Getting Started with Water Based Gloss

I’m having a quick look at water based gloss paint. We’re all familiar with traditional oil-based paints but water-based gloss paints have come on a long way and now offer some major advantages. I’m confronting my demons and doing a quick test of a couple of water-based gloss paints.

Watch the full video here:

Water Based vs Oil Based White Gloss, which is best? Test Tuesday! [37]

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  • I’ve got a pot of Leyland Fast Drying Water Based Gloss and some Dulux Trade Water Based Gloss. I’ve also got a pot of oil-based Dulux Once to compare them against. I started off by painting a panel of 18mm standard MDF with Leyland Acrylic Primer Undercoat. Once the primer was allowed to dry overnight I then used Frogtape to mask off the board in to 6 panels. I’m trying out:
  • Leyland Fast Drying Water Based Gloss (1 & 2 coats)
  • Dulux Trade Quick Dry Water Based Gloss (1 & 2 coats)
  • Dulux Once Oil Based Gloss (1 & 2 coats)

Water Based Gloss Painting Tips

  1. Use a synthetic brush – I like T-Class Delta
  2. You can dampen the surface
  3. Work quickly!
  4. Foam rollers are fine with practice
  5. Rollers with concave ends can help to reduce tram-lining

Oil Based Cons

  • Turns Yellow
  • Long Drying Times
  • Paint Fumes
  • Not Great Around Kids
  • Solvent Needed For Clean-Up

Oil Based Pros

  • More Glossy
  • Longer Working Time

Water Based Cons

  • Not As Glossy
  • Need To Work Quickly
  • Watch For Paint Balling Up

Water Based Pros

  • Doesn’t Turn Yellow
  • Dries REALLY Quickly
  • No Nasty Fumes
  • Water Clean-Up

Conclusion

The Leyland paint dried VERY quickly – touch-dry in about 10 minutes. The Dulux Trade took about an hour to dry. The Leyland paint was a pleasure to work with – no issues other than the fact that it wasn’t as glossy. The Dulux tended to ball-up if you painted over a section that had started to dry. This made it a non-starter for me since it was just too awkward to work with, even if it did have a slightly shinier finish. Obviously the oil-based took overnight to dry and can take several weeks to properly harden – this paint had by far the glossiest finish… but started turning yellow within a matter of months. Since making this video I’ve never used oil-based white gloss again and haven’t looked back!

Andy Mac

Andy runs a busy little bespoke joinery business making everything from custom made furniture through to commercial display systems. He's been self employed most of his life, runs various YouTube channels and is co-host of the UK's first commercial joinery podcast.
Andy Mac