Water based paint vs oil based paint, which is best? Whether you are painting a brand-new house or an old house, it can be a tricky choosing the type paint to use. Although oil based paint products are more durable and have better coverage, the application is less flexible to apply and takes longer to dry than water based paint.Water based products are often chosen over oil based enamels as they don’t go through “yellowing” when reaching a certain age.

Causes of Yellowing

Oxidisation and the natural ageing processes of oil-based paints are the main reasons that your paint yellows. Lack of light or hot weather conditions expedites the yellowing process.

A compound of nitrogen and hydrogen formulates ammonia which is a chemical found in disinfectants, polishes, and acrylic water based paints and of which can expedite the oxidization process when put into contact with dry oil based paints.

Ways to fix yellowing

Expose your walls to light:

While it may sound like a ruse, yellowing can be reversed with a simple flick of a switch. However, this is only possible when the tint is due to lack thereof light. Overtime, the yellowing can improve if this is the cause. Even so with oil-based paints, time is of the essence and yellow ageing processes are irreversible by light.

Acrylic Undercoat:

If your walls are reaching their natural yellowing age, it’s time to re-paint your walls. You can either remove or paint the pre-existing substrates.

How to avoid yellowing

Avoid painting with oil based paint in low lit areas:

When you’re painting, be mindful that any areas lacking light may be susceptible to yellowing.

To prevent this, paint with your water based paint first and allow 24 hours of drying time before you apply an oil based paint. Remember to never apply alkyd and latex paints at the same time in an enclosed room. Most latex enamels are non-yellowing, which makes them an ideal choice for white or light colours.

What’s the Verdict

Due to its good coverage, oil-based paints still highly recommended for going over stains. While acrylics are more suited for everyday use so that comfortability and better long-term results are optimal. For the majority of houses, it’s recommended that you use acrylics as they are easier to apply, dry faster and emit less fumes than oil-based products. In fact, in Australia, oil-based enamels products are banned from government facilities (hospitals, schools etc.) because the fumes are so strong.

Should you need any further help , contact us for a paint inspection of your property.