Enamels

The British Paints enamel range will bring beauty and brawn to your doors, windows, trims and more.

Enamel. It’s on your teeth, it’s in nail polish, it coats your antiques… and it’s a paint. When you need something tough for doors, windows and trims, this is where you start.Here are the answers to those questions about enamel paint that you’ve been dying to ask. 

What is enamel paint?
Enamel paint is paint that dries to a hard, often glossy, shell-like finish. True enamel – the sort you find on ceramics or metals – is a glass coating that is baked on at extremely high temperatures, but there’s no glass content in enamel paint. Historically, enamel paint was defined as being solvent (oil) based, but there days even that isn’t true anymore, as you can buy a large range of water-based enamel paints. So really, ‘enamel’ just means the hardwearing, water-resistant stuff you paint on doors, windows and trims. 

What is enamel paint used for?
Outside, enamel paint is used for painting walls, doors, window frames and garden furniture. Indoors it’s mostly used on doors, windows and trims, but can also be used on appliances and cabinetry. Basically anywhere you want ultra-durability or a glassy, glossy look. 

What’s the difference between oil-based and water-based enamel paints?
Once upon a time all enamel paints were solvent (oil) based. They produce a brilliant gloss, and a superior smooth finish, and are great for areas that get knocked about a bit. British Paints Oil Enamel Gloss (or Semi Gloss) is the pick for doors, window frames and interior trims. It’s what you choose when a pro-smooth, tough finish is required – and that’s often indoors.
Then along came water-based enamels. These are more flexible, so work well in the great outdoors as they can expand and contract with the effects of the weather. They’re also good with UV (less prone to yellowing) and hold their colour for longer. Water-based enamels give off less fumes, dry much more quickly and are easy to clean up (no turps required). British Paints H2O Enamel Semi Gloss is a water-based enamel, designed for use on interior and exterior doors, windows and timber trim surfaces. It is a great alternative where maximum durability is the prime consideration – and that’s often outdoors. 

How do I apply enamel paint?
Start off by stirring your paint well with a stick. Then dip your brush into the paint and apply in even strokes. You might use a micro fibre or short nap roller for larger areas, or a spray gun. Oil-based enamel paint takes between eight and 24 hours to be completely dry. Water-based paints are significantly faster British Paints H20 Enamel will be ready for a second coat in just two hours. 

How do I look after my new enamel paint job?
The joy of enamel paints is that they are so hardy and family friendly! Wipe them down with a damp cloth as many times as you like. Oil-based enamels will naturally yellow over time. To slow this down, allow as much natural light into the room as possible, during application and beyond.

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