Painting Advice and Premium Products from Experienced Professionals.
Oil based Paint, or Acrylic Paint?

There are numerous health-related reasons not to use oil based products. We acknowledge some specialized instances where solvent based products are required. In most cases involving home finishes, oil based products generally contribute to early costly failure and inconvenience of use.

About Oil- based Paint

Oil-based Paints have long been associated with smoothness, hardness and durability. Numerous ingredients that gave oil base paint its durability have been banned or regulated, with good cause. There are numerous recognized health concerns related to solvent exposure among workers and homeowners.

Oil-based products require solvents for cleanup. Paint thinner costs over $6.00 in most markets, and it is a PETROLEUM BASED product. The dirty solvent then must be disposed of, which, when done properly, is costly, and inconvenient. Many times dirty solvent is simply stored, or improperly disposed of. We discourage the use or storage of painting solvents in the home. It is a preventable risk, especially if within the reach of children or pets. Waste thinner on a jobsite can sometimes be a hazard. Besides, water is free.

We observe frequent failure of alkyd (oil) based enamels on interior doors and trim. Most oil based products have superior performing, environmentally friendly alternatives available.

We strongly encourage the use of water-based paint technology. All interior wood expands and contracts, and oil based enamel gets much too hard and brittle, leading to cracks in the finish within a year or two of painting. Interior oil based paints continually yellow and harden as they age, leading to perpetual maintenance as the finish begins to chip and crack in corners.

In summary, Premium Acrylic enamels will outperform oil-based products on interior woodwork and doors with respect to performance, cost, dry time, and ease of use.


For the exterior, Acrylic house paint will expand and contract with changes in wood, where oil- based paint will not. We frequently see residential customers bearing the cost of preventable paint failures and wood replacement on homes only a few years old, as the result of the continued use of oil based paint. Alkyd oil-based primers and paints grow brittle with age, causing them to lose flexibility and ultimately lose adhesion. Alkyd oil-based primers and paints are non-breathable, limiting their life over naturally moisture-containing wood surfaces. The oils in alkyd oil-based primers and paints are natural organic materials which serve as mildew food and actually promote mildew growth.

In general, alkyd oil-based paints have poor color and gloss retention, and often exhibit poor chalk resistance, when compared to top-quality 100% acrylic paints. We highly discourage the use of oil based paint on most exterior wood.

In summary, top-quality 100% acrylic primers and paints are clearly more effective than alkyd oil-based paints in all critical areas of product performance: wood protection, long-term appearance, durability, and reduced maintenance.

When coating over existing oil based paint with acrylic paint, be sure to follow manufacturers recommended preparation procedures, and use only
PaintSource Approved Premium 100% Acrylic Finish.

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Coronado Paint

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* Pro Tips *
TIP 4 To distinguish oil base from acrylic paint, wipe with denatured alcohol, or Goof Off®. If you see a little color come off on your rag, this could be from chalk being removed from old oil base paint. If the alcohol actually softens the coating, and it gets sticky, it is likely acrylic paint.'