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.

What’s the best paint color to sell my house?

Planning to sell your house this year? Then you’re probably busy working through a checklist of things to do to make your home more attractive to potential buyers, like this one from Realtor.com. In addition to cleaning, making small repairs, and decluttering, real-estate experts also advise you to consider the outside curb appeal of your home. One major wow factor of your home’s curb appeal is a fresh coat of paint in one of this year’s most popular, trending paint colors.

Need some help with that? That’s where Freeland Painting comes in! We help homeowners in the Greater Atlanta area beautify their homes inside and out with a fresh coat of paint. But what color should you paint the outside to attract today’s buyers?

The Cyclical Nature of Paint Color Trends

Doug Ireland, the founder and CEO of Freeland Painting, has been in the painting and renovation industry for 18 years professionally – 33 years if you include working for his dad while in his teens and twenties. With those years of experience comes a wealth of accumulated industry knowledge.

“Contemporary color choices tend to change from season to season. As with many things that are a matter of taste, popular colors tend to be cyclical,” Doug explained. “For example, just a few years ago, we saw color shades trending in a reverse pattern – meaning, houses had light-color siding and darker-color trim. We haven’t seen that trend since the late 1970s! But it came back.”

“And for those who were glad to see brass door handles and cabinet pulls go out of favor in the 1990s—Well, they’re back.”

Find the Right Color to Help Sell Your Home Fast

Doug shared his thoughts on the colors you should consider to get your home sold.

“Right now, the most popular, trending colors have undertones on the cooler side of the color scale, instead of the warmer side. And gray ― shades of gray and charcoal ― are very hot,” he explained. “The trend has evolved from beige to “greige” to simply gray. This particular color trend morphed very slowly over recent years.”

What is greige, you ask? Greige is simply a mix of gray and beige that results in a richer color. Greige works well in either a cool or warm color scheme. It’s one of the hardest-working colors in the realm!

But back to the best paint color for selling your house: Gray.

“Grays come in a wide array of shades, ranging from rosy or mauve shades, to greenish shades, and then to blue shades of gray,” Doug explained. “The cooler colors of gray that are now popular have a hint of blue in them, but they’re still gray.”

4 Specific House Color Recommendations

In the Sherwin Williams line-up of high-performance paint, Doug shared four recommended colors he recommends to homeowners who aren’t sure what color to paint their homes to sell. These colors would be ideal for either your home’s exterior or interior, appealing to a wide range of buyers.

Three of the four are cooler hues of gray that are most popular right now, but he also adds a fourth choice that’s a bit warmer in undertone:

  1. Mindful Gray (SW-7016) is an extremely popular color because of its neutrality.
  2. Gray Clouds (SW-7658) has cooler undertones than Mindful Gray, with just a hint of blue in it.
  3. Morning Fog (SW-6255) goes another step further toward a blue-gray, and is trending.
  4. Requisite Gray (SW-7023) is a warm gray that’s ideal for people who prefer grays on the warmer side of the scale. Its popularity is fading a bit, but it’s still a nice color.

3 Recommended Accent Colors

As for accent colors on doors and trim, which are trending darker both on the inside and outside of homes, Doug recommends:

  1. Black Fox (SW-7020)
  2. Enduring Bronze (SW-7055)
  3. Iron Ore (SW-7069)

And, if you have a brick home that could use a fresh coat of confidence, we offer a state-of-the-art treatment called Lime Wash that gives your brick home instant old-world charm.

At Freeland Painting, we’re here to help with all of your home’s external and internal painting needs. Helping you choose the right color is part of the service we provide. At Freeland Painting, relationships matter more than the brush and the ladder. That’s why we offer a free color consultation with each job.

Call us today at 678-679-3126 or email customerservice@freelandpainting.com to arrange a convenient time for our experts to provide a free estimate on painting your home. With a high-quality paint job by Freeland Painting, your house will impress every buyer who is lucky enough to see it!

Give Your Brick Home Old-World Charm with Lime Wash

Is your brick home’s exterior dated and ho-hum? Would it benefit from an innovative treatment to give it new life and become one of your neighborhood’s most admired homes?

Here’s a creative painting idea: consider trying Lime Wash, a process from Benjamin Moore paints.

Freeland Painting has used Lime Wash with great success—most recently on the Johnson residence in Suwanee, Georgia.

Check out Freeland Painting founder Doug Ireland explaining the process in this video:

Lime Wash is a custom process. Freeland Painting professionals create it by applying a Benjamin Moore painting product and then expertly performing a wash-off with pressure washing. It’s a unique process that Freeland Painting has mastered.

“We custom-created this look for the homeowners, and tested it until the homeowners said, ‘Yes! That’s it! That’s the look we want!’” Doug explained.

The end result looks so cool―like a German Schmear.

What’s a German Schmear, you ask? Home improvement gurus from Bob Vila to HGTV rave about the German Schmear process to transform any brick element on your home with the look of an elegant, cozy European cottage. It’s a “perfectly imperfect” way to update your brick home in style.

Lime Wash will give your home instant Old World charm—but without the 200-year wait!

The Johnsons were delighted with the results of their home’s new Lime Wash update: “We’re very pleased with this process. Freeland Painting provided very professional service. We would do it again if we had other properties. You have to try this!” said Mrs. Johnson.

Check out the before and after photos of the Johnson residence, below. What a difference!

Freeland Painting Johnson Residence

If you’re looking to have a cool paint job done for your home or business, give Freeland Painting a call today: 678-679-3126. With 20 years of experience painting Altanta-area homes, we’re ready to serve you!

Remember: Think outside the box, but paint inside the lines!

Will Pollen Ruin My Exterior Paint Job?

Spring is in the air! Can you feel it?

If you’re in the Greater Atlanta region, you can probably SEE it.

While you can’t actually “see” Spring in the air, you can see pollen, a sure sign of Spring.

You know pollen: That wispy, yellow-green coating that inspires kids to write “Wash me!” on cars coated with pollen. (You’ve seen that car driving around, right?)

According to Wikipedia, pollen is “a powdery substance consisting of pollen grains which are male microgametophytes of seed plants, which produce male gametes (sperm cells).”

In other words, pollen is essentially plant sperm. And it coats everything in April and May, making a mess of the outside world all so that trees and plants can reproduce.

So, how does pollen season impact your outside paint job? Let’s explore it.

Springtime is Paint-time

Spring is an ideal time to paint your home, commercial property, or multi-family dwelling. By painting early in the year, you’ll maximize the life of your new paint job and beautify your home or office for the coming summer months.

Good news: a little pollen blowing through the air will not ruin the finish or overall outcome of your gorgeous new paint job.

Pollen will not affect the paint Freeland Painting uses to beautify your exterior. That’s one reason we use water-based acrylic exterior paint: it dries super-fast, so it is essentially immune to falling pollen. Pollen has no negative effect on the color, finish, or durability of your fresh paint job.

We’ll say it again for emphasis: Pollen has no negative effect on the color, finish or durability of your fresh paint job. It won’t shorten the lifespan of your home or business exterior coating or finishes.

Blow It Off

When we say “blow it off” we don’t mean your paint job: We mean the pollen! Pollen is such a fine, light dust that it can easily be blown, wiped, or rinsed away before your paint job begins.

That’s why Freeland Painting pressure washes your commercial building, multi-family dwelling or home before we begin every paint job. As professional painters who do the job right, we careful prepare the surface so that it’s clean and free of debris to assure the paint adheres properly.

To ensure that your fresh coat of paint will continue to shine—even during Atlanta’s notorious pollen season—choose a professional, quality painting company with proven experience.

What Professional Painters Know About Painting During Pollen Season

At Freeland Painting, relationships matter more than the brush or the ladder. That’s why we take extreme measures to properly prepare surfaces before we paint so that your fresh coat of paint gives you long-lasting results. We know that when we give you a high-quality paint job that beautifies your dwelling and lasts for years, you’ll be a satisfied customer.

Freeland Painting’s full-service exterior house painting service areas include Alpharetta, Braselton, Buford, Dacula, Suwanee, Duluth, Johns Creek, Oakwood, Peachtree Corners, Cumming, Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, and Metro Atlanta.

Call Freeland Painting today at 678-679-3126 to schedule your interior or exterior paint job for your commercial building, multi-family dwelling, or residential home.

We provide a fresh coat of confidence with every job!