Projects that lend themselves well to using alkaloid paint include home painting jobs and equipment reconditioning. Alkaloid (oil-based) paint can be formulated for interior or exterior uses, though it is not as popular as water-based paint because it is not as convenient to use. It takes longer to dry than latex paint, creates strong fumes and must be removed with a solvent.
Objects that need to remain durable, such as cabinets and furniture, make good choices for oil-based paint, according to Decorative-Faux-Painting. The website recommends oil-based primers to hide stains, such as water and permanent marker, and using an alkaloid varnish on top of latex primer when starting a faux finish on furniture. (A faux finish is decorative painting that creates an illusion -- painting a plain piece of wood to look like marble, for example.)
Oil-based spray paints and enamels maintain durable finishes on agricultural equipment, mailboxes and other large outdoor items. Metal, wood, papier-mâché, terracotta, plastic and other materials also take spray paint well and should be painted outdoors when possible. Kitchen chairs, picture and mirror frames, mailboxes and more get fresh facelifts with a few coats of thin spray. Allow each coat to dry before adding another.
Painters often choose oil-based paint for exterior house painting because it dries hard and withstands harsh weather. It also is popular where there's a high moisture content, such as in kitchens and bathrooms. The Painting Your House website notes that an oil finish protects metal, washes well, resists smears and penetrates into chalky surfaces, which some houses previously painted with oil paints develop. When an oil-based primer is used for wood siding, it does not raise wood grain, and when used with metal, it seals nail heads and protects them from rust. It's also a good choice for exterior doors, metal heat registers and window sashes.
The sale of oil-based paint is restricted in several states because it contributes to ground-level ozone pollution. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends ventilating rooms during indoor painting by opening the windows and doors fully, directing a fan to blow the fumes outside and keeping children away from the paint. Oil-based paints contain solvents that irritate eyes and skin, and inhaling paint fumes can result in headaches, dizziness and nausea. Lengthy exposure affects kidney, liver and blood. The American Pregnancy Association says pregnant women should avoid exposure to oil-based paint.
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