Q: How easy are decorative effects for a beginner?
It depends really on the effect you want - some techniques are simple and can be re-created effectively by the average DIY enthusiast. For example, wood graining, dragging, stippling and colour washing can be done relatively simply. However, other techniques that create the effect of marbling or even sponging are more advanced and require more care, patience and experience! Whatever effect you want, almost all decorative effects are achieved using Acrylic glazes, which when added to the paint allow an extended working time with the paint.
Q: How can I avoid getting an uneven colour finish when painting?
It is helpful to first apply a primer that is a similar shade to the paint colour you will be applying. It is also worth investing in a top quality roller to apply the paint giving greater paint capacity, less dripping and spattering resulting in an even finish. For the best result use a water-based acrylic paint and ensure it is applied using evenly across the whole surface area.
Q: I need a small amount of a particular tinted colour. Where can I buy this at reasonable cost?
There are more and more retail outlets that offer tinting at the point of sale. Today’s’ technology advances mean stores are able to tint to achieve almost any paint shade you want. In our 75 “Duracoat Colourmania” outlets spread out in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and other major towns in Kenya will be willing to provide this service. These are Automated Computerized Tinting machines that are meant to satisfy the demand for thousands of middle colours not shown in our standard colour charts.
Q: Can you explain why the colour in the paint can is not the same when it dries out on the walls?
The explanation begins with the fact that the components of paint reflect light differently when they are wet (in-can) compared to when they are dried (on the wall). These subtle differences are quite common and not a reflection on the quality of a paint product. A handy tip to make sure you are happy with the end colour on your wall is to use a sampler pot, apply the paint and check how it looks after drying. Many of the high quality paint brands offer tester pots from the different ranges available.
Q: We have recently bought a residential property in need of re-decoration. Can I use a water-based paint over areas previously painted with solvent-based paint?
In short, yes you can. However some preparation is required before you start. First the surface needs to be sanded to a dull finish with a fine grit sandpaper, then wiped off with a damp cloth. A top quality pure acrylic water-based paint can then be applied quite successfully. Make sure to check the paint tin label as some manufacturers recommend that you apply a high adhesion primer before the top coat (If needed check with our Technical Department for a suitable recommendation).
Q: I’m painting my son’s bedroom next weekend. We would like to know what paint would be safe enough to use so he can use his room soon after the job is complete?
Safety is important so keep children and pets out of the area during and for a few hours after painting.Most products available today for interior use are water-based making them suitable for a child’s bedroom. Low odour, low VOC paints are common; using a good quality Acrylic satin or matt would be a suitable option. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) contribute to pollution of the atmosphere and are better avoided. In low VOC paints the VOC’s emitted during painting reduce very quickly. Using ample ventilation while painting ensures residual VOC levels remain low. Finally, needless to say children have a tendency to run into a newly decorated room despite being told otherwise, so remove all paint tools and pots immediately after you’ve finished painting!
Q: What is the difference between a transparent and opaque stain?
Transparent stains have considerably less pigment than opaque stains, in order to allow the grain of the wood to show through. Opaque stains obliterate or hide the grain; and because of the added protection of the wood from UV radiation, will last longer before needing to be re-applied.
Q: What is the difference between wash and scrub resistance?
Wash resistance, or better, “washability,” is the ease that dirt and stains can be washed off the paint. How well the paint resists absorption of dirt and stains is part of it. Scrub resistance is simply how well the paint will stand up to scrubbing without abrading through; it is not an indicator of how readily stains can be removed from the paint.
Q: My bathroom had a severe damp problem which required a major renovation job. Thankfully the surface has been rendered and re-plastered. How should I paint on fresh plaster?
Fresh plaster should be allowed to dry thoroughly over a period of weeks depending on how thick the layer of plaster is and the ventilation in the room. Usually the plaster changes to a pale colour when drying and feels powdery smooth to touch. Once dry apply a quality primer followed by 1-2 layers of a high quality pure Acrylic eggshell topcoat.
Q: What is the difference between a paint and a stain?
The objective in applying a stain is usually to change the colour of the surface (typically bare wood) without hiding the texture of the material. Some stains, called semi-transparent stains, allow the grain pattern of the wood to be seen. With paint, we create a new appearance, which may be flat, satiny, or glossy, and the texture and grain of the surface is obscured. Stains are typically thinner than paints. Interior stains are commonly also referred to as varnishes with a protective topcoat, whereas exterior stains are often left uncoated. In exterior applications, a quality paint job will generally last longer than will staining
Q: How can I recognize a good quality interior paint from the wide choice available in a retail store?
The ingredients in a can of paint determine the level of quality. Premium paint will have more of the prime ingredients which include the binder. The binder gives the dry paint the durability. That is the toughness against every day wear and tear, and stain resistance. The “Duracoat Royale” and “Duracoat” ranges are highly reliable as they are a result of wide research and tests.
Q: Is it worth paying more for a kitchen and bathroom paint?
Yes, it is, for two main reasons. Firstly, a kitchen and bathroom paint will generally have higher binder content, and the binder may also be a higher performance type. The binder in the paint is the ingredient that gives the dried paint its resistance properties such as durability, toughness against everyday wear and tear, and the ability to resist picking up dirt and stains. Generally speaking, higher quality paints have both more and better quality binders in them, guaranteeing the best results. Secondly, and equally important, most kitchen and bathroom paints also contain a fungicide to discourage fungal growth in damp and humid areas.
Q: I have paint peeling off the window frames. Which paint would you suggest to avoid re-painting frequently?
For window frames, we suggest you choose a top quality exterior pure acrylic gloss or satin trim paint. These paints are made with ingredients that allow the dried paint to adhere particularly well and long to the surface they are applied to, making them extremely resistant to adverse weather conditions. However, even if you use the best quality paint it is still important to follow the four key steps to ensure a good job and to minimize the frequency on maintenance.
1. appropriate surface preparation;
2. application of a quality paint brand suitable for the job;
3. use of quality tools and,4. painting under the proper conditions.
Q: I have a masonry wall which is looking dirty. I intend to repaint this but want a product that will last a long time. Which product will be most suitable?
Painting the outside of your home takes a lot more planning and preparation than the inside. You are right to want the best product. A lot of success is down to how well you remove existing dirt, fungus and debris. It may seem like hard work but the investment in time and effort now will mean you will avoid having to re-paint too soon.Wash the surface down using a Duracoat Fungicidal Wash is fungus is present. Allow to dry and seal the chalky surface using Duracoat All Purpose Undercoat. The finish with two coats of the water based Duracoat Royale Pure Acrylic Paint or high quality Duracoat external Emulsion.
Q: I recently painted my hallway in a dark green colour, however it feels gloomy and I’m looking to paint it in a fresh yellow. To save time, I’m considering a one coat paint product. Do one-coat products work over dark surfaces ?
Absolute one-coat coverage is quite difficult to achieve, particularly if the new paint is a light shade or white and the surface being painted over is a dark colour. And if the surface is smooth, it is even more difficult. Good ‘coverage’ - where the surface is painted over does not show through – can be achieved if the paint is applied according to the ‘spreading rate’ instructions as printed on the paint can. Often these are specified on the tin as coverage area (in m2 per litre), allowing you to calculate what surface area that paint will cover, so paint will need to be applied accordingly.
Q: Which paint product provides the best long-term protection against weathering?
The best way to provide long-term protection is to carry out all the steps needed to ensure a ‘complete’ paint job.
1. Proper surface preparation is really important - remove dirt, chalk, fungus and loose paint; and sand down weathered wood) by
2. Apply a full coat of an appropriate primer.
3. Finally apply two coats of a high quality pure acrylic water-based paint.
This may seem like a lot of work, but it is actually worth it in the long run! Products in this range are Duracoat Royale 100% Pure Acrylic Outdoor Protector, Duracoat Royale Classic Matt and Duracoat Duraplast.
Q: I hear mixed comments on the need for primers. When and why is using a primer important?
This is a very good question. In general priming is essential when:
• The surface is porous in any way
• The surface has never been painted before
• The surface contains substances which can bleed through (eg dirt, water and tobacco stains, tannins in wood such as mahogany)
Priming has an important role; it blocks out staining materials from the surface being painted, it provides a good base for a uniform topcoat appearance and ensures maximum adhesion to the surface being painted. Primers can be solvent-based or water-based.
Q: I completed my paint job and have some leftover paint. How should I dispose of this?
It is preferable to actually apply the rest of the paint first. If this is not possible, then surplus paint should be disposed of safely. It should not be poured into drains, watercourses or placed with household waste as is. If small amounts of water-based paint need clearing up then throw some absorbent material (most pet litter is suitable) over the paint to soak it up then sweep it up and throw into the dustbin. For larger amounts and all solvent-based product disposal, speak to your local authority who will advice on the best course of action. If you have left over paint in good condition consider donating it to charity or community groups, again your local authority can provide further detail on the schemes operating in your area.
Q: How long can I keep paint once the can has been opened?
- Typically, one to two years provided it is stored correctly.
- Be sure the groove (the "chime") into which the lip of the lid fits, is thoroughly cleaned of residual paint. Press the lid tightly; once secure invert the can for a few seconds to form an airtight seal. If it is not airtight there will be gaps, through which air will enter causing the paint to "skin over" in storage. Paints are affected by extremes in temperature. Protection from frost and temperatures above 30 deg C are advised to keep the paint in good condition for re-use. Finally, prevent dirt (from a dirty brush for example) from contaminating the paint.
Q :When do I use a natural bristle brush, as opposed to a synthetic bristle brush?
As a general rule of thumb : Natural bristle brushes should be used for solvent-based paints and stains, whereas polyester or Nylon bristle brushes are used for water-based products. Some polyester brushes are designed for use with both.