New coatings that give your walls texture and depth

Thursday July 13 2017

Stone mineral plaster, which makes use of decorative stones for both interior and exterior walls. PHOTO | COURTESY

Stone mineral plaster, which makes use of decorative stones for both interior and exterior walls. PHOTO | COURTESY 

By MILLICENT MWOLOLO
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The last five years have seen something of revolution in wall treatment in the country. For one, paints have evolved from their traditional role of just adding colour to a finished wall to become a major décor accessory one can use to make a  personal statement.

One of the most notable changes is the move from light- coloured paints to increased experimentation with bold hues, something that was once unthinkable.

And not only have bold hues gained acceptance, but the paints on the market now come with a variety of properties. So you can get aromatic paints that smell like flowers, fruits or even flavours like vanilla.

These new properties have made house painting more tolerable, such that you don’t feel like moving out when your house is being painted. 

In addition, there are mosquito repellant, anti-fungal and antibacterial paints that help keep insects, mould and pests like moths away from your house. 

But the latest newcomer to the market, and which seems set to be a game-changer for the new generation of wall treatment are the effects treatment. These  treatments enable you to achieve all sorts of effects to enhance your  walls, including creating an illusion of depth and texture.

This new generation of treat paints use colour (both organic and artificial) to produce effects unlike anything that has been on the market before. Below are some of the notable ones.

Stone mineral paste

This wall treatment is made up of decorative stone profiles that come in a variety of colours.

It can be used on both interior and exterior walls. The bigger stone profiles are 1.5 mm thick while the small ones are 0.5 mm thick. They come in ready-for-use, 20-kilogramme packs that have already been mixed with the components that help them stick to the wall. “One pack covers six square metres,” offers Samuel Karanja, a paints consultant and the local agent for Silkcoat, a Turkish company that manufactures the paste. 

Fabric-made liquid wall paper

It is the fabric-made liquid wallpaper effect that is perhaps the most eye-catching.  Mr Karanja says that the liquid wallpaper effect is achieved by soaking a collection of specially produced coloured fabrics in water. The liquid wallpaper has its own inbuilt components that enable it to stick together as well as to the wall.

“After the components have been soaked for half an hour, they come together,” explains Karanja.

Before applying the soaked fabrics to a wall, it should be thoroughly cleaned. This entails  scrubbing the wall with scrapers and the smoothening it with the same, after which a good primer (preparatory coat) is applied.Thereafter, the soaked fabrics  are applied using a plastic trowel.

“The primer is important because it enhances the bonding,” he offers.

Fabric-made élite and prestige liquid wallpapers come in a variety of colours, including plain, decorated, and  with shiny effects or flowers,” Mr Karanja says.

Pearls interior decorative paint

Then there is the pearls interior decorative paint.

“The paint has  PVC glitters that make it ideal for that person who wants their personal style and taste to stand out on their walls,” says Mr Karanja.

Before the pearls interior decorative paint is applied to a wall, the wall  must be cleaned and allowed to dry.  Thereafter, a primer similar in colour to the profile to be used should be applied.  After that, the paint is  applied   using a special brush or trowel.

“A skilled painter can play with the brush strokes to achieve a particular design, for instance, a map or flower, and can even draw a variety of shapes and patterns using the pearl interior decorative paint,” Karanja explains.

The glittery piece reflects light, creating a special ambience in the room. Although this paint is water repellent, it is advisable to keep sharp objects away from the wall to ensure they don’t scratch the surface. If the wall gets scratched, it will allow in moisture, resulting in dampness that might ruin the coating.

Cementitious paints

The most notable feature of cementitious paints, which is a heavy coating, is that they add texture and depth to a wall. This gives your walls a tactile feel that most paints on the market cannot achieve.

Cementitious coatings consist of cement, fine aggregates, fillers, polymers and water repellent chemicals. This restricts the entry of rain water while allowing  water from substrates (the base coat) our; it does not allow moisture beyond the coating.

“They draw only 5 per cent of rainwater. The other 95 per cent runs off.  If it is sunny, the 5 per cent dries up immediately,” offers Mr Craig Robertson, the business development director at Fossilcote, a company that manufactures cementitious paints and stucco.

To apply cementitious paint, all you have to do is clean the wall and then wet it.

“This ensures that the water in the paint is not lost  or sucked  by the wall. That way, the paint easily bonds with the wall, he adds, noting that the polymers and adhesives enhance sticking  on pre-painted surfaces.

Cementitious coatings’  ability to repel water makes it superior to other paints because it eliminates the need to coat the walls with waterproofing material first.  

Notably, cementitious paints are cheaper, and longer lasting  than ordinary paints.

Cementitious paints are ideal for use on unpainted cement render, bagged brickwork, concrete, concrete masonry blocks, common bricks, sandstone and other absorbent building stones. After  it has been correctly  prepared it can also be applied to previously painted masonry surfaces. These include steel trowelled concrete and smooth cast concrete.

Cementitious paints come in 16 colours and are highly versatile in that they can be customised to give just about any finish that the home owner might want. They can achieve glossy to rough textures of various depths. “When used alongside stucco, they give that glossy look. You might  be tempted to think it’s a glass wall,” remarks  Robertson. Due to this glass-like effect that it gives, stucco is suitable for the internal walls.

Cementitious coatings can be customised to reach a thickness of  up to 6mm, depending on the kind  of profile  a client wants. The size of the particles determine the thickness and depth. “Architects love them because they can produce different effects with the same product, which is a unique offering on the market,” he adds.

Fossilcote has a technical team that works alongside architects or with home owners to show them how the paints should be prepared and applied. “Cementitious paint has to be mixed in the right proportions with water until it is soaked before it is applied.

And before it is applied, the wall surface should also have been soaked with water,” Mr Roberson offers. 

Thereafter, the paint is applied using a block brush.

Then, unlike other paints, cementitious coatings do not crack or peel when water gets behind the film. This allows the walls to retain their clean and polished look.

Elasticoat

Very similar to cementitious paint is elasticoat, an exterior paste that comes in 16 colours. This coating can give walls both a rough and smooth, glossy texture.

The smooth, glossy finish is achieved with the use of stucco and is good for rooftops since it is waterproof. The rough effect is achieved by using  small stones in the mixture. “However,  a special sponge roller can be used to produce different effects and patterns by manipulating the small stones while the paste is damp,” Mr Karanja points out.

Stucco is a type of white cement and lime cement blended decorative plaster that combines well with cementitious paints to give pigmented plaster to internal walls. This produces a glossy look, almost like decorative glass.