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Choosing the Right Medium

Choosing the right medium depends on several factors: the nature and scope of the project, the type of faux finish chosen, weather conditions, dust, time constraints, and your own skill level.

Oil-base and water-base systems each have advantages and disadvantages. Knowing the facts about each type will help you to choose the kind most appropriate for the job. In the chart below Pierre specifies both the advantages and disadvantages of oil and water based mediums.  Check out our mediums here



  1. Oil glaze may be applied over an oil basecoat, with little or no preparation
  2. Oil glaze may be applied over a water basecoat, with little or no preparation
  3. Water glaze may be applied over a water basecoat, with little or no preparation
  4. Water glaze must not be applied over an oil basecoat unless the surface is specially prepared. See also:  Degreasing an Oil Basecoat with Whiting


Oil-Based Media

  • Long drying time, allowing more time for achieving effects and permitting stoppage of work mid-project
  • Strong durable coverage, even for exterior surfaces
  • Available in a wide variety of colors, sheens and textures
  • Similarity of color between wet and dry states makes color mixing easier
  • Long drying time means long waits between steps, and wet surfaces can attract dust that will ruin the finished product
  • Susceptible to yellowing
  • Requires the use of flammable products that emit dangerous fumes
  • Cleanup can be time-consuming


Water-Based Media

  • Fast drying requiring shorter waits between steps, encouraging spontaneous paint effects, and preventing dust from settling on the surface
  • Permanent types are durable and color-stable
  • Available in a wide variety of colors, packaging, fluidity and textures
  • Virtually no yellowing effect; can be used in dark areas and over white basecoats
  • Glazes are very transparent and fresh looking even after many years
  • Most related products are environmentally safe
  • Cleanup with water is relatively fast and easy
  • Open time is short, allowing less time for complicated effects; brush marks may show; working on large surfaces can be tricky
  • Reversible types are fragile and must be sealed with non-water-based finishes
  • When dry, water-based paint looks darker than when wet, so all color mixtures must be tested first
  • An acrylic varnish may cause an oil- based glaze to turn yellow
  • In very cold weather, polymer paint may produce a weak film
  • Incompatible with certain types of surfaces
  • Irreversible types require the use of synthetic brushes because the polymers damage natural hairs; brushes must be rinsed often to prevent drying out