decide the paint and paint
Photo: Sarah Wilson
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Paint, Part I

Deciding which paint to use has gotten much easier now that acrylic latexes have pushed oil-based paints almost to extinction. The acrylics offer superior performance (they don’t harden with age, the way oils do, so they move and breathe without blistering), they don’t mildew as readily, and they emit fewer VOCs, so they comply with new air-quality regulations. They also work over both oil- and water-based primers.

Oil paint still has a place in high-traffic areas such as wood steps and porch floors because of its superior wear resistance, and on steel and cast-iron railings, which benefit from oil’s water repellency.

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