Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is the paint food safe?

A: The paint on its own would not be an ideal surface for a bowl or board as it would wipe/wash off. However, applying a coat of two of the Matt Varnish would render your item food safe. Make sure that the varnish is fully cured i.e. completely dry before using.

Q: Does the varnish prevent spillages, stains and scratches?

A: The varnish is a much more durable surface than the wax, it is however not infallable. If a wet surface is left standing long enough to penetrate the varnished surface, such as the bottom of a glass or cup, it will mark the surface leaving a ring. We recommend highly that you always use a coaster. For spillages, wipe up straight away. Tea/coffee/red wine will stain if left. Also beware of anything oily, perfume, body oil, handcream.. if you have any freshly on your hands and touch the surface it will leave a mark, and if a bottle has an oily base then this will also leave a mark. The varnish is quite resilient to scratching especially when fully cured. 

Q: How do I prevent the paint from chipping?

A: In my experience there are three main reasons for paint being prone to chipping. 1. Painting onto a previously waxed/oily surface. 2. Not preparing the piece properly before painting 3. Being placed into direct sunlight.

1. If you paint onto a previously waxed or oiled surface then the paint doesn't adhere properly. This means that it easily chips off with knocks and heat exposure. If you start your project with an oily surface you need to do your best to remove it before you paint. You can wash with a sugar soap solution and/or methalyted spirits. This will require repeated washing until your cloth/scourer has no more residue on. Leave to dry thouroughly before sealing/priming. 

2. You've bought a chalk paint and you really want to open the tin and just go for it...because you want a quick result, but it is so important to prepare your surface properly before painting. It makes such a difference with the quality of the final result. Preparation includes, sanding/scratching the surface, making it free of dust, and sealing/priming before painting.

3. Don't underestimate the strength of the sun. Anything left in direct sunlight dries out really quickly. Freshly painted surfaces although feeling dry to touch are still damp through the layers of application, and hot quick heat (the sun) can react against underneath surfaces causing layers to react against one another. This can cause cracking and chipping. Also, be aware that the sun can cause colours to fade over time.

Q: Is the varnish heat proof?

A: No, is the answer. I have tested this, you can't put a hot pan or oven dish onto the surface you will get a ring/mark.

Q: How do I clean my furniture which as been painted?

A: A varnished surface can we dusted and wet wiped. You can also use washing up liquid and water and one of those spongy soft scourer pads to wash/scrub more stubborn marks. A waxed surface can be dusted and gently wet wiped with a damp cloth. You cannot scrub a waxed surface it will come off.

Q: How can I tell if a piece of furniture has been waxed or oiled?

A: In an unobtrusive area use a bit of sandpaper on the surface. If whilst sanding you see dust, you have nothing to worry about. If you see a residue on the surface of the paper that is globby then you need to make sure to remove the wax before painting. An oiled surface us more tricky as it really penetrates the wood. Sometimes prior knowledge is the only way to be sure, occassionally you can smell it. You can apply a small area of chalk paint to the wood, if when it dries it looks oily, with streaks or spots, then you know it has been oiled. 

Q: Can I paint a piece of furniture that has been oiled, with a teak oil or other furniture oil?

A: Yes, but it is very difficult to prevent soaked in oil from bleeding up through into the paint. You must put many coats of an oil based primer/sealer on before painting. We use Shellac, but you can also use Zinsser Bin primer (shellac based). You may have to put more than 2 coats of the primer/sealer on, you may be required to build it up in layers. E.g. 2 coats of primer then paint, you see oil spots, so you then put on another coat of sealer, then paint. You can keep going with sealer and then paint layers until you no longer get any oil marks.