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Wet Paint Brush Storage Systems & Accessories

Oil based paints vs Water based paints, what is the difference?

It’s an age old question – what is the difference between oil based paints and water based paints?

The main difference is obviously that you can only use your Brush Mate boxes with oil based paints, but there are other more important differences. We’re going to take you through the advantages and disadvantages of using each paint type; to help make your decision easier.

Oil based paints


  • Longer drying time – time to correct any mistakes and even out the paint
  • Once dried, it is a durable paint
  • Glossy finish


  • High VOC levels (Volatile Organic Compounds)
  • Strong odour that some people may find unpleasant (can use our Aroma to mask this smell though!)

Water based paints


  • Low VOC levels
  • Dries quickly
  • Colour less likely to yellow or fade over time


  • More difficult to get a smooth finish
  • Flatt matt finish, not glossy


All in all, it’s all down to personal preference as to which type of paint you want to use. Some decorators have told us that they are ‘old-school’ so prefer using oil based paints to water based.

Whichever you decide to use, always remember that your Brush Mate Trade 20 and Trade 4+ can ONLY be used with OIL-BASED paints.