Waterborne paints are generally:
- Thinned and cleaned up with water. Paint tools can be easily washed up in the water.
- Lower in VOC than solvent-borne paints, and lower odor.
- Better thermoplastic properties stay softer and more flexible so it can cope better with movements in the substrate.
- Faster dry time.
- Generally more durable – better mold resistance, more resistant to chalking.
- Less block resistant than solvent-borne paints, however, waterborne enamel technology has much better block resistance.
Solvent-borne paints are generally:
- Thinned and cleaned up with other solvents, such as turps.
- High in VOC, high in odor, flammable.
- Harder finish than waterborne paint, making it easier to wipe but will tend to become brittle as the paint ages.
- Easier to achieve a higher gloss level than waterborne equivalents.
- Excellent block resistance – i.e. it won’t stick to itself when two painted surfaces come into contact.
- More tolerant of adverse weather conditions (e.g. humidity) during the drying period.