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Pro Tips

ECOS Paints Pro Tips
  • How to tell if your paint or stain is oil-based or water-based:

    • Add rubbing alcohol or acetone (nail polish remover) to a cotton ball, cotton swab or cloth
    • Wipe a small amount in an inconspicuous area
    • If there is color or residue on the cotton or cloth, the coating is water-based
      • Water-based products will become tacky, gummy or sticky while saturated with the alcohol or acetone

    For best results, refer to the product-specific Application Instructions on each product page

  • Painting over oil-based paint with water-based paint is likely to cause peeling or chipping because water-based paints don’t bond well with the glossy surface of oil-based paint.

    However, with the right preparation, you can successfully use ECOS water-based paint over an existing oil-based paint following these steps:

    STEP 1: PREP

    • Remove as much gloss from the surface as possible using coarse garnet sandpaper or liquid deglosser
    • Use fine-grit sandpaper (180 to 220 grit) to go over the surface after the gloss has been removed
    • Sand the surface until it’s level and no longer slick
    • Wipe the surface with a tack cloth to pick up any sanding dust

    STEP 2: CLEAN

    • Clean the surface with a sponge and suitable cleaning agent
    • Wipe the surface a second time with a clean sponge dampened with fresh water
    • Allow the surface to dry

    STEP 3: PRIME

    • Apply ECOS Universal Primer or another bonding primer formulated to stick to oil paint, glossy or other hard-to-paint surfaces for optimal adherence
    • Apply one to two coats of the bonding primer and dry according to directions
    • The old surface is adequately primed when the former paint color, stain or other surface imperfections are no longer visible

    STEP 4: PAINT

    • Apply at least two coats of ECOS paint over the primed surface
    • Allow for ample drying time before applying a second coat

    For best results, refer to the product-specific Application Instructions on each product page.

  • Painting metal can be complicated. Good surface preparation is the key to a professional finish.

    Metals that are prone to rust, such as galvanized metal or cast iron, are not recommended for use with ECOS water-based products. ECOS paints should not be applied directly to metal surfaces.

    Metal surfaces that have been primed from the factory but not yet painted:

    1. Prime first with ECOS Universal Primer
    2. Apply two coats with ECOS Semi-Gloss Paint or Gloss Paint

    Metal that has been previously painted:

    1. Clean any rust, debris, chipping or peeling paint from the surface with sandpaper or a wire brush to obtain an even surface
    2. Remove sanding dust and any surface contaminants
    3. Spot-prime where bare metal is exposed with a direct-to-metal primer that can accept ECOS water-based paints
      • Red Oxide primer is specifically formulated to deter rust on ferrous (magnetic) metals to prepare metal for a top coat.
      • Acceptable to apply directly over rusted surfaces
    4. Apply two coats with ECOS Semi-Gloss Paint or Gloss Paint

    For best results, refer to the product-specific Application Instructions on each product page.

  • When purchasing two or more containers of the same color paint, it is an industry standard practice to combine them into one larger container, known as boxing the paint.

    Boxing paints eliminates any slight color variations that may exist between two containers and blends the color to ensure the color coverage matches throughout your space.

    Metal surfaces that have been primed from the factory but not yet painted:

    • Combine the paint from different containers into a large container. For example, if you purchased five one-gallon cans of paint, pour all of them into a five-gallon bucket and stir well
    • Boxing paints also allows for easier storage and helps with future touch-ups
    • Storage: after completing your project, transfer the boxed paint back into the smallest possible container to eliminate unwanted oxygen

    For best results, refer to the product-specific Application Instructions on each product page.

  • ECOS clear, water-based varnishes may be applied directly over conventional oil-based stains. Stains must be allowed to dry for a minimum of 24 hours before applying ECOS varnish.

    For best results, refer to the product-specific Application Instructions on each product page.

  • Cleaning ECOS water-based, acrylic paints and varnishes is a straightforward process. A mixture of warm water and mild soap suds is the recommended cleaning solution.

    1. Use a duster to remove contaminants and loose debris from the surface
    2. In a clean container, mix the mild soap or dishwashing detergent with warm water
    3. Immerse a clean cloth into the mixture and wring thoroughly until the cloth is damp
    4. Harsh or abrasive chemicals should not be used to clean ECOS products

    *Exterior surfaces should be cleaned with the same mild solution

    • A soft bristle brush may be used to loosen dirt or debris
    • Pressure washers or steam cleaners should not be used to clean ECOS paints or varnishes

    For best results, refer to the product-specific Application Instructions on each product page.

  • When it comes to coverage, not all paint colors are created equally. All colors have varying degrees of opacity or transparency, which determines the way it reflects light.

    Opaque colors tend to obscure the surface color, while transparent colors tend to allow the surface to show through. Bright colors, including yellows, oranges, reds and primary colors, tend to be more transparent in nature. Using a gray or tinted (to the paint color) primer with these colors helps to create an ideal balance of light absorption and reflection, which in turn provides superior hide for these bold, vivid hues.

    ECOS colors that benefit from a gray or tinted primer are indicated in our color library (Fan Deck View) with a roller iconOptimum color results are reached by applying multiple coats, or using a tinted primer

    Priming is recommended to enhance coverage, adhesion and durability of the topcoat. Surfaces that should be primed include:

    1. All unpainted surfaces (such as bare wood, plaster or new drywall)
    2. Patched or repaired areas
    3. Paneling
    4. Stained surfaces
    5. Surfaces painted with oil-based paint
    6. Surfaces that will have an extreme color change (light to dark or dark to light)

    After priming interior walls or other surfaces, painting should be done within twelve hours for best adhesion.

    ECOS Paints choose a primer

    * See our “Painting over oil-based paint” Pro Tip for more information.

    Note: Air Purifying Primer should only be used over bare MDF or similar materials. Air Purifying Primer is designed to absorb VOCs as they off-gas from the substrate beneath.

    For best results, refer to the product-specific Application Instructions on each product page.

Questions? Contact our customer support team: 866-587-3586 or [email protected]