The Technical Decision on Waterborne Alkyd

What features and capabilities to look for in today’s waterborne alkyd contenders

If you’re looking for a new durable go-to trim paint, the decision is more difficult than ever with a new generation of waterborne alkyds from Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore and now, BEHR. All three offering incredible performance and the widest set of features ever before seen in a waterborne, or to be half technical – an alkyd. But, inevitably, each brings its own unique strengths and weaknesses.


Three surprisingly capable paints, Benjamin Moore Advance Waterborne Interior Alkyd vs Sherwin Williams ProClassic Acrylic/Alkyd vs BEHR, but, is it time to switch? What better way to determine the performance victor than by letting these three duke it out in various categories.

On one side is Benjamin Moore, the self proclaimed masters of low-VOC’s powered by their GENNEX waterborne colorant system providing VOC-free colorants. Advance is a true alkyd, not a hybrid with a low VOC content of less than 50 grams per liter.

On the other side is Sherwin Williams, also with low VOC content of less than 50 grams per liter and looking to score a comeback from its ridiculously difficult to use ProClassic Waterborne. When Sherwin Williams finally shipped ProClassic Waterborne – Alkyd almost 1 year ago, it managed to spark new interest from early ProClassic adopters and haters alike.

And now BEHR joined the mix.

Regardless, whether they come in as close calls or clear knock outs, the results of these alkyds will determine the paint you choose for your next project. Bring it!, shall we? See you next month with the results.

Also Shearer Painting discusses Sherwin Williams ProClassic vs Benjamin Moore ADVANCE

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10 Responses
  • Matt Reply

    Did your results find that the Advance possess sagging tendencies which require constant attention?

  • Brian Reply

    Jack, can’t wait for the results. I have been using the Sherwin Williams Waterborne Alkyd and it’s been a love-hate relationship. When brushing, it dries way too fast and I can’t seem to get rid of the brush marks. I tried adding XIM for better leveling, which seems to help a little. I also tried spraying, which was okay, but most of my trim needs to be brushed. I would switch to Benjamin Moore, if I knew it was better. If it’s not, could please recommend a good trim paint in the BM and SW brands. Thanks!

    • Todd Reply

      The Advance is better. Being a painter/floor sander for 35 years, I’ve put on a lot of oil and water base paint, and I have to say, Advance is truly the smoothest paint I’ve ever used. What you diy’ers have to know, is, there’s always babysitting involved with brushing oil on trim, but you first have to know how to properly apply the paint to save d woodwork, i.e. Where you to start when painting doors, base, case, cabinets etc.

  • Isaac Reply

    Just used Advance and it worked well. Was applied with a sprayer so I’m not sure how it works brushing. I’m still partial to my ProClassic Waterborne acrylic when I can spray all the trim. Yes it’s horrible to brush.

  • Miles Thompson Reply

    Jack … when will you publish the results? Have a kitchen to do, and am vacillating between Dulux Diamond Semigloss and Advance. Keen to discover what you have learned.
    – Miles Thompson

    • jackpauhl Reply

      Mikes, I would use Advance if it were me making that choice for painting cabinets.

  • Sherri Reply

    I’m trying to decide whether to use the Behr waterborne alkyd or the Advance product for kitchen cabinets – probably brush them. This will be a first for me! Any help appreciated!

  • Andreas Reply

    Can one sand, wet sand, or use rubbing compound of successive coats of the Benjamin Moore Advanced paint?

    If so, how long does the paint need to dry or cure between painting and sanding?

  • makemineirish Reply

    Am I challenged? This post is dated March 29, 2011 and promises to a post on the results “next month”. I have searched by various keywords and date ranges to no avail. While I have found a February 2013 review on Benjamin Moore’s Advance, I have not found any corresponding reviews for the competing alkyds referenced above. Where can this information be found?

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