Taubmans Ultimate Enamel (Alkyd Water Base) Test

Taubmans Ultimate Enamel (Alkyd Water Base) Test

We have used some excellent paint products over the years, for example Solver Brite Glo range of enamels and acrylics with exceptionally bright colours and very user friendly. However due to the demise of proper signwriters and demand, the paint products have been discontinued.

Here is a quick comparison between a new product we found –  Taubmans Ultimate Enamel which is a waterbased alkyd paint and according to the description has the properties of an oil based enamel but the convenience and easier use of a water based product. I also tested Dulux aquanamel for some sort of comparison as this is a product we have used for a while and is very good. Both products tested were satin finish which is the best paint finish for shop displays, event signage, and general interior handpainted signs, especially under lighting.

Conclusion Taubmans Ultimate Enamel
  • Flows out well with a roller and has a finish much like an oil based enamel roller finish.
  • After a period of drying/curing (in this case 5 days) has a nice satin finish and is relatively scratch resistant.
  • Is easier to use than enamel with less runs, quicker drying time and easy clean up.
Here’s a More In-Depth Description

For any signage, props or display panels we produce, we need a quick drying, self levelling (no stipple or “örange peel”) finish. Ideally a sprayed paint finish is best, however unpractical due to time and budget restraints.The painted finish needs to be dry and reasonably tough as it might be going out the next day for installation. In this exercise I’ve masked off 5 sections (for both types of paint) on some old panels which were originally painted with a semi gloss enamel. The top section is unsanded, the second section underneath is lightly sanded, the third section sanded well to remove all gloss, the fourth section is sanded and painted with 3 in 1 waterbased primer/undercoat. The bottom section is sanded and then primed with coverstain, which is the best undercoat/primer we have found on the market. Temperature was around 18 to 20 degrees C with some slight air flow.

The Taubmans Ultimate enamel is fairly thick, coverage was good and it flowed out exceptionally well when applied with a low nap or microfibre roller. It was OK when painted by brush, however it did’nt seem to flow out as well as oil based enamel on a flat surface. This is not really an issue as normally we’d only be cutting in paint with a brush and mostly using the roller to give a good paint finish. The Ultimate Enamel tacked off fairly quickly and was touch dry in an hour. After drying for 24 hours the unprimed panels coated with 2 coats did scratch fairly easily using a finger nail with force or a sharp instrument totally removing paint from surface. (Note all paint manufacturers recommend pre priming and sanding surfaces prior to painting). However after 5 days curing the Ultimate Enamel did hang onto all surfaces and only was removed with excessive force. When scoring the painted surface with a stanley knife and then applying and removing masking tape, the painted surface remined intact. The painted finish could be scuffed slightly which is pretty normal with most air dry painted surfaces until they have cured for a couple of months.

With the Dulux Aquanamel satin paint, the rolled painted finish gave a similiar finish to the Taubmans alkyd product, however the Ultimate enamel flowed out more like an enamel an was very smooth and with slower dry time it gave more time to work the surface before the paint started to tack off. The advantage of the Aquanamel was very quick dry time and initial curing. Within 24 hours of giving 2 coats of Dulux Aquanamel, the 5 painted surfaces were relatively scratch resistant, however, after 5 days of curing, the unprimed panels with aquanamel could still be scratched easily with a bit of force, compared to the Taubmans product whcih was reasonably scratch resistant. For anyone who is following the manufacturuers recommendations – sanding, undercoating and painting either of these paints will work fine, but the Taubmans Ultimate enamel really gives a great finish. For our purposes we need to make short cuts to meet deadlines and speed up the process to meet clients needs so a waterbased, enamel like paint like Taubmans Ultimate Enamel is a product we will use again.