What’s the Difference Between Oil and Latex Paint?

We get this question a lot when customers select paint for their residential, commercial, or multifamily painting projects. Since Freeland Painting does both interior paint jobs and exterior paint jobs, we thought we’d share the answer.

There are a lot of differences between oil and latex paint. The short answer to the question is: The two types of paint are different in their properties, composition, environmental impact, and ease of use.

Latex Paint

Latex paint is a water-based paint. Because it’s water-based, latex paint dries quickly through the process of evaporation. Because it’s quick-drying, your paint project will be completed faster than it would with other types of paint. Latex paint typically dries in a few hours and takes up to 48 hours to thoroughly “cure” and adhere to the painted surface.

Why do so many people choose latex paint? For one thing, it offers a lot of advantages. The benefits of latex paint include that it resists cracking and chipping. As a result, it is an excellent choice for both interior and exterior paint jobs. Another advantage of latex paint is that it comes in such a large variety of colors and sheens. Whether you want your paint sheen to be matte, eggshell, satin, or semi-gloss, latex paint has it in every color imaginable.

Latex paint and VOCs

Another significant advantage of latex paint is that it is low in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). That means it doesn’t have as many chemical additives as other types of paint, including oil-based paint.

What are VOCs? VOCs are emitted or “off-gassed” in gas form as the paint dries. These harmful VOC gases can linger inside your home and negatively impact indoor air quality. VOCs are part of the reason why paint has its smell, and are often associated with that “new home” smell. Paints with low VOC levels are better for indoor air quality and the environment overall.

The US Environmental Protection Agency limits the VOC content of latex paints to a maximum of 250 grams per liter (g/l) for flat paint. That explains why latex paints don’t have as strong an odor as oil-based paints, which often have VOC levels as high as 500 g/l. Paints with VOC levels under 250 qualify as “Low VOC,” according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Freeland Painting typically uses latex paints with a Low VOC rating of 50, which offer excellent quality with minimal off-gassing.

Because it’s water-based, latex paint clean-up is done with water. Just rinse your brushes with water, and the wet paint will come right off. The clean-up with latex paints is much more environmentally friendly than with oil paint, which requires dangerous chemical solvents for clean-up that are harmful to the environment.

Water-based latex paint with Low VOC levels is an environmentally friendly painting option that Freeland Painting is pleased to offer its customers.

Oil Paint

Oil paint―also called oil-based paint, solvent-based paint, or alkyd paint―goes on very smoothly, covers most surfaces exceptionally well, and is water-resistant. It takes a long time to dry—so long that you might need a “Wet Paint” sign so people won’t accidentally smudge the surface. Oil paint covers thoroughly in one coat and holds up well in high-traffic areas.

What are the disadvantages of oil paint? It tends to “yellow” over time and is more likely than latex paint to fade and crack. As mentioned, it has a lengthy drying time: It can take 6 to 10 hours for oil paint to dry to the touch, and up to a month to dry or “cure” completely, which can be inconvenient for both residential and commercial painting customers.

Because it is solvent-based, oil-based paint contains many chemicals, which is why it takes much longer to dry than latex paint. Oil paint dries by the process of oxidation, a chemical reaction, which is why it takes so long to cure completely.

Oil-based paint and VOCs

Perhaps the most significant disadvantage of oil-based paint is its high level of VOCs. Typically ranging from 250 to 500 g/l of VOCs, oil-based paint can negatively impact interior air quality while the paint dries (which takes up to a month)―off-gassing VOCs during the entire drying process.

There are also environmental and health hazards with oil paint. Its fumes can overwhelm people, causing headaches and eye irritation, so it’s critical to have a source of fresh air while painting and drying. In addition, clean-up from oil-based paint jobs requires chemical solvents that are harmful to the environment.

Painting with oil-based paint requires harsh solvents or mineral spirits to clean the brushes. Such hazardous chemicals can have a negative impact on both your health and the environment.

Latex Paint Is Our Go-To Choice

At Freeland Painting, we recommend latex paint for most residential, commercial, or multi-family dwelling paint jobs because of its high quality and long-lasting performance. In addition, latex paint offers a lower environmental impact than oil paint because of its lower VOC content and the fact that clean-up is done with water rather than dangerous chemicals.

When you’re looking for a company to provide you with a paint job that looks great and is environmentally friendly, call Freeland Painting. We’ll provide a free estimate on your commercial, residential or multi-family painting project.

Give us a call today at 678.679.3126 to schedule your free estimate!

7 Signs It’s Time to Repaint Your Business

As a business owner, you never get a second chance to make a strong first impression on customers and clients. But how can you tell when it’s time to repaint your business or commercial building?

Start by looking at your building’s walls, exterior surfaces, and doors. How does the current paint job look? If you see any of the following 7 signs, it’s time to call Freeland Painting for a free estimate on painting your property:

1. Mold or Moisture Stains

If you have black, greenish, or grey spots on your interior or exterior walls—especially behind furniture, in corners, or shady areas—behold: You have mold! Sometimes moisture stains or surface mold can be removed with elbow grease or pressure washing, but stubborn stains can signify more significant damage. Consult a professional to determine if the wood, drywall, or stucco beneath the paint is damaged, as you may need to replace or repair it before repainting. Mold must be thoroughly eradicated before repainting any surface to ensure the health of employees and the structural integrity of your building.

2. Cracked, Chipped, or Peeling Paint

Paint is the first line of protection between your building’s exterior surfaces and the elements—and with Atlanta’s hot summer sun, intense thunderstorms, and cold winters, cracks or chips in the paint film is an early sign that you’re due for a paint job. Small cracks are an invitation for fungus, moisture, termites, and other pests. Paint that is already peeling away requires immediate action, or long-term damage could result from your wood or stucco being exposed to the weather.

3. Cracked or Peeling Caulk

Examine the areas around your windows and doors: Caulk is the hardworking hero that seals them properly, keeping air, water, and insect pests out. When caulk is cracked or peeling, it’s no longer performing its job. And that means moisture can get into your building and cause a range of problems. Sometimes you just need new caulk, but if you notice decaying caulk on top of other symptoms, it’s a confirmation that it’s time to repaint.

4. Fading Color 

Remember when you last had your building painted, how beautiful it was with its fresh, bright coat of paint? Since then, Mother Nature has been working hard to change that. Sun, wind, rain, sleet, hail, and snow all impact the level of protection that your paint job provides. When the color starts to fade, a paint film’s protection is no longer at its strongest. When you notice your once-vibrant paint color begin to dull, it’s a sure sign you’re ready for a fresh coat of paint.

5. Paint Blisters or Bubbles 

When paint bubbles and blisters, it’s no longer adhering to the surface well. That can be because the wrong type of paint was used, it was applied in the hot sun or high humidity, or moisture is trapped beneath it. No matter the cause of paint blisters, you’ll want to repaint the walls or exterior quickly to avoid damage to your building.

6. Accumulated Stains or Dirt

To enhance your business or commercial property’s curb appeal, it’s a best practice to have the exterior pressure washed once or twice per year to keep it looking fresh and clean. However, if stains and dirt linger on exterior walls after pressure washing, that’s a sign that the paint is no longer performing optimally.

7. Damaged wood or stucco

A high-quality paint job is your building’s first line of defense against Georgia’s harsh elements, but no paint job lasts forever. If you see signs including cracked stucco or rotting wood around door or window frames, your paint has failed. That means it’s time to repair these surfaces and then repaint them. Freeland Painting repairs damaged wood or cracked stucco before we paint. A fresh coat of paint will not only preserve and protect your business or commercial property: It will also beautify it!

Don’t be a ProcrastiPainter!

With the renewed economic activity we’re seeing in the Greater Atlanta area, now’s the time to repaint your Atlanta business to make a strong first impression on both old and new customers. And Freeland Painting will even paint your business after hours so you don’t have to close during normal business hours.

Call us today at 678.679.3126 for a free estimate on transforming your business or commercial building’s interior and exterior with a fresh, new professional paint job.

Can I get my business painted after hours?

When customers walk into your place of business, you want their first impression to be positive. One of the most cost-effective ways to enhance first impressions is with a fresh coat of paint on your commercial building’s exterior and interior. However, shutting down your business for several days to get it painted can impact your bottom line. So, what’s a business owner to do?

Freeland Painting to the rescue: We’ll paint your business after regular operating hours so you can stay open.

Proven Experience

“Freeland Painting has proven experience with helping business owners get a high-quality paint job while keeping their doors open. In 2020, our skilled professionals painted seven different banks after hours,” said Doug Ireland, founder and CEO of Freeland Painting. “The banking industry is the most regulated industry in the country. To meet its strict requirements, we completed these paint jobs in the evenings between 5 pm and 12 midnight, and we worked closely with the customers to ensure their needs were met.”

Freeland’s After-Hours Service is an ideal option for any customer-facing industry—salons, dry cleaners, retail, healthcare, hospitality—that doesn’t want to disrupt operations with painters and contractors beautifying the building during its normal business hours.

Exceeding Expectations

At Freeland Painting, relationships matter more than the brush or the ladder.

“On the strength of last year’s jobs painting banks after hours, we’re on track to paint more than 50 additional banks in 2021,” Ireland continued. “We’re pleased that our customers trust Freeland Painting to do the job right and to complete the work after hours so it won’t impact their profitability.”

Upgrading your place of business to keep it looking its best is an important consideration for business owners, and one you don’t want to delay. When customers see chipped paint or scuffed walls, they may take those cues as an indication that you’re not a detail-oriented business owner.

It’s the little details that customers appreciate. At Freeland Painting, we brush up on details every day. If your business needs a new roof, new or repaired siding, new gutters, or light carpentry work to enhance its appearance, Freeland Painting is the right contractor for your job.

Stop ProcrastiPainting!

Nothing enhances the first impression your business makes like a fresh coat of paint.

Stop ProcrastiPainting! Call us today at 678.679.3126 to discuss how we can transform your building’s interior and exterior with a bright new professional paint job.

Let’s get things rolling!