This is a question we are often asked when house painting. Years ago it was always oil paint that was used for woodwork, as that was all there was. It was tough and washable, very smelly and generally done in a gloss finish. However, in the past few years, house paints and house painters are moving towards water-based finishes. As I discussed in my blog on exterior paints for woodwork, the technology is improving all the time in the manufacturing of water-based paints. They are becoming tougher and more hard-wearing as the years go on.
As painter decorators who hand-paint kitchens, as well as painting interior woodwork in all sorts of homes, we would normally use water-based paints. They are generally more expensive, but they are also more eco-friendly, they have a very low odour and much less, if not no noxious substances in them. Which I think you will agree is much healthier for both a painter decorator who is using them and the people who are living in the house! Now it is possible to hand-paint a kitchen or woodwork in a hall, stairs and landing (they’ve many doors) and stay living in the house and not be affected by fumes. Water-based paints come in four finishes, matt, eggshell, satin and gloss. As they are water-based, all brushes and rollers can be cleaned in water, which is much friendlier on the environment. As far as we are concerned, the best water-based paints available in Ireland are Colourtrend and Farrow and Ball.