Comparison between Oil-based and water-based enamel paint.

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Oil-based or Water-based Enamel?Oil based and water based enamel

Determining which type of paint is best for you and your painting project is an important step in the process. Check out the information below as we explain the difference between water and oil-based paints and assist you in determining what current coating is used in your home.

We all enjoy the fresh paint smell, particularly when celebrating a special occasion. Choosing the right colour for each wall is the most enjoyable aspect of having a wall painting. We all enjoy the thrill of selecting colours that hold a special place in our hearts and will accompany us almost every day. A work does not end with selecting the right colours to give a painting a deeper sense. The difficult part is deciding on a paint colour that will look good on the wall. To fully grasp the idea, it is often advisable to seek professional assistance, such as from “Yes Painter”, Choosing the best painters to gain a better understanding of our walls will aid in determining which paint is best for each wall. Though painters are good at what they do because of their experience and knowledge of the principle of paints, let us take a closer look at water-based enamel paint and oil-based enamel paint. When painters recommend paint colours for our walls, this will help us make a more informed decision.


When we say whether the paint is oil or water-based, we’re referring to the type of solvent used in the paint, which is the liquid component of the paint that evaporates as it dries. Oil-based paints (commonly referred to as enamel) are made with an organic solvent, which is typically mineral turpentine. The solvent in a water-based paint (also known as acrylic paints) is almost entirely water, as the name implies.

The solvent in the paint is the main difference between oil-based enamel paint and water-based enamel paint. There are numerous solvents available that, when used, produce the desired results. These solvents are liquids that evaporate as soon as the paint dries.

What solvent is used for the enamel paint on an oil basis?

  • Turpentine (mineral)


Water-based enamel paint employs which solvent?

  • The element of water

The peculiar oil smell is easily known and flammable and, if exposed for a longer period, can lead to harmful effects on human health. Hard headache, skin irritation and even nausea usually lead to frequent exposure. This is the main reason that painters open doors and windows to ventilation with the power to diminish the paint’s strong smell.

While the water-based enamel paint contains more water, it is safe when used. Since the paint contains extra water, the odours of the oil-based enamel are less.


An organic volatile compound (or VOC) is a vaporous organic solvent. VOCs are vapour and gas releases into the air, which is the drying process of the paint when the organic solvent evaporates into the air. An organic solvent consists of petrochemicals and plants and evaporates the vapours into the air. This vapour has a strong smell (we all know that paint odour!), is flame-retardant and can affect human health and the environment. High exposure to these VOCs may cause headaches, skin irritation and nausea for some people, so it is important to ensure that when painted with an air vapour and airflow are present.

Since water-based paints feature water-based solvents, they release significantly fewer VOCs into the air and are consequently better for the environment and human health.



When applied because of the paints, oil-based paints can achieve a higher sheen level; however, the sheen becomes louder in the course of time. As water-based paints reach a less shiny finish, water-based paints can typically keep this level for a long time.


Oil-based paints usually dry harder, providing great wear and tear resistance. However, since the paint dries harder, the paint does not show much flexibility, which means that oil-based paints can crack, get dry, break and shaky over time. Oil paint is also known over time to be yellow. Many developments have now been carried out that enable water-based paints to dry quite strongly and to prevent wear and tear from occurring. Thanks to their versatility in water-based paints, they can expand and contract with the weather, which makes them less sensitive to cracking.


On external applications, water-based paints perform brilliantly. This is because water-based colours, which are far more UV-resistant, allow glossy levels and colours to continue over long periods. The flexibility of the makeup makes it possible for the paint to move as expended with the substratum and contract under different conditions of the weather. In external conditions, oil-based paint does not perform well as breaks down into UV light and develops a crab surface. As the paint has little or no flexibility, the paint cannot expand and contract with the substratum under different conditions of weather, making cracking more likely.


Surface Condition

It is difficult to establish a solid bond with the surface, as oil-based enamel paints deter water. It is therefore important that a surface is completely dried before it is applied.

Water-based enamel paints absorb moisture and hydration and thus completely dry out of the wall before use.


When applying paint under adverse weather conditions, water-based paints do not work as well. Humidity and lower temperatures can extend drying times, while higher temperatures can lead to too fast paint drying. Too quickly or slowly, water-based paints drying can affect the finished result and long-term paint performance.

In turn, oil-based paints tolerate the different conditions of the weather much more than they do, so extreme temperatures, moisture and long term paint performance do not affect their applications.

Application Process

Furnishes of oil-based enamel give a sticky feel. Because of its particular nature, professional painters take time to apply. It tends to smell foul and can make people sensitive to headaches and irritations. Thinners are required for the mess to be cleaned after application. For the next painting process, the brushes require hard thinners.

It is possible to apply water-based paint easily and the process is much quicker. Since it contains lower VOC, its smell is therefore not hard at all. Cleaning is much easier as water for strains can be used.

Where to use Oil-based enamel?

Flammable solvent-based oil-based enamel paints can be utilised on internal walls as they break up with UV light exposure. Email based on oil can turn yellow in a couple of years.

Where to use Water-based enamel?

Water-based enamel paints are inflammable because they absorb humidity and humidity in the air and are UV resistant to external walls. In a couple of years, water-based enamel paint will not yellow.


Because the solvent is mainly water, water-based paints are much easier to clear, with brushes and accessories typically cleaned with water. Oil-based paints are necessary for the cleaning of turpes or other specialised thinners.

A general distinction is made between oil paints of enamel and water paints of enamel.

Oil-based enamel paint                                                              Water-based enamel paint

Available in fewer colours                                                                Available in a full range of colour options

Comes in gloss and semi-gloss finishes                                         Come in gloss and semi-gloss finishes

Gives a brilliant gloss finish                                                              Does not give a brilliant gloss finish

Suitable for all window types                                                          Not suitable for all window types

Touch dries in about 8 hours                                                           Touch dries in about 30 minutes

Can be re-coated  in 16 hours                                                                       Can be re-coated  in 2 hours

Less flexible as it becomes harder with time                              Flexible as it does not tend to become harder with       time

Not resistant to alkalis in masonry and zinc-rich metals        Resistant to alkalis in masonry and zinc-rich metals

For interior walls                                                                                 For both interior and exterior walls

Low level of UV resistance and can become chalky                 High level of UV resistance with greater resistance to chalking and fading


The hands of the experts show a perfect job of applying the paint. In addition, an expert in painting will understand which wall has to be painted. The owner is often decided to apply the paint and calls on the employees to paint its walls. The walls are often discerned and the decision has gone wrong. It has been noticed. It shows that the whole money is wasted and time is lost as well. Then the owners must reapply in a short period of time and often do not understand what went wrong. If the false paint causes cracks in the wall, the costs will increase substantially the next time.

We hope this knowledge is useful and you enjoyed reading it. Keep an eye on new and exciting things! Contact us today At “Yes Painter,” we guarantee our customers the best of our wood polishing services. For you and your families a beautiful day and healthy life.

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