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You may have heard a lot about easy-to-use water-based paints. Or maybe you are unsure if you should use water, solvent, or oil-based paints for your painting project. Here, you can get answers to questions such as: what is water-based paint?

So, what do water-based paints contain? You can also learn more about their benefits, downsides, and historical use. Finally, you can get more information on different types of paint and how to get expert painting guides.

What is Water-Based Paint?

Water-based paints use water as their liquefying agent rather than chemical solvents or oil. The water holds the pigment and paint binders. You can use water-based paints in most interior painting and exterior painting projects. This includes painting homes and other structures.

What Do Water-Based Paints Contain?

Water-based paints can contain varying amounts of acrylic. Those that contain acrylic and latex are usually used for home painting. Meanwhile, there are lower-quality paints that contain more vinyl than acrylic resin. Such paints have reduced durability.

Water-Based Paints vs. Solvent-Based Paints

Initially, water-based paints took more time to dry when compared to solvent-based paints. This was especially the case in lower temperatures or high humidity. However, this drying gap has been reduced to virtual non-existence with the application of water-based technology. Compared to solvent-based paints, water-based paints retain their sheen for longer – even through their lifetime.

Benefits of Water-Based Paints vs. Oil-Based Paints

• Unlike oil-based paints, water-based paints do not leave the usual strong fumes associated with painting.

• You do not need mineral spirits or turpentine to clean up water-based paints. Using soap and water is enough to wash it away.

• Quite significantly, water-based paints provide a durable and long-lasting surface. This applies to the interior and exterior surfaces.

• 100% acrylic paints can last ten years or more when applied to exterior painting projects.

• They are more eco-friendly as compared to oil-based paints. You do not need chemicals to remove the paint from brushes and surfaces.

• Water-based paints have more flexibility and do not crack or yellow like oil-based paints.

• Unlike other types of paint, water-based paints are resistant to stains and mildew.

• One attractive benefit of water-based paint is that it dries quickly. Such quick drying can allow you to paint two coats within one day.

• They can adhere to a wide variety of surfaces. This includes wood, brick, and cement.

• The color retention is better as compared with solvent-based paints.

Downsides of Water-Based Paints

While you may prefer water-based paints for most home projects, oil-based paints have their uses.

• Oil-based paints have higher durability as compared to water-based paints. As such, you can use them for often-used surfaces such as floors.

• Oil-based paints are preferred and commonly used for automobiles.

• Meanwhile, water-based paints are less tolerant of poor weather conditions during curing than solvent-based paints.

• Water-based paints may have longer drying times with high humidity or lower temperatures.

Historical Use of Different Types of Paints

Here are some interesting historical timelines for paints:

• Interestingly to note, the earliest paint was made from natural materials. This included berries, clay, and various flowers.

• Later on, commercial paint pigments became available. People could then blend them with a preferred binder/vehicle and make their own paints.

• Examples of such early binders included cow’s milk, animal fat, and eggs. The first patent for water-based paint was awarded in the 1800s.

• The invention of latex in the 1940s had a high impact on the paint industry. It improved the quality of the production of water-based paints.

• Semi-gloss latex paints came up in the 1970s.

• Water-based paints increasingly improved in reliability and ease of use. Its use became common.

Regulations on Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Solvent-based coatings will likely contain high Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) levels. Such substances pose high human health and environmental risk. Thus, governments now place VOC content regulations on paint manufacturers to reduce the emission of VOC.

Types of Paints

Read on for some interesting points about different types of paints. This includes solvent, water, latex, and oil-based paints.

Solvent-based paints

This type of paint uses organic compounds as solvents. Such organic compounds provide solid, durable finishes that more easily resist scratches and wall abrasions.

You would require mineral spirits or turpentine if you want to clean or thin solvent-based coatings.

Furthermore, the drying times are longer. They are highly resistant to extreme weather conditions and contain high VOC ‘counts.’ Consequently, they tend to cause headaches and trouble breathing.

Similarly, you may prefer solvent-based paints for exterior painting projects rather than interior paints. This is because they produce a typical odor that is less friendly to children.

Water-based paints

Water-based paints are sometimes referred to as Latex paints. They are appreciated for their eco-friendly properties. Moreover, they are often used for exterior and interior wall painting. The two types of water-based paints are acrylic and latex paints.

Acrylic paints

Acrylic paint contains more acrylic polymers than latex paint. Consequently, acrylic paints cost more as they offer greater durability and adhesion. The reference is to the acrylic paint type commonly used in residential painting.

Latex paints

It contains fewer acrylic polymers and is excellent for painting vertical surfaces like walls. Latex paints can cover more areas than acrylic paint. It is also more eco-friendly.

Oil-based paints

Oil-based paints contain a resin within a solvent cleaner and a pigment. When the thinner evaporates, the resin produces a hard coating, and the paint dries off. This contributes to the long-lasting nature of oil-based paints.

However, they are more challenging to clean and emit a more pungent odor than water-based paints. Oil-based paints are commonly used for projects such as popcorn ceilings and interior and exterior trim painting.

How to Choose the Best Paint Types

Choosing the right paint for your project may be challenging if you are unfamiliar with the different types of paint. First, identify the type of paint. Check to see if paint rubs off on a rag containing denatured alcohol.

Oil-based paints tend not to rub off on rags. Also, read the label to learn more about the pigments, liquids, and binders. For example, high-quality latex paints have 100 percent acrylic binders.

How to Choose Good Water-Based Exterior Paints

First, consider the acrylic resin content of the water-based exterior paint. It should be 100% acrylic for excellent results for your exterior painting projects. It would be best to also prioritize high-quality paints for greater durability and longevity.

FAQs on Paints

Do water-based paints contain VOC?

The VOC ‘count’ in water-based paints is generally lower than in solvent-based paints. This makes them pose less risk to humans and the environment.

How safe are water-based fumes?

Water-based paints have VOCs present, even if the amounts are low. Generally, water-based paint fumes become safe after two to three days.

Do oil-based paints emit high VOCs?

High VOCs are created and emitted during the painting process of oil-based paints. This is why that typical new paint smell is associated with oil-based paints.

Can you apply water-based coats on oil-based primers?

As is commonly said, oil and water do not mix. So do not place water-based topcoats on oil-based primers. This is to avoid peels and delaminated paints. However, a good painting company knows how to apply water-based coats to previous paints.

How Can Professional Services Help?

 A reliable expert painting company can provide the following:

• Give valuable advice so you can choose the perfect paint for your project.

• You can get a painting guide on how to paint with water-based paints.

Professional painting companies can also help you do the following:

• Paint over a surface with previous paint.

• Properly prep oil-based paint surfaces before painting them with water-based paints.

• This can include fixing drywall imperfections before applying the paint.

• They can adequately perform bathroom waterproofing before applying the paint.

Get Help from Professional Painting Services

Even though you know more about water paints, their benefits, downsides, types, what they contain, and FAQs, you may still want some extra help. You can get professional services that go beyond paint color consultations. Invite a professional painting contractor to perform your commercial painting or house painting projects.

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