What is the difference between water-based (latex) and oil-based (alkyd) paints?

The two types of paint get their names from the components used to bind the pigment particles together. Latex paint uses acrylic or vinyl, while alkyd paint uses binders which are derived from a vegetable oil like linseed oil or soy bean oil.


Water-based paints are easier to use, brushes and rollers are easier to clean after use, and spills can be cleaned up with a wet rag. Latex paints are also more fade-resistant and they adhere to the surface better than their alkyd counterparts. Oil-based paints have a stronger odor, the clean-up is harder, and they are more likely to fade or peal.

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Pelican Painting Company, Inc.
3022 East Forest Lake Drive
Sarasota, Florida 34232