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Oil Based Paint Ban ?

Most people probably have thought only about the color when it is getting near time to buy paint, although type of paint and gloss factor should also be considered before going to make the purchase. Here we try to explain the options that will work best for you, in the most common conditions.

Types Of Paint: Latex and oil base are rather loosely used terms now days. When a painter asks for a gallon of a certain brand of latex, he may actually be getting a non-latex or artificial-latex water based paint. This is not necessarily a bad thing, there are continuously new products being developed using synthetic materials that perform very much like latex. Most of these products still carry "latex" on the label. When you see a paint or stain product categorized as "acrylic" or "waterborne", it will probably have properties similar to that of latex paint, even if it does not include the term latex on the can.

Likewise; when you ask for an oil-based paint you may get the similar alkyd. On this site we use the term "latex" to also include the other similar water-base paints, and the term "oil-base" to include alkyd.


High gloss, semi gloss, eggshell, satin, low sheen and flat, these are all quite general terms, and as you go from one brand of paint to an other or one type of paint to another the gloss factor changes. Example: with most paint companies you will find that their interior oil based semi gloss appears to be quite a bit glossier than their interior latex semi gloss. Also, but not as often a satin oil finish from one company may look as shinny as semi gloss oil from another company.

Choosing the right gloss is as important as choosing the right color. A shinny surface sends out a different effect than a non-shinny surface and so the degree of gloss will most certainly influence the final outcome of entire project.

Several factors to consider when selecting the gloss

Overall appearance; the lower gloss finishes give a softer, smoother look. Higher Gloss tends to amplify minor dents dings drywall seams. But some degree of gloss on woodwork, tends to add to the detail.

Ease of use For the inexperienced user... lower gloss paints are recommended for most walls & ceilings.

Serviceability the higher gloss finishes tend to resist marking & clean better than the, but, flat paints tend to touch up the best.

In general use flat finish paints on the ceiling, flat or low gloss on walls, low gloss or semi gloss on trim & woodwork. Save the high gloss for you car, Avoid flat paint in mildew prone areas.

An example of a nice living room:
Ceiling... Flat latex
Walls.... Flat latex or eggshell latex
Woodwork.... Semi gloss oil, Semi gloss latex or eggshell oil

An example of a kitchen:
Ceiling ...Flat latex
Walls... Semi gloss latex or eggshell oil
Woodwork... Semi gloss oil

A bathroom can quite often be painted (ceilings, walls, trim) all with the same paint preferably semi gloss latex.


Besides looking into the interior decorating perspective (which is important), several other factors may influence your color choice. For one: painting a room with colors that are low contrast with each other is easier than painting with high contrast colors. Example: A room with a white ceiling, off white walls and light colored trim would be easier for most painters to make look good than painting deep green walls next to a white ceiling or light colored trim. High contrast requires higher cut in skill.

Also consider coverage: When repainting a room a color change may require a second coat. Using the same color or color close to the existing paint you might get by with just one coat.

When painting a new room the primers are usually white unless tinted therefore a good base coat for light colors.

See menu above to click for interior or exterior paint