Part 1 in our Toxicity of Paint Series

Oil Paint vs. Water Based PaintAnswer: FALSE, oil paint is far INFERIOR to water based paint.

Prior to 1972, lead was a major ingredient in oil paint. Its purpose was to color the paint and also to act as a preservative for wood or other substrates it was used on. Oil, which is derived from fossil fuels, was the only vehicle that would support the heaviness of lead. Once the lead was removed, all of the “benefits” of using oil paint disappeared! Since the 1970’s all of the science and development in the industry focuses on water-based paints. In other words, the latex paint continues to improve and the oil based paint declines.

Adding to the toxicity of oil paint is the paint thinners.  Paint thinners are a cocktail of petrochemicals that, as they evaporate, become VOC’s and remain in indoor air for up to 2 years.

Much like tobacco use, Volatile Organic Compounds produce a list of symptoms that may include respiratory difficulty or coughing, confusion, rapid heartbeat, skin irritation and blistering, and irritated or watering eyes and sinuses. According to the EPA, some VOC’s are known to cause organ and central nervous system damage, as well as cancer in both animals and humans.

If that’s not enough to convince you, surfaces applied with oil-base paints are the perfect environment for mold and mildew, providing a nutritious diet of oils for the cute little fungi.

Does oil-based paint level beautifully? Yes it does. But there are several water-based products on the market today that will level in the same way – if you have the patience to learn the proper techniques of applying. Go ahead and make the switch to safe paint! Do something good for yourself and your clients and STOP USING OIL-BASED PAINTS!

Contact Arteriors today – green solutions for healthier and more beautiful living.

continue to Part 2 –Is Latex Paint Toxin Free?