Painting is one of the best ways you can give your home a quick and inexpensive fresh new look. Before you jump into your next painting project, there are a few things you’ll have to know. First, you’ll want to have an idea of what type of paint you want, whether it’s oil-based or latex, and you’ll have to know the difference. You will also want to know what paint was used on your walls previously because using the wrong paint can cause chipping and faster wear down the line.

Let’s first discuss understanding the difference between oil-based paint and latex paint. One general rule of thumb you can follow is that oil paint can go on top of latex, but latex can’t go on top of oil. Since oil and water don’t mix, and latex paint is water-based and won’t adhere to oil paint, causing it to peel and chip away quicker down the line. One way you can prevent this mistake is by testing out a section. What you’ll want to do is clean off a small spot with warm water and soap, then take a cotton swab dipped in alcohol and gently rub it over the cleaned area. If paint comes off onto the cotton, the paint is latex.

Once you hire a professional to de-gloss and scuff the oil paint off, if that’s what you had, you are ready to start with a fresh new coat! The reason we say you may need a professional for that part is that homes built before 1978 have been exposed to lead paint, and dust and fumes can settle in oil which is hazardous to your health. Aside from that, it’s also important to note that oil paint is harder to clean and will require a coat of turpentine, which can take very long to dry. Before you start thinking oil paint is maybe not the best choice, let’s go over the differences between oil and latex paint. 

When it comes to different types of paint, there are pros and cons to both. Although oil-based paint is harder to clean, it covers more in one coat than latex and is a lot more durable. Given its durability, oil-based paints hold up well in high traffic areas and is good for trim work because trim takes more abuse over time than do walls. Latex paint is much easier to work with and dries a lot faster than oil-based ones. It might not be as durable, however, it is better for the environment and is a good option to use for your walls and ceilings since traffic isn’t very high in those areas. 

We hope these tips helped you feel more prepared for your next painting project! At J&S Painting Plus, Inc., we are fully licensed and insured painting contractors, offering the highest standard of quality workmanship for exterior house painting and all your residential painting needs at the most affordable prices. Contact us today via our website for a free quote to get started: