As a general rule, which is better, latex or oil paint?
We live in a coop and one of the residents are insisting on oil for our
exterior woodwork. Most others want to cover with a good primer then a latex
If you're in a coop you'll be hiring out to do the job.. correct? So
why argue? Get several bids from reputable painters (the local paint
stores know who they are) who will guarantee their work and let them
decide what's the best based on the finish you already have on the
The key word here Duane is _professional_. Maybe a handyperson will say
they guarantee it, but, absolutely no professional will put anything in
writing to guarantee an exterior paint job.
It's impossible to guarantee exterior painting due to the fact the
properties of the wood have been subject to elements, and the properties are
not uniform in nature. One would be foolish to guarantee fibers subjected
to swelling and moisture. The adherence of primers is only as good as the
wood it's being applied to.
Well, maybe you won't or the ones you've dealt w/ won't, but <some> will
(and stand behind it, too). The difference is that most (virtually
all?) homeowners are unwilling to pay for the prep work required, so it
is rarely even bid.
I'm not a painter, I'm a project manager. I do not deal with homeowners, I
deal with professional associations.
Exterior painting guarantee falls into the same category as if you were to
demand a concrete contractor to guarantee for "no cracks" in concrete. You
can also parallel it along the lines of demanding a guarantee from a
carpentry contractor for no warping in wood. You will not get these
guarantees in the real world of construction.
Good advice. We did similar when our condo was painted. I did not
choose the paint brand but helped interview contractors. The guarantee
included inspection by the paint company prior to painting to make sure
the prep was done correctly. Reputable paint contractor, low bidder,
and could not have asked for a better working relationship or outcome.
The building had a number of problems, and the work took care of all.
Don't forget a release of lien, or whatever they call it in your
neighborhood. Paint company delivered the paint to us.
This may or may not apply, but what I did was add a room in my basement and
used the oil based paint left over from the upstairs trim (Custom home, pro
painter). I then added two more rooms and decided to use latex as it was
easier to clean up, I was really disappointed in the results of the latex.
The oil based trim and doors looked better and cleaned up easier than the
latex so I paid for performance by making clean up easier. I learned my
lesson and will always use oil on trim and doors.
Unfortunately you may need to get in your time machine to do it. Good
paints have pretty much disappeared with only a minimal selection of newer
questionable quality low VOC paint now available.
They have from the box stores but I have a few real paint stores around that
carry oil based paints. The last quart I bought was $16 little steep but the
doors look great. Now I just have to go buy all that trim and start painting
again as soon as the weather gets cooler, to busy swimming this time of
In my experience, it is impossible to achieve the same quality of
finish with a latex enamel. Plus they are difficult to sand.
Latex is good, even superior, for lots of applications. When it comes
to interior woodwork, I'll stick with oil based, properly prepped and
(Remove the Primes before e-mailing me)
More important is the prep and quality of hte paint. Either can be done
half assed. Oil is getting more difficult to find because of regulations on
VOCs, while latex has been improving in quality for years.
Ask the oil guy for some specifics of what makes it better.
I strongly second Mr. Pawlowski.
The finished paint job can be only as good as the prep.
In addition, my house was repainted inside and out in October.
Conversation with the paint crew chief leaves me with this position.
Paint formulas change often.
I would choose a painter with a good reputation and let him tell me
what paint works best for the situation. Then I'd ask to see a project
done with that paint.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.