There are several key differences between solvent-based and water-based liquid metals:
Solvent-Based Liquid Metals
- Can be polished to a higher sheen than water-based
- More durable formulation, like enamel vs. acrylic paints
- 3-part mixing system, short working time after combining
- Extremely long lifespan - 25+ years outdoors, unlimited indoors
- Some find solvent-based easier to spray
- Allows thicker coatings in one coat
Water-Based Liquid Metals
- Little to no odor, depending on brand
- Long working time after mixing
- Leftover product can be reused
- Easier clean-up
- Slight softening in heat, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
- 2-part mixing system
- Fast curing time
- Low VOC emissions
- Long shelf life
- Easier patina creation
Quality varies between brands of both types. As with any product, research is key to find the best formula for your needs and climate. Some binders offer better quality than others. Some also perform better in cooler climates, then hot climates. Companies also use different types of ingredients to make their binders. Just a few are urethane resin, polyester, acrylic.
Additionally, each metal has its own unique properties to take into account. Thoroughly test products before use and a large product investment.
For more information and classes go to www.liquidmetl.com