, The EPA is strongly promoting GOING GREEN and utilizing the much safer paints on the market: nontoxic paint, natural and low VOC and zero VOC paints are all safer for your health and safer for our environment!
(For a plethora of information on paint go to one of our previous Newsletters  GOING GREEN.

Oil based Paint Advantages 
  • Oil based paints are typically known to be better stain sealers. They are also better for adhering to metal, steel, and dirty surfaces.
  • Oil based paints are typically more impervious to low temperatures and are thus less susceptible to shrinkage.
  • Oil based paints are typically used in higher traffic areas due to their durability and ability to be cleaned.
Oil based Paint Disadvantages
  • Oil based paints typically require longer drying periods, up to 24 hours, and have strong odors. Interior rooms should be well ventilated when painting.  Oil based paints overtime fade in color and turn yellowish.
  • Oil based paints also become brittle in time, which leads to pealing and chalking. Blistering also appears overtime.
  • Oil based paints are more susceptible to mildew.
  • Oil based paints require clean up with mineral spirits or turpentine.
  • Oil based paints and their necessary thinning / cleaning products are highly flammable.
  •  Oil based paint is considered a hazardous material and cannot be disposed of as easily as latex based paints.

Latex based Paint Advantages 
  • Latex paints are made from a water-soluble base. Consequently, latex paints are easy to apply and clean up. Latex paint can also be thinned with water when applying. Latex paint spills can easily be cleaned up with just warm soapy water.
  • Latex paints also dry quickly (1-2 hours), are non-toxic, and have significantly less odor, however interior rooms should still be ventilated when painting.  Latex paint can be used in both interior and exterior applications.
  • Latex paints are more resistance to fading, chalking, blistering and pealing as the paint has the ability to breathe, unlike oil based paints.  Latex paints are also non-flammable. As a result, of these advantages, latex paints are ideal for exterior painting.
  • Latex based paints will also not yellow over time, are less susceptible to chalking, and are tolerant to masonry surfaces. They also adhere well to galvanized metal.
  • Latex paint is considered a non-hazardous material and can be disposed of similar to other household waste.
Latex based Paint Disadvantages
  • Latex based paints are more temperature sensitive and are thus more susceptible to shrinkage, particularly during the drying process.
  • tains can more easily penetrate through latex based paints.
  • Latex based paints need to be applied to clean surfaces for best adhesion. They do not adhere well to dirty or chalky surfaces.
Considering that oil base paint will eventually be completely gone in most cases it is going to be a necessary step to switch to latex base paint wherever you have oil base now. We will be more than happy to help you determine the most cost effective way to do that.
However, in some cases we still recommend using oil base primer – after removing wallpaper or in areas where water damage is present to make sure that the glue residue or water stain does not bleed through the paint.

For the safest paints on the market,
please click the paintbrush below to be redirected
to our November 2010 newsletter on going green!

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Alex Painting LLC • 207 Winter Frost Court • Sterling, VA 20165
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