Is Newer Paint Really Better than Older Paint? Oil-based vs. Latex
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Is Newer Paint Really Better than Older Paint? Oil-based vs. Latex

Is Newer Paint Really Better than Older Paint? Oil-based vs. Latex



Since the days of cave dwellers, paint has been ever-evolving. From the time of the 14th-century Italian Renaissance to the Industrial Revolution of the 17 and 1800s to World War II in the 1940s, the commodity of paint has made great leaps and bounds in becoming the household product that it is today. Though oil-based paints were the most popular form for centuries because of their long-lasting coverage and durability, latex paints (also known as water-based) have slowly become its recent replacement.
Why is this?
For one, oil-based paints have been known to be made with volatile organic compounds (or VOCs) in the forms of mineral spirits, lacquer thinner, ethylene, propylene glycol, etc. According to the EPA, these are pollutants that are harmful to both people and the environment. (https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/technical-overview-volatile-organic-compounds). As a result, oil-based paints have had various regulations placed on them.

“Technological innovations in paint are leading to coatings
that are faster and easier to apply, last longer, and perform new functions,
such as warding off disease and saving energy”
(David Lewellen, www.facilitiesnet.com).

In addition, as technology has improved, latex paints have only gotten better, thus helping to phase out the relevance of oil-based paint products. While latex paints are still not considered to be as durable as their predecessor, they are easier to work with, don’t take nearly as long to dry, and don’t require the use of mineral spirits to clean up (www.diynetwork.com). Once dry, they are also easier to wipe down and keep fresh-looking.

So, if you’re easily overwhelmed by the endless choices of paint products out there and are wondering how to possibly know which is the best to use to transform your indoor or outdoor living space into something that will last a long time and that you’ll love, remember that it ultimately comes down to a question of extreme durability vs. ease of application and cleanup. Most newer paints today are designed to last a good amount of time while still being a breeze to use, and they don’t contain the plethora of harmful chemicals that the older paints used to.  


(To read more writing by Ariana Stadtlander, visit her site!)

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