Usage Water Based Enamels (Acrylic Enamels) Solvent Based Enamels (Oil or Turps based Alkyds)
Application & Handling Properties
  • Non flammable
  • Lower odour
  • Reduced volatile organic compounds (VOC)
  • Clean up with water
  • More tolerant of damp surfaces
  • Usually touch dry in 20-30 minutes
  • Usually recoatable in 2 hours
  • Contains flammable solvents
  • Strong odour due to solvent fumes
  • High level of volatile organic compounds (VOC)
  • Clean up with mineral turps
  • Surface needs to be completely dry
  • Usually touch dry in 6-8 hours
  • Usually recoatable in 16 hours
Interior Use Properties
  • Non yellowing
  • Gloss and semi-gloss sheen levels
  • Not able to produce a brilliant gloss or as smooth a finish
  • Full range of colours
  • Not always suitable for harsh treatment areas
  • Not suitable for all window frames (blocking or sticking can occur)
  • Tends to yellow in absence of UV
  • Full gloss and semi-gloss sheen levels
  • Able to produce a brilliant gloss and very smooth finish
  • Restricted colour range
  • Excellent resistance to wear & tear (harder and more abrasion resistant)
  • Generally suitable on all window types or frames (non-sticking)
Exterior Use Properties
  • More flexible hence more able to cope with substrate expansion and contraction
  • Retains its sheen level well over extended periods of time in UV
  • Excellent UV durability (good for exterior timber) (better resistance against chalking & colour fade)
  • Less flexible and becomes harder and more brittle with age (not good for exterior timber due to cracking)
  • Not capable of retaining its initial sheen level over time in UV
  • Poor UV durability(becomes chalky and more faded in short time frame)
General Use Properties
  • Excellent for use on masonry due to resistance to alkalis
  • Resistant to alkalis in zinc-rich metals
  • Not resistant to alkalis present in masonry (paint will lose adhesion)
  • Not resistant to alkalis in zinc-rich metals

Note: A water-based enamel system is recommended where maximum exterior durability is the prime consideration. A solvent-based enamel system will provide greater resistance to wear and tear along with superior flow and levelling.