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What Is Enamel Paint?
November 30, 2022 at 8:00 AM

Taking on a major painting project can be daunting, whether you hire professional painters or decide to tackle it yourself. You must plan out how much paint you need, handle the prep work, and factor in drying time and multiple coats. A common thing most people overlook is the type of paint they should use for their home. Depending on the surface you’re painting, you’ll generally want to decide between enamel and latex paint.

This article will explain the differences and similarities between enamel and latex paint and discuss the scenarios where you might want to use each paint type.

Enamel Paint defined

Enamel paint is an oil paint that can be used on interior or exterior surfaces. No matter what paint brand you use, most enamel paints are oil-based, though a few are water-based. If you want a smooth finish, you can use enamel spray paint or brushed-on enamel paint.

Uses for enamel paint

Since it dries hard, enamel paint can be an aesthetically pleasing and durable surface. Here are ideas for using enamel paint in your next home improvement project:

  • Covering metal. Metal can be a suitable substrate for enamel paints. This paint is hard enough to work on outdoor furniture and inside your home. Use sandpaper on the metal surface before you paint to encourage good mechanical adhesion.
  • Casing doors and windows. The doors and windows in your home can likely benefit from a fresh coat of paint. Because of its durability, enamel paint is a solid option for any areas of your home that see consistent use.
  • Glossing floors. Have you ever thought of applying enamel paint to your flooring? Enamel paint in home garages can provide a high-gloss finish and help you clean up drips from your car more easily.
  • Refinishing cabinets. Another area of your home that sees consistent use is your kitchen cabinets. Enamel paint can be a great option because of its durability, which results in a glossy finish.
  • Protecting baseboards: The white trim on the baseboard can easily be scuffed up. If you’re looking for longevity, enamel paint can provide the best finish for your trim color.

Differences between enamel paint and latex paint

While enamel and acrylic paint are both types of paint, they differ in composition and uses. Here are some comparisons between these paints:

  • The base: Most enamel paints are oil-based, which means you need to use paint or lacquer thinner when cleaning your brushes after using them. On the other hand, latex paints are water-based and easier to clean up.
  • The drying time: Because of its thickness, enamel paint takes longer to dry than latex paint. You also have to ensure you use a paintbrush with the right bristles. Otherwise, your brush strokes may be visible after the paint has dried. Latex paints are thinner, allowing them to dry faster.
  • The hardness. Enamel paint dries harder than latex paint. That’s why it’s recommended that you use enamel paints on metal surfaces since they don’t shift over time. Latex paints are more flexible, which can help with do-it-yourself projects and wood trim.

Contact us for all of your painting needs!

With over 50 years of experience in South Florida, UCI Paints is the company to trust for all your painting projects. We provide a variety of high-quality, enamel-based paints to choose from and a 100% workmanship warranty to back our work. We also offer a color design consultation and custom paint formulation to help you start your painting journey.

Speak with one of our highly trained representatives today at 954-581-6060, or reach us through our contact form to get in touch about your next painting project. You can also email us at for any painting and order inquiries.