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Has Oil Based Gloss Had its Day? What are the Alternatives?

We all know that oil-based gloss goes yellow very quickly nowadays, especially when used internally. We asked Professionals from The Decorators Forum UK how they work around the problem. Do they use alternative products? Has oil-based gloss had its day?

For me, yes! Oil-based gloss really has had it’s day. It isn’t fit for purpose anymore. Luckily satinwood is a lot more popular nowadays and it lasts a lot longer than gloss. Other than that, there are plenty of water-based options around which are just as good as oil. Paint technology has moved on and I can’t see the point in sticking with outdated products or finishes. Choose something that will not only look good after you’ve painted, but will look good a few years down the line.

Mike Gregory

This is a rental property I look after. woodwork done with allcoat waterbased gloss 2 years ago. If it was oil based how bad would it be??

Has Oil Based Gloss Had its Day, yellow

John Kerry

I you asked me which I prefer, it has to be oil because it’s harder wearing. Was at a job recently where a painter had used water-based. The paint was coming off the door before he’d even finished the job. It isn’t fit for purpose.

James Hunter

Mostly Satin work these days over gloss. Johnstone’s aqua all day long. Love it. Nice sheen level and and dries quick. The finish is every bit as good as oil-based and it lasts a lot longer.

Derrick Knight

I use water-based on mostly all my domestic work but still use oil on all my rental work.

Scott Connelly

For me no-brainer oil-based is still the best option

Darren Flint

I always use Dulux trade white oil undercoat and gloss and seems to stay white for years. I’ve never had a problem with it, so I’m not changing now. I’m using the Dulux trade oil base satinwood a lot and that stay white too.

Alan Shorney

I do about 3 or 4 full rental properties a month for an estate agent on top of normal workload. I’ve taken to Crown fastflow for most work, but can’t see past oil-based satin on the rentals. It’s just the way it is.


Has Oil Based Gloss Had its Day

Davey Hamilton

Not much gloss nowadays, usually satinwood. Gloss tends to turn yellow too quickly when used internally.

Paul Oakes

I generally always use Dulux oil-based undercoat and gloss. Or even their satinwood. Never have a problem with it.

Billy Millward

Mostly use oil-based eggshell or satinwood. It’s too good to drop.

Nigel Moore

Still oil-based for me, haven’t found a water-based system that works as well yet. A lot has to do with profit margins being tight and not having that little extra time to experiment. Agree with other comments about most people wanting satin

Jez Norman

Can’t better the shine on oil-based gloss, just a shame it stinks so much

Phil Emms

Gloss yellows a lot quicker than satinwood. I generally talk my cusomers out of gloss nowadays

Duncan Cave

Some great water-based products on the market.

Sam Simpson

I was a stickler for oil-based as I used it through my apprenticeship and beyond back in the 80’s

I tried water-based gloss around 7 years ago and wasn’t impressed. A few years later tried again with johnstone’s Aqua systems, using the specified Aqua undercoat and thought it was pretty good. More recently tried F&B then now using Tikkurila. I learned that the application techniques are different from oil based. As of last month, I now use no oil-based paint apart from floor varnish.

I use water-based because;

1/ no thinners apart from water

2/ No strong odours for us or customer.

3/ washing equipment is easier

4/ extended durability (10-20) for some

5/ better eco credentials

6/ easier application

7/ easier clean up

Stuart Gillanders

I’ve only ever known WB so for me it’s a no brainier.

I think some guys who have been in oil-based for years struggle with relearning a new product and technique.

Ted Teddy

I use it as I like using it. However, it does yellow fast nowadays

Kev Donohoe

I give the customer the choice and tell them the pros and cons

Stuart Baggott

If I’m working on a residential job I use water-based. It just stays white for a lot longer. Commercial/rental I’ll use oil based

Darren Walpole

Oil-based every time

Kevin Wood

I have stopped with oil inside because all my customers want white longer lasting…an am winning 90% of my jobs for that reason… 👍

Mark Pioli

I’ll use oil if it’s not white. Tried a lot of water-based paints recently, Scuff-x is by far the best I’ve tried. Johnstone’s Aqua is sticky. Helmi is good but coverage isn’t the best. Caparol Aqua PU leaves a lovely finish but is very loose and must watch the runs. Will carry on using both depending on what the job is although my oil brushes have all gone hard now as not used them for months.


Has Oil Based Gloss Had its Day

Dave Pearce

Use oil on 2 jobs internally in the past 8 years. Otherwise everything is water based. Customers love the lack of smell 😉

Steve Trebilcook

Oil based for me if it yellows then get called back for more work lovely jubly

John Wild

Dulux trade oil-based satinwood for me. Went back to a job a few weeks ago to do another room. 2 years on and the woodwork still looks fresh

I’ve heard the Dulux diamond water-based satin is decent stuff. But I don’t fancy changing my system, considering I’ve never had a problem with oil 🤔

Adam Atkins

I’m going to do a test. I’m going to paint half at door at my house in oil based and half in water based and see what happens

Daniel Shaun Critchley

Crown waterbased fast flow for me, love the stuff!! I’ve only ever had one problem and that was a dodgy batch that they replaced and refunded. Apart from that, spot on stuff, love it. Haven’t used oil based for about three years now.

Simon Blanchett-Parker

I still use a lot of oil but starting to get into waterbased. I used the Dulux undercoat and gloss, it was quite impressive.

Noel Prendergast

Only really recommend water-based gloss for interiors now after I went back to a huge staircase I had done 3 months earlier & it had already started yellowing. I was mortified but luckily the client had supplied the paint.

Still use oil-based Satinwood though, it stays white a good long while still.

Paul M Chapman

I chop and change. I prefer to use oil but will use water-based if there is lack of or no natural light.

Mark Barton

I don’t use water or oil-based gloss. I tend to go with oil-based satinwood instead


Has Oil Based Gloss Had its Day

Daniel Street

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