Most homeowners don’t have much knowledge about the qualities and histories of paints for external painting applications. For the most part, when it comes to household external painting applications, consumers have had just two choices: oil-based and latex-based paint.

Oil-based paint has fallen out of favor for a number of reasons, though its natural excellence as a paint has been hard to replicate. What’s more, oil-based paint is actually now illegal in the state of Virginia. Even though you may never use oil-based paint in your external house painting project, it’s helpful to know why it was a ubiquitous product for many years, and what to look for in alternatives.

Why Oil-Based Paint Was Awesome!

Let’s start our discussion back in the old days, when people didn’t worry about the negative effect paint had on insignificant things….like our physical health and the environment.

Oil-based paints were great performers on house exteriors. They went on thick when applied, meaning that few coats were necessary. They smoothed to a lovely finish, all by themselves. Finally, they dried to such a hardness that oil-based paint jobs lasted a really long time.

Why Oil-Based Paint is No Longer Used in Virginia

Oil-based paints are no longer legal in Virginia and five other states. This is because oil paints create a ton of pollution, both in the air and in the ground. They have a lot of toxic fumes that make them dangerous to be around before they dry, especially for the painting contractors who use them.

There are still some oil-based paint products for which there is no water- or latex-based alternative. But for good reason, oil-based paint is slowly going the way of the dinosaur, even though painting professionals like All American Painting Plus fondly recall what a great product it was (apart from the environmental carnage).

Latex-Paint is the Future (and mostly the present)

It’s hard to imagine oil-based paints remaining legal throughout the US much longer. For all the good things we’ve said about oil-paints so far, it’s important to note that latex-paints have been improved to such a degree in recent years, that we don’t even miss oil-paints anymore.

There are techniques that make latex just as clingy to wood surfaces, nearly as hard and long lasting, and better for the environment than oil-based paint. Latex-based paints don’t have anywhere near oil-based paint’s VOC levels (that’s Volatile Organic Compounds, floating into the atmosphere and into your lungs!). It is also more commonplace and affordable, available in many different qualities and formulations for all kinds of purposes.
All American Painting Plus chooses the best painting products for every project on our calendar. We want to be one of those painting companies that not only does the best work possible, but also helps the consumer understand why we make the choices we make and choose the products we choose. If you have questions about any of the products of techniques that All American Painting Plus uses, or if you want to put your next painting project on our calendar, contact All American Painting Plus today.