A Look At If Satin Paint Is Oil Based Or Water Based!

With satin paint finished being all the rage right now, there has been a spike in the popularity of satin paint with more and more people switching over to using a satin paint finish for their home decoration. Although satin paint is straight forward and easy enough to use, we have seen a few niche questions about satin paint that will play a large roll in the end result depending on your situation.

One of the more common questions that we have seen time and time again recently is based on if satin paint is oil based or water based. With so many people reaching out and asking about if satin paint used an oil or water based formula, we have decided to publish this article to try and help as many of our readers as possible.

Thankfully, the sales laws in Europe and North America protect the consumer and all the ingredients must be labelled on the paint making it easy to see what you are buying. The vast majority of paint brands will also put “oil based” or “water based” in a prominent position on the front of the paints label too.

Is Satin Paint Oil Based Or Water Based?

Satin paint can be either oil based or water based depending on the specific product that you are using. Although water based satin paint formulas are more common, there are some oil based satin paint formulas on the market with their niche use cases that are growing in popularity.

Chances are, if you just need a satin paint for some home decoration and you are purchasing it at your local home decor store, you will be spoiled for choice for water based satin paint as it is usually the best option. It is the more common paint formula too and has a huge color range available when compared to oil based satin paint.

Although oil based satin paint is becoming more popular, it is no where near as common as water based satin paint at the time of writing and depending on where you live, your local store may have to order oil based satin paint in in for you. If this is the case, the may require you to purchase more than one tub of paint to make the custom order worth it for them.

Advantages Of Water Based Satin Paint!

Water based satin paint offers a number of advantages with it being a great option for home decor. It is available in a wider range of colors, tends to be cheaper, often dries much quicker than oil based satin paint and doesn’t smell as much as oil based satin paint.

The specific paint formula that you use will come into play for all of the advantages listed above though. This is why we always recommend that you try to use a decent water based satin paint that is often only around £5 more than the cheaper, lower quality paint formulas.

Although water based satin paint usually does dry much quicker than oil based satin paint, we have an article going over how you can make water based paint dry quicker if you need to reduce drying times. That said though, most of the time, you will be fine just waiting for the paint to naturally dry by itself without you having to take any additional steps in the process.

Advantages Of Oil Based Satin Paint!

The advantages of oil based satin paint are that it tends to be more durable than water based satin paint allowing you to use it in high traffic areas of your home increasing how washable the surface will be. Oil based satin paint also performs much better in lower temperatures while also working fine on dirty, dusty, and chalky surfaces.

As we touched on earlier in the article, oil based satin paint is much more niche specific than the water based counter part. Similar to the water based formulas though, you should always be trying to go with a good oil based satin paints for the best possible results from your paint. Going with a cheaper oil paint formula can have issues with color retention, drying time, and smell amongst other things.

Oil based satin paint formulas do usually take much longer to dry than water based formulas so we often recommend that you do take steps to speed up the drying time, especially if you are living in the house while it is being renovated. We also have an article going over how you are able to speed up your oil paint drying times that might be worth reading if you are planning to use an oil based satin paint formula.

The Best Satin Paint Formula For You!

The vast majority of people will be much better off by going with a water based satin paint formula than an oil based paint formula, especially if you are just looking to get a high quality satin paint for home decoration. It is usually much cheaper than the oil based variants, offers a wider color range as well as the other advantages that we pointed out earlier in the article.

One way that we like to think of it is that the oil based satin paint formulas are usually more of a specialist paint for people who know that they need it. If you need to ask if you need a water based or oil based satin paint, chances are, you need the water based formula.

Keep in mind though, once dry, there is very little difference in the actual look of the satin paint finishes for both formulas with both reflecting less than 40% of light. This helps the oil and water based satin paint formulas create a nice and relaxing vibe in the house.


That brings our article going over if satin paint is oil based or not to an end. We often see people presuming that satin paint is either oil or water based rather than it actually having two different formulas with one being oil based and one being water based. Although the popularity of the oil based satin paints is still small, it is growing but it is still no where near as popular as the water based paint formulas and we don’t expect this to change any time soon.

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