The global increase of the environmental consciousness led to a rapid interest of the scientific community in the exploration of novel bio-based materials. To date several high-quality reviews on the topic of bio-based polymers in general and coatings in particular have been published. However their main focus has been on reporting different raw organic materials used, specific application fields or particular final products. Due to that approach the existing reviews nearly or completely fail in identifying and analysing the potential uniqueness of bio-based raw materials to implement new or better functions to polymeric coatings. The current review offers an overview of the peculiar effect of the bio-based raw component on different coating properties, a characteristic that we like to call the “bio-touch“. The review highlights the relation between the bio-based element and the property achieved. The aim is not to report all the approaches and advances existing, but to critically analyse the main and most successful approaches pointing out possible intrinsic weakness.