Water based vs Solvent based Glass Paint – make an informed choice
Picture this: You’re starting a brand new glass company that will be a leading supplier in back painted glass.
You invested in brand new equipment including a hand spray booth, automatic spray machine and a roll coater.
Now all you’re missing is the paint to create your back painted glass.
You’ve narrowed down the best choices and you have two products, which are GPT Premium Glass Paint (solvent based) and Viridity-Kote HC Glass Paint (water based).
The one question that keeps you up at night is which one do you choose?
Is there really a big difference between the two coatings?
Is one Glass Paint Coating going to perform better than the other?
Wow you wish there was a resource that will help guide me in the right direction…
What choice do you make?
First we examine why Glass Fabricators are switching to Water Based glass back paint from Solvent Based glass paint.
Regulations Driving Change
The question has been brought up again and again in the professional industrial coating Industry.
As regulations get tighter and consumers demand more environmentally friendly products, there has been a significant recent shift in the materials used to create industrial coatings.
What does VOC mean?
Wikipedia defines VOC as a Volatile Organic Compound –
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at ordinary room temperature. Their high vapor pressure results from a low boiling point, which causes large numbers of molecules to evaporate or sublimate from the liquid or solid form of the compound and enter the surrounding air, a trait known as volatility. For example, formaldehyde, which evaporates from paint and releases from materials like resin, has a boiling point of only –19 °C (–2 °F).
With coordination from the United States Environmental Protection Agency rules have been created the pertain to Architectural and Industrial Maintenance (AIM) Coatings, effective February 16, 2000 and can be found here.
The Rule Summary published on the EPA Website can be found here and summarized:
This final rule is based on the Administrator’s determination that VOC emissions from the use of architectural coatings have the potential to cause or contribute to ozone levels that violate the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for ozone.
Ozone is a major component of smog which causes negative health and environmental impacts when present in high concentrations at ground level. The final rule is estimated to reduce VOC emissions by 103,000 megagrams per year (Mg/yr) (113,500 tons per year [tpy]) by requiring manufacturers and importers to limit the VOC content of architectural coatings.
Regulations controlling the manufacturing, transportation, storage, use, protection and disposal of Solvent Based coatings also vary by State. For example California has the strictest regulations.
Rules are further complicated by individual State compliance requirements.
Why is Solvent-Based Paint still Popular?
Solvent based coatings has been the industry standard for many years. Many applicators resist change because the Solvent-Based product has performed well.
Experienced sprayers who have worked with lacquers and other solvent based spray products will be the most familiar spraying this type of paint.
Solvents are chemically resistant and the preferred method of many back-painted glass manufacturers.
Solvent Based paints are also referred to as oil-based or “alkyd” paints because the “binder” of oil based paints is linseed oil or other drying oils.
GPT “Premium” Solvent Based Glass Paint Coating Product
Our GPT Premium is our original Product that is still depended on by seasoned glass fabricators.
Our glass paint coating formula is being successfully used again and again over decades of installations and testing.
With statistics that demonstrate some the best performing adhesion to glass in the world, GPT “Premium” proves why people still depend so much on solvent-based coatings.
Our GPT “Premium” Solvent based coating is especially useful in extremely humid conditions.
GPT Premium primarily relies on heat to cure the product instead of air movement, which means in humid places where there isn’t as much air movement, GPT Premium dries faster.
The formulation characteristics of our GPT “Premium” product is easily matched to any North American paint collection.
The Premium product also can be matched with metallics and pearls. GPT has a wide range of metallic flakes used to match virtually any kind of metallic shine.
Please contact GPT if you have a special effects project in mind and we will show you the wide range of capabilities we have.
Advantages of Solvent Based Glass Paint Coatings
– Solvents can be shipped in freezing weather.
– Outstanding UV, moisture (humidity), chemical and solvent resistance.
– Excellent solution when applying coatings in a high humidity climate.
– Versatile for different types of applications such as automated machine and hand spray.
– Faster curing times than Water Based Glass Paint Coatings.
– Considered the premium product on the market in terms of adhesion.
– Fabricate glass after painting if needed and produce perfect edges.
Disadvantages of Solvent Based Glass Paint
– Flammable. Regulations state you cannot ship this product by air and you must have fire cabinets to store Solvent Based Glass Paint Coatings.
– Solvents evaporate releasing volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
– Cannot use product unless user has proper ventilation and safety equipment.
GPT Viridity-Kote HC Glass Paint Coating Product
Water Based Glass Paint Coatings are becoming the product of choice.
GPT Viridity-Kote HC is our water-based coating line that is the latest and greatest addition to our back-paint for glass options.
Continuous innovation over time has seen the water-based product go from a commodity to the forefront of the industry.
Over the last decade, water based products have become more and more valuable in the coatings industry.
The continued learning of the health risks of VOCs to the environment and to human health, innovators are finding new ways to use almost-zero VOC paints.
GPT Viridity-Kote HC is one of the lowest VOC back painted glass coatings in the industry.
Use this coating in any state or county in the U.S.A and with “near zero” VOC impact at all, this makes the product much safer for the environment and employees.
GPT Viridity-Kote HC is an extremely versatile product that is used in many different finishes such as back painted glass, spandrel applications, lamination and sandblasted glass coatings.
Viridity-Kote HC is capable of being applied in a wide variety of methods like hand spray and hand roller for small applications and large production runs utilizing automated spray machines like the GoldGlass machine found here. Our new HC coating is also formulated to run on Roll Coat and Curtain Coat machines that mass product back painted glass.
The water-based option is relatively new in the industry, but don’t let the age of the product take away from the high performance features.
Water-based glass paint products demonstrate test results as good as solvent based paints.
Glass Paint Technology has tremendous success with both water-based and solvent-based products.
We know that every glass shop has different needs and different equipment all looking for the same professional grade finish that will last the lifetime of the installation.
Same price, same stunning visual look, so how do you know which is the right product for you?
Advantages of Water-Based
– Healthy for the environment with test results; extremely low VOC ratings of 8g or less.
– Test results demonstrate industry leading coating adhesion.
– Extremely safe for staff. Low VOC combined with soap and water clean up make water-based an ideal product to handle.
– Eliminates regulatory VOC, fire and storage compliance restrictions (unlike solvent based glass paint coatings).
– Ship by air because water based glass paint is NOT flammable.
– Application options by either spray gun, automated spray machine, roll or curtain coat capability.
– Easiest possible cleanup – just use common soap and water.
– Our GPT Glass Paint Coating offers the “Brightest White” available on the market.
– Best options for Special Effects like Translucent, Transparent, Acid Etch and Metallic.
– Industry leading color match options with the Best color matching equipment and process.
– Can attribute towards LEED points for new builds.
Disadvantages of Water-Based
– Slower curing times compared to solvent based glass paint products.
– Can only ship product by air when temperatures are below freezing.
Call one of our back painted glass experts at (905) 887-2377 or Contact us to get professional advice on which product will work best for you!