Like it or not, oil-based paints are being steadily supplanted by waterborne coatings. For most applications, painters have made the required switchover without hassles or complaints, but interior trim is a notable exception. Although most major paint manufacturers now offer a waterborne interior enamel that's designed to lay out as smooth as their best alkyd product, none of these coatings can match the tenacious bonding ability or the long working time of an alkyd.

That doesn't mean that oil is better than latex. For Darin Crocker of PHD Painting in New Milford, Conn., it was simply a matter of changing his application procedure. Crocker has been using interior latex almost exclusively for five years, and now says he would never go back to oil.

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