Exploring Oil-Based Paints: Benefits, Applications, and Tips

Exploring Oil-Based Paints: Benefits, Applications, and Tips

All About Oil Based Paints

What are Oil Based paint products?

Oil based paint products consist of a pigment and a resin in a solvent. They contain natural oils like linseed oil or a synthetic alkyd.

When to Use Oil-Based Paints?

Oil-based paints products are moisture resistant and provide hard durable, long lasting finishes.
They are abrasion- resistant, can bear regular contact, making them most suitable for moldings and trims surfaces. It can be applied to stained, chalky or dirty surfaces and also preferred for covering minor masonry imperfections or slightly damaged areas.
Best suitable places to use oil based paints in any building/house are :-

Exterior Trim

On exterior trim surfaces of the building/house, as these areas require protection from moisture caused by heavy rains or water regularly falling from tree branches.

Bathrooms and Kitchens

Water is required for frequent scrubbing and cleaning in these areas. Due to which oil based paint is considered more suitable to protect these areas from moisture.

Metal Surfaces

Oil-based paints are suitable for protecting metal surfaces from corrosion as they lack water content, which is less prone to rusting.


Kitchen cabinets and worktops are used most often, so they are more prone to abrasions and scratches, stains and dirt. Hence oil based paints are considered best for these areas.

Interior trims and Doors

It is common for home or building interior doors and trim to be affected by stains, scratches and fingerprints as they are most commonly used. So oil based paints are considered suitable for these surfaces, because stains and dirts are washed away easily from enameled surfaces.

How to identify if a product is oil based or not?

To identify whether the paint is oil based or not, a small test can be done using alcohol-
  • Gently wash a small section of the wall with a solution of warm water mixed with detergent. Dry the surface using a clean soft towel.
  • Soak a piece of cloth or cotton ball in alcohol and rub it on the area.
  • If the paint is not visible on the cloth/cotton ball, then it should be understood that the paint done on the surface is oil based.

Pros and Cons of Oil Based Paints

  • Oil based paints can be applied to stained, chalky or dirty surfaces.
  • It is a good paint option for covering minor masonry imperfections or slightly damaged areas.
  • Oil based paint products are more durable and resistant to low temperatures in comparison to water based paints.
  • Stubborn and greasy stains on walls painted with oil based paints are washed away easily by scrubbing with water and mild detergent.
  • Oil based paints are much richer in color than latex based paints.
  • Application on metal, wood or walls surface provides smooth finishing.
  • Contains high volatile organic compound levels that may contribute to air pollution.
  • Unpleasant chemical odor, which may be harmful for health.
  • Its storage is risky as it contains flammable property.
  • It takes long duration for Paint drying time, takes almost 6- 8 hours, so it is difficult to finish painting work in a day.
  • Paint could not be used directly on masonry surfaces without using suitable primers.
  • It is not easy to clean up painting tools after finishing a painting project. requires turpentine or paint thinner for cleaningoff oil paint from brush or roller.

Application Procedure:

  • Sand the surface and remove loose dust particles using a piece of cloth.
  • Tape the trim using masking tape.
  • Choose the suitable primer according to the oil based paint product.
  • Apply primer and allow it to dry completely.
  • Then start painting work from the ceiling.
  • Apply paint on the walls and let it dry completely.
  • Apply a 2nd coat of paint if necessary.
  • Remove the tape and paint the trim areas.


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