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Cover stain alternative

Good evening,
I have been using coverstain in recent years, as an u/c for my gloss customers.
I think it has outstanding levelling compared to current disasterous oil-based undercoat offerings.
However, over recent months I have noticed an increase in the smell… nothing that bothers me, given it’s advantages, but customers have started grumbling.
I wondered if otex was less pungent to work with or if anyone could recommend another hybrid undercoat/primer that has equal properties?

yes i agree cover stain should be sold with a packet of paracetamol!
Otex has an odour but fine to work with when doing a large surface area e.g. kitchen cabinets, hall stairs landing woodwork etc.

Cover Stain’s advantage is 2 hour recoat time against Otex ‘overnight’

personally think Otex is the better self leveller - its a stunning performer - but I use Cover Stain if I have a small quantity of undercoating (say 1 small room) and looking to get a topcoat on same day

Ive been using the new Dulux QD system occasionally since P&D show Nov - (acrylic hybrid primer u/c then either QD satin or gloss) so its early days to assess fully. It has its place for a quick fix, but I haven’t found anything to beat Otex


Have you tried Classidur’s Universal Extrem Primer?

I read Andy’s recommendation for it here on the TP site ( and made a point of getting some to try.

I’ve just bought 2.5 litres from Decorating Direct for a job I’m starting next week.

Not cheap but similar in price to Otex. Recoat in 4 hours. I’ve just opened the lid to have a sniff and there’s hardly any odour.


I have also been looking at this and yes, it seems to be a good to go to primer for problem surfaces. I still have a few more area to trial but at the moment it will be on the shelves in the new shop in April!

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It is a time served primer, and my understanding is that it was recently tweaked marginally for outdoor use as part of the rebranding away from Blackfriars Problem Solving Primer back exclusively to Classidur.

So where you see talk about this “new” Extrem primer, I don’t think it is doing the product justice, as it gives the idea it doesn’t have a track record, which is far from the case with interior use, and I would hazard a guess that interior is where it is still used the most.

I used it today for the first time primarily on some dark wood doors and trim that the customer wants painting white.

I gave them a good sanding down, dusted them off, wiped over with meths and then a final clean with a tack cloth.

The instructions for dilution say ‘Ready To Use’ so I didn’t add any water or paint conditioner. It is quite a thick consistency so needs a decent brush to move it about.

It has covered really well for a first coat. On Monday I will give it a scratch test and see how it sands down but I’m sure it is going to be a winner.

Just out of interest Andy what would you do with this fire surround which also requires painting white?

Would you treat it any differently to what I have done on the doors, perhaps spray it?

Hi Mark, you’ll be fine with exactly the same spec as you have used on the doors.

Personally I would spray them with HVLP and Zinsser Bin but your spec would be fine with a small brush and a lot of patience.

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Thanks for that Tony.

I would agree with Tony on the spraying of the surround. If you have a HVLP I’d go with BIN as advised.

Thanks for the reply Ron

Thanks fellas,
I thought Classidur would crop up. I’ll give it a go, and get some Otex too.

I got Holmans to send me some Otex and Empire satin in aerosols to spray the fire surround.

Got 1 coat of Otex on today. Will put another on tomorrow then 2 of Empire. Job done :smile:


That is handy to know Mark! how much did it cost per tin and did you find you had plenty or was it close?

Worked out at around £14 per can + delivery (I asked for next day delivery so that made it dearer).

I bought 2 x Otex and 2 x Empire.

I have used about 3/4 of a can of Otex so far.

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i didn’t know it came in aerosols - excellent solution for a small job, saves setting up the HVLP. Brilliant, thank you

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What HVLP spray kit have you got Dave?

Graco HVLP 9.5 using nozzle+needle 5 for eggshells

Do you use it to spray ceilings/walls on normal domestic jobs?

HVLP for small area work - I use mine for moulded cornices (acanthus/grapes etc) and ceiling roses.
And occasionally for staircase spindles, priming furniture etc.
HVLP wouldn’t be effective or time efficient on ceilings and walls.

But its not a piece of kit I use regularly - with the amount of masking required in a domestic, furnished, environment its sometimes more time efficient to get a brush out!

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