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Spray paint aerosols

Hi anyone! I have a dilemma. I have a wooden fire surround that I wanted to paint. I have an hand injury, so less brushing is better for me. So I thought about priming with a solvent spray aerosol for my first coat, and then applying the second coat of primer with Little Greens oil primer then 2 top coats of LG oil based eggshell. I was a bit unsure about both paints because of it being used near heat. However I asked a qualified gas engineer and he said it should be alright to do so.
So I applied my first coat using Rust-Oeum spray primer. it did a faint coat, then when it had been dry for 24 hrs, I did a small test area with LG primer. When I was applying it, it seemed to drag, not how it is when I recently painted some furniture with using only LG primer and topcoat. It has now dried a little streaky and seems to have lifted the spray paint. It’s as if the paint hasn’t took hold. Another way of describing it is, it seems a bit wrinkled. I really don’t know where I go from here. Do I sand it all back and start from square one, and just use just the Little Greene’s primer and topcoat. The reason I thoght the spray paint would be okay is, I saw an article that said that Zinsser Bin solvent paint can be used under there Oil based eggshell, but I didn’t want to use that because it;s white, and I wanted a grey. It seemed the right decision as my top coat is grey. Please can anyone advise me on what I should do now. Any advice would be much appreciated. The way I feel right now is, I wish I hadn’t started, but I still love this fire surround, and really want to solve the problem. So please can someone help. Pat.

Hi Aries.

Don’t panic, everything can be fixed.

Please post some pictures, then I can advise you better.

You’re process is fine but if you want to use aerosols go to Holman Specialist paints they will make up cans for you in any colour, LG included. Ask for Tikkurila Otex primer & Empire OIl eggshell. These will do exactly what you want only better than your previous system.

Post some pictures then we can deal with the issues you currently have before moving on.


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Hi Adam. I have looked on Holmans paints website and I’ve read all the spec and the Technical info, on both paints that you recommend. They sound very good products. I really want to try them, but was put off by all the warnings regarding heat temperatures. I don’t know if I dare put it on my fire surround, as my fire is a balanced flue fire that reaches 4.3 kilowatts. VERY HOT. Sorry I have to contact you via email. I have trouble with the T.P. site, which I think is a fantastic site, but I can’t always find my way around to ask and reply to anyone. I was just lucky being able to post my question. I just got onto a page that let me ask. (not good with computer). I don’t even know if you’ll even get to read this message, but I do hope so, as I can see you are really trying to help me, and I don’t want you to think that I’ve asked a question and then just disappeared. I’m okay at reading questions on the forum. It’s a great site and I enjoy reading it, as it covers many issue, and you all take the time to help people.
I’m thinking of sanding the surround back to get rid of the aerosol paint, which will probably be a nightmare,then start all over again and maybe go for Little Greens water based for safety. I’d like to let you know how I get on. I’ll try to fathom out how to post a comment on the site. Many thanks again for the advise, but I really am nervous about the high VOCs.Kind Regards. Pat.

my email is if you need me.

I wasn’t aware of the heat restrictions. At the end of the day it’s a small area & if you go with water based top coat & have to re-coat every 18 months or so, it’s not the end of the world.

Good luck & stay in touch.


Hi Adam. That sounds a good idea. I would rather repaint every now and then, than worry if the oil based could cause a fire. That may sound a bit extreme, but better to be safe than sorry. Please could I just ask a few more questions. The Tikkurila Otex primer, it says it’s a resin based primer, not quite sure what that means. What I’m trying to say is, is it a solvent , water based or something else. I read somewhere that some professionals sometimes use it as a top coat. What’s your views on this.So if I go for the water based paint, I would really like a matt finish, so I’m thinking of the Tikkurlla Otex primer ( that’s if it isn’t a solvent) and the Helmi matt or would you advise another water based to go on top If that sounds okay I’ll go down that road. But will I have to somehow get all the solvent spray, which has only one faint one coat. Would really like your views on this, and I have a Purdy monarch elite paint brush, would this be okay. Sorry for all the questions, 5 on this occasion, but I really want to get cracking on this project. When my daughter gets back of hoiday, I’ll be able to send pics of the finished surround. So watch this space!Kind RegardsPat.

To my knowledge it’s an oil based adhesion primer similar to Zinsser Coverstain (just 10 times better).

@mark has used it as a top-coat on some stools I think. But it will need burnishing. Not suitable for what you are doing I don’t think.

Why not Otex if it’s solvant? That would be my process. It’s very hard for me to advise you without seeing it.

I have 2 fireplaces coming up myself. My process is Otex & Little Greene oil eggshell for both. But you have an added heat problem I know. B-I-N spray, Otex, Helmi Matt… bingo!

Purdy… bang on, use them every day. Perfect for everything you’re doing.

Hope all goes well Pat, get me some pics, I can tell you exaclty then.


Hi again. I would really like to do as you suggested, but if the otex is oil based, then no good because I want to use the Helmi matt and I won’t be able to put a water based on top of an oil based top coat will I. I see Helmi do a water based primer which is suggested to use under there top coat. I really need to decide what I’m doing as the fitter’s coming in a week to fit my new hearth, back and surround. This big decision of which paint and I bet it won’t even take a quarter of the tin. Maybe I should stick 2 pots of Little Greene matt emulsion on it, then coat it with polyvine dead flat varnish, that way I can afford to paint it a different colour every year .Not really. I know that would be a very bad idea. Well I’ve sanded all the aerosol paint down, got rid of nearly all of it I’d like to see a pic of your finished fireplaces when they’re done. I know one thing for sure, they’ll be a lot nicer than mine. I hope that whatever paint I use, I hope it’s easy to work with. I’ve something called Floterol (probably spelt wrong) which helps the paint to flow. Usually I use water, but I may give this stuff a shot.Pat.

Pat, I use Otex & Helmi together almost daily, a perfect combination. Just remember to allow to dry for at least 12 hours & give the Otex a good rub down before applying the Helmi.

Do you know what the fireplace is made of. If it is solid timber a coat of Zinsser B-I-N might in order first (you can get this in aerosols.

Stay tuned to my Facebook page over the coming few weeks for the fireplaces…

Kind Regards, Adam.

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I agree with Adam… I too use Helmi or Feelings Furniture Paint (both Tikkurila) over OTEX very regularly! It does seem wrong to do it from an oil on water point-of-view, but it works fabulously - again as Adam said nib down with a 320g between coats.

If you are looking at sealing in bare or tannin/resin rich substrates then a sealer prime such as Zinsser BIN or my preferred Pegaprim Isofix will be in order as a first few coats; OTEX is a fab high adhesion primer, but, it is not a sealer… in all cases I have these base coats tinted to the top coat colour to start building the colour depth from the first coat.

Floetrol is a lovely paint conditioner, but not recommended by Holman Specialist Paints for use in Tikkurila, they recommend Fair Decor Conditioner - failing that, a splash of water may help!?

I hope that this helps - sorry for chipping in!

Well Adam I took your advice on my fire surround. Let me remind you, as I’m sure you get lots of requests for advice. I had applied a solvent spray paint to my wooden fire surround.I chose this method as I have a hand injury and thought that at least I would get my first coat on without much effort. But then realised that using a solvent spray paint as a first coat near a fire might not be such a good idea. So it was sanded back for me, as it was hard work removing the solvent spray paint… Then I applied the Zinsser, but chose the water based. Then the Otex primer. All was going good. Then I left it in the garage overnight, but I think this was a bad idea. The reason being, when I went to sand down ready to paint my first coat of Helmi matt (water based) instead of powdery paint coming off, my sanding sheet was full of blue greasy paint. I decided to put a second coat on, but again it was still greasy. So I thought maybe the paint hadn’t cured enough. My garage can be a bit damp at night. So I decided to bring it indoors for another night. Bingo! it worked. So ready for my first coat of Helmi. This dried fine, second coat and it was perfect. I used chalk paint on the mouldings.Painting a fire surround blue may seem an odd choice, but when I’ve finished my French inspired refurb, I’m sure it will look well. So thank you for all your advice, and Martin,( I didn’t mind you chipping in by the way). Very good advice from professionals. I’ve painted quite a few pieces of furniture before my hand problem, using various brands of paint. But in the end my favourite brand was Little Greene, and I do still like it. Then through going on the Traditional Painter website, I discovered Holmans Paints, and if I’m able to paint any furniture again, It’s very likely I’ll use them again.I’m not on facebook Adam, So I can’t post a comment, but I’m still able to look at your work. I’ve been looking at the fireplaces you took on, I’ll be looking again over the weekend to see the end result. I finally got my camera back, hench the pics. Going off the subject of painting, I have driven through where you live, on the way to Achill Island. My family live there. Maybe you have been. Many thanks again. I am revamping an oak dining table now. It has been sanded back to bare wood. Not sure what to use for the top coat. Will probably look on the T.P. and see what I can learn.Kind Regards


Hi folks on painting the mouldings what would be your best brush have a job ready to start.