The virtues of oil-based enamel paint

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The virtues of oil-based enamel paint

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.

For instance…
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.


Please note: the information provided in these blogs is general in nature, and is true and correct to the best of our knowledge. It is not possible to cover every conceivable situation you may face when using our equipment. Always exercise care and use common sense. Avoid any situation which you consider to be beyond your capability. If you feel uncertain about any operating procedures after reading the information on our website or that related to our equipment, or any Worksafe guidelines, you must consult an expert before continuing. No warranty or guarantee is expressed or implied regarding the accuracy of the informaiton provided by Upper Hutt Hire. While every effort has been made to compile and summarise the important health and safety information for the safe use of equipment, the responsibility for its safe use lies with the hirer.

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