What Is Alkyd Paint?

There are all different kinds of paints, used for different kinds of projects. Before you start any painting project, it’s always smart to understand what type of paint will work best. Alkyd paints are created with a pigment, added to a solution of alkyd resin, and a petroleum-based solvent. The pigment gives the paint its color, and the binding agent keeps everything in place after application. Continue reading to learn more about when it’s best to use alkyd paint and when a different type of paint may be a better choice. 

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What is Alkyd Paint? 

Alkyd paint is an enamel finish that has a similar consistency to oil paint. They usually have thinners made from either alcohol or mineral spirits. However, alkyd quick-dry primers and topcoats can’t be thinned with mineral spirits. The type of thinner used will control how the paint flows as well as drying time. 

Is Alkyd Paint Oil Based? 

Even though alkyd paint is often referred to as oil-based, it doesn’t actually contain oil or behave much like an oil-based paint either. Because it is composed of chemical binders and thinners like oil paint, people often get confused. In alkyd paint, the binder is usually some type of synthetic resin.

What is Alkyd Paint Used For? 

Because the binding agent in alkyd paint is a strong resin, it can be costly and slightly toxic. For these reasons, it typically isn’t used for interior walls, with the exception of high-traffic areas such as hallways and bathrooms. Alkyd primers or paints are commonly used to coat metal and wood as well as doors, trim, and cabinets. 

When Not to Use Alkyd Paints 

Alkyd paints are certainly not considered the most versatile paints. Latex paints are hands down the most popular paint among professionals and homeowners alike. Alkyd paint is more toxic for the environment than water-based paints and can be more complicated to apply as it has a tendency to splatter easily. 

When Professionals Use Alkyd Paint 

Professional painters often turn to alkyd paints because they help level out uneven surfaces, hide roller or brush marks, and are more durable than other paints. Alkyd paints are most commonly used on commercial wall covering, trim, furniture, cabinets, and floors. The resin binder is also resistant to moisture which makes it a great paint choice for the kitchen. It’s an excellent option for trim and cabinets due to the fact that it holds its sheen much longer than other types of paint. 

Alkyd vs. Oil Paints 

Alkyd paint is known to be tougher than oil-based paint and is commonly found to adhere well to wood and metal. When dry, it hardens to a finish that compares to semi-gloss. When you want a smooth, durable finish, alkyd paints cure to a finish that is unmatched by both latex and oil. 

Alkyd Paint: What is it and When to Use it Conclusion 

Alkyd paint is scuff-resistant, goes on smoothly, and has excellent coverage. On the other hand, it takes longer to dry, requires paint thinner to clean up, and can become brittle once dried. While it makes for a beautiful finish, there are certainly times a latex paint makes more sense. If you’re starting a project and aren’t sure what type of paint is most beneficial or you simply want to turn it over to the professionals, contact Boise Home Painting. Our team of experts is committed to top-quality work and knows what they’re doing. For a high-quality painting job done efficiently, you can count on Boise Home Painting.


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