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How much less paint does the second coat use compared with the first coat?

(22 Posts)
MarshaBrady Wed 06-Jul-11 16:13:36

Sorry even duller, but I really need to know. Thanks

MarshaBrady Wed 06-Jul-11 16:41:11


CubiksRube Wed 06-Jul-11 17:48:56

I couldn't give you a percentage, but we've just been painting and it uses significantly less paint. It took us half the time to do the second coat.

MarshaBrady Wed 06-Jul-11 18:45:17

Thanks Cubiks

The decorator thinks a tin will be 80% empty after a first coat.

Whereas a tin would only be 10% empty if a new one is opened for a second coat.

trying to work out if he is mixing cheap and expensive paint, which would be very annoying\

Sounds a bit like a maths problem at school

SirenSusan Wed 06-Jul-11 20:09:16

I thought it would be roughly the same - unless you were missing bits.

dexter73 Wed 06-Jul-11 20:16:32

I think it would be roughly the same too. I have just finished painting our hallway and it took 2 coats. I did exactly the same for each coat so can't see that it would use less paint for the 2nd coat.

MarshaBrady Wed 06-Jul-11 20:56:18

thanks and ggggrrrr at decorator who has been too lazy to rinse stuff and and has been pouring excess paint back into the F&B pot at the end of the day. Holy crap how annoying.

What to do, what to do

SirenSusan Wed 06-Jul-11 21:01:35

A member of staff in Homebase told me today that decorators often use 2 coats of cheap paint and finish off with one coat of Farrow & Ball....they have told her an asked her to colour match for that purpose.

MarshaBrady Wed 06-Jul-11 21:05:47

yy that's what he said for the ceiling. Just one coat £15 crapola and then last coat F&B. He's done a couple rooms and I can't work out why there is almost nothing left of the crapola one and nearly a full tin of the F&B.

He then said at the end of the day he pours whatever is left into the F&B tin and I was shock NOOOOOO. You mixed paint. And it all got a bit stressy as he is adamant that the first coat takes a whole tin and the second hardly any.

He is really annoying me as he is either right, or he is telling porky pies.

PigletJohn Wed 06-Jul-11 22:54:48

you're talking about painting plaster walls, right?

And as the first coat is using lots more, I assume it is bare plaster, not painted plaster?

IF SO, the correct procedure is to thin the first coat of emulsion on bare plaster (same applies to masonry paint on concrete or brickwork, which are also very aborbent) with water. This helps it soak into the absorbent substrate. The tin will say how much, it is usually about 10%. On very dry hungry concrete I have sometimes used 25% and applied two of these mist coats. If you were doing it yourself you would feel the wall sucking the moisture out of the brush. You can tell when you have applied enough to kill the suction, because following coats go on easier and faster because the paint stays fluid as you apply it. Any experienced painter will be familiar with this method of thinning the first, it is called a mist coat and will be recommended on the tin. It gives very little obliteration or coverage, so you still have to put two coats on top, but is very fast to apply and dry.

You say you are using a decorator, so it is up to you to find a good one by asking friends and neighbours for recommendations, and looking at their houses to see what you think of the quality of work, and asking what they were charged. If you were DIYing I would recommend that you applied a couple of coats of Dulux Trade Supermatt Brilliant white (this is not a vinyl paint so has better adhesion for future coats) to the bare plaster. This gives a smooth flat surface of uniform absorbency, which is very easy to paint on. It also highlights any remaining blemishes on the surface to the eye, so you can fill, scrape or sand them smooth before patch-priming with white again to give you as near a perfect finish as you can manage. Then when you come to apply your colour, you will use less, and will have a uniform colour and texture with no patchiness. However a professional will not want to do this (except in his own house) because it is labour-intensive, and time is money, and most customers won't appreciate the work that goes into achieveing perfection sad and are unwilling to pay for it.

But bear it in mind if you ever want to don the overalls yourself.

kbaby Wed 06-Jul-11 23:07:41

Yes we did that on all our walls after they were plastered, we were also told we could use watered down uv glue, haven't tried that though. would've thought on normal already painted walls both costs would use the same as the wall space covered is the same

PigletJohn Wed 06-Jul-11 23:19:48


never put PVA glue on a wall that you hope one day to paint

Unless you are particularly fond of blisters, wrinkles and bare patches. The paint is softened by the water in the paint, and swells. The paint does not touch the plaster so does not adhere.

Cleaning glue off a wall so you can paint it takes a lot of hot water, scraping, scrubbing and mopping. It is far worse than removing wallpaper paste/size (which you must also do before painting).

PigletJohn Wed 06-Jul-11 23:20:51

sorry I meant "The glue is softened "

MarshaBrady Thu 07-Jul-11 06:49:12

Hi Pigletjohn. It is the ceiling only. It was last painted 6 years ago.

Thankfully I was adamant that it should only be F&B on the walls. But a 5L tin went on one largish size ceiling. So we went for cheap undercoat on a few rooms for ceiling only.

Dh has seen it and agrees there is no way first coat uses a whole tin and second only 8% of a tin.

MarshaBrady Thu 07-Jul-11 07:05:58

and thanks for info.

PigletJohn Thu 07-Jul-11 10:18:12

Thanks, that's interesting

I wonder if the cheaper stuff you used did not have much covering power or was thin due to being poor quality? confused Or maybe he knocked the can over and spilt it? It sounds as if the room was decorated recently enough not to have had very dirty surfaces, unless you smoke, burn candles or have an open fire (you use more on dirty sufaces as the first application tends to mix with the dirt and needs recoating, and ceilings are almost impossible to wash down in preparation).

If you want an emulsion paint which is much cheaper than F&B, but is good quality and leaves a good surface to paint over, Supermatt is what I would recommend next time. As it is a non-vinyl matt it is not as washable as a vinyl silk, but this does make it easier to repaint (it is not good to try to put a matt paint over a silk as it does not adhere well) and is widely available as it is one of the professional's choices. It can be mixed to hundreds of different colours. I confess I'm not an F&B convert.

MarshaBrady Thu 07-Jul-11 10:23:59

Hey Piglet. It turns out that he would use the same bucket and at the end of the day pour what was left into the F&B tin. So I can only assume the F&B tin got fuller and fuller as it was being mixed with crapola stuff.

But he is here, and the mood is a lot calmer. We have agreed to use what I think is a mixed full tin of paint as the undercoat. And I have another F&B to use as top coat. Pure F&B. He is under strict instructions to not let the two mix....

It is tough, most decorators are dismissive of F&B and the people that want to use it will fully believe it is better, not just colour but chalky finish. So there seems to be a mismatch, I did say it should be his selling point to embrace F&B users wink

We are getting on fine now, coffee offered and accepted.

SirenSusan Thu 07-Jul-11 12:04:22

My paint supplier tells me that one of the main reasons decorators don't like F&B is that they can't get a trade discount on it.

HippyHippopotamus Thu 07-Jul-11 12:11:59

just about to paint a newly plastered ceiling so marking my place to steal borrow Piglet's suggestions smile

marsha, pleased to read you're getting on better now with decorator. can't believe he's mixing paint though, craziness!

MarshaBrady Thu 07-Jul-11 12:33:25

I know crazy! He denies it and says now that he had only done one room, then said two coats... blahdy blah keeps changing story.

Trade discount makes sense. Except in the this instance we bought all the F&B paint and had it here already. Blinking glad we did that. and also didn't listen to protests about how it was only a brand name etc. At least the walls are puredy pure.

He is generally nice, and easy to get on with, which is why we chose him. Thank god, would hate to have it out with a blokey belligerent one.

HippyHippopotamus Thu 07-Jul-11 12:43:10

at least you didn't ask a family member to do it [bitter voice of experience emoticon]

MarshaBrady Thu 07-Jul-11 12:45:29

Haha we did once. It is that work he is going over grin

<never again>

<Although it was free still not worth it.>

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