Home Painters Toronto - new logo

Call us NOW! (416)-494-9095

Oil Based Paint Or Latex Paint – Which to Use for Your Home?

Which paint to use for your home

The question of “oil-based paint or latex paint” has been around in the painting world for as long as the chicken and the egg conundrum. Okay,  it is a question that is complicated for both homeowners and painters alike. Treat this as one of those teenager magazine columns that try to establish which zodiac sign is best for you. But instead of astrology, figure out if you are more compatible with oil-based paint or latex paint.

Not all paint types are created equal. Along with a variety of brands to choose from, you have to choose between oil-based or latex paint. Each paint type has its perks and benefits, depending on the job that you’re doing.

The Difference between oil and latex paint?

Latex paint, or also known as acrylic paint, is a water-based paint with glycols or glycol ethers as a solvent. The term latex refers to the resin in the paint and does not contain any latex rubber. 

Oil-based paint has natural oils like linseed oil or a synthetic alkyd. Oil-based paints consist of pigment, resin and a solvent. These types of paints are extremely durable and are great for high-traffic areas or the exterior of your home. 

Selection begins with choosing between oil-based vs. latex paints when it comes to picking paint base. For hundreds of years, people have been using oil-based paints for their impermeability and toughness.


Achieving a high-gloss, durable finish is easy with oil-based paint. It’s an ideal paint type for exterior painting, as it can withstand the elements. 

Unlike water, oil does not dry by evaporation. It dries through a process of oxidation that converts the oil into a polymer chain. This means that the layer formed will be resilient and long-lasting, and will withstand the degenerative effects of water and air longer than water or latex-based paints.

However, there are some major disadvantages of choosing oil-based paints. We’re going to take you through the two very distinct types of interior house paint and why and why not you should choose them.

Disadvantages of Oil-Based Paint

  1. Paints that are oil-based also have a strong odor that lingers long after the paint has been applied.
  2. Oil paint is more susceptible to chipping and cracking
  3. There are more dangerous chemicals in oil paint that the painter needs to be extra cautious about.
  4. Paints that are oil-based do contain “volatile organic compounds” (VOCs). VOCs are found in this solvent and are released as the paint is drying or being cured. And there are a number of best low voc paint to find in the market so you can choose from those.
  5. Indoor air pollution has now been identified as being three times more harmful than pollution outdoors.


Disadvantages of Latex Paints

  1. This Latex paint causes the wooden grain to inflate, meaning the painter must sand in between the first and second coats.
  2. Latex paint is more susceptible to rust metal.
  3. Cannot be kept in places that will cool or freeze the paint.
  4. Harder to stick to glossy surfaces.
  5. Longer wait periods for washing and cleaning the surface.

Interior and Exterior Paints in Canada – Low VOC Paint

For high-traffic and exterior surfaces, oil-based paint will always be a good choice. With the advancement of quality latex paints, there are plenty of great latex options that can be used in the same way that have similar durability. 

Government regulations regarding VOCs are becoming stricter; this may be one reason why paints are decreasing in popularity. When you see paints labeled as “low VOC”, they should contain fewer than 50 grams per liter of volatile compounds. That is if it means the Green Seal standards. It’s still important to consider that when it says “low VOC paint”, it’s simply lower in comparison to other paints.

Low VOC paint brands;

Some of the best low VOC paint brands include: Benjamin Moore Aura, Sherwin-Williams Harmony Zero VOC Interior Acrylic Latex Paint, Clare Paint, Green Planet Paints, and Homestead House Paint Company. Other notable brands include 

Valspar Simplicity, BACKDROP, Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company, Magnolia Home Paint, and Earthborn Paint.

Latex paint

How to Choose Paint Colours for Your Home

Advantages of using Latex Paints

•The drying time is significantly shorter than oil-based paint, which requires up to 48 hours to dry.

•Has a minimal odor and releases significantly fewer VOCs during the drying process.

•Latex paint also doesn’t yellow over time, which can sometimes happen with oil-based paints.

•Also, far easier to clean up with some soap and water.

•You’ll also likely find that latex paints are far more available and easier to find now as well.

Behr paints

Paint thinner is best used to remove a lacquer finish if there’s a mistake that needs correcting. Denatured alcohol is best used to remove adhesive or sticky substances from wood, metal, tile, plastic, and glass.

Because fewer or no VOCs are released, latex paint (acrylic paints) is significantly less harmful to building occupants. In addition, it requires less care to apply than oil-based paint and solvent, which are both highly flammable. Latex paint (acrylic paints) can also be thinned with water, unlike oil-based paint, which requires a special paint thinner.

Why would you need to thin your latex paint? Oftentimes latex paint is quite thicker than oil-based paints. If that’s the case, you can thin the paint yourself before application. Be sure to check the quality of your latex paint prior to the thinning process though.

Beyond oil- and water-based categorization, paints can also be classified based on their function (e.g. Primers, sealers, binders, finishing paints, etc.). They can also be classified according to the type of pigment used, like zinc, lead, and titanium (each has slightly different properties).

Now that you’ve picked your paint, what about color? 

Now that you’ve learned all about the two main types of interior house paint, do you need a little help picking out the color? Not to worry because we have you covered! Check us out on Pinterest and don’t forget to look below for the top related blogs on picking your desired color for your home!



Oil-based paint can be more expensive up front, but due to the durability and quality of the paint, it can last longer than latex paint. Latex paint is ideal for certain jobs, and some brands can be used in place of oil-based paints.


The cost for painting services in Toronto can range from $2 to $3 per square foot plus HST. An average-sized home can cost between $3,000 to $5,000 plus HST and large or extra-large homes can cost up to $10,000 and beyond.


When undertaking a home improvement project, it’s important to do your research, especially if you’re brand new to the DIY game. Painting a house is simple, but not it’s not easy. It requires some time to research the best products for your budget. If you’re not a do-it-yourselfer, hiring Home Painters Toronto will be the best choice for your painting project.

Top Related blogs on “Oil Based Paint Or Latex Paint – Which to Use for Your Home?”

At Home Painters Toronto we have been professional painters for over 34 years, knows how important it is to create just the right atmosphere for you in your home and we guarantee that you will be pleasantly satisfied with our friendly and professional service. We are more than willing and happy to assist you in any ways we can, for any home painting needs. Look no more! Home Painters Toronto is always here for you.

If the work involved in house painting sounds like it involves too much time and energy to do yourself, call 416.494.9095 or email brian@HomePaintersToronto.com for a FREE quote. Or connect with us below on any of our social media accounts as well!  

Brian Young - Home Painters Toronto

From The Owner & Founder


Hello and welcome!

I’m both deeply honoured and flattered you are considering using our services.

Since 1987 when I was at York University simply earning my way through school, I’ve had the privilege to meet and work with thousands of amazing homeowners like yourself.

Besides the birth of my daughter, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a homeowner’s life change when we have transformed their dream home into a masterpiece. For that reason, we take our jobs very seriously and are committed to our cause.

At Home Painters our mission is to paint homeowners’ dreams, and make your painting experience last a lifetime!
I look forward to hopefully meeting you one day, as it brings me tremendous joy to make homeowner’s dreams come true.