Water vs. Oil: Which Paint Base Is Best for You?

ECOS Paints 04/12/2022
Water vs. Oil: Which Paint Base Is Best for You?

Many of us have heard someone, referring to people who don’t get along, say something like, “Those two are like oil and water.” It makes sense, given that water and oil don’t mix due to their chemical composition.

Since they’re so opposite, some may find it surprising that both can be used to create the same product: paint. But just like their chemical makeups, these two types of paint have a very different experience to offer. In the debate of water vs. oil, which paint base is best for you can be tricky to decide. But with a little background knowledge, the choice is easy.

Oil-Based Paints


Oil-based paints are made with natural or synthetic oils, such as linseed or alkyd. As it dries, the paint forms a hard shell on the walls. Because of this, these paints are known for their durability over an extended period of time.


The greatest difficulty with oil-based paints is their chemical nature. As they dry, they release compounds known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This typically gives the paint a harsh smell and can potentially cause health issues such as aggravated allergies, headaches, and eye irritation. Use with caution around young children and animals.

Water-Based Paints


Water-based paints don’t have the same chemicals that exist in oil-based paints, often making them safer to use around the whole family, even those with chemical sensitivities. They also help promote sustainable home renovations by allowing an alternative that doesn’t contribute to pollution.

Additionally, water-based paints are easy to use. They are easier to clean in the case of spills, and they tend to dry more quickly than oil-based paints.


As mentioned, oil-based paints tend to be more durable than water-based. However, they are less likely to become cracked. Some water-based paints can be a little more difficult to paint with a uniform look.

Which Paint Is Better?

If you are concerned about the air quality in your home and you want to paint your home quickly, adding a few coats of water-based paints is definitely the better option. That’s why ECOS Paints has a wide collection of quality, zero VOC* paints that are ready to beautify your home today.

Zero VOC - Conforms to CDPH 01350 (VOC emissions test taken at 11, 12, & 14 days for classroom & office use).