water based gloss

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I was a development chemist with a large paint manufacturer in the 1960’s. A rival company had put a water thinned gloss on the market called Lightning. It exhibited all the problems that I see in this thread. It also had another major problem that it rapidly yellowed. This was caused by the main copolymer emulsion which contained polyvinyl chloride. The manufacturer of this ingredient claimed that the yellowing was due to iron in the water and that non-yellowing batches would be produced.. This did not happen

I produced a water thinned gloss with a gloss on a par with solvent based paint. But it suffered the usual fast drying problems and in can stability. I left the industry shortly after this to become a photographer. There does not seem to have been much progress over the last fifty years.
I experimented in my home some years ago and coated the woodwork in a bedroom with acrylic undercoat/primer, two coats, and put a top coat of acrylic floor varnish gloss finish on and it looked and felt stunning. Twelve years later it is still very white and the floor varnish finish has resisted wear and tear. This method was both quick, due to acrylics' short drying time, and easy to apply.
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I would have loved to have continued my research and development work into producing a marketable water thinned gloss. At that time it was the Holy Grail in the paint industry. Interest in polymers containing halogens did not take off except for fire retardant paints. The main interest was switching to styrene acrylics. Use of inverse emulsions was also being tried.

One of the main problems is the different mechanisms that occur on drying.With solvent thinned paints once the solvent has evaporated the resin slowly reacts with oxygen in the air to form a tough glossy waterproof surface. With water thinned when the water evaporates the emulsion particles coalesce together with the pigment particles. No immediate oxidation occurs. Various additives are employed to give as high a gloss as possible.

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