oil based primer vs water based primer

Oil Based Primer vs Water Based Primer

For many years, oil-based paint has been considered the top choice for woodwork. Whether you were looking to paint the inside or outside woodwork or metalwork, oil-based paint was the preferred option due to its strength and durability, which its water-based counterparts lack. However, oil-based paint has undergone significant changes to become more eco-friendly, but in the process, some of its desirable features have been compromised.
Oil-based paint has been adversely affected in recent times due to its high content of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are known to pose a risk to both living beings and the environment. As a result, the European Union has implemented a limit on the amount of VOCs allowed in paint. Given the high VOC levels in oil-based paint, changes had to be made to comply with this regulation.

Differences Between Oil & Water-based Primers

Here is a list of differences between oil and water-based paint:

  • Cleaning up a water-based primer is simpler as it can be easily done with water, thus eliminating the need for special cleaning solutions.
  • It is worth noting that the drying time of water-based primers may vary depending on the brand and type, although it typically dries faster than an oil-based primer.
  • Applying oil-based primer is recommended for wood surfaces as it helps seal the grains, thereby preventing paint from bubbling as a result of water damage.
  • However, it is essential to consider the high number of VOCs released by oil-based paint, making it unsuitable for indoor use, where routine inhalation of VOCs can be harmful.

What exactly is an oil-based paint primer?

It refers to a type of primer whose base is oil and can be paired with oil-based paint. One of the advantages of using this primer is its ability to effectively block stains and tannins, making it a great option for covering up smoke or odour stains. This is because the primer forms a hard seal that helps prevent moisture and humidity from harming it. While there are some drawbacks to using oil-based primer, there are still many situations where it’s the ideal choice.

Here is a list of times to use oil-based primer:

  • On fresh wood
  • In order to seal stains
  • While using an oil-based paint

Let’s explore this more in-depth:

Oil-based Primer on Fresh Wood

Purchasing completely dry wood can be a challenging task, and although it may not pose a significant problem for most endeavours, it can impact the selection of primer you opt for.

In the case of applying water-based primer on damp wood, the moisture content in the wood will strive to dissipate. The water evaporation process can cause the water-based primer to peel and flake. Thus, it is advisable to use oil-based primer on moist wood as it exhibits higher water resistance properties.

Sealing a Stain with Oil-based Primer

An oil-based wood primer is effective in sealing stains on a wall, much like how wood is sealed. In comparison, a water-based primer may require multiple coats to achieve the same result.

When dealing with old smoke stains, an oil-based primer is a recommended option. Unlike its water-based counterpart, it can effectively mask the smoky odour.

Using Oil-based Paint with Oil-Based Primer

Using oil-based paint is recommended if you choose to apply oil-based primer. Consistency is key, so using a matching primer and paint may be preferable. This is particularly important for outdoor projects that require a durable seal.

How Do I Use Oil-Based Paint Primers?

Let us talk about some of the guidelines for using oil-based primers. Here are several steps to using oil-based primers:

When handling oil-based products, remember to protect yourself by ensuring good ventilation, as their fumes are stronger than those of water-based products. In case of accidental spills, keep mineral spirits handy for cleaning up oil-based primer.

Prior to applying primer, it is important to prepare the surface by sanding old flaking paint and ensuring that it is ready for the primer. Stir the primer thoroughly before applying it, and opt for multiple thin coats rather than one thick coat. Always read the instructions carefully as each primer may have unique specifications. Failing to follow the instructions can result in unwanted outcomes.

Now, let’s discuss water-based primers:

What is a Water-based Paint Primer?

Prior to painting, a surface can be primed using a water-based primer. By doing so, the main paint coat will have better adherence and a neater appearance. As it contains water, water-based primer can be washed away using water.

Latex primer is another name for this kind of primer and typically denotes a water-based composition. Surprisingly, there is no actual latex in latex paint or primer. Many people prefer water-based primers as they are less harmful to the environment and require less use of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Consequently, you can avoid hazardous chemicals when using this type of primer.

In the next section, I discuss the best times to use a water-based primer.

When Should I Use Water-Based Primers?

Water-based primer has become increasingly valuable for various projects in recent times, thanks to advancements in engineering. With the benefits of oil-based paint still intact, it’s possible to have water-based paint as well.

However, not all water-based primers are of the same quality and cost. It’s essential to research the ideal water-based primer for your project. Whether it’s furniture, walls, or toys, water-based primer is ideal for indoor use.

The following section will delve further into this concept:

Indoor Projects for Water-based Primers

Opting for a water-based primer is the ideal choice for indoor projects. This type of primer is a top pick for several reasons. One reason is its minimal fumes and speedy drying process, making it a popular choice. It’s inevitable that pets or children will come into contact with the painted surface indoors, but using water-based primer ensures that the surface will remain undisturbed until the job is complete.

Additionally, water-based paint is an excellent option for indoor projects because it has low VOCs. Creating a safe and peaceful environment is crucial, and knowing that your family is at a decreased risk of exposure to harmful chemicals makes water-based primers an excellent selection.

Now, let’s talk about how to apply a water-based primer.

How Do I Use Water-Based Paint?

Within this segment, I will provide overall instructions for utilizing water-based primers. It’s important to conduct research on your specific primer variety, since each brand may have a distinct application method.

Here is how you use water-based primer:

Despite its safer nature, water-based primer can still have harmful effects if it comes into contact with your mouth or eyes. To ensure safety, it’s important to prepare the area with good ventilation and wear a mask and eye protection.

Before applying the primer, it’s important to prepare your surface. This involves removing any old paint and sanding the surface as flat as possible.

Always remember to stir the primer before application, just as you would a can of paint. Depending on the number of coats you need and the texture of your surface, you may need to thin the primer with water.

When applying the primer, be sure to use a brush or roller carefully. It’s not just a matter of slopping it on. Treat it with the same care and attention as you would a finishing coat of paint.

For surfaces with a lot of stains or rough texture, it’s advisable to apply several thin coats of primer.

It’s important to remember that both priming and painting are crucial steps in achieving a well-painted surface. By dedicating the time and effort necessary, you can increase the value of your home through beautifully painted walls, fences, and furniture.

Water-based paint peeling away from old oil-based paint:

Due to new regulations focused on safety, the old oil based paints were slightly altered to reduce VOC levels, leading to problems with the paint. The paint turned yellow instead of remaining white after just a few months. To address this issue, new and improved water based paints alternatives were introduced.

Compared to oil based paint, a water-based paint will dry quickly, can be recoated on the same day, and is environmentally friendly while retaining its colour. However, water based paint requires more coats, is less durable and may be problematic when applying over oil based paint. In addition, water based paint needs a quality stain block when covering stains or marks, often an oil based block.

When choosing paint for your woodwork, consider the surface you will be painting on. While water based paint has its advantages, it’s important to let the surface guide your decision. If you’re painting over a previous coat, identify whether it was water or oil based before selecting your paint. For a new surface, water based paint is recommended. However, if you’re determined to use water based paint over an old oil based coat, be sure to prepare the surface accordingly.

When it comes to painting a surface, it is important to properly prepare it before applying any new coats of paint. One crucial step in this preparation process is to clean the surface with a degreaser. This will remove any dirt or grease that may be present on the surface and prevent the new paint from adhering properly.

After cleaning the surface, the old paint must be sanded down using high grade sandpaper. A 240 grade sandpaper is an example of the type of sandpaper that should be used. It is important to remove the old sheen of the paint in order for the first coat of water-based primer to properly stick and grip to the surface.

Once the sanding is complete, the surface should be dusted clean and then wiped down with a clean, damp rag. A good water-based primer should then be applied to the surface. This primer acts as a grip coat between the old oil-based paint and the new water-based paint. It is important to ensure that the primer has dried completely before proceeding to the next step.

If you plan on using an oil-based primer/undercoat with a water-based finish coat, there are a few additional steps to follow. First, you must make sure that the oil-based primer has cured properly before painting over it with water based paint. It is difficult to determine when the paint has cured properly, so it is recommended to wait at least a couple of weeks before proceeding with the next step.

By properly preparing the surface and using the appropriate primer, you can ensure that the new paint adheres properly and lasts for a long time. Taking the time to do this correctly can save time and money in the long run by preventing the need to repaint the surface frequently.

If you are confused as to what paint you should use for your woodworking project, you have come to the right place. Oil based paint was considered the preferred choice for woodwork for many years. In fact, oil based paint is durable and stronger compared to water based paint. But oil based paint suffered in recent years due to its high VOC volume. Hence, water based paint has gained an edge over its oil based counterpart in recent years. The aforementioned article provides information on what you should choose for your word working project: oil based paint or water based paint.