Waterborne Paint—Frequently Asked Questions
Am I faced with a large equipment investment by switching to water?
Not necessarily. You can switch to waterborne with no equipment changes and still get good performance. However, to truly enjoy the production benefits that water can provide, we recommend investigating air movement equipment, especially in humid climates. You should also consider a waterborne spray gun, a new waterborne gun washer, and perhaps an air filtration system if your current one is not performing well. ( back to top)
Will I need a “special” spray gun?
Spray gun manufacturers have been working diligently to offer painters a gun that not only atomizes waterborne paint properly, but also has internal parts that will not degrade or rust. The spray gun you use now may work as is, or you may have to buy the appropriate needle/nozzle/air cap setup, or you may want to buy a new gun. PPG has a list of spray guns available that have been tested successfully with our waterborne paint. This list will be updated as gun manufacturers continue to bring out new spray equipment to meet the needs of waterborne basecoat. ( back to top)
Why can’t I use regular strainers?
The glue in the strainers is water-based and will deteriorate when filtering. Secondly, a fine 125 micron strainer needs to be used to capture any dry latex from a dosing lid or the container since this will not re-dissolve in the paint. You will want to begin using the DOX125 waterborne strainers which can be ordered from your PPG distributor. ( back to top)
What do I use to clean the spray gun?
The Nexa Autocolor™ Gun Wash P280-8212 or OneChoice® SWX100 Waterborne Gun Cleaner are both ideal for cleaning waterborne basecoats. Do not clean the gun in the shop sink and put any of the waterborne basecoat paint or contaminated water down the drain. There are VOC’s—solvent—in waterborne basecoat. Contact your current solventborne waste hauler for help in setting up your waterborne waste stream. ( back to top)
Will I need to use waterborne undercoats and clearcoats?
No. Waterborne basecoat performs best when used with solventborne urethane undercoats and clears. Refer to the product data sheets for specific compatibilities. ( back to top)
Can I use water out of the faucet to reduce my basecoat for spraying?
NO! Tap water contains various minerals that will impact the durability of the finish. Your repair will not be covered by the PPG and Nexa Autocolor warranty if you use tap water to reduce the basecoat. ( back to top)
How hard is it to control the metallics?
Applying a control coat makes metallic control very easy with no mottling and creates a very even appearance. In addition, the waterborne technology helps lock the metallic in place from the start. ( back to top)
Is the control coat important?
Yes. It is needed to accurately match the OEM finish. All of our color matching and color chips are done using the control coat method. If a customer is having color match problems, ensuring they are using this application method is the best way back to a good match. ( back to top)
Why is it so important to do spray outs to check my color match? Why can’t I stick match
and get close like I used to?
A waterborne color looks very different when wet than when it is dry. When wet, the latex particles have a blue-green cast which can deceive a painter. ( back to top)
Do I have to use a “wet bed” when I blend?
The majority of the colors do not require a wet bed blend. You'll find the blending process is quite easy with Envirobase® High Performance and Aquabase® Plus. Customers who like this approach can use T490 or P990-8999 in the blending process similar to the way they would use a DBC500 type product. ( back to top)
Can I “wet sand” out imperfections in the waterborne basecoat?
After the waterborne basecoat has fully flashed, dry sanding with 1000-2000 grit sandpaper works very well for removing dirt nibs and imperfections. A small amount of SXA330 can be sprayed on the sandpaper as lubricant, but dry sanding works just as well. But do not use water. This can wash off the fresh waterborne basecoat. ( back to top)
Can we use our existing color variant system for our new water system?
No. The solvent chip decks will not be as accurate as the waterborne chips for their respective systems. The waterborne chips are sprayed using the same trained technique and material used in collision centers. ( back to top)
Will I be able to offer your Lifetime Guarantee to my customers whose vehicles are
refinished with waterborne?
Yes, if you are currently a Certified shop with a Certified painter, and if your painter has completed our waterborne training course. ( back to top)
As an experienced painter who has been painting for many years, why can't I spray waterborne the same way I spray solvent?
This is new technology and has to be sprayed differently to achieve the desired results. It does not behave the same as solventborne paint. We train a simple control coat application process for metallic and pearl colors which is primarily to maintain an excellent and consistent color match, but in addition can assist on any hard-to-control metallics. ( back to top)
I have heard waterborne products can freeze. Is this true?
Waterborne products, like plain water, can potentially freeze when not properly protected from the elements. PPG has been selling waterborne in all types of climates, including the northern-most climates, for years with no issues. Products simply need to be properly stored, with storage temperatures ranging above 41°F (5°C). ( back to top)
Why do I have to seal over plastic adheasion promoters?
Spraying Envirobase High Performance or Aquabase Plus directly over a solvent based adhesion promoter such as OneChoice® can result in an incompatibility known as de-wetting. This fisheye type appearance is eliminated by using the proper sealer. ( back to top)
When will waterborne be required in my market?
Other than California and Canada, no other markets have passed legislation for lower VOC. Several New England and Mid-Atlantic states are considering new legislation. However, the system's performance along with the benefits to the environment are both good reasons non-mandated customers should consider the move to Envirobase High Performance or Aquabase Plus. ( back to top)