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Owatrol E-B

Owatrol E-B (Emulsa Bond) is a useful water-based additive to have around, especially on exterior work. It basically turns any (finish) paint into a sticky penetrative primer to cope with problem surfaces.

So, first coat of say an exterior masonry paint, or interior acrylic emulsion, add about 30% E-B, stir thoroughly and apply. Then apply a second finish coat (with no E-B added) and you have a solid painted surface in 2 coats. That’s right, make your own tinted compatible high adhesion primer from any water-based paint.

This is a thorough write-up of an exterior masonry painting job in Cornwall by Alan Iles, where they used the Owatrol E-B in the first coat of Farrow and Ball exterior masonry paint.

You can add it to emulsion paint, so you can prime and first coat bare plaster in one. Top coat covers easily.

As Ron Taylor pointed out, don’t view additives as an extra expense, because in practice it is “paint”. Add 1 litre of E-B and you increase your paint stock by 1 litre.

Any thoughts or experience with yet another superb Owatrol product?

Evening Andy,

Would I be reading this right: could EB be used with any water-based paint (inc emulsion) externally, or would it need to be exterior spec paint for external use?

Hi Jonathan

The additive purely makes the paint more penetrative. So add E-B to exterior spec paint for best results outside.

As an example Little Greene Intelligent Emulsion is an interior and exterior grade paint, so with E-B added that would work outside as a good binding primer first coat on masonry.

The acrylic matt with E-B wouldnt be the right choice for exterior use.

It works in water based paint for walls and woodwork.

Hope you aren’t going to start painting outside for a few months?! Or doing a little bit at a time, the dew points make for a very short work day this time of year.

No. Welsh Decorator did a very nice job on our exterior woodwork last year.

This question is inspired by a visit to the Joan Miro foundation in Barcelona. I shall be attempting what will undoubtedly be poor, but very brightly coloured, sculptures in due course.

I’m hoping to use scrap materials so surface condition will be bad. Was going to have a go at colourwashes or similar for those areas that I want to deteriorate over time, but need a plan for the areas of resilient finish: EB struck me as a possible.

I have been testing a few of Owatrols products, including E-B, in the shop over the last few days and found it to be a really nice product to use. Not only does it improve adhesion, but it also improves flow, reduces brushmarks and increases hiding power. I am not mad about the smell, but that may just be me.

I have only been testing it and i would love to hear feedback from decorators who have trialled it in the field on both mineral and timber substrates as well as on previously painted surfaces.

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A little bit more on Owatrols E-B.

I have been trialling this product a bit in the shop and it looks like a great product.

I have been looking specifically at using E-B in collaboration with eicó to turn it into a lasur or solid colour stain (a system which i do like)as an exterior trim paint. The plus of using the eicó is you would be getting a 100% acrylic topcoat so a really hardwearing finish.

Initial tests show that this works really well and leaves a beautifully smooth finish on new timber. By using the eicó i can have an Eggshell, Satin or Gloss finish solid stain for exterior trim.

On bare timber the ratio of E-B to paint would be 50-50 - so high, but only required in the first coat and you double the amount of paint you have.

As an added extra, i have also been using a Grundolja by Scala(Swedish Linseed/China oil mix preserver and protecting oil) as a pre treatment. This expels moisture from the substrate, protects the timber, improves adhesion and also helps to hold back tannins. The ratio of E-B into the eicó now drops to 30% (or even less). This system in my eyes (whether using eicó or not) would work really well and give you a really hardwearing and long lasting finish. You are applying a China/Linseed oil to preserve and look after the timber, E-B infused paint to give added adhesion to the surface, and a high quality acrylic to protect! And you save on labour!!

This will only work on bare, and would need adapting onto previously painted by reducing the amount of E-B needed, and when using hybrids the amount required is slightly less, but E-B is a must have product in my mind.

Thank you to Owatrol for their help and info on all this - they know their stuff and are always willing to help out with techy questions!

More ‘on site’ feedback would be much appreciated.


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