Alkyd paint is not commonly used in home painting applications. It used to be that these paints were the standard for bathrooms and other "wet" areas since they were easy to scrub, had a higher sheen and were more durable than the early latex paints.
That is no longer true and now many latex paints equal or even outperform alkyd based paints because of the other benefits of latex paint.
Alkyd paints, when used in the home, are most commonly used for areas having high wear or prone to impact. These include trim, floors and sometimes cabinets. Another benefit to alkyd is it has a longer drying time than latex paint so it does not show brush strokes as much, an advantage when painting trim, woodwork and cabinetry.
Some disadvantages of alkyd paint include:
- It is more expensive than latex paint
- Odor intensive when drying and gives off VOC's (volatile organic compounds) Requires chemical solvent clean up using mineral spirits (paint thinner)
- Some local municipalities restrict the use of this paint because of the hazardous materials it creates in the waste stream.