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>Home >Basement design >Oil based or latex paint?

Oil based or latex paint?

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Valspar latex paint in an eggshell finishWhether to use oil based paints or water based latex paint is often a matter of personal preference. Most people I know use latex paints. Here's a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each type of paint:

Advantages of oil based paints

  • More durable than latex
  • Better stain hiding capabilities
  • Adheres better to difficult surfaces such as dirty and/or metal surfaces
  • Ideal for high traffic areas

Disadvantages of oil based paints

  • Strong odor during application
  • Difficult cleanup- you need to use mineral spirits turpentine instead of warm soap and water used for latex paints
  • Both paint and cleaning materials are flammable and more difficult to dispose of (legally)
  • More expensive than latex paints

Advantages of water based (latex) paints

  • Painted basement using latex paint in an eggshell finish [Click to enlarge]
  • Easy cleanup
  • Dry much quicker than oil based paints
  • More resistant to fading, blistering, and chalking than oil based paints

Disadvantages of water based (latex) paints

  • Finish is less durable than oil based
  • Susceptible to stains
  • Does not adhere well to dirty surfaces

Additional paint resources

See books on interior painting at

How to pick a paint color

How to pick a paint finish

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Design Topics

Design tips

Hiding pipes & poles

Closets and storage

Basement ceilings



Basement bathrooms

Basement design ideas

Interior design software

Oil based or latex paint?

How to pick a paint finish

How to pick a paint color

How to design a 'man cave'

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