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Is Masonry Paint Water Based?

Masonry paint is a great way to paint your home or garden walls. But if you are going to paint with it you need to know whether it is oil-based or water-based, well let’s have a look.

Which Is More Common?

Water-based masonry paint is definitely more common than oil-based paint. This is the case for pretty much all paints now across the board.

Due to environmental concerns more and, more manufacturers are swapping to water-based formulas for even traditional oil-based paints like gloss and metal paint.

Water-Based Masonry Paint Advantages

Water-based masonry paint has a lot of advantages for the DIY user. Whether it is the easier cleanup, just wash with water, or the reduced environmental impact that water-based paints have.

Thinning a water-based paint is also very simple, just add water. This means that you can easily thin and spray water-based masonry paint for example.

Water-based paints also tend to give off fewer fumes, meaning you don’t need to be as concerned when using them in confined spaces. This is only a generalisation though, so always read the label before painting.

What Masonry Paints Are Water-Based?

Pretty much all of the popular ones you will find in the big DIY stores. To make it a bit easier though I will list some of the more popular water-based masonry paints below.

Sandtex Masonry Paint

Probably the masonry paint most people are familiar with. All of the regular sandtex masonry paints are water-based.

Dulux Weather Shield

Another incredibly popular masonry paint, and once again it is water-based.

Johnstone’s Stormshield Masonry Paint

Rounding up my top three popular masonry paints we have Johnstone’s stormshield. Again this is a water-based masonry paint.

I know there are a lot of paints I have missed off this list but the idea was not to create a complete encyclopedia of masonry paints but rather give you an idea that most of the popular ones are water-based.

It is unlikely that you have inadvertently bought a oil-based masonry paint, even though they do exist.

Oil-Based Masonry Paints

So if water-based masonry paint is soo good why do oil-based versions even exist. Well, the simple answer is that they are normally for specific circumstances, commonly they are for use in adverse weather conditions.

SandTex Trade 365

Sandtex Trade 365 All Weather Masonry Paint is a solvent-based, premium quality, smooth protective and decorative finish. For use on most exterior masonry surfaces and exterior grade building boards which will allow the product the ability to dry in adverse weather conditions and temperatures as low as -10ºC.

A lot of oil or solvent-based masonry paint is advertised like SandTex 365 is above. They are often listed as trade paints and normally have some reference to working in extreme weather conditions.

Pliolite Masonry Paints

All Pliolite masonry paints are oil or solvent-based paints. Pliolite is a sort of synthetic rubber and is commonly used in solvent masonry paints.

These are often advertised as Pliolite masonry paint so it is very unlikely that you will buy them by accident.

These paints dry quickly and can be water-resistant in just a few minutes. That is why you will commonly find Pliolite in trade masonry paints.

One of the main uses for it is in extreme weather, or when the painter cant simply wait around for a sunny day in order to paint the outside of a house.

These issues typically don’t apply to a DIYer. We tend to have the advantage of being able to wait around for some dry weather to do our painting in. Because of this, there is not much reason for a DIY painter to use Pliolite masonry paints.


So let me summarise, most masonry paint is water-based. All of the common paints you will normally find at the DIY store are water-based.

Oil or solvent-based masonry paints do exist. They are normally marketed for use in extreme weather conditions.

If you see a masonry paint labelled as Pliolite masonry paint then it is an oil-based paint.

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