As their name indicates, solvent-based paints sometimes referred to as “oil-based” or “alkyd” paints, contain a significantly higher level of organic solvents than water-based paints. These solvents are responsible for the strong odor noticeable in buildings that have been freshly painted. They are also potentially hazardous for both human health and for the environment which is why concerted efforts are being made to reduce or remove their presence in paints without negatively impacting on paint performance.
Today, water-based paints dominate and account for roughly 80% of paints sold in the residential market.
The function of organic solvents in paint relates to certain properties it brings – it facilitates the paint’s application, it’s drying, and the formation of a regular paint film. During application and drying, the solvent evaporates. Ideally a dry paint film no longer contains solvent.
However when they evaporate, these solvents release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere, with a negative, toxic impact on the environment.
Fifty years ago, virtually all paint was solvent-based. Today, advances in paint technology mean that modern, water-based paints, often referred to as acrylic emulsions, are increasingly replacing organic solvents across a broad range of paint applications and surface areas (and account for 80% of architectural paints). Legislation is in place to support this trend.
From a performance standpoint, advances in paint technology mean that high quality water-based paints are in many respects equal to or superior to their solvent-based equivalents. High quality acrylic emulsions offer excellent durability, quick drying time, and the emission of less odor.
ACRYLIC EMULSION WATER BASED PAINT (LATEX PAINTS):
Super Paint is formulated with Advanced Resin Technology. You can apply most sheen in cold weather, even in temperatures as low as 35° F. Once applied, it offers outstanding adhesion and color retention – resisting frost in cold conditions and resisting fading, chalking, peeling and blistering in hot and humid conditions. With its fast, efficient application in all temperatures, Super Paint will increase your production year-round.
Acrylic artist paints may be thinned with water and used as washes in the manner of watercolor paints, but the washes are not re-hydra table once dry. For this reason, acrylics do not lend themselves to color lifting techniques as do gum Arabic based watercolor paints.
Acrylic paints with gloss or matte finishes are common, although a satin (semi-matte) sheen is most common. As with oils, pigment amounts and particle size or shape can naturally affect the paint sheen. Matting agents can also be added during manufacture to dull the finish. The artist can mix media with their paints and use topcoats or varnishes to alter or unify sheen if desired.
The use of a solvent to remove paint may result in removal of all of the paint layers, acrylic gesso, etc. Oils and warm, soapy water can remove acrylic paint from skin.
Only a proper, artist-grade acrylic gesso should be used to prime canvas in preparation for painting with acrylic (however, acrylic paint can be applied to raw canvas if so desired without any negative effect or chemical reaction as would be the case with oils). It is important to avoid adding non-stable or non-archival elements to the gesso upon application. However, the viscosity of acrylic can successfully be reduced by using suitable extenders that maintain the integrity of the paint film. There are retarders to slow drying and extend workability time and flow releases to increase color-blending ability.
Painters and acrylic
Before the 19th century, artists mixed their own paints, which allowed them to achieve the desired color and thickness and to control the use of fillers, if any. While suitable media and raw pigments are available for the individual production of acrylic paint, hand mixing may not be practical due to the fast drying time and other technical issues.
Acrylic painters can modify the appearance, hardness, flexibility, texture, and other characteristics of the paint surface by using acrylic media or simply by adding water. Watercolor and oil painters also use various media, but the range of acrylic media is much greater. Acrylics have the ability to bond too many different surfaces, and media can be used to adjust their binding characteristics. Acrylics can be used on paper, canvas and a range of other materials. However, their use on engineered woods such as medium-density fiberboard can be problematic because of the porous nature of those surfaces. In these cases it is recommended that the surface first be sealed with an appropriate sealer. Acrylics can be applied in thin layers or washes to create effects that resemble watercolors and other water-based media. They can also be used to build thick layers of paint-gel and molding paste media are sometimes used to create paintings with relief features that are literally sculptural. Acrylic paints are also used in hobbies such as train, car, house, and human models. People who make such models use acrylic paint to build facial features on dolls or raised details on other types of models. Acrylic paint is easily removed from paint brushes and skin with water, unlike oil paints that require the use of a hydrocarbon.
Acrylic paints are the most common paints used in grattage. Grattage is a surrealist technique that became popular with the release of acrylic paint. Acrylics are used for this purpose because they easily scrape or peel from a surface.
Artist or professional acrylics are created and designed to resist chemical reactions from exposure to water, ultraviolet light, and oxygen. Professional-grade acrylics have higher pigment which allows for more medium manipulation and less color shifts when mixed with other colors or when dried.
Student acrylics have working characteristics similar to professional artist acrylics, but with lower pigment concentrations, less expensive formulas, and a smaller range of colors. More expensive pigments are generally replicated by hues. Colors are designed to be mixed, although color strength is lower. Hues may not have the exact mixing characteristics of full-strength colors.
Scholastic acrylics use less expensive pigments as well as dyes in formulations that are safe for younger artists, and economical for classroom use. The color range is limited to common primary and secondary colors, and the actual pigments are unspecified. Because scholastic acrylics use dyes as well as pigments, light fastness may be poor.
Differences between acrylic and oil paint
The vehicle and binder of oil paints is linseed oil or another drying oil, whereas water serves as the vehicle for an emulsion (suspension) of acrylic polymer that is the binder in acrylic paint. Thus, oil paint is said to be “oil-based”, whereas acrylic paint is “water-based” (or sometimes “water-borne”).
The main practical difference between most acrylics and oil paints is the inherent drying time. Oils allow for more time to blend colors and apply even glazes over under paintings. This slow drying aspect of oil can be seen as an advantage for certain techniques, but in other regards it impedes the artist trying to work quickly. The fast evaporation of water from regular acrylic paint films can be slowed with the use of acrylic retarders. Retarders are generally glycol or glycerin-based additives. The addition of a retarder slows the evaporation rate of the water.
Oil paints may require the use of solvents such as mineral spirits or turpentine to thin the paint and clean up; these generally have some level of toxicity and are often found objectionable. Relatively recently, water-miscible oil paints have been developed for artists’ use. Oil paint films can become increasingly yellow and brittle with time and lose much of their flexibility in a few decades. Additionally, the rules of “fat over lean” must be employed to ensure the paint films are durable.
Oil paint has a higher pigment load than acrylic paint. As linseed oil has a smaller molecule than acrylic, oil paint is able to absorb substantially more pigment. Oil provides a different (less clear) refractive index than acrylic dispersions, imparting a unique “look and feel” to the resultant paint film. Not all pigments in oil are available in acrylic. Acrylic paints, unlike oil, may also be fluorescent.
Due to acrylic’s more flexible nature and more consistent drying time between colors, the painter does not have to follow the “fat over lean” rule of oil painting, where more medium must be applied to each layer to avoid cracking. It usually takes between fifteen to twenty minutes for one to two layers of acrylic paint to dry. Although canvas needs to be properly sized and primed before painting with oil (otherwise it will eventually rot the canvas), acrylic can be safely applied to raw canvas. The rapid drying of the paint tends to discourage the blending of color and use of wet-in-wet technique as in oil painting. Even though acrylic retarders can slow drying time to several hours, it remains a relatively fast-drying medium, and the addition of too much acrylic retarder can prevent the paint from ever drying properly.
Meanwhile, acrylic paint is very elastic, which prevents cracking from occurring. Acrylic paint’s binder is acrylic polymer emulsion; as this binder dries the paint remains flexible.
Another difference between oil and acrylic paints is the versatility offered by acrylic paints: acrylic is very useful in mixed media, allowing use of pastel (oil & chalk), charcoal, pen, etc. on top of the dried acrylic painted surface. Mixing other bodies into the acrylic is possible—sand, rice; even pasta may be incorporated in the artwork. Mixing artist or student quality acrylic paint with household acrylic emulsions is possible, allowing the use of pre-mixed tints straight from the tube or tin, so presenting the painter with a vast color range at his or her disposal. This versatility is also illustrated in the wide variety of additional artistic uses that acrylics afford the artist. Specialist acrylics have been manufactured and used for lino block printing (acrylic block printing ink produced by other companies since the early 1980s), face painting, airbrushing, watercolor techniques, and fabric screen printing.
PLASTIC EMULSION PAINT
Often it happens that when we are planning to get the walls painted, we tend to not look at the various options that are available. Rather we simply opt for what was there before and manage to get a touchup done.
However, it is important to know what are the latest kinds of paints in the market that can enhance the décor of our homes.
Here we look at one particular type of paint that has gained immense popularity over the years and it is called plastic emulsion paint:
Questions, issues or concerns? I'd love to help you!