D. Barrett Decorating - The Blog

Water Based Revisited

A while back I wrote a list of water based trim(woodwork) products I'd used and as time has gone on I've used a few more so thought I'd do a short blog on these products. As of then water based is my chosen way to finish woodwork, whereas there are still many many decorators out there who refuse to use them. This is mainly because they are scared of change, stuck in their ways or cannot get used to trying a new technique. It is the way forward and the industry itself is moving more and more towards water based. Get on board now and the change when it comes won't be so bad.

Anyway here it is.

Benjamin Moore

Ok, I won't lie here. This is simply the best paint brand on the market. But you pay for that, kind of like the Apple of the paint world. My go to Satin and Gloss is their Advance range. I can't find a single water based paint that comes close there finish or application. Word is that the Aura and Scuff-X is even better quality. As for a adhesion primer, they do a High Hide primer which is superb and Stix. Yet again probably two of the best primer/undercoats on the market. The downside, as I said, is you pay for it. They come in US gallon sizes so you get less than off the shelf at the normal UK stores and you pay a lot more than in there. Is it worth it? I say yes as I want to leave the best finish I can and these achieve it.


Before I said I have used Helmi 80 and the Otex Akva and I still rate them highly, this year I have used a few more of their products a couple of I wasn't impressed with but I did use the Helmi 30 at last. It dries brilliantly and leaves a great finish. Coverage though I felt it needed an additional coat on top of a solid undercoat which lets it down slightly.


I've only used the PU Gloss and I did like it. Right now its the next best thing behind BM Advance for me. Went on beautifully, covered great and dried really quickly. I've heard that the HaftPrimer is also bang on, might have to try that later this year.


FastFlow Satin. Was very impressed with this to be honest. I expected less after using the gloss (which I will admit has improved) but it surprised me on how good the coverage and opacity was. Its probably my go to off the shelf now.


They released the Diamond Satinwood this year so I wanted to see if it was as good as before. It wasn't. Yes it dries rock hard very quick, it doesn't run like the Quick Dry Satin does and it is a nice finish. However straight out the tin it is poor, doesn't spread at all until it is eased off slightly. It's pricey and I don't think the product reflects the price. I will give some credit back to Dulux as they have improved the quick dry undercoat a lot, still get the random runs but way better than before.

As before new products always come on to the market so over the next 18 months will probably try more and this is only my opinion. I know others who swear by one product and hate the other so it's user choice. Coming soon I will give my review of several matt emulsions that's on the market now, another divisive subject amongst decorators!