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Hints and Tips

These are listed in no particular order but these steps should always be taken to avoid issues. Many of the situations listed below can cause major paint problems, regardless of the product range you use.

  1. Substrates
    Must be suitable as unsound, rusty, damp, or dusty/oily substrates of many types can cause problems. Mold: Get rid of mold, including spores, by applying diluted bleach solution (about 1:5 in water) - allow it to dry, repeat, allow to dry thoroughly and then paint. Provide ventilation to avoid future excessive condensation.
  2. Coverage
    Over-spreading or thinning of paint/varnish etc. (i.e. - an insufficient film build). On exterior gloss paint and WoodShield varnish, this can lead to premature failure with all brands of product. On interior paint/varnish it can lead to poor adhesion.
  3. Preparation
    Poor preparation can lead to many problems. DO NOT wipe with a White Spirit cloth.
  4. "Impossible" Substrates
    Pre-existing "impossible" substrates include traditional distemper and limewash, silthane, teak oil, Danish oil, linseed oil, wax, polish residues, beeswax, French polish, new putty, silicone sealants, low-cost fillers and decorators caulk, economy texture finish (i.e. imitation "Artex"), wallpaper paste/size residues, copper pipes, galvanized surfaces, glass, tiles. All of these can be virtually impossible to treat with all brands of water-based paints but also with most types of conventional solvent-based products.
  5. How to remove wallpaper paste and size residues
    Strip off the wallpaper as normal. Wet the wall very thoroughly with warm water and a little detergent. Leave to soak for twenty minutes, then re-wet as before and scrub off any paste and size with a nylon bristle brush and plenty of water. Allow to dry thoroughly before painting.
  6. Sunshine and Heat
    Painting in full sunshine leads to ultra-fast drying, possibly patchiness and dullness with most brands of paint and varnish.
  7. Storing Cold
    Using or storing any water-based paint at near-frost temperatures will cause many problems including solidification, separation and a dusty discontinuous film if the product is used.
  8. Storing Hot
    Storing any paint at high temperatures (e.g. boiler cupboard) can cause problems including gelation, bacterial spoilage (bad odor etc.), accelerated can rusting/staining, separation, etc.
  9. Equipment
    Poor quality or inappropriate brushes and rollers - always use the right tool for the job. If the equipment is old, worn out, incorrect, you must buy new. To do otherwise is a false economy.
  10. Wet Edge
    Always keep a wet edge as far as is practicable. You cannot leave a job part-finished, even for a few minutes. Always finish a run of paint/varnish/stain, etc. at a natural divide: for example, in a corner, or divide. Do not stop painting in the middle of a wall/surface as the join may be visible. For the same reason, "touching-in" or "touching-up" a previously finished area, even with the same tin of paint, is almost impossible with any brand unless the applicator is very skilled at "feathering-in" as there is no "wet-edge" to work to.
  11. Buy enough
    Always buy enough product to finish the job, as no two batches are ever exactly the same from any supplier, be it paint, fabric, wallpaper, etc.
  12. Thinners
    Wash equipment with water only. Do not use any thinners or white spirit for washing, thinning, or wiping.
  13. Correct Product
    Use the appropriate product for the job in hand. Interior paints, for example, will not work well out of doors.
  14. Washability Please be aware that with any brand of paint, the characteristics of each type of paint are quite different. Eggshell and Feng Shui, for example, can even be used inside a shower enclosure, as they are formulated to be super-washable. Matte, however, is much less water-resistant.
  15. Mar and Burnish: In areas of high traffic (for example corridors, offices, etc.) dark colors in Matte paints - in all brands of paint - can be susceptible to marking if rubbed or scraped. This is called mar (scraped) or burnish (rubbed) and can easily be avoided by the use of a different type of paint, such as eggshell, which is much more resistant to mar/burnish, and well-suited to high-traffic areas. Pale/mid colors and white are generally unaffected/barely affected.
  16. Contamination
    Do not rest soap or oil on a painted surface. These will soften and remove any brand of paint.
  17. Floorboards and Tongue & Groove
    Apply along the length of the boards, not across, as the latter will leave a crossways mark with any brand of paint/varnish/stain.
  18. Primers and Putty
    Pink primers in particular are notorious for allowing bleed-through with many brands of paint. Tannelized or pressure-treated wood cannot be reliably painted with any brand of paint until the carrier solvent has fully evaporated. Likewise, putty must be through-hard before painting.
  19. Mixing
    Do not mix brands of paint on a job in hand. Each manufacturer has different formulae and colors, and some may be incompatible with each other.
  20. Stains
    When painting onto previously stained wood, be aware that water-based stains can often strike through, necessitating the use of Universal Primer.
  21. Knots
    Seal with two coats of ECOS White Knotting (should be white prior to applying paint).
  22. Fillers
    We recommend the brand Polyfilla. All fillers should ideally be sealed with ECOS Filler Sealer. Omitting this step can cause visual surface effects and flaking under severe circumstances.
    We cannot recommend the use of Tetrion brand fillers, Own Brand Fillers, or Economy or Low Cost Fillers as all can cause problems of flaking, bubbling, disbonding etc, with many types and brands of water-based paints.
  23. Bare Plaster
    Should be dry and dust-free, then sealed with one coat of ECOS Plaster Sealer and allowed to dry thoroughly before painting. Ready-mixed plasters: a test area is advisable (as these are proprietary mixtures and not conventional gypsum plasters).

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The advice on this page is offered in good faith but does not constitute a specification and, as the conditions and techniques of application and use are beyond our control, no liability whatsoever will be accepted on our part for its use in full or in part. Always follow the instructions on the can. Follow preparation guidelines thoroughly - surfaces should always be clean, dry, sound and free of dust, efflorescence, grease, oil, rust, etc. The number of coats stated may sometimes seem to be onerous, but these are the ideal for best overall performance.

ECOS Paints

ECOS Paints is here to make your paint purchasing experience enjoyable and convenient. We are committed to creating and delivering premium-quality paints, varnishes, stains, primers, and more to our customers all around the world. Our products, including our award winning organic paint and stains, are designed specifically for people who can’t tolerate fumes due to chemical sensitivities. Each organic product is free of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. While we believe that our accredited paints and finishes are better for you and your household, we want you to know, too. Our beyond zero VOC philosophy means that each product by ECOS Paints comes with VOC test data and a complete list of ingredients so you can make an informed and environmentally responsible decision. To ensure a beautiful color and superior coverage, our products are made with pigments imported from Europe. Browse our color library to find the perfect hue for your next project. If you’ve got your eye on a color that isn’t in our palette, we’ll match it for free: simply enter the color’s details in our easy-to-use color matching form. Once you’ve found your ideal varnish, stain, primer, or organic paint, simply place your order and we’ll ship the product directly to your front door. Shopping for the world’s best paint has never been easier thanks to ECOS Paints!