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!

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!

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!