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FAQ

Is there an order to painting a room?
Painting a room in the correct order will save time and cost. Begin with the ceilings (1), walls (2) (1 & 2 usually being water-based paints only), doors.
Always work from top down, but fill in doors and trim after the walls.

How to choose type of paint?
For walls & ceilings, water based paints called Emulsions ( usually referred to as Latex or Plastic Paints by painters) are recommended. You can choose the type of paint depending on the final finish ( matt, mid-sheen, high sheen) and other functional benefits ( washability, fungus resistance, high reflectance )desired.
For metal surfaces, solvent based paints called enamels ( usually referred to as gloss) are recommended. Within enamels, there are choice of paints with varying sheen level & functional benefits.
For wood surfaces, you have a choice of ‘transparent’ finish and ‘opaque finish’. The former is recommended, if you are keen on retaining the natural look of wood.

Use of brush versus roller
Follow the instructions given by the paint manufacturer at the back of the can. For water based paint application on walls & ceilings : Usually, brush application is done followed by roller for a smooth and even finish.
For solvent based paints being applied on metal & wood surfaces, brush or spray application is done as recommended by the manufacturer.
For pattern finishes like Dulux Duette, special rollers need to be used for specific effect, as recommended by the manufacturer.

How to choose the right colour for my home?
A great way to begin is to see different combinations of paint colors of your choice.
When choosing interior color schemes you will need to take into account all aspects of your current and future decorating styles. From the flooring materials to your furnishings all colors and textures will affect the possible choices and the final outcome of your interior design.

When is it a good time to paint?
For exteriors the good time to paint is when the weather is pleasant, without risk of high humidity and rain on the horizon. It is best to avoid painting, in extreme temperatures & humid conditions.
For interiors, although there are no such restrictions – an ambient temperature in-home and outside is preferable. It is best to have some ventilation during and immediately after painting in order to dissipate fumes and it also helps with drying.

Is there a recommended time to wait before painting a newly built house or newly plastered wall?
There is no fixed recommended time to wait before painting on fresh plastered walls. As long as the walls are dry and fully cured one can paint it. To reconfirm get professional help.

Why do hairline cracks appear?
The development of small cracks on inside plaster walls and ceilings is not unusual and is normally the result of movement of the building. However large cracks that appear to be getting wider should be investigated by a professional.

Common Problems Associated with Decor and Paintwork

Alkali Attack
Alkali refers to an ionic substance that can combine with protons to form a basic compound (salt, soap). This phenomenon is usually visualized as a colour loss (white or yellow patches) or deterioration of a paint film.
POSSIBLE CAUSES:
Poor surface preparation especially masonry surfaces. Oil based paint that is applied to a moist surface rich in alkali. Moisture within the structure. Normally this happens when mortar or plaster that is less than one month old and still has a high moisture content has been painted, or when an alkali resistant primer has not been used.
SOLUTION:
Allow masonry surfaces to cure for a minimum of 60 days. Paint preferably after 6 months. Remove damaged /deteriorated paint film by wire brushing and rinse thoroughly. Remove source of moisture (moisture level should not exceed 12%). Apply Alkali Resistant Primer and finish with a top quality latex paint.

Alligatoring
This describes the cracks that form a pattern on the surface that looks like the scales of an alligator.
POSSIBLE CAUSES:
Application of a topcoat before the undercoat has properly dried. A process whereby certain oil-based products age because of changes in temperature over time. Use of a less flexible coating (e.g. Alkyd Enamel) over a flexible coating (e.g. Latex Primer)
SOLUTION:
The problem paint needs to be completely removed. Once the surface has been re-primed with an appropriate primer, apply a top quality latex paint.

Blistering
Blisters are small domes or “bubbles” that form in the paint film that cause the paint to lose adhesion from the coating or substrate below. The diameter of the blisters may vary in size from a few millimeters to more than a meter. It’s worthwhile to note that some small blisters recover without affecting the integrity of the paint film, however should the blisters pop or burst they allow water to ingress and result in the peeling of the paint film.
POSSIBLE CAUSES:
Blisters are caused by either moisture or air being trapped behind the paint film and in an attempt to escape, the air or moisture lifts the film off the substrate. Water is the more common cause and can originate from moisture in the ground or from within the structure, but it can also be caused by rain or other moisture, particularly if the moisture comes in contact with the paint before it has dried properly, for example rain or dew.
SOLUTION:
All blisters must be removed by sanding or scraping. Ensure that the edges of the remaining paint are sanded to provide a smooth substrate. All sanding residue must be removed, and if necessary, allow the substrate to dry. (Moisture content of less than 12%). The correct primer must then be applied prior to the application of the topcoat. If applicable, the source of moisture must be removed or treated.

Burnishing and Marring
This is a condition in which the paint becomes “shiny” when cleaned or rubbed. Abrasive cleaners can accentuate the problem so a mild household detergent and water is normally the best method for cleaning paints. As washing can affect the sheen level of some paints, walls should be washed from corner-to-corner instead of just a dirty area.
POSSIBLE CAUSES:
Using a non-washable product in an area that experiences high traffic volumes. Some colours and types of paints are also more prone to this problem than others. Generally speaking, lower quality matt paints and deeper, darker colours will tend to mar. Certain appliances or furniture (e.g. trolleys, couches) bumping against the surface. Frequent wiping in a specific area.
SOLUTION:
The only way to rectify a situation where marring or burnishing is occurring is to overcoat the affected area with a high quality paint. For interior usage, Dulux Trade Vinyl Silk is recommended for all colours in high traffic areas. Alternatively, use a high gloss enamel finish. Surfaces should be cleaned with soft materials and non-abrasive cleaners.

Chalking
Chalking is the formation of a white powdery substance on the surface of paint as it ages (quite often confused with fading). It can lead to fading as well as the delaminating of paint applied on top of it. It can also run down a surface, causing run marks. Some chalking is common with most paints.
POSSIBLE CAUSES:
A paint deficient in binder “chalks” on exposure to weathering. A normal paint applied over insufficiently sealed, porous surfaces. Highly pigmented oil-based paints that are exposed to sunlight and rain. Certain white and light coloured paints are designed to chalk. A simple test for chalking is to run your fingers across the dry coating. If the coating is chalking, the residue will cling to your fingers.
SOLUTION:
Light chalking can be removed by wiping the surface and be easily repainted once wiped clean. Heavy chalking can sometimes be removed with a high-pressure wash. However, if the chalkiness remains after washing, a Bonding Liquid should be used before repainting. Bonding Liquids need to be applied with care so careful note should be made of the instructions on the tin. Follow this with a two coat application of a premium quality paint such as Dulux Trade Weathershield in an exterior application.

Dirt Pickup
This is the build up of dirt and dust on the surface.
POSSIBLE CAUSES:
Using inferior products. Environmental dust, pollution and airborne particles collecting on walls and roofs. Rain/water drops splashing soil onto walls.
SOLUTION:
Rinse the surface thoroughly before priming and painting. Heavier dirt build up can be cleaned by carefully using a high-pressure hose (be careful not to damage the surface). Smooth and satin finish products tend not to be as susceptible to exterior dirt pickup as matt, textured products. Gloss finish is recommended for interior application where dirt pickup is likely to occur.

Efflorescence and Lime Bloom
Efflorescence is a result of water in the structure, dissolving salts, then evaporating and leaving a hard, crusty deposit on the surface, sometimes forming stalactites from plaster/concrete ceilings. Lime bloom is a result of water within the structure, dissolving lime, then evaporating and leaving a white or cream, fluffy, powdery deposit on the surface.
POSSIBLE CAUSES:
Rising/lateral dampness or any source of moisture in the structure, such as roof leaks, broken/leaking plumbing, etc.
SOLUTION:
If the deposits are on the surface, they can be wiped off. If the surface has been disrupted by efflorescence the whole area would need to be stripped down and wiped clean until the deposits have stopped occurring.

Fading/Poor Colour Retention
Fading refers to the premature loss of colour of a paint film caused by a change in the colourant or pigment under that harmful action of UV rays. Generally, the colour will appear lighter or tone changes may be evident as a result of more resistant colourants or pigments dominating. Fading must not be mistaken for chalking.
POSSIBLE CAUSES:
Using paints that are not UV resistant on exterior walls. Inappropriate primers being used on alkaline surfaces. Tinting of products that are not designed to be tinted. Fading is normally caused by the action of UV rays on a paint film over time. Not all pigments and colourants within the paint have similar UV resistance levels.
SOLUTION:
If chalking has occurred along with colour fading, this needs to be cleaned off properly. All colours will fade over time, with brighter, deeper colours being the most affected. Fading cannot be totally eliminated but can be reduced by using paints specifically formulated for exterior use. Earthy colours with dark red and brown oxides provide for the best colour retention.

Flaking/Peeling
This describes the lifting of the paint from the underlying surface in the form of flakes or scales.
POSSIBLE CAUSES:
Flaking/peeling is also one of the more common paint problems and can have several (or even multiple) causes. Peeling of paint will often follow a situation in which the paint film has blistered or cracked. The ingress of water under the film begins to lift it from the substrate. Another common cause of peeling is when a layer of paint beneath the topcoat fails (often due to age), and the weight of the paint causes it to lift off the substrate. This is easily checked by examining the peeled flake. If the topside and underside of the flake are different colours, then usually this will indicate that one of the layers below the topcoat has failed. Poor surface preparation. Painting on a damp or dirty substrate will cause the film to peel. Using an unsuitable or incorrect primer or undercoat will cause the film to peel.
SOLUTION:
To rectify, all the peeling paint must be removed by sanding or scraping. The edges of the unpeeled paint must be sanded to “blend in” with the layers below. The relevant primer needs to be applied to exposed areas, and the entire wall should be repainted.

Foaming/Cratering
This is where small bubbles appear in the paint while wet. Often small craters or holes appear on the surface as the paint dries.
POSSIBLE CAUSES:
Using certain old, latex paints. Over-rolling / brushing with wet paint. Over-shaking of the paint tin. Painting a porous surface with a high gloss or semi gloss product.
SOLUTION:
Most paints will have small bubbles when painting, however these should come to the surface and disappear as the paint dries. Use a sealer or primer before painting onto a porous surface.

Lapping
This is where a thicker or darker layer of paint appears where wet paint has been painted over dry paint.
POSSIBLE CAUSES:
Allowing the paint to dry in patches instead of maintaining a wet edge. Using paints with a low solid content.
SOLUTION:
Always keep the edge of the new paint wet by not letting it stand and dry out. Paint to an edge (corner, doorway) if you plan to stop painting for a while. Always paint, smaller, manageable areas, rather than trying to do areas that are too big.

Mildew or Mould
Mildew or mould is the formation of grey, black, green or brown fungus on the paint. It can be of a uniform or spotty appearance, or both.
POSSIBLE CAUSES:
When paint surfaces remain cool and moist for long periods, this forms the ideal environment for micro-organisms to thrive. It will be accentuated by using low quality paint with little or no fungicide. Spores can also originate from mildew being on the surface when painted or wind-blown spores getting on the paint. Flat paints are more susceptible to mildew than satin or gloss paints. Alkyd paints are more susceptible than latex paints.
SOLUTION:
Use a 4:1 solution of water and household bleach to wash away all traces of mildew. Always use at least two coats of quality exterior paint.

Mud cracking
This is where cracks appear that look like mud that has dried.
POSSIBLE CAUSES:
Occurs in different situations where paint is applied too thickly, either in corners, because of incorrect spraying techniques or in an attempt to cover underlying flaws.
SOLUTION:
All excess paint needs to be scraped off and sanded. The surface needs to be primed and repainted.

Poor Flow and Levelling
This is where brush or roller marks are left if the paint dries too quickly or if it does not settle properly.
POSSIBLE CAUSES:
Adding an extra layer of paint to areas that need to be touched up, before they have dried properly. Using incorrect or poor quality brush or roller.
SOLUTION:
Top quality paints have ingredients to improve paint flow on a surface. Use appropriate equipment to apply paints, and ensure brushes and rollers are of a decent quality.

Poor Gloss Retention
Poor gloss retention is the excessive reduction of the glossiness of the paint as it weathers.
POSSIBLE CAUSES:
Using paint that is designed for interior usage, on exterior walls. Using gloss products that are not UV resistant on surfaces that are exposed to direct sunlight.
SOLUTION:
All paints will have a certain amount of surface fading over time. To rectify, remove any chalk, dirt or mildew on the old paint; apply quality exterior latex semi gloss or gloss paint according to the instructions on the tin. Always use UV resistant exterior coatings on walls that are exposed to direct sunlight.

Sagging/Curtaining
This describes the drooping of paint after application, resulting in thick drops on the painted surface.
POSSIBLE CAUSES:
Too thick coating of paint. Product that is too thin. Spraying too close to the surface or too slowly. May also be as a result of painting in cool or humid conditions.
SOLUTION:
If the paint has dried, sand and reapply a top coat. If the surface is still wet, use a brush or roller to lightly distribute the excess paint.

Saponification
This is the process whereby oil containing paints are completely broken down by alkali attack forming soft, sticky masses, drops or a gummy liquid.
POSSIBLE CAUSES:
Application of oil-based products onto alkali surfaces. Alkali surfaces are not primed with the appropriate primer.
SOLUTION:
Completely strip and clean the surface before applying a new paint system.

Streaking
Streaking is a condition generally associated with matt, textured paints. It occurs when the paint film does not have sufficient “depth” and roller marks become visible in the film.
POSSIBLE CAUSES:
The thickness of the paint film is crucial to the appearance and durability of the film (one of the reasons why a 2 coat application is always better than a single coat application). The thickness of the paint film is affected by the paint being absorbed into the wall or by the paint being “overspread”. Using an inadequate primer (or none at all) results in the paint being “absorbed” into the plaster leaving only a very thin layer in which roller marks can be visible. If the spreading rate of a product is exceeded the film thickness is likewise reduced.
SOLUTION:
Normally the application of a single coat of product at the correct spreading rate will rectify this problem, although if the streaking is severe then two or more coats may be required.

Surfactant leaching
Surfactant leaching is the formation of a shiny material on paint shortly after it dries, or shortly after it comes into contact with moisture. It may be clear or brownish in colour.
POSSIBLE CAUSES:
While surfactant leaching generally occurs with premium quality paints that contain latex, it is not restricted to these. Very heavily tinted formulations, as well as cool and humid drying conditions will also exacerbate the problem. The brown drops that form will occur with most latex paints that are repeatedly exposed to moisture.
SOLUTION:
Fortunately, the problem is limited to the appearance of the paint. The paint film itself is not damaged. The leaching will normally weather off in a few months’ time but it can be power washed if necessary. Take note that with this problem, repainting will not rectify the problem as leaching may occur on the repainted section as well. If no other option is available and the surface must be repainted, then Universal Undercoat must be applied as a barrier prior to the topcoat.

Wrinkling
This describes the effect when the paint surface forms a “skin”, resulting in creases on the surface.
POSSIBLE CAUSES:
Painting a topcoat over an undercoat that has not dried properly. Painting over dirty/oily surfaces that have not been properly cleaned. Painting in direct sunlight or on heated surfaces. Painting over a previous coat that has been applied too thickly.
SOLUTION:
Remove all creases on the surface, sanding may be necessary. Always apply paint to the spreading rate specified by the manufacturer. Always make sure the surface is completely dry before adding a second coat.

              
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