Product Review

For New Alkyd Paints, Oil and Water Do Mix

Waterborne alkyd paints offer the durability, cleanability, and scratch resistance of conventional alkyd paints without toxic solvents and cleaners, high VOC levels, or disposal problems.

A new class of paint is emerging, rising to both performance and environmental challenges: waterborne alkyd paints.

Regular alkyd paints (also known as oil-based or solvent-borne paints) form a hard, glossy surface that is easy to clean and resists scratching, water, and chemicals. Used primarily for trim, doors, cabinets, furniture, floors, commercial walls, and other high-use areas, they are popular with professional painters because they adhere well to most surfaces and “level out” to hide brush marks and small surface irregularities, curing to a smooth surface that latex paints cannot match. Unfortunately, standard alkyds typically contain flammable, potentially toxic petroleum-based solvents that emit high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). They require ventilation during application and petroleum distillates for cleanup, and excess paint has to be disposed of as hazardous waste.

Published March 26, 2012