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Waterborne or solventborne

From the Resene paint and decorating problems solver

Only a few decades ago most paint jobs were completed using solventborne paint, but as waterborne paint technology has improved, there has been a huge shift to waterborne paints.

Waterborne paints are generally:

Solventborne paints are generally:


Resene recommends you use waterborne paints wherever you can as most people find them easier to use. Some decorators may prefer to use solventborne paints on surfaces such as trim and joinery and in bathrooms and kitchens, where surfaces may be more prone to grease, scuffing, high humidity, moisture or where surfaces are pressed together.

You can tell whether a paint is waterborne with a quick meths test. Clean the paint surface then using a rag with methylated spirits rub the paintwork. If the paint dissolves it is waterborne paint.


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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.