Waterborne Alkyd Paints: Premium Interior Finishes. Environmentally-Safe Alternative to Old Oil-Based Paints


Waterborne Acrylic Alkyd Paint Provides Brilliant Finishes: Decadent, Smooth & Durable. Ideal for Cabinet Painting, Furniture & for a Decadent Finish on Moldings & Trim. These Paints are Replacing Traditional Alkyd (Oil) Products because They Offer Many of the Benefits in a more Convenient Delivery System that’s Environmentally-Friendly and Less-Toxic.

Waterborne Acrylic Alkyds: AboutWhy We Like ItDIY or Pro?Photos

Waterborne Acrylic Alkyd Paints Provide Premium Interior Finishes with Excellent Leveling, a Smooth, Reflective and Highly Durable Finish

In this article we’ll discuss the benefits of acrylic waterborne alkyd paints: what makes these paints so different, what type of paint projects they’re best for, etc. If you’re looking for a luxurious, durable, brilliant finish for cabinets, furniture or trim in your home then acrylic alkyds are the paints to use. They offer many of the benefits of traditional oil-based paints without the harmful VOCs and the need for paint thinner. Soap-and-water cleanup, oil-like finish. The best of both paints.


Waterborne Acrylic Alkyds Provide the Benefits of Traditional Oil-Based Paints in Less-Toxic Formula

Low V.O.C‘s Plus Soap-Water Cleanup. No Need for Solvents or Thinners.

“ADVANCE is the only national waterborne alkyd paint to use waterborne colorants, significantly reducing odor and achieving low-VOC levels (less than 50 g/l) without sacrificing the application and functional qualities of a true alkyd. It is CHPS certified, qualifies for LEED® credit and meets strict VOC and SCAQMD regulations — even after tinting.” – Benjamin Moore’s “ADVANCE” waterborne alkyd paint

You can find a lot of the following information from Benjamin Moore’s ‘ADVANCE’ paint Technical Data Sheet. Click here for the full TDS.

Waterborne/acrylic alkyds like ‘ADVANCE’ are so attractive because they provide many of the desired characteristics of conventional oil-based paints, but in a more convenient delivery system that is less toxic. At less than 50g/L of Volatile Organic Compounds it exceeds environmental safety regulations. Traditional oil paints were high in VOC content and they were/are becoming increasingly unpopular among health-conscious homeowners. The creation of waterborne alkyds and acrylic alkyd paint was the answer. Paint manufacturers developed a way to make a less-toxic 100% alkyd formula that’s water-dispensable. This means it can be cleaned with soap and water (no paint thinner or solvents needed). Much like the traditional alkyds they are replacing, waterborne-alkyds sport a long open time, excellent leveling and flow, and lead to mirror-like smooth and highly durable finishes for premium, high-end paint jobs. Specifically ideal for cabinetry painting, but also excellent for a decadent finish on any and all woodwork.

Bathroom Vanity Refinished with ADVANCE Waterborne Alkyd Paint

“Earlier waterbased acrylic alkyds tended to dry too quick and yellow. Research and Development over the years has delivered new technology that now provides a product with good open time, flow and leveling and resistance to yellowing.” – Steve Revnew, Vice President of Product Development at Sherwin-Williams.

Our Take on Acrylic Waterborne Alkyds

Much like conventional oil-based paint, ADVANCE waterborne alkyd dries very slowly. This gives it time to level to a smooth, glass-like finish. It also flows extremely well, and – unlike old oil-based paints – white colors are not as prone to turning yellow over time. The finish is both brilliant and decadent, very durable and washable. You just have to give it 16 hours to recoat and up to 2 months to completely cure. My clients and I have found it to be well worth it. With Benjamin Moore ADVANCE waterborne alkyd it’s possible to get a factory-like, sprayed-looking finish with brushes and rollers when airless spraying isn’t convenient. As the paint slowly dries it levels to a mirror-smooth, hard shell. This luxurious finish makes for premium painting with high-end results that last, even in high-traffic areas.

This Piece of Furniture was Restored with Waterborne Alkyd Paint

Furniture Painting with Benjamin Moore’s ADVANCE Waterborne Alkyd. Pic Courtesy Pinterest

Acrylic Waterborne Alkyd Painting: DIY or Pro?

Specialty Waterborne Alkyd Paint for Cabinets. These drawers are laid horizontally after being painted so the slow drying oil in water paint dries smooth. Pic: Pinterest.So now that you have a basic understanding of acrylic / waterborne alkyds you’ve probably already said to yourself, “It sure sounds like a lot of work”. You’re not wrong. It’s more difficult to work with and that means a) it will be a very difficult DIY job depending on your painting expertise and/or b) your local painting contractor will charge more for working with this product.

The long dry time of ADVANCE and other waterborne alkyds and acrylic alkyds is probably both the most attractive feature of the paint and, at the same time, a quality that makes it difficult to work with. The benefit is a factory-like glass-smooth finish (especially on horizontal surfaces where the paint can level very nicely as it slowly dries). It’s also tricky to work with if you have little experience with slow-drying paints. The long drying time makes it prone to drips and sagging, especially when applied to vertical surfaces.

Acrylic Waterborne Alkyd Painting is Best Left to Pro Painters

If you’re refinishing your kitchen cabinets, restoring old furniture or otherwise looking for a decadent finish, then waterborne-alkyd paints are your best choice, but unless you’re an experienced DIY painting enthusiast, it’s a project that’s best left to professionals. It takes expertise and skill to work with this specialty coating. You don’t want to spend time and money and end up with a bad paint job that will cost more to fix. The preparatory work, priming/sealing and substrate adhesion requires a pro with thorough product knowledge.


Some Photos of Our Waterborne Alkyd Painting

Fireplace Surround Painted with ADVANCE Waterborne Alkyd in a Satin Finish
Fireplace Surround & Crown Molding Painted with ADVANCE Waterborne Alkyd. Notice the Satin Finish still Very Reflective.
Before and After Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing & Painting in Chatham, NJ 07960 Before and after Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing in Chatham, NJ 07928.
Kitchen Island and Ornate Corbels Painted with ADVANCE Waterborne Alkyd in a Satin Finish Kitchen Island and Ornate Corbels Painted with Waterborne Alkyd paint. Color is “White Dove” (OC-17) in a Satin Finish.
Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing and Painting by CraftPro Contracting in Chatham NJ 07928
Kitchen cabinet refinishing with specialty waterborne-alkyd paint: Benjamin Moore’s ADVANCE. See the full project here.
Cabinet Refinishing in Morristown, NJ from Stained Wood to Satin White with Waterborne Alkyd Paint
TV Cabinet Refinishing with specialty waterborne-alkyd paint: Benjamin Moore’s ADVANCE. See the full project here.


By – owner at CraftPro Contracting Painting & Home Improvements (check out CraftPro on Google Plus).


Comment: Let Us & Our Readers Know What You Think...

4 thoughts on “Waterborne Alkyd Paints: Premium Interior Finishes. Environmentally-Safe Alternative to Old Oil-Based Paints