Are Water Based Paints a good Investment for the Hobbyist Car Painter?

Tags: Waterborne

Be Sociable, Share! you probably know many shops are either turning to or mandated to use water based paints in their shops but for the home hobbyist is this type of paint a good investment?

The first thing you should understand about water based paints is that they normally must be used in a professional paint booth. The reason for this is that unlike solvent based paints that can cure in a short amount of time through evaporation of solvents the water based line of paints require humidity control and air drying fans.

Because water based paints would normally dry slower without help from a paint booth a home or hobbyist painter that is working in an open area or home made booth will find that dirt becomes a problem.

The longer it takes for paint to flash between coats and then cure to a point where it won’t let dust adhere to it means the non professional has less chance to complete a job without problems.

Some formulations of water based paints will dry faster than others and your experience in painting can aid you in getting a better job than someone who is first starting out. However for people who normally only paint one or two vehicles a year low voc solvent based paints are probably the best match.

Most areas that have regulations on solvent based paints place the limits high enough that you normally will not be in violation if you are only painting 2 cars a year. This could be different in areas like Southern California where they basically frown on anyone who breaks a sweat and they want to regulate you out of their lives and communities.

Costs of Water Based Painting Equipment

In addition to quality control is the cost. Water based paints will require that your gun is designed to shoot this material because a standard gun will rust. You will also need to use a HVLP system which most painters use today but as for cleaning and servicing of equipment you will need a completely different setup just for water based paint.

So there are many factors when considering water based paints including the fact that you will still need to shoot solvent based primers and clears.

For all of these reasons at this time it really does not make any sense to get involved with water based paints unless you want to punish yourself.

Solvent based paints are available to match all colors and low voc versions can keep your hobby or professional shop in compliance if you use the correct filtration methods.

Remember always check for current regulations in your locality and double check the national regulations just to make sure. Your paint supplier may not always be up to speed on Hobby Painter requirements and may steer you into an expensive solution that you really don’t need the headaches from.

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