Oil-based paint contains natural or synthetic resins or oils as a base; it is rarely used for painting a home's interior. There is good reason: Oil-based paints contain high levels of VOCs - Volatile Organic Compounds. VOCs are organic chemical compounds that have high enough vapor pressures under normal conditions to significantly vaporize and enter the atmosphere, causing smog in our air and other environmental problems. This is very noticeable to those who have used oil-based paints: you notice the strong odor from the paint, which is part of those VOC chemicals seeping into the air.
You may be wondering if oil-based paint is good for anything? The answer is yes. Oil-based paint is actually good for painting exterior metal. This is because the paint is very durable and can stand up to the elements. It sticks well to the metal, too. Oil-based wood stains are another product in which the oil base is actually good for the wood. Some artists claim that oil-based paint is much richer in color than water-based paints. Keep in mind that a wall which was previously painted with oil-based paint should be painted again with oil-based paint.
Additional Characteristics of Oil-based Paint
- Very hard to clean up: To clean up oil-based paint you would need to use a solvent such as turpentine or paint thinner.
- Takes long to dry, about 8-24 hours
- Strong odor
- Can't be touched up without causing noticeable marks