Dulux: Water-Based Trim Paints

Dulux: Water-Based Trim Paints

Dulux explains why you should make 2016 the year to switch from solvent to water-based trim paints.

Fifty years ago, virtually all paint products were solvent or oil-based.

These products still contain organic compounds to help with the application, drying and formation of a durable and consistent paint sheen.

More recently, water-based products have slowly started making their way into the professional painter’s arsenal, although early generations were criticised for offering a compromise on sheen levels, colour performance over time and a susceptibility to brush marks which could impede the final finish.

However, significant advances in water-based technology have resulted in a new generation of trade products that are easier to apply than rival solvent-based products on both performance and durability.

The Quick Dry range, for instance, has the visual appearance of their solvent-based equivalents but with added advantages such as lower impact on the environment and internal air quality making them more pleasant to work with.

Water Based Paints -How to - lid 201With commercial specifications increasingly being led by sustainability assessment methodologies, such as BREEAM and SKA, which measure these factors, water-based trim paints are increasingly becoming the norm.

Dulux Trade is determined to help professionals manage this transition by creating products that offer the best features of both solvent and water-based trim finishes, so no compromises are needed.

On this note, the Quick Dry range can give appliers the edge when time is of the essence due to its quicker drying times, speeding up efficiency on site and ultimately delivering a saving on labour costs.


Less odour

The unpleasant and sometimes long-lasting smell of traditional paints is partially created by solvents or Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which evaporate as the paint dries.

Thanks to the lower levels of VOCs, the water-based range has less odour than solvent counterparts. This is good news for occupants and also appliers that may not like, or may be sensitive to, the odour of traditional paints.

Shorter drying times

Traditional solvent-based paints can’t usually be over-coated until the day after, whereas the Quick Dry Undercoat should only take 4 to 5 hours and the same Gloss or Quick Dry Satinwood 6 hours to dry. These faster drying times ultimately give appliers the edge by reducing time between coats and helping reduce labour costs.

Easier cleaning

Solvent-based paints must be cleaned with white spirit, whereas water-based paints can simply be cleaned with warm, soapy water. This makes the cleaning of brushes and other materials used to decorate easier and therefore quicker.

Friendlier to the environment

Lower VOC content also means that the Quick Dry range has a lower environmental impact than solvent-based equivalents, helping decorators show their customers how they can do their bit for the environment.

Tips to make the switch

There is no doubt that water-based trim products have many advantages, both for decorators and their clients. To help you make the switch and apply the products correctly we have outlined some key tips below:

BRUSH1Brush and roller selection

When choosing a brush for applying water-based paint, pick one with synthetic bristles as they will not absorb the water content from the paint, which would make it dry even quicker. If you prefer to use a roller, use one with a short pile, preferably simulated mohair, as foam rollers can reduce paint flow and leave a rough surface. You can still lay off with a brush if you prefer.


Water-based paints do not need to be thinned, but they should be stirred thoroughly and decanted into a paint kettle or roller tray. Ensure the surface is clean and dry, and abrade with a medium grade sandpaper to remove any surface imperfections and to “key” the surface (particularly if is glossy).

Dampen both the surface and the brush with clean water – over-wetting will reduce adhesion and coverage. This will allow maximum application time as it ensures the paint is released more evenly. The water-based trim paint should be applied evenly – over brushing and applying too thinly can cause brush marks and uneven sheen.

Once on, leave the paint alone – don’t be tempted to go back over drying surfaces or you will spoil the finish. Water-based trim paints should be allowed to dry fully before applying an additional coat. It really is far simpler to use water-based paints than perhaps realised.

As you can see with a growing range of water-based trim products, providing both a high quality finish together with quicker recoat times and enhanced durability, it has never been a better time to switch to water-based products.


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