A question/topic which we discuss with clients regularly is the decision between water-based and oil-based paints.
The answer depends on the situation and there are pros and cons for each so I’ll summarise below and you can make an informed decision for your next painting project.
- Non- Yellowing
- Faster drying times
- UV protection
- Less prone to cracking
- Wash up with water not turps
- Low VOC (volatile organic compound)
- Environmentally friendlier
- Higher and longer lasting sheen level
- Much harder wearing
- Flattens out leaving a smoother finish
- Superior washability
- Better coverage
Water-based is the superior choice for most applications. The only time a decision needs to be made is when choosing a product for the interior woodwork. There really is no comparison to the sheen level, hardness and washability which a premium oil-based enamel can produce.
On a personal note I painted my own house with water-based enamel only to repaint it with oil-based a year later when I realised that all the scuff marks and blemishes were not cleaning off. The sheen level had also dulled off quite quickly. Oil-based enamel will clean up and look basically brand new after years of wear and tear.
BUT the biggest problem and the reason I tried water-based was the yellowing aspect of oil-based. If your going to use a straight pure white on your doors and architraves I would strongly recommend using a water-based enamel as the oil seems to yellow extremely fast when using a bright white. This is not really so much an issue today with more trends tending towards matching off white walls and woodwork. Other factors which lend to yellowing are poor ventilation and dark spaces/low UV rays. Inside cupboards, cavity sliding doors will always show more yellowing because of this.
One last thing to consider is the labour cost. On a typical repaint the woodwork will usually only need 2 coats (1 undercoat 1 gloss) but using water-based in my opinion 3 coats are necessary to achieve a high quality finish (1 undercoat 2 gloss) which obviously increases the cost.
So the decision is yours! Which will you choose for your next project?
Dont forget to always spend the extra and buy the highest quality paint you can afford, it will save you in future labour costs. We are Certified Taubmans painters and use/recommend Ultra Premium Taubmans paints. - Kenny