If you’re hoping to give your home a fresh coat of paint, you’ll want to choose the right kind to make sure it can withstand your home’s environment. The choice may narrow down to water-based and oil-based paints, which both have benefits and problems depending on where you use them. 

The primary difference between water-based and oil-based paints is the kind of solvent they use. The solvent is the liquid the paint is formulated on, which evaporates as the paint dries. Oil-based paints are often called enamel paints, although this is a misnomer, as oil paints are usually based on mineral turpentine. As implied in the name, water-based paints are based on water. Here are some scenarios and qualities you may want and the respective paint you should use:


Exterior Painting

If you’re hoping to hire home painting services to refresh your exterior’s façade, you’ll want water-based paints, which perform best when used outside. They’re more UV resistant, which helps them retain their colour and sheen levels, even when exposed to the sun’s harsh rays. These paints are also more flexible, helping them stay intact and avoid cracking since exterior surfaces expand and contract because of heat and humidity.


Sheen Levels

If you want to paint your door trims and architraves, opt for oil-based paints. They have a higher sheen level, which improves contrast and resist mould, making them the perfect choice for aspects that need to stand out.


High Use Areas

Oil paints don’t exactly ‘dry’—instead, they cure, becoming harder than water paints. They tend to last longer, making them perfect for high use areas like door frames, as the paint won’t be damaged during removals or when you bring various items through your door. 


Weather Conditions

Water-based paints are ill-suited when painting during inclement weather. If it is too humid or cold, water paints will take far too long to dry, increasing the risk of other particles embedding themselves in the paint. However, if you’re painting in sweltering weather, the paint will dry too quickly. That’s why it is best to leave the house painting to local painting contractors, as they’ll know the right paint to use regardless of the weather.


Painting Surface Condition

The condition of the painting surface also affects the kind of paint you should use. If you are painting a slightly damp surface, it’s best to use water-based paint since oil-based paints resist water, making it challenging to adhere to the surface. Exterior house painting works best with water paints, whereas oil-based paint is best for chalky surfaces.



When painting the inside of your home, oil paints can take longer to dry as they release more volatile organic compounds, which cause the chemical paint smell that permeates a space for a set time. If you decide to use oil-based paint in your home, be sure to keep the rooms well-ventilated, so the fumes escape to the outside.


Clean Up

Another significant difference between water and oil paints is the clean-up. Once you’re done painting, you can easily clean brushes, rollers, and any stains or spills with water-based paints using water, which will take the pigment right off. However, oil paints need turpentine or other thinners to clean everything effectively since it is naturally more stubborn to remove.



Understanding the different kinds of paint will help you choose the best one for other parts of your home. By leaving the job to professional painters, your home will sport the most durable paint around, looking good for as long as possible.

The Brilliant Group is a painting company composed of local painting contractors specialising in residential and commercial painting services. Whether you need touch-ups, commercial painting, or someone to paint your rural or remote home, we have the necessary skills, equipment, and experience. Call us today for a quote!