Latex paint was invented in the late 1940's. It caught on quick because of the distinct features it contained compared to its counter part oil paint. The features included easier clean up using soap/water, and faster drying time.Although, latex used to be made with mercury in the 1990's, EPA banned the toxic chemical and now its much safer. So it's great for interior projects because it has less odors and fumes. Making it safer to work around children and pets.
Oil based paint has been around for a LONG time. It used to be the go to choice for all your painting needs. But Latex has been the main choice because of the longer drying times of oil-based paints. The drying time is anywhere from 24 to 48 hours after one coat. Thus making a project take much longer too complete. And the clean up can not be completed with soap and water or drained into your kitchen sink. Your tools need to be cleaned with mineral spirits and the excess paint needs to be properly dispose by your local waste management.Although, oil-based paints have many advantages for example, longer lasting results on high traffic areas, smoother finish, and shrinks less. That's why oil-based is still used today on decks, floors, exterior doors, baseboards, and etc. Because of its high resistance too foot traffic and its durability.