A very popular question, that many of you ask us about, it’s always debated, if oil covers better or if water covers better or which lasts longer etc etc. Hopefully in this short post you can understand the effects and the damage oil-based formulas and paints do, not just to the environment, but to yourself and others around you and hopefully understand which coating is better to be used in your home.
Some brands have already converted to purely selling water-based finishes, farrow & Ball and Earthborn, are two examples that come to mind. Anyone can find a water-based finish to suit their needs without compromising on this commitment, whether it’s for walls, wood, priming or for floors, you can be completely covered.
This is all very well and good, of course, but what does it actually mean for the performance, environmental friendliness, and safety of your paint? In a nutshell, a move to water-based paint works for everyone – here’s why.
It’s safer for all
If you’re concerned about painting around babies or children, or have a respiratory condition that could be aggravated by using harsh formulas, water-based is the way to go. That’s because no solvents mean ultra-low levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), one of the culprits behind the nasty, strong-smelling fumes released by traditional paints.
Farrow & Ball’s baby safe paint has also been independently tested and approved to meet Toy Safety Standards (BS EN 71 – 3:1995 – Safety of Toys), offering peace of mind whether it’s gracing walls, floors, cots, or even toys.
Volatile Organic Compounds
A volatile organic compound (or VOC) is an organic solvent in vapour form. VOCs are the vapours and gases that are released as the organic solvent evaporates into the air, which is the drying process of paint.
An organic solvent is made up of petrochemicals and plants, and expels vapours into the atmosphere as it evaporates. This vapour has a strong odour (that paint smell we all know!), is flammable and can have a harmful effect on the environment and human health. High exposure to these VOC’s can cause headaches, skin irritation and nausea for some people, which is why it is important to ensure there is good ventilation and air flow present when painting with an oil-based paint.
(sourced from inspirationpaint.com.au)
As water-based paints feature solvents that are primarily made up of water, they release much fewer VOCs into the air and are therefore considered better for the environment and people’s health.
It’s better for the world around us
There’s a lot that goes into making a product eco-friendly – any well-meaning homeowner who has been bombarded with buzzwords while in search of ‘eco paint’ can testify. Luckily, the environmental benefits of going water-based are clear cut. As well as ensuring that the levels of air polluting VOCs in paints are kept well below the mandated limits, working exclusively with a water base means that finishes are easy to rinse from brushes and rollers without the use of harsh solvents.
It applies quicker and lasts longer
Not everybody loves painting as much as we tend to do, but the undeniable fact is that water-based paints tend to dry a lot of quickly than their solvent-based equivalents – permitting you to recoat in as very little as 2 hours – this is surely bound to cheer up even the foremost reluctant DIYer!
This additionally provides us with a super chance to clear up one of the largest myths / white lies around water-based paint. Several believe that it isn’t as sturdy as oil-based paint, however, the additional flexibility and porousness created potential by a water base suggests that it will really perform far better within the future, particularly outdoors and in different areas of variable temperature.
ater-based paints dry more quickly than their solvent-based equivalents – allowing you to recoat in as little as two hours – is sure to cheer up even the most reluctant DIYer.
This also gives us an excellent opportunity to clear up one of the biggest myths around water-based paint. Many believe that it isn’t as durable as oil-based paint, but the extra flexibility and porosity made possible by a water base means it can actually perform much better in the long term, especially outdoors and in other areas of variable temperature.