Sol-gel reactions, in general, have to take place in organic solvents in order to control the hydrolysis and condensation reaction. This leads to drawbacks in applications, since the organic solvent vapor concentration has to be controlled for example in coating applications for environmental, health or security reasons. For this reason, a reaction route has been developed to produce coating precursors stable against water as solvent. To achieve this, conventional electrostatically stabilized sols obtained either by hydrolysis and condensation or commercially available sols (e.g. SiO2sols) have been surface-modified to reduce the particle-to-particle interaction and electrosterically stabilized precursors compatible to water have been obtained. By use of alkoxy silanes as surface modifiers, water-dispersable nanoparticulate liquid coating systems have been prepared, for example, with boehmite, SiO2 or TiO2 as nanoparticles to be crosslinked after coating thermally by inorganic condensation and organic condensation or polymerization reactions. Thus, aqueous sol-gel coating systems have been prepared with EtOH contents below 5 %. In the paper, the basic reaction as well as material properties will be discussed.