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When browsing the internet, or scanning the shelves, trying to choose the right wood stain can leave you a little bit puzzled. Especially when either a solvent or water-based product can be used.Here at Buy Paints Online, we are specialists in wood protection products, therefore, we are here to give you a helping hand when choosing between solvent or water-based woodstains.


Woodstains explained
water based vs solvent based

When browsing the internet, or scanning the shelves, trying to choose the right wood stain can leave you a little bit puzzled. Especially when either a solvent or water-based product can be used.Here at Buy Paints Online, we are specialists in wood protection products, therefore, we are here to give you a helping hand when choosing between solvent or water-based woodstains.

Drying time

Water-Based

Solvent-Based

Water-based woodstains have a much quicker dry time than solvent-based, they are generally ‘touch dry’ within an hour. In comparison, solvent-based woodstains have a longer touch dry time and can take between two and six hours, as they have a longer ‘open time,’ allowing you to brush the liquid out more before it dries, making for easy application. 

Water-based wood stains are usually ready for an overcoat in a couple of hours, whereas you’ll generally have to wait until the next day to re-apply solvent-based woodstains. That being said, despite the longer dry time, a slightly easier application process means solvent-based stains are often preferred by first time users of woodstains.

The Difference in Application

Water-Based

Solvent-Based

When applying water-based woodstains, choose a dry, moderate day. Solvent-based woodstains are generally less prone to weather conditions.

Similarly, when it comes to the task of cleaning down after staining – water-based woodstains are much easier to contend with as all you need is warm, soapy water to clean brushes, hands and equipment. In comparison, solvent-based woodstains require cleaning with white spirit.

The Difference in VOC

Water-Based

Solvent-Based

Solvent-based woodstains contain around 75% white spirit. Due to the higher levels of white spirit in solvent-based woodstains they have a much stronger, lasting smell.

In comparison, water-based woodstains only contain about 10% white spirit, reducing their impact on the environment.