Water based paints contain microscopic plastic particles of binder, filler and pigment, dissolved in water. Water based paints are water soluble, but become water-resistant when dry. As a binder, different types of material are used like acrylic, vinyl, PVA or alkyd.
Water based paints have many advantages over oil paints. They offgas much less organic fumes (VOC’s) than oil paints because they don’t need an organic solvent.
Synthetic waterbased varnishes are however not free of harmful substances. They contain agents that can emit VOC’s, such as antibacterial, anti mildew, quick drying or conservant agents.
Water based paints dry more quickly and are more elastic then oil based paints. They are more suitable for application on wood because they allow the wood to shrink and expand without letting cracks occur. Generally they need more layers to be fully opaque compared to oil paints,