Paints have long been employed to add a little extra dimension, a little extra flair, to nearly everything. Since its inception, there have been a large number of paint varieties – two of the most trusted, time-honoured, and still popular variants are oil-based and water-based paints.

A lot people erroneously presume that all paints are made the same; however, there are crucial differences between the many types of paint made available in the market today, and knowing these differences can sometimes mean life or death of a project. One of the reasons why many paint-jobs, especially the DIY sort, often fail is because there is a lack of proper understanding with regards to the different kinds of paint available, as well as their respective qualities and methods of application.

Here are two major differences between oil-based and water based paints that you need to know:

Oil based paints:

• Uses an organic-based solvent (often turpentine) as one of the primary chemical constituents of the paint.

• Is known for being very shiny when dry, and is often referred to as ‘high gloss’ variety paints.

• Has a very long drying time compared to other paints, and may take as long as eight hours to dry completely.

• Contains a lot of volatile organic compounds, resulting in very malodorous smells which necessitate plenty of ventilation during (and well after) drying.

• Has a penchant for cracking and chipping if ill-maintained, and may discolour overtime.

• Difficult to strip off of surfaces and requires very strong solvents to only partially remove.

Water based paints:

• Uses plain water as the primary constituent of the paint.

• Has a penchant for looking flat, and is often marketed as ‘matte’-finish paints.

• Requires lesser drying-time (a maximum of six hours), and takes to immediate second-coating well.

• Has a tendency to be ‘thin’ in the application, and necessitates multiple coatings to achieve a ‘solid’ finish.

• Is not prone to chipping or cracking, nor does it discolour with age, although it will fade. It may not provide the same durability as acrylics if exposed to the elements, but it is nevertheless hardier than oil-based paints.

• Water-based paints also contain lesser concentrations of volatile organic compounds, and are less off-putting. Some water-based paints are sometimes even marketed as ‘odourless’ paints.

Irrespective of your chosen paint variety, the proper application of paints can be the deciding factor between an excellent paint job and a botched one. If you’re looking for an excellent place that provides high-quality painting and re-decorating services, then visit All District Coating today.