Walls and ceilings


Jamie's tips for painting walls and ceilings


The emulsion I have just applied has dried streaky and patchy, why?

This is usually caused when the paint hasn't been applied in a uniform/even manner or it hasn't been thoroughly stirred before use. The nature and porosity of the surface that has been painted will also have a bearing upon the finish achieved. Surface contamination such as grease and dirt could also be a problem.

The emulsion paint I previously applied to my kitchen walls is now peeling off, why?

It is likely that the surface was contaminated. Before painting it is important to prepare, ensuring that the surfaces are clean, dry and free from contaminants such as grease. Applying the emulsion onto a hard glossy surface or oil based finish which has not been rubbed down to provide the necessary key could also be the problem.

My customer wants their bathroom walls painting, what is the best product to use on them?

Acrylic Eggshell is ideal for this application. It is very durable and washable and does not promote the growth of mould. It's also easy to apply and has all the quick drying and low odour benefits of emulsion paint.

My customer has been washing very stubborn dirty marks off walls that were recently painted with Vinyl Matt and says the patches now look shiny what has happened?

This is not unusual with standard matt emulsion paints especially when very dirty and stubborn stains are being removed. The vigorous rubbing action has resulted in some of the surface paint being removed and the surface has become burnished and polished. Vinyl Matt is fine in most instances but in very high traffic areas the use of a specially formulated Hardwearing Matt would avoid such problems.

A white deposit similar to crystals has appeared on my new plaster walls, what do I do?

This is known as efflorescence which are white salt deposits that are brought to the surface by moisture. The appearance of the deposits would suggest that the plaster is not dry yet. The deposits can be dry brushed away with nylon or bristle brush and the surface checked periodically until they stop. Our Super Leytex Matt can be used on new plaster.

We have been working on a new build project and had to touch up wall areas that have been damaged by other trades, but you can see where we have been, what can we do?

Touching up is a practice that is very difficult to achieve successfully. There are various factors that can affect the finish. Firstly using different batches of paint in the same colour will pose a problem. Using a brush to touch areas that have been rolled results in different textures and film thicknesses which are then highlighted in the light. In many instances if touching up has failed the area will need to be painted again. The deeper the colour and higher the sheen level of the paint used the less successful the outcome.

Which paint is best to apply to new plaster?

Because new plaster is still drying it is best to use a permeable or breathable coating such as Super Leytex Matt, which is specially formulated to allow the moisture still in the plaster to escape without disrupting the paint film. If a more solid coating is used on new plaster, then as the plaster dries out it could form blisters.

I've applied two coats as recommended but can still see the colour beneath what can I do?

Two coats are usually sufficient when painting previously painted surfaces, however additional coats may be required when painting contrasting colours. If painting over contrasting colours with Vinyl Silk, apply a coat of Vinyl Matt in a similar shade underneath as this will help to improve the hiding power of the paint.

I'm painting new plaster and I seem to have used a lot of paint on the first coat, why is that?

The new plaster will be very absorbent and will suck the paint into the surface. Thinning the first coat with 10% clean water will help but the second coat will go much further.

Why have I not achieved the coverage rate quoted on the tin?

Coverage is usually measured as a theoretical average of the paint being applied to both painted/unpainted surfaces. The covering or spread rate of paint coatings will be determined by the condition, porosity or profile of the surface they are applied to. Most surfaces to which paints are applied to are naturally absorbent. During application by whatever method there is a possibility that the paint could be applied too generously therefore reducing the spreading rate.

I've been told to seal my new plaster walls before painting, what should I use?

As long as the plaster is dry we would recommend thinning down the first coat of emulsion that is being used with clean water, approximately 10% e.g. 500ml water to 5 Litres of paint. This will help the first coat of paint go on easier and will quench the porosity of the new plaster. Do not seal the walls with anything else as this could make application of the paint harder.

I have got a school to paint, what finish is best for the walls in the corridors?

The finish will have to be tough, durable and washable as this is a high traffic area. Acrylic Eggshell or Hardwearing Matt are ideal for this situation as they has all the necessary properties and are also low odour and quick drying.