Water Based Trim Paints - Review So Far

I made a post last year about water based woodwork products and how I have moved over to using them solely when possible. For several reasons, mainly drying times, no fumes when using and the fact they stay whiter for longer. Now as Ive a few months work behind me using them I thought a little recap on what I think about certain brands. These are personal opinions and are only on the about the products I have used myself. There are a few brands I am still to try which I have heard good things about but would be unfair to pass comment if I haven't used them.

Undercoats and Glosses

Johnstones Aqua Undercoat/Gloss:

Very good product, has good hiding properties and adheres good to previously oil based trim. Dries quickly too, is one of my go to undercoats. Gloss it is possible to cover in one top coat but I tend to give two for greater coverage and depth. Currently my pick for off the shelf trim paint systems. However it does warp your brushes over time regardless of how many times you clean them.

Dulux Quick Dry Undercoat/Gloss:

Right this is a tricky one. When, and its a big when, the products work the shine and coverage is immense. Sadly if the temperature isn't right these products will run like crazy, take a age to dry and in particular the gloss is a horrible paint to apply. Now when I've used it in a mix it has been a great product to use but in white terrible. Hopefully they will improve it soon as it does get a bit embarrassing recommending Dulux products for a guarantee then getting out the disclaimer form as i can't on the woodwork! I will give praise to Dulux Primer/Undercoat though, it is my favourite acrylic from off the shelf and has great adhesion. I will test this with the Quick Dry Gloss one day.

Armstead Quick Dry Undercoat/Gloss:

Where the Dulux Quick Dry system fails, their so called budget brand excels! So much I find myself picking this off the shelf when my customers want a full guarantee. It is actually a good gloss, dries solid and looks really good with two top coats. The primer/undercoat is decent enough and adheres well to old oil provided a decent key and wash down is done first.

Crown FastFlow Undercoat/Gloss:

This product I used again very recently. Last year I was given a sample to try, I wasn't impressed. Left way too many brush marks and applied horribly. So naturally I had apprehensions using it again but I shouldn't have. It was a wonderful product to use, dries solid and quickly. With the proform blaze brush barely any brush marks were visible. I would put this on a par with the Johnstones Aqua, so much I am going to use this again on further jobs.

Tikkurila Otex Akva Primer/Helmi 80 Gloss:

Without a question my favourite primer/gloss combination and my first choice for any job. Both products dry extremely quick, the gloss has a shine level and feel to it comparable to any oil based gloss. So much every customer I have used this product for have commented how impressed they are with it. The only negative I have is that I have to order it in so can't go pick some up when needs be. Price is comparable to the others as well.


Dulux Quick Dry Satin:

Like the Quick Dry Gloss and Undercoat, a big hit and miss product. I can get a great finish one day then the next day constantly chasing my tail for runs. Again like the gloss works well when a mixed colour just disappointing in white. I will still use it as I am determined to get it right every time as it does work!

Armstead Quick Dry Satin:

Absolutely love this product. Just like Dulux Diamond Satinwood used to be and that was my favourite satin. Dries quick and is very solid after two coats. Like most water based products though needs a good seven day to completely harden. I use it with either Dulux Quick dry primer or Zinsser 123 as an adhesion primer and have had great results.

Isomat Satin:

I've already given a full review of this, love it. Major selling point it covers superbly and can go straight on top of old oil paints in two coats without a adhesion primer. Like the Tikkurila I have to order it in which can be a drawback if I run out.

Crown Acrylic Satin:

I used this on a couple of jobs, didn't rate it at all. Poor coverage and finish. However given my surprise with Crown FastFlow, maybe their satin will be better.

Dulux Weathershield Satin:

This was a good product, something I will aim to use in the upcoming external season more.

Zinsser Allcoat:

Like the Weathershield Satin is very good. Coverage over a previously stained window surprised me how easily it covered. Another product I'll look to use more over the year.

There are some more products I really want to try over the next few months, like Benjamin Moore Advance and Aura, Tikkurila Helmi 30, Capurol Satin along with various adhesion primers. The range of decent quality water based products is amazing and I firmly believe that I made the right choice in going fully water based. The key is now to find the right systems that work the best for myself and my customers, along with the right brushes and rollers.