Surface Prep Is Critical To Painting Success
If American diplomat Benjamin Franklin was alive today, he would be impressed that his oft-quoted words, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail,” are still highly relevant more than 200 years after he penned them. They are particularly relevant to the painting industry, where surface preparation is an important first step for every successful project.
The preparation products are individually structured to work ideally on diverse surface materials, including wood, metals, plastics, glass and many more.
According to Susan Theron, Plascon’s Professional Brand Manager, surface preparation is an essential part of the painting process – this is often where problems occur, and the paint then gets blamed if there is failure.
‘’As a general rule of thumb,’’ advises Theron, ‘’surfaces should be clean, dry and free of oil, grease, dust, dirt and other contamination before any products are applied. Surfaces can be washed with sugar soap or even just clean water where necessary and left to dry properly before primers or sealants are applied. Each of our preparation products has explicit usage guidelines with clear step-by-step instructions for application. To produce ideal results, we advise what the moisture content reading on a Doser Hygrometer should be, before applying preparation products to various surfaces and the recommended drying time between applications.’’
Plascon’s Professional preparation product range features six different options for various surfaces. These include: Gypsum & Plaster Primer (PP 700), Alkali Resistant Plaster Primer (PP 950), Water-based Gypsum Sealer (PGS 1), All Purpose Undercoat (PU 800), Fillercoat (PP 500) and Waterproofing Compound (PWC 520).
The Gypsum & Plaster Primer is unique in that it is specially designed for application on alkaline substrates such as interior and exterior cement plaster and concrete. It works well as a binding and sealing coat on soft and brittle cement plaster, porous paper-face board, brickwork, soft board and gypsum plaster, providing good adhesion. It is particularly versatile and can be used with solvent-based and water-based topcoats.
Plascon’s Alkali Resistant Plaster Primer serves as a barrier coat on alkaline substrates such as interior and exterior cement plaster and concrete, to protect subsequent coats against alkali burn and efflorescence. It also functions as a binding and sealing coat on soft and friable cement plaster, porous paper-face board, brickwork, soft board and gypsum plaster. It can be used with solvent-based and water-based topcoats and provides good adhesion.
For use on interior surfaces only, this Water-based Gypsum Sealer works best on thoroughly, cleaned un-primed concrete, cement plaster, fibre-cement, Cretestone, Rhinolite and Gypsum plaster. This sealer features reduced odour and is compliant with the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) specifications. It also improves adhesion of water-based topcoats, serves as a quick over coat with good obliteration and spreadability. A benefit of this product is that it is alkali resistant on surfaces where moisture content is less than 8% on cement plaster.
An all-rounder in surface prep, the All Purpose Undercoat is used as a general-purpose base layer on previously painted or suitably primed plaster, wood and metal. It provides good adhesion to most types of primers and can be over-coated with a variety of water-based and solvent-based topcoats. Added to this, it also offers good inter-coat adhesion on aged alkyd enamels.
For suitably primed new cement plaster walls (interior only), Fillercoat is used to seal and partly fill surface texture, while assisting in producing a smoother finish when over-coated. It is quick drying with good opacity and low VOC.
If rain and damp are common weather conditions, you can’t go wrong with the Waterproofing Compound sealer coating. It is a proven waterproofing compound for walls, parapets and exterior structures. It provides a coating to bridge small plaster cracks as well as repaired plaster cracks. With exceptional flexibility and abrasion resistance, this ready-to-use coating is resistant to oil, diesel, diluted hydrochloric and sulphuric acid spillage. There is no added lead and the low VOC rating makes it GBCSA compliant.
Theron concludes, ‘’While preparation may seem to be hard work, it is well worth investing the time to ensure it’s done properly – this is a definite way to guarantee the success of the finished product. We all aspire to have our paint jobs looking perfect for as long as possible – I believe that the secret to achieving this is with meticulous preparation.’
For further information on surface preparation products, please visit