The Durability of Water-Based Paints

Updated Apr 21, 2024 | Posted Jun 25, 2021 | Professional insight, Product Advice | 0 comments

I know some decorators still have doubts over the durability of water-based paints.

Well, 3 weeks ago I did a redecoration of a home, including a load of white woodwork. I was going over previously panted surfaces with the usual prep, one coat of Johnstone’s Aqua Undercoat and one coat of Johnstone’s Aqua Guard.

Yesterday I went back to the job as the customers have now decided to go for caridean flooring. So, I’ve had to take up all the Scotia around the skirting boards, which has been caulked  over and over again through the years. Scraping at the woodwork with a razor blade, metal scraper and 80 grit sandpaper.

Considering I only applied the paint a few weeks ago, you could forgive it for failing and coming off with scotia. Most oil-based paints wouldn’t have coped!!

This really wasn’t the case!! This water-based paint is so durable that it remained undamaged. I still need to paint it all because of the missing paint at the bottom of the skirting board, but I’m very impressed with how good this product actually is. It just goes to show how the durability of water-based paint has improved over the years. You really don’t have an excuse not to make the switch from oil.

the durability of water-based paints such as satinwood, eggshell and gloss
how durable is Johnstone's aqua guard? is it fully water-based?

Water-based paints in general have come a long way in recent years. It isn’t just Johnstone’s Aqua Guard that shows superior durability. Paint technology is changing all the time and we’re being driven away from anything containing oil, mostly for environmental reasons.

Manufacturers are putting a lot of effort into developing better water-based alternatives. Durability, ease of use and overall finish are crucial to these products.

If you want to try the Aqua Guard, you can either buy it from your local Johnstone’s Decorating Centre, but unless you’re eligible for a trade discount, it will probably be cheaper to buy this product online. Click here to see online prices.

Remember you need to use the Aqua undercoat first to help with adhesion and opacity.

There are other durable water-based paints on the market (which I’ll get into soon), but Johnstone’s Aqua Guard has been my favourite for a while now, simply because I know it’ll look good and never let me down. Mike Gregory wrote a full Johnstone’s Aqua Guard review recently which you may also find useful.


How to Ensure the Longevity of Water-Based Paint on Woodwork?


It’s no secret, but the prep is vital when using water-based paint on woodwork. If you get that wrong, then your paint won’t adhere very well and will come off when scuffed.

The surface needs to be clean before you start. Then you should sand everything down to break the film of the old paint and create a key. After that, you should apply an adhesion primer. This helps water-based paint stick to oil-based.

Most water-based paints for woodwork come as a system, so just follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the recommended undercoat. Or you could always use something like Zinsser BIN Aqua.

Follow this advice and use a good paint system, and you will be fine.


The Most Durable Water-Based Paints for Woodwork


This blog goes to show how durable Johnstone’s Aqua Guard is. I think most other decorators would agree that it is the most durable water-based paint you can buy, but there are others. Providing you choose a good-quality trade paint, then you shouldn’t have a problem.

WRX Satin is another very durable water-based paint. What makes WRX special is it’s very durable after a short period (we’re talking hours, not days).

Dulux Trade Diamond Satinwood is also very durable, although it can be a pain to apply.

Caparol PU Satin is another great option. The finish is always bang on and it’s durable enough to last for years.


This blog was written by Daniel James Wilson, who is a Professional Decorator and owner of Royal Home Improvments. Click here to visit his website.

Updated Apr 21, 2024 | Posted Jun 25, 2021 | 0 comments

About the Author

About the Author

Mike Cupit has been in the decorating industry since 2002 and has mostly worked as a Trade Decorator in the domestic sector (peoples’ homes). Self-proclaimed “product geek”, Mike has a passion for paint and decorating tools. Mike now spends most of his time testing paint products and tools, comparing them to similar products on the market, and blogging about the industry in general.


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