Project type:

Windmill Hill Primary School corridor

A building that has been extended over the years in either direction, resulting in a very long corridor. Blue-tac, staples, scrapes and dings, lunch, pencils and pens, and general holes drilled for various reasons make for a hard life for walls. The requirement is for a tough paint.

Skirtings and architrave are an old, yellowed oil base gloss. The low levels of natural light in the corridor mean that a modern oil based gloss might soon yellow as well, so I’ve opted for Dulux Quick Drying (water based) gloss. It’s not a true acrylic paint as it does contain some “oil”, and so may not stay as white as an acrylic, but it should be tough enough for this situation, as well as being more pleasant to use. The main issue with using this system is making sure that preparation is thorough enough for the water based paint to stick to the old oil base.

Water based paints are fussy about any grease at all on the surface to be painted, and also will depend more on mechanical adhesion to adhere to the oil based substrate. A good sanding will supply the mechanical adhesion, and cleaning is achieved with Krud Kutter Gloss Off, a soapy liquid we scrubbed on with an abrasive pad and wiped off with a coarse cloth. The dual action of cleaning and dulling-down the shine ensures a surface ready for painting. From then on painting proceeds as normal, except no smell, recoat in 4 hours, and clean up in water. Pity that the doors (which we were not painting) now look yellow and grubby next to the new work. We may be back to paint them in the future.

Walls had previously been painted with a vinyl matt which is struggling to cope with the conditions – its a patchwork of touching-in. I’ve recommended Johnstones Acrylic eggshell, a tough and wipeable paint I’ve used many times before which is easy to paint and not too shiny. Two coats and job done.

Published by: Colin Taylor on: February 23rd 2016

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