Believe it or not water-based car paint has been around for several decades. It was introduced in the late 80’s. When it was introduced there was an adhesion problem with the primer and it got a bad reputation. Because it was never mandatory it fell by the waist side until the 2000’s.
The reason it came back around was because of the Volatile Organic Compounds (more commonly known as VOC’s), which causes pollution in the air. With traditional solvent-based paint VOC’s are evaporated from the paint and emitted into the air which causes pollution. In order to cut down on pollution water-based paint was re-introduced back into the market. So instead of solvent being mixed with paint, water is being mixed with the paint to eliminate the amount of VOC’s in the environment.
Many people have asked me about water-based paint. I’ve been asked will it hold up? Is it as good as the old paint? Will it wash off my car? To set the record straight water-based paint is used in the color only. Most primers are solvent based and almost all clear-coat is solvent based. The primer and the clear-coat provide the protection for the color. So to answer everyone’s questions, today’s water-based paint is working very well and the paint manufacturer’s are seeing very little problems. For painters working in a body shop there are some differences when spraying water-based paint. The water-based paint dries different, it uses less color and it requires a different technique when spraying.
In conclusion water-based paint is probably here to stay. Many car manufacturers’ are already using water-based paint on new cars. Gradually it will become more and more popular in body shops.