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Waterborne Paint – The Pros and Cons of Making Change

Change!  That can be a difficult word for most of us.  I still remember the big fuss when HVLP spray guns were introduced to the industry.   Do you remember that?  In fact, I remember hearing painters claim that they would leave the industry before they made the switch.  Well years later, I would not trade my Iwata Super Nova for any other gun…..not even the Binks #7.  That’s right, you were not considered a real painter without a Binks #7.  Time have changed and we’ve all adjusted fine.

Another example is computers.  Switching to the Windows system was a big deal.  A new system to learn, which was completely different than the old DOS systems.  We had to use the stupid mouse.  I had some coworker that become very upset when this switch took place.  Long story short, who is willing to go back to the old system?  I must admit that I thought email had to be the most stupid idea that I had ever heard of….I mean, why not just call the person that you’re trying to reach?  After using email, I have became a huge advocate of email.  Heck, I am to the point that I would rather email or text someone than to call them.  I know, we’re losing the social connection, but it sure saves a lot of time in this busy society we live in.

Get To The Point
All right, this is supposed to be about adopting to waterborne paint so I will start talking paint.  Change is scary to us, but many times it is not that big of a deal.  I am not saying that all change is good, but this is not the case with waterborne paint.  After we decided to make the change at our school, we wondered why we didn’t make the change a long time ago.  There are a few things that I don’t like about it, which I will go over in a minute, but for the most part, we love it.

Pros and Cons
Have you ever been to the doctor and they suggested that you should be on a medication?  I am sure that you heard, we believe that the benefits of this medication will out way the side effect….kinda scary huh?  Have you ever watched one of those drug commercials on television?  I think I may take my chances by not taking the medicine after hearing all of the possible side effects.  Anyway, we need to approach change the same way.  We need to determine if the pros will out weigh the cons.

So here are the things that I do not like about the new PPG Nexa Autocolor waterborne paint system.  1) I find the variant deck system to be confusing.  There have been times that I could not find the number to section that the colors were in.  I prefer looking the variant deck by make of vehicle like the PPG solvent system uses.  2) I know that this is not the correct way to color match, but I used to use the “hold the paint stick up to the car to determine if the color is a bendable match.  You’re not going to do that with waterborne.  This paint does not match until it dries.  In fact, it may change colors several time as it dries.  You’ll think there is no way that it is going to match, but when it dries it looks good.  Then once clear coated…A good match!

The pros!  1) The color matches (once completed) are excellent.  We are have much better results with our color matches.  2) Don’t have to worry about a mixing system.  Honestly, we did not agitate the solvent paint the way it was supposed to be.  I think that you were supposed to mix it several times per day for 15 minutes and right before mixing paint.  We tired to do that, but some of those hectic day made it difficult to ensure that was all of that done correctly.  This new system does not even take agitation lids.  A few hand swishes and pour.  3) I guess that I will use that fact that it produces lower VOCs as a benefit, but I would still prefer it over solvent now.  4) The paint tends to lay down better.  The students have not had any tiger stripes or mottling and blends are so much easier to make.

I am sure that there are a lot more pros and cons to the paint, but we have only been using it for about three months.  I keep waiting for something to go wrong, like lifting or something, but I have not seen it yet.  As we become more familiar with it we’ll tell you more.

If you are considering switching to waterborne I would not be scared of it.  I heard all of the same horror stories as you did when waterborne was introduced, but I yet to come across any problems.  I am not familiar with other brands, but PPG’s waterborne paint rocks and the students love it.

Do you have a waterborne story or helpful tips.  Leave us a comment and tell us about it.


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