Strict environment legislation was introduced in Slovenia due to joining the European Union (EU). For wood industry the VOC directive on restriction of volatile organic compounds emissions are especially important. The decree on emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) from installations using organic solvents requires a drastic reduction of VOC emissions also from lacquer plants in the timber-reworking industry. In most cases the only realistic possibility for implementation of the decree is a transition to water-borne coating systems. In the Slovenian producer of furniture, we treated elements of 3 most important production programmes with water-borne coating systems, and compared their characteristics with the characteristics of solvent-borne finishes. The results are promising. But the water-borne surface systems are still in the stage of development, and therefore, they do not enable reaching the top-quality surface treatment as the coatings on the basis of organic solvents do.