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Thread: SWProclassic - Alkyd Enamel v Acrylic-Alkyd

  1. #1

    SWProclassic - Alkyd Enamel v Acrylic-Alkyd

    I have been reading through as many posts as I can find on SWP alkyd enamels, but still haven't really figured out the difference between the alkyd enamel and acrylic-alkyd - is the main benefit to the alkyd enamel the lengthier drying time that allows the brush marks to level out? I bought a quart of the SWP preprite and alkyd enamel to finish a modern bookcase I am building, and like the looks of my practice board after doing two coats of primer and two coats of enamel...sure would be nice if I could get the same look without the lengthy drying time in between coats though. Also, I was planning on doing a clear coat (I am thinking target coatings 9000sc) to finish it off and give it a high gloss, plastic look, but am unsure when I will be able to put it on after the you have to wait until the enamel cures (30 days?)? Would that be a reason to go with the acrylic-alkyd?

    This is my first time using paint/enamel to finish a project instead of staining, so any advice or comments would be appreciated. The Sherwin Williams guy I talked to didn't seem to really know the difference between the two other than the alkyd enamel having much worse fumes/emissions, so hopefully you guys can help out. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Southport, NC
    Sherwin Williams Proclassic comes in two formulations. One is what they refer to as "latex acrylic" which a waterborne acrylic enamel. The other is a an alkyd oil based enamel.

    The difference is that one is waterborne and the other is oil based.

    Try them both on some scrap to see which one handles better in your application.

    On another point, putting an acrylic clear coat over either paint will add nothing to the durability. Mixing products from different manufacturers can also lead to incompatibility problems. It's always risky and you should test it thoroughly. If you want a gloss finish, use a gloss paint.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Allen, TX
    i think what the SW rep is talking about is oil enamel versus acrylic enamel.

    if you're going to top coat it all you need is color from the paint. so you can use whatever you like for that. in fact the oil enamel would be more of a hassle this way because you'll have to scuff it up to get your top coat to stick to it anyways. you could just use a tinted primer for color if you plan to top coat it with something else.

    if you're not going to top coat it then yes you need enamel paint, whether it be oil or acrylic.

    whichever you use, if you're brushing which it sounds like you are, penetrol/floetrol or similar is highly recommended, especially if you go with the water based.

    fwiw, i still use oil enamels on windows and doors, but avoid it everywhere else if possible. acrylic paint fails much more gracefully and is therefore preferable in almost every way.

    edit: howard beat me as i was typing something else

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