Because paints that are based on alkyd resins perform well and look good on surfaces, many paint manufacturers chose to improve their alkyd-based products for higher marketability. One downside often associated with alkyd coatings, however, is that they cannot be used in green painting applications because of their use of harmful solvents. Green painting practices require paints that are not harmful to the environment and release as little volatile organic compounds (VOC) as possible.
Because alkyd coatings are oil-based formulations, the need for solvents is inevitable. To solve this, manufacturers conducted further product development and research and introduced alkyd-based products that are water-based instead of oil-based, but losing none of the performance abilities of oil-based alkyds. The new alkyd formulations use water instead of harmful solvents — not an easy task to do given that solvents used to be the critical component of successful painting applications. Water solubility was made possible through an emulsification process that made paint dispersion possible even without the aid of solvents. As a result, alkyd coatings as water carriers made them appropriate for green painting applications, together with the incorporation of VOC-free colorants.
In this new design in their chemistries, alkyd paints continue providing quality performance and became more flexible as finishes for rails, moldings, furniture and cabinetry, as well as durable wall paints and primers.