painting matt over silk emulsion

Did you know that painting matt over silk emulsion is not recommended and can lead to disastrous results. If you search the term “Paint Matt Over Silk” into google. You may be shocked by the amount of results returned, 6,470,000 to be precise.

That’s a lot of people who have either made the mistake of painting matt over silk emulsion. Or simply researching the topic before painting. Regardless of their intention, be WARNED. Do not paint matt over silk without taking the necessary steps before hand.

Painting over vinyl silk

For anyone who has had the misfortune of painting matt over silk will be well aware of the outcome, cracked walls. Due to the waterproof, gloss effect of silk, matt paint cannot adhere to the surface and when dry, cracks giving the effect of a dried river bed. Matt emulsion cannot stick to the surface of silk without the correct preparation.

Painting matt over silk emulsion

There are two ways that you can successfully paint over silk with matt emulsion paint. 1) Key the surface, meaning, to use materials such as sandpaper, wet-or-dry paper or sanding discs, to smooth down and remove the gloss surface prior to painting.

Use 100 grade sandpaper and ensure that all of the surfaces that have silk are sanded thoroughly. Take care not to miss any sections as these can show through with a cracking effect. The use of a hand sander or orbital sander will speed up the process.

This can be time consuming, depending on the size of the affected area, but is very effective, ensuring that the matt paint can adhere to the surface.

2) The second method is by painting the walls with a good primer, Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 Water Based Primer is perfect for the job. Zinsser primer creates a paintable surface for which matt can adhere, avoiding the dreaded cracking affect. You don’t have to sand the walls before using Zinsser primer as it sticks to all surfaces.

Zinsser Application Information

Available : 500ml, 1L, 2.5L, 5L, 10L
Coverage : 10m per Litre
Touch Dry : 30 minutes
Full Cure : 7 days
Recoatable : 1 hour

The only downside is that Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 Primer Sealer is not cheap. Painting a large area that has been previously painted in a silk finish with Zinsser primer, could work out expensive.

What method you choose is down to personal preference. Sanding the walls or ceiling costs very little, but is time consuming, unless you have access to a wall sander. The second method, priming the area with Zinsser Bullseye 123 Primer is quick but costly depending on the size of the area.

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