Friday, May 13, 2011

Paint Wars - who wins? Who loses?

Welcome to our conservatory where I have spent many happy hours this week and last.  I think it smells of paint, and I suppose I may do too, but I'm nearing a good result.

This doesn't make me an expert, but I've had a good chance to compare 5 different paints, so I though you might like to know what I found.  Are cheap paints as good as expensive ones?  Do the big brands make better paint?  Read on.

Here's a close up.  You can see the dark grey border is showing the wood grain and needs more to build it up, but it's only one coat so far, the others already have 2 or 3 coats.  Nice sharp lines though

Lets look at the old scoreboard.  I've used 5 different paints (basically what I had to hand in the appropriate colours) and I'll score each one on ease of application, ability to cover, and resistance to running.  Marks out of 5 for each category

1. Blakes Enamel (now sold as Hempel) Bordeaux Red.   Ease - 4 good, brushes on easily.  Covering - 2 mediocre, but then its a red paint. Run resistance 4 OK it stays put.  Total marks 10

2. Wickes exterior wet gloss Midnight Blue.  Ease 3 manageable.  Covering 3- needs 2 or 3 coats.  Run resistance 4 similar to Blakes  Total marks 10

3. Dulux Weather shield gloss Country Cream. Ease 2- too thin to control.  Covering 2- seems to be v low on pigment content  Run Resistance 1 -appalling.  Total Marks 5 (I'm feeling generous)

4. Wickes non drip gloss Brilliant White - Ease 3- needs care to avoid lumps.  Covering 3 - 2 coats gives a reasonable cover  Run Resistance 4 -stays put.  Total Marks 10.  Seems to take longer to harden off

5. Craftmaster Coach Enamel Graphite Grey - Ease 5 - goes on like a dream and dries fast.  Covering - 5 one thinnish coat completely opaque.  Run Resistance 4 - helped by not needing such a thick coat and quick drying.  Total Marks 14

I am continually blown away by the Craftmaster stuff.  OK it's £25 a litre, but nothing compares.  I don't know how they get such a free flowing paint to hold so much pigment.   The Blakes which is also fairly expensive is fine but not really that much better than the Wickes paint.  As to the Dulux - hopeless really.  I wouldn't buy it again.


Halfie said...

Looks like a precision job there, Neil. Useful info about the paints. How long do you have to leave it before sticking masking tape onto fresh paint?

Neil Corbett said...

Generally 24 hours before remasking. With the white, it needed 12hrs more because it was soft. Best results were with Wickes blue 14 day tape which is a bit less tacky and a bit thinner than cheaper tape. I also remove the tape immediately after painting for the thinner paints. It means you have to replace it for the next coat.

Anonymous said...

I do enjoy your methodical research and it's useful stuff, thank you.
The paintwork looks wonderful by the way.

VallyP said...

So painstaking, Neil. Great work there. Nice to know about the different paints too, not that I think we could get them over here.