I bought a conservatory from Baltic Pine:
and have assembled it without too much trouble. The problem is that
they say to use a solvent based microporous paint but I couldn't source
it anywhere. I tried B&Q, Screwfix and Ridgeons without any luck :-(
Does anyone know why they say not to use water based paint e.g. acrylic
Because I had already put on a coat of water based acrylic before I
realised that it was meant to be solvent based, and I don't want to know
that I did that as it may have implications for the warranty.
If I can find some solvent based microporous paint I'll probably put a
coat on top of the acrylic, I assume it will stick OK.
It should be easy enough to find. I believe International do some.
I ignored their requirement and painted with a solvent and water based
acrylic system (Dulux Weathershield) which consists of several layers.
1. Preservative primer (solvent)
2. Undercoat (solvent)
3. Acrylic satin top coat (water)
I don't like the appearance of oil based paints as they are too glossy and
I'm not convinced that they are much more durable than a quality water based
acrylic, although they are mechanically more tough. The preservative primer
first coat gives me more confidence in the system, too.
I'm not surprised. When these paints were all the rage in the 70s, it was
acknowledged that each coat reduced the microporosity, and a single heavy
coat did the same. At what point the paint ceased to be at all microporous,
nobody ever quite established.
If you want to play Baltic's game, International used to do a solvent based
version, but it was crap so I imagine they might have ditched it by now.
Anything made of softwood that faces south/ south west will have a limited
life, whatever you treat it with. I would go with an oil based paint
(eggshell if you don't like gloss). One undercoat and one topcoat on top of
your existing coat will give you the best chance.
When these paints were all the rage in the 70s, it was
Actually all paint is "porous" i.e. will transmit water vapour, and
"microporous" doesn't mean anything. For non porous you'd have to
think of bitumen+gold leaf etc. More paint means less porous but more
Not so, what about those millions of bits of Victorian and earlier
joinery which are still in good nick although softwood? This is down
to good detail design (a thing of the past) and lashings of paint.
Lead paint helped of course, being better than anything modern.
I'd carry on painting with any good quality oil based paint having
first knotted with shellac.. The one essential is to go over it
carefully several times during the first few years and remedy any
defects. After everything has dried and settled etc the paint should
last 10 years or more before needing touching up again.
Baltic Pine recommended Sikkens or Sadolin but as far as I can tell
neither do a microporous solvent based paints, though they both do
acrylic, water based microporous paints.
I'm not sure but I think Baltic Pine have managed to put in an almost
impossible to satisfy requirement into their warranty! I wonder how
that would stand up if there was a dispute about it?
From the replies I've read it doesn't sound like I've done any real
damage to the conservatory though. I might just give the outside
another good coat of acrylic during the summer to make sure it's all
Try a trade decorator centre, Crown, Dulux etc. (I should know the
answer to this but my mind has gone. The usual reason given for not
using water-based materials outside is that they will be more
susceptible to weathering.)
Ranch paint was International's name for its solvent microporous range,
still listed on the Focus site, limited colours though:
still listed on the international site too but searching for microporous on
their site doesn't find a hit, great huh . . .
Now away for a week, so no replies . . . .
If you have painted it already check to see if the paint is a decent
quality exterior paint. If not it almost certainly needs a coat of
something suitable to protect it from UV damage and weathering.
Sadolin do a range of wood stains which also come in opaque colours
including white. I think it's called 'Superdec' or something like
In any case Baltic Pine and the likes of Sadolin etc have technical
support helplines who can help recommend the right product to use.
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