Yes! But…..it is not as easily available as it was in the old days!
Are you looking for that old fashioned, hard as a rock, smells terrible paint, that lasted forever? Well it is is still available in very expensive ($50) quarts only through very specialized retailers of “Fine Paints of Europe” and their product called “DutchLaq”, an incredible satin or gloss oil paint that we often use on entry doors because of its hard, piano-like finish and deep, rich colors. More ubiquitous is a new hybrid formulation of oil based resins that have been emulsified in water! These paints are truely oil based but are thinned with water and clean up with water! Because the oil resin is confined in little globules, chemically held in a suspension of water, there is very little smell. Hybrid oil applies with almost no smell at all. It does take a bit longer to cure than old fashioned paint thinner-thinned oils but after a month or so of curing, hybrids is very hard as well. These new formulations go by the monikers such as: “Hybrid-Oil”, “Emulsified Oil”. For about 20 years paint companies have been working on these and most work quite well.
When should you use a DutchLaq or a hybrid-oil?
If the surface you are re-coating is presently painted with an oil enamel then it is fine to use an oil finish over an old oil finish….do not think, though that you do not have to prepare the surface. Regardless of what the label on your paint says, it is always imperative to clean and then de-gloss the surface before painting; this promotes good mechanical adhesion as the paint will flow into the small scratches made by sanding. Cleaning first serves the purpose of getting hand oils and other contaminants off the surface so that when you sand , you are not forcing the hand oils into the tiny scratches which are very dificult to get clean at that point and adhesion is compromised
Some folks prefer a brushed look that shows the age of the door with soft brush strokes that give a sense of history and a craftsman’s touch. Others prefer a sprayed finish that can only be achieved with careful sanding and often requires the use of Swedish Putty, a brushed on thick filler that when sanded, provides an ultra smooth surface for spraying.