Here you will find answers to any paint or coatings problems. Have a look through our FAQs section and our Glossary of terms for any issues you might be facing.

For ease of use, the FAQs section is divided by application type or area of application. If you cannot find what you are looking for, simply Contact Us.


1. 1. How do I know how much paint to buy for a particular project?
There are many factors that influence the amount of paint required for a project, including the type and state of the surfaces being painted, required outcome and type of paint being used. Please contact us so that we can assist in calculating your paint requirements.

1.2. What’s the difference between mat and sheen paint?
Sparcolux Satin Sheen is a PVA/emulsion paint offering a high sheen finish, while Super Acrylic offers a mat finish. Be aware that paints with a glossy finish may highlight imperfections.

1.3. How do I know if I have enamel or PVA/emulsion paint on my wall?
Using a very small amount of methylated spirit, dab a small section of the wall. If the paint de-colours then the paint is a PVA/emulsion paint, if not then it is an enamel paint.

1.4. Can I dilute your paint to get more coverage?
No. Paint should NEVER be diluted. In addition to adversely affecting the properties of the paint (adhesion, opacity, durability, etc) any warranties will be nullified too.

1.5. What is the difference between PVA/ emulsion paint and enamel paint?
PVA/emulsion paint is water based and typically applied to masonry and plastic surfaces, while enamel paints are typically used on wood, metal

1.6. Can I paint directly onto the enamel paint with PVA/emulsion paint?
We do not advise this. Blistering can occur when a solvent based paint such as enamel or gloss is over-coated with a conventional emulsion. To tackle this problem, remove the blistering, feather the surface with fine sand paper and remove dust. Then apply a Alkali resistant Primer like XXX followed by two coats of an eggshell or gloss enamel.

1.7. Why after 2 coats of a PVA/emulsion paint is this still not covering the previous colour on the wall?
Opacity issues typically occur when a second coat is applied in too rapid a succession after the first coat. The first coat should be allowed to dry completely before the second coat is applied. Following this approach will successfully cover any previous paint colour.

1.8. My interior walls has been plastered with gypsum plaster, can I use normal contractors PVA as a primer?
Gypsum plasters are highly porous resulting in a little penetration by PVA/emulsion paint like RAC Contractors Acrylic. We therefore advise that you use our AR Plaster Primer initially, followed by two coats of PVA.

1.9. Why does paint begin peeling away from a surface in sheets?
There are two primary reasons for this. Firstly, the paint has been applied to thickly, which is often as it is mistakenly believed that this will improve opacity. The second reason is due to lack of surface preparation, with the paint adhering to lose particles not removed at the surface preparation stage.

The solution is to remove the excess paint in the affected areas. Then rub down, dust off and repaint. We recommend that you contact us to discuss the problem further.

1.10. Why does dried paint sometimes look like cracked mud?
See example above on Peeling Paint.

1.11. Why does new paintwork sometimes develop wrinkles?
Typically occurs when over-coating too soon after the first coat has been applied. The newly applied coat forms a surface skin before the coat beneath has dried, resulting in the rippled or wrinkled effect.

To remedy, allow the paint to dry completely and then rub off the affected areas with sand paper and wash with soapy water. Allow to dry thoroughly and then repaint.

1.12 What is Chalking?
Chalking can be identified by either the pigment running from the paint or getting a chalky residue on your hands. Chalking, typically points to the paint being very old or of a low quality, and needs to be replaced.

1.13 What is surfactant leaching?
Leaching appears as a bubbling with the paint pigment running from the paint down the walls. This serious problem requires an experienced paint technician, please contact us further to discuss.


2.1. How do I match a paint colour to a piece of fabric that I have?
We recommend that you pay us a visit us and we will help you match the colour. Don’t forget the fabric or photo with you!

2.2 The colour of the paint in the drum is darker than the colour I selected on the colour chart. I am worried I have been given the wrong colour paint.
Paint in the drum is always darker and will lighten during the drying process. It is the dry colour that is always matched against samples.

2.3 My colours on exterior walls have faded.
Fading is typical of any paint and fade rates of around 20% year on year is to be expected in South Africa due to harsh weather conditions.


3.1. How do I resolve blistering of paint on plaster?
Blistering, as the name suggests appears as small blisters over the affected area and occurs for two reasons:

a. The plaster is too hot or not adequately cured (hardened/ dried)
b. An ingress of water/ humidity / moisture in the masonry

Ingresses occur for a number of reasons, including a damaged damp course or the incorrect combination of paint being used (e.g. solvent based and aqueous paints)

Blistering can be a serious problem that can prove costly. We recommend that you contact the Sparcolux technical services team via the Contact us form.

3.2 How can I get rid of cracks in plaster?
Small cracks, whilst unsightly are typical and come about from either the drying process or land movement. To address, simply cut out the cracks, dust and fill with crack filler. Once dry, sand down, dust and then apply Sparcolux Paints Universal Undercoat as then apply your choice of PVA

3.3 What causes fluffy crystal patches and hard, shiny film on walls?
Known as efflorescence, this is the process of salts crystallizing on masonry or bricks. A repeated course of dry brushing till the salt deposits desist is recommended. Only then should painting commence.


4.1. A creamy haze has appeared on the paint surface, what has gone wrong?
‘Blooming’ occurs when damp surfaces are painted, resulting in the moisture attacking the drying process of the paint. This usually happens as a result of dew settling on paint as result of being painted too early or too late in the day.

Sand down the affected area, clean, allow to dry thoroughly, and then re-paint.

4.2. What causes adhesion failure on metal?
This happens due to lack of surface preparation where rust, dust mill-scale and other contaminants have not been removed, resulting in flaking, blistering or contamination. Grease and waxes from newly galvanised surfaces should be removed from metal surfaces using a degreaser paint stripper.


5.1. What can I do about flaking and blistering paint on wood surfaces?
Blistering arises from moisture beneath the paint film, which typically seeps into the wood due to lack of surface preparation or the painting of old denatured wood. Joints are high risk area for allowing moisture in through splits in the wood and need special preparation attention.

In tackling the blistering, all joints, knots and surface imperfections needs to be made good, with extensive and repeated sanding and stripping using a stripping knife. Once the preparation is completed, prime the wood with SP Wood Primer and then coat with a varnish or enamel of your choice.


6. 1. Can I paint PVC pipes?
Yes, you can. You should first prime the plastic with Universal Undercoat and then coat with the same top coat as being used on the other surface.


7.1 I have a smooth garage floor, am I able to paint it?
Garage floor typically have oil and other contaminants on it, and being cementitious leave an alkali film on the surface. This needs to be tackled first and cannot be ignored if you are looking to do a good job.

Follow this procedure: The surface needs to be washed extensively with Spirits of Salt water solution. Once etched, the surface needs neutralised by washing extensively. Allow to dry. Once dry, you need to apply a two-pack Epoxy (base & catalyst). Do not apply Stoep Paint as this will not bind sufficiently with the smooth floor nor would it withstand motor oil or brake fluid.


8.1. What is the spreading rate of roof paint on tiled roofs?
Sparcolux Roof paint covers between 3.5 to 5 m² per coat depending on porosity of the tiles being painted and surface texture.

8.2 I have a lot of mould and fungus that has grown on the tiled roof of my house. How can I get rid of this growth and get my roof to its original state?
Mould, fungi and lichen pose numerous problems to any service and need to be carefully dealt with. We therefore recommend that you contact our technical services department to get sound advice on how best to proceed with this project.

Typically, the roof needs to be thoroughly pressure hosed and allowed to dry. If there is no growth, you can paint two coats with Sparcolux Roof Paint.

8.3. Paint applied to galvanised iron roofs is flaking.
Flaking points to poor surface preparation and application of the paint. Suspect areas need to be pressure hosed and scraped to remove badly adhering paint. Sanding and repeated cleaning of the problem area should be applied till all lose bits and contaminants are removed. Once the area is 100% clean, the roof can be painted with Sparcolux Etch Primer as first coat.

8.4. The paint applied to tiled roofs is flaking.
Acrylic Roof paint – do not paint before 9am or after 3pm due Dew settling on the wet paint and interfering with the drying mechanism.

9.1. Dampcure: Can I apply directly onto an area affected by damp?

9.2. How do I repair rising damp on exterior walls?
Rising damp can point to various issues, most of them serious. We recommend that you contact our technical team to discuss further.