3 Reasons to Use Water-Based Coatings

Distinct benefits over oil-based alternatives

Water-based paints and stains are formulated to use water as the carrying agent for pigments and other component ingredients. Traditionally, oil-based solvents are used for this purpose but innovations in raw materials mean that water-based coatings can be superior to the traditional oil-based alternatives for certain uses. When working with outdoor wood, water-based stains and sealers adapt much better to changing weather conditions without the fumes and fire risk.

While there are quite a few advantages, here we cover the 3 main benefits of using water-based products.


The fumes released by paints and other building materials are measured by VOCs which stands for “Volatile Organic Compounds”. VOCs refer specifically to the gases that are released into the air and can have damaging effects on your health. When inhaled, VOCs can contribute to several health problems, including irritation to your airways, headaches, nausea and even organ damage. VOCs can be released into the air long after application which is why it is a good idea to use low VOC products to reduce exposure to these fumes. Water-based paint and stains have substantially less VOCs than oil-based alternatives.

You may also notice the warning labels on the containers of oil-based products because the solvents and fumes are extremely flammable. This is a risk that shouldn’t be ignored, especially since leftover product can remain in a workshop or garage for some time. Water-based paints are non-flammable since they are mostly water.


Products intended for outdoor wood are different than those for indoor wood. The changing temperatures and exposure to sun, rain and snow means you need a product that can adapt to these conditions.

Water-based stains are vastly superior for outdoor surfaces because the coating has flexibility that can expand and contract as the weather changes. This flexibility also means that water-based paint and stains are much more durable and wont crack.

Pigment is also acts as an additional shield from the sun’s UV rays. Water-based stains keep their color profile longer, keeping wood looking better under the sun.


The final part of a project should not be overlooked! The cleanup can become a big hassle when using thinners and with the precautions that must to taken to avoid exposure to pets, contact with plants or grass and your own protective gear.

Since the main ingredient in water-based paint and stains is water, clean-up is easy with just soap and water. There is no need for thinners or solvents to clean brushes, surfaces or skin, just wash with water and avoid the toxic chemicals. .

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