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Oil Paint vs. Latex Paint

Learn the difference between oil paint and latex paint from Brushed Interiors founder David Sartori in this Howcast video.


I'm Dave with Brush Interiors. All the paints I have here are latex or water-based. Most of your modern paints are water-based, and that's totally okay. Once in a while you run into an application of using an oil point, the only difference is you need to have paint thinner or mineral spirits handy, and an oil brush, which is sometimes called a chinex bristle, needs to be cleaned and keep it soaked in when you're not using it.

Now for most modern uses, it's totally okay to use water-based latex paint. In the past, a lot of the woodwork, baseboard, mouldings, and doors was oil, oil paint. It gave you a little more time to work with it, to smooth it out, it sort of would self level, and give you a nice smooth finish. But modern paints are catching up with it, and oil is being used less and less. In fact, the new term for oil is alkid, A-L-K-I-D. Benjamin Moore's advance paint is an alkid, and it goes on just like the old oils, however, it's water-based, okay?

So this is a wonderful new paint I've been using recently, and goes on just like an old oil, they call it alkid but it is actually can be washed with water. Once in awhile, you will run into a special application of a decorative finish, this is a gold leaf that can go on top of another color, this is oil-based. So I will have my mineral spirits or paint thinner handy, and keep my brush in the mineral spirits, and wash the oil brush with this in order to keep the job site clean and everything going well. Otherwise with your water-based paints, it's very convenient, you just wash with water, no problem. Most modern applications, latex water-based paint is absolutely perfect, especially in walls, ceilings, and so forth. Once in awhile you might run into mouldings, door, or trims where you want to use an alkid. You can either use a modern, water-based alkid, or traditional alkid oil. If you use the oil, you simply need a little more of a clean up process here, mineral spirits or paint thinner.

Okay, and to wrap it up, those are the differences between the latex water-based and the oil paints.

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