The Advantages of Oil-based Paint: 5 Surprising Benefits

As a homeowner or DIY enthusiast, choosing the right type of paint for your project can be a daunting task. There are countless options available in the market, each promising different benefits and results. However, one type of paint that often goes overlooked is oil-based paint. Despite its reputation for being difficult to work with, there are actually several surprising benefits to using this type of paint. In this article, we’ll explore five of the most notable advantages of oil-based paint, from its exceptional durability to its ability to penetrate and protect wood surfaces. So, if you’re considering a painting project, read on to discover why oil-based paint may be the perfect choice for you.

Benefit 1: Durability

Benefit 1: Durability
Painting your walls, furniture or cabinetry is an excellent way to breathe new life into your outdated or dull-looking space. But with so many paint options available, choosing the right one can be confusing. This is where oil-based paint comes into play, offering a plethora of benefits that make it a reliable choice for many DIY enthusiasts and professional painters. In this section, we will delve into the first key benefit of using oil-based paint: durability. From protection against wear and tear to resistance to impacts, we’ll explore why oil-based paint tops the charts in the durability department.

1.1 Protection Against Wear and Tear

One of the surprising benefits of using oil-based paint is its protection against wear and tear. This type of paint is especially suited to high-traffic areas that receive a lot of use. With oil-based paint, you won’t have to worry about the paint wearing away or fading as quickly as other types of paint.

The following are some of the reasons why oil-based paint is so durable:

  • Harder finish: Oil-based paint dries to a harder finish than water-based paint. This means that it’s more resistant to chipping and peeling, and it’s less likely to be damaged by impact.
  • Less susceptible to scratches: Because the paint is harder, it’s also less susceptible to surface scratches. This is especially important in areas where items are frequently moved around, such as hallways, kitchens, and children’s rooms.
  • Resistance to moisture: Oil-based paint is more resistant to moisture than water-based paint. This is because it dries to a harder, less porous finish that doesn’t absorb water as easily. This is particularly important for bathrooms and kitchens, where moisture is a concern.

The durability of oil-based paint makes it an excellent choice for high-traffic areas that require a paint that can stand up to daily wear and tear. If you’re interested in learning more about the pros and cons of oil-based paint for your home, check out our article on the pros and cons of oil-based paint for your home.

1.2 Resistance to Impact and Abrasion

Oil-based paints are well known for their durability and resistance to impact and abrasion. This means that the paint is less likely to chip or break under pressure, making it ideal for high traffic areas in the home or office. The oil-based paint forms a hard, protective barrier on surfaces, making them more resistant to scratches, scuffs, and other forms of wear and tear.

Resistance to Impact: Oil-based paints are designed to withstand the impact of blunt force. They are less likely to show dents or dings as compared to other types of paint. This makes oil-based paint a perfect choice for surfaces that are frequently bumped or hit, such as doors, trim, and baseboards.

Resistance to Abrasion: Oil-based paints are also resistant to abrasion, making them ideal for use in high-traffic areas. The paint is less likely to scratch or wear away when rubbed against, which makes it an excellent choice for surfaces that are frequently touched, such as banisters, handrails, or window sills.

However, it’s essential to note that the drying process of oil-based paint can take much longer, making it vulnerable to accidental contact or surface damage. Oil-based paint is more challenging to remove or clean, so it’s crucial to use proper safety measures when handling and disposing of oil-based paint. For tips on how to clean and maintain oil-based paint surfaces, check out this article.

Benefit 2: Excellent Coverage

Benefit 2: Excellent Coverage
When it comes to painting, achieving excellent coverage is one of the most important goals of any project. Not only does it ensure an even and consistent look, but it also saves time and money. With oil-based paint, achieving this coverage is easier than ever. When compared to other types of paint, oil-based options have unique properties that make them particularly effective at covering surfaces. If you want to learn more about the benefits of using oil-based paint, check out our oil-based paint tips or read on to discover why they provide such great coverage.

2.1 Consistent Color and Sheen

Oil-based paint has many benefits over other types of paint, and one of the most notable is its ability to provide consistent color and sheen. This means that once the paint has been applied, the color and gloss level will remain consistent throughout the life of the paint job.

Consistent color: Oil-based paint has excellent color retention, meaning that it will not fade or darken over time. This is especially important for exterior paint jobs, which are exposed to sunlight and other elements that can cause paint to fade. With oil-based paint, you can be sure that the color you choose will look the same years down the line as it did when it was first applied.

Consistent sheen: In addition to maintaining its color, oil-based paint also maintains its sheen level. This means that if you choose a high gloss or semi-gloss finish, it will remain shiny and reflective even after years of wear and tear. This is in contrast to other types of paint that can lose their sheen over time, resulting in a dull or matte finish.

It’s important to note that the consistency of color and sheen in oil-based paint is influenced by the curing or drying process of the paint. If you want to learn more about this process, check out our guide on the drying process of oil paint. For more information on oil-based paint compared to other types of paint, check out our article on oil paint vs others. And if you’re interested in the environmental impact of oil-based paint, we have an article on that too: The Environmental Impact of Oil Paint.

2.2 Good Adhesion and Hiding Power

Oil-based paints are known for their excellent coverage, and this is due in part to their good adhesion and hiding power. Adhesion refers to the ability of the paint to adhere to the surface it is applied to, while hiding power is the ability of the paint to cover up the previous coat or the underlying surface.

Oil-based paints have a high level of adhesion, which means that they will stick to almost any surface, including metal, wood, plaster, and drywall. This makes them an excellent choice for painting surfaces that are exposed to the elements or that experience a lot of wear and tear. Additionally, oil-based paints have a high hiding power, which means that they can cover up even the darkest or brightest colors with just one coat.

To truly take advantage of the good adhesion and hiding power of oil-based paints, it is important to apply them correctly. One common mistake that people make when using oil-based paints is not properly preparing the surface before painting. This can result in poor adhesion and coverage, as well as a less durable finish. To ensure the best results, be sure to clean and prime the surface before painting, and follow all other tips outlined in our common mistakes with oil-based paint guide.

The good adhesion and hiding power of oil-based paints are two key benefits that make them a great choice for a wide variety of painting projects. If you want to achieve a beautiful, long-lasting finish that will stand up to the toughest conditions, consider using oil-based paints. For additional tips and tricks, check out our color oil paint tips guide or our guide to removing oil-based paint.

Benefit 3: Easy to Clean

Benefit 3: Easy To Clean
Keeping your home clean is crucial to maintain a healthy environment. However, cleaning can be quite a hassle if you have surfaces that are hard to wipe down or prone to stains. This is where oil-based paint comes in handy. One of the of the surprising benefits of using oil-based paint is that it is easy to clean. With its unique properties, oil-based paint outperforms other types of paint in terms of cleanability. Let’s dive deeper to see how oil-based paint can make your life easier when it comes to cleaning.

3.1 Wipeable Surface

One of the benefits of using oil-based paint is that it creates a wipeable surface, making cleaning a breeze. When accidental spills or splatters occur, they can easily be wiped away with a damp cloth or sponge. The oil-based formula allows for the paint to resist penetration and absorbency, meaning that stains and dirt won’t be able to adhere easily.

But how does oil-based paint make surfaces wipeable?

It’s all about the paint’s chemical makeup. Oil-based paint consists of a mixture of pigments, solvents, and resins. The solvent in oil-based paint is usually a mineral spirit or paint thinner. This type of solvent helps the paint to flow and level out, creating a smooth finish. It also allows the paint to have a longer drying time, which makes it easier to work with and manipulate before it dries.

Once the paint is applied to a surface, the solvents begin to evaporate, leaving behind the resins and pigments. These two components work together to create a tough, durable surface that is both water-resistant and easy to clean.

So, what type of surfaces benefit most from a wipeable coating?

Surfaces that are commonly exposed to messes and spills, such as kitchen cabinets, bathroom walls, and children’s playrooms, are perfect candidates for oil-based paint. Not only will the paint offer a protective layer, but it will also make cleaning a much smoother process.

The wipeable surface created by oil-based paint provides homeowners with a low-maintenance option for keeping their surfaces looking clean and fresh. The formula’s unique properties make it stand out from other types of paint and offer a level of durability and ease of cleaning that is unmatched.

3.2 Resistance to Stains and Dirt

Oil-based paint is known for its ability to resist stains and dirt, making it a great choice for homeowners who want low-maintenance walls. Thanks to its oil-based composition, this paint is able to create a strong bond with the surface it covers, creating a barrier that prevents dirt and dust from settling on the wall. This benefit is especially beneficial for high-traffic areas like kids’ rooms, hallways, and kitchens.

Additionally, oil-based paints are great at resisting stains from common household substances like coffee or sauces. The smooth surface created when using oil-based paint makes it much harder for liquid stains to penetrate deep into the paint, and they can be easily wiped away with a damp cloth. This is particularly beneficial for those with young children who may accidentally spill or make a mess on the wall, as it will not leave a permanent mark.

Here are some common stains that oil-based paint can resist:

  • Coffee or tea
  • Red wine
  • Grease and oil
  • Ink or marker
  • Food sauces like ketchup or mustard

Oil-based paint is often used in areas that are prone to dirt or grime buildup, like bathrooms or laundry rooms. These areas are typically humid and damp, which can encourage the growth of mildew and mold. However, oil-based paint is able to resist the buildup of these substances due to its unique composition, which doesn’t allow for the penetration of moisture. This can help to create a healthier home environment, as toxic mold can be detrimental to both physical and mental health.

Using oil-based paint in your home can provide a lot of benefits, including its resistance to stains and dirt buildup. Not only does it help to keep your walls clean, but it also makes them easy to maintain and wipe down, so you can enjoy a beautiful and clean home.

Benefit 4: Long-lasting Results

Benefit 4: Long-Lasting Results
Achieving long-lasting results is a key goal for any painting project. After investing time and money into improving the appearance of your home or business, it’s important to ensure that the results last as long as possible. Fortunately, using oil-based paint can help achieve this goal. With benefits such as maintaining appearance over time and less fading and yellowing, this type of paint is a smart choice for those looking for durable and long-lasting results. Let’s explore these benefits further.

4.1 Maintains Appearance Over Time

Oil-based paint is known for its long-lasting qualities and ability to maintain its appearance over time. This is especially true when compared to other types of paint like water-based paint. Below are some of the ways that oil-based paint can help maintain the appearance of your paint job:

  • Resistance to Fading: Oil-based paint is less prone to fading than water-based paint. This is because the oil in the paint helps to protect the pigment and keep it from breaking down due to exposure to sunlight and other environmental factors.
  • Better Coverage: Because oil-based paint is thicker than water-based paint, it provides better coverage and can help hide imperfections in the surface being painted. This can result in a smoother, more even finish that looks better and lasts longer.
  • Less Chalking: One common problem with exterior paint jobs is chalking – this occurs when the paint begins to break down and produce a powdery residue on the surface. Oil-based paint is less prone to chalking than other types of paint, which means it will maintain its appearance over time.
  • Protection Against the Elements: Because oil-based paint is more water-resistant than water-based paint, it provides better protection against moisture and other environmental factors. This means that your paint job will be less likely to fade, peel, or crack due to exposure to the elements.

By choosing oil-based paint for your next painting project, you can ensure that your surfaces maintain their appearance for longer periods of time.

4.2 Less Fading and Yellowing

One of the benefits of using oil-based paint is that it’s less prone to fading and yellowing over time compared to other types of paint. This is due to several factors:

  • UV protection: Oil-based paints often contain more UV-resistant pigments, which help prevent the color from fading when exposed to sunlight. This is particularly important for exterior surfaces, which are more likely to be exposed to the elements.
  • Chemical stability: Oil-based paints are more stable chemically than water-based paints, which means they’re less likely to break down over time and change color. Oil-based paints are less likely to react with other chemicals, such as cleaning products or smoke, which can also cause discoloration.
  • Less porous: Oil-based paints are less porous than water-based paints, which means they don’t absorb moisture as easily. This helps prevent mold and mildew growth, which can cause discoloration and deterioration over time.

These factors contribute to oil-based paint maintaining its appearance for longer periods of time compared to other types of paint. It’s worth noting, however, that oil-based paints may require more frequent maintenance and touch-ups to maintain their appearance.

Benefit 5: Better for Wood

When it comes to painting wood surfaces, choosing the right type of paint can make all the difference. While water-based paints may seem like a convenient choice, they may not offer the best protection for wood. That’s where oil-based paint comes in. With its unique formulation, oil-based paint offers a range of benefits that make it an excellent option for painting wooden surfaces. Let’s dive into the surprising benefits of using oil-based paint on wood.

5.1 Penetrates Wood to Protect from Moisture

One of the surprising benefits of using oil-based paint is that it can penetrate the wood surface to provide protection against moisture. When wood is exposed to moisture, it can lead to rotting, warping, and deterioration over time. Oil-based paint can help prevent this problem by penetrating deep into the wood grain, effectively sealing out moisture and preventing it from causing damage.

Because oil-based paint can penetrate the wood surface so effectively, it can create a strong barrier that prevents moisture from getting into the wood in the first place. This can help to extend the life of your wood surfaces by preventing moisture damage and preserving the integrity of the wood itself.

This is especially important for areas of your home that are prone to moisture exposure, such as bathrooms and kitchens. By using oil-based paint in these areas, you can help to protect your wood surfaces from the damaging effects of moisture over time.

In addition to its moisture protection benefits, oil-based paint can also help to prevent shrinking and cracking in wood surfaces. This is because the paint helps to add moisture to the wood, which can help to prevent it from drying out and becoming brittle over time. So not only can oil-based paint help protect your wood surfaces from moisture damage, but it can also help to keep them looking great for years to come.

5.2 Prevents Shrinking and Cracking

When it comes to preserving wood surfaces, oil-based paint has a unique advantage. One of the benefits of using oil-based paint on wood is that it can help prevent shrinking and cracking. This is especially important for wood that is exposed to outdoor elements.

The oil in oil-based paint helps penetrate the wood’s surface, creating a barrier against moisture. This is important because moisture is a key factor in wood shrinking and cracking over time. As the wood absorbs and releases moisture, it can cause the wood to expand and contract, leading to damage and eventually cracking.

Using oil-based paint can help mitigate this issue by providing a protective coating that helps to prevent moisture from entering the wood. Over time, this can help to prevent the wood from shrinking and cracking, which can be especially important for outdoor wood fixtures like decks and fences.

The ability of oil-based paint to help prevent shrinking and cracking is an important benefit that should be considered when choosing a paint for wood surfaces. By choosing oil-based paint, property owners can protect their wood surfaces from damage and extend their lifespan.


In conclusion, it’s clear that oil-based paint offers several benefits over other types of paint. Its durability and resistance to wear and tear make it an excellent choice for high-traffic areas like hallways, doors, and trim. Additionally, its excellent coverage, adhesion, and hiding power ensure that you get consistent color and sheen, and a smooth finish.

Oil-based paint is also easy to clean, thanks to its wipeable surface and resistance to stains and dirt. This makes it ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas where messes are common. Furthermore, its long-lasting results mean that you won’t have to worry about repainting as frequently, and its ability to maintain its appearance over time means that your paint job will look great for years to come.

One of the most significant benefits of oil-based paint is its ability to protect wood. It penetrates deep into the wood, providing a barrier against moisture and preventing shrinking and cracking over time. This makes it an excellent choice for outdoor projects like decks and fences.

Overall, while oil-based paint may require some extra prep work and cleanup, its benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. Its durability, coverage, easy cleanup, long-lasting results, and ability to protect wood make it a great choice for any painting project.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How does oil-based paint differ from water-based paint?

Oil-based paint is a solvent-based paint made from natural oils, including linseed oil, tung oil, and vegetable oil, whereas water-based paint uses water as a solvent.

2. Is oil-based paint better than water-based paint?

It depends on the project. Oil-based paint has certain advantages, such as durability, but can be more difficult to apply and clean up. Water-based paint is easier to work with but may not provide the same level of protection and durability.

3. Can oil-based paint be used for exterior projects?

Yes, oil-based paint can offer excellent protection against the elements, making it a good choice for exterior projects. It is important to choose a high-quality oil-based paint that is specifically formulated for exterior use.

4. Is oil-based paint safe to use?

Oil-based paint can emit VOCs (volatile organic compounds) during application, which can be harmful if proper ventilation is not used. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s safety guidelines and use proper protective equipment.

5. How long does it take for oil-based paint to dry?

Oil-based paint can take up to 24 hours or longer to dry, depending on the temperature and humidity. It is important to allow sufficient drying time before applying additional coats or handling the painted surface.

6. Can oil-based paint be used on all surfaces?

No, oil-based paint may not adhere properly to certain surfaces, such as plastic or some types of metal. It is important to choose the appropriate paint for the surface being painted and to follow proper surface preparation techniques.

7. How should oil-based paint be stored?

Oil-based paint should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and sources of heat, such as heaters or stoves. It is important to keep the lid tightly sealed to prevent air from entering the container.

8. Can oil-based paint be thinned if it is too thick?

Yes, oil-based paint can be thinned using a paint thinner or solvent, such as mineral spirits or turpentine. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for thinning the paint and to use proper safety equipment and ventilation when working with paint thinners.

9. Does oil-based paint require a primer?

Yes, in most cases, it is recommended to use a primer before applying oil-based paint. A primer helps to improve adhesion, minimize surface imperfections, and promote a more even finish.

10. How should oil-based paint be cleaned up?

Oil-based paint can be cleaned up using a paint thinner or solvent, such as mineral spirits or turpentine. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s safety guidelines and use proper protective equipment, such as gloves and a respirator.


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