A small painting project three years ago had us reflecting on how far paint technology had developed in the last couple of decades. Perhaps the greatest innovation has been the introduction of durable water-based enamels.
At the time were thrilled to farewell the days of trying to apply the old sticky smelly enamel paint onto wooden window frames. The new acrylic enamel technology seemed much easier and simpler. We were suitably impressed with the ease of application and the absence of petroleum fumes that you normally get while the old enamel plaint dires slowly.
Three years on, and we’ve realised that the old oil-based format still has its place. The new technology paint around the windows isn’t looking quite as robust as the oil-based enamel. It could do with repainting.
After chatting to a few industry experts we’re convinced that the oil-based enamel still has a place in most homes, as it offers a few distinct benefits.
1. Cedar doors. Any highly resinous timber, such as cedar, will benefit from the use of an oil-based primer / undercoat and enamel finish. There’s less chance of ‘bleed’ from the resin through to the final coat.
2. Functioning Wooden Windows. Oil-based enamels tend to form a firmer coating on window which doesn’t ‘bind’ as much as water-based enamels when the window is closed.
3. Heavy wear. The finish of a dry oil-based enamel is usually more durable than water-based paints and will withstand wear. However, as oil-based paint hardens over time, it may chip upon impact.
4. Less brush marks. Applied correctly, oil-based enamels will produce less brush marks. However the lustre of an oil-based enamel has a tendency to show any minor imperfections in the base.
It’s difficult to get a good balance between all the essentials. We strongly recommend you talk to a specialty paint store, or the paint department at the local hardware store and ask for their advice for the best paint for your application. Remember that your time is expensive, and it’s always best to buy the best quality paint, for both ease of application and paint longevity.