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How to Apply Water Based Gloss

If you want to paint your home with water-based gloss this article will help you apply the product in the best way to ensure fantastic results.

If you’re thinking of doing some home improvement by adding a splash of paint to your walls, you have a crisp, fresh new aesthetic to look forward to.

Of course, choosing the right paint is an important part of this process, and these days many people opt for a water-based gloss for the job.

Water-based gloss has many benefits, although it is important to apply it properly to get the best possible results.

In this article we will take you through the process of water-based gloss application, as well as touching on other important information you should know before you begin.

With that being said, let’s take a closer look at the best application practices:

Why Use Water Based Gloss?

These days lots of people prefer to use water-based gloss instead of solvent-based gloss because they smell less strong and offensive. They also tend to be much easier to use and apply than solvent paints and it is often easier to clean brushes and trays used to paint with water based gloss.

In addition to the benefits above, many people also prefer a water based gloss because they want to avoid the alternative of a solvent gloss. This is usually for health reasons, and/ or environmental reasons.

In terms of human health, solvent-based paints often contain VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and various chemicals which are thought to cause health issues. Solvent paint can also be harmful to the environment. Water-based gloss can be an environmental pollutant too, but it tends to contain fewer solvents and is considered a better option with both environmental and health concerns in mind.

Overall, if you want a gorgeous shiny, smooth finish, less odour and to use a more ‘conscious’ product, water-based gloss is a great choice for your home improvement project.

Water-Based Gloss Quick Q&A’s

Does Water-Based Gloss Paint Yellow Over Time?

Water-based gloss paint should not go yellow over time if it is a completely water-based product. However, most water-based gloss paints do contain some oil, which means that there will be some discolouration over time.

Is Water Based Gloss Better Or Worse Than Oil Based Gloss?

Water based gloss is perhaps less durable, glossy and harder to apply than oil-based paints. However, the lower likelihood of quick yellowing, the better environmental and health kudos and much better smell are great benefits to water-based gloss.

Is Water Based Gloss Quick-Dry?

Water based gloss paint does dry very quickly, but not necessarily quick enough to add extra coats, or sign off as cured, quicker than other paints. Often, it is touch dry in as little as 30 minutes and it does dry off quickly during painting, which is why you have to work quickly when applying it. However, depending on the manufacturer it can take up to six hours to dry ready for a second coat and then a week or more for a fully cured result.

How to Apply Water Based Gloss: Our Tips and Advice

In order to achieve the very best results with water-based gloss paints, there are lots of precautions and actions you can take. To help you, here are our best tips and advice tidbits on applying water-based gloss:

Ensure The Conditions Are Right

With any paint, but especially water-based paint, the conditions for painting need to be right, for the best results. Water in the paint evaporates and leaves behind particles that then solidify and dry. If the weather is very humid, water can be entering the paint whilst it dries, making the drying time longer. Very cold weather will also cause issues, potentially freezing the moisture in the paint, delaying drying.

Ideally, the paint can dry at an ambient temperature of about 25 degrees Celsius.

Use A Roller For A Smooth Finish

A roller application with a high-quality roller ensures a really great application of water-based gloss. You can also lay off with a brush for a great gloss finish, as shown in this video demonstration.

If You Use A Brush, Avoid Natural Bristles

Natural bristles on a brush will suck up the moisture from water-based gloss, so avoiding this kind of brush is a good idea for this particular renovation job. Instead, using a synthetic brush is better because the bristles stay the same shape, creating the best finish without affecting the paint consistency.

Prepare The Brush For Use

Before you use a brush to apply water-based gloss it is helpful to wet the brush and spin any excess water from it. If you are painting for a period of time longer than half an hour you may need to repeat this process. Some decorators swear by spraying the brush with water every now and again to keep it moist.

Avoid Peeling By Preparing The Surface Well

A well-prepared surface is so important when painting water-based gloss because it can peel and end up badly finished otherwise. To prepare a surface for water-based gloss application take care to:

  • Remove any existing paint using scrapers or if applicable, a paint stripper and adhesion paper method
  • When the surface is paintless you can then sand it lightly to ensure it is smooth
  • When the conditions are right you can apply your water-based gloss

Paint One Small Area At A Time

Water-based gloss is known for being quick to dry, which means that it is wise to paint one small area at a time if possible. To limit painting back over-drying water-based gloss it also helps to brush in one direction only, not back and forth. Alternatively a roller applying (finished by laying off as explained above) the paint can be much quicker, avoiding any issues with painting over-drying paint.

Allow Paint To Dry Fully Before Applying A Second Coat

Water-based gloss can be touch dry in as little as 30 minutes. However, it is important to ensure it is completely dry before applying a second coat, which could take more than 6 hours depending on the manufacturer. Water-based gloss may also require multiple coats before full coverage and a glossy finish is achieved. For that reason, allow a lot of time (a week or more) for full curing.

Dampen The Surface Before Applying

Some decorators swear by wiping the surface with a damp sponge or cloth before painting in order to get a smoother application, and an extended time to fully paint the surface. This method is popular when water-based gloss is being used because it dries so quickly during application.

You’re All Set For A Professional Water Based Gloss Finish

With our tips and information above you should find applying water-based gloss much easier, resulting in a beautiful, luxurious finish to your walls and a stunning home aesthetic.