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Zamix Paint Additive

There has been quite a lot written about the need for additives in modern oil and water based paints.

I personally wouldn’t be without them. But up until now I’ve only been able to source products from Owatrol. These being Owatrol Oil (for oil paints) and the water based Floetrol.
Both these are excellent products and really do aid application and finish of the products.

Recently a new water based additive has arrived here called Zamix Latex Extender formulated for water based paints. It’s not widely available and needs to be ordered through a company called Paintz UK. I think this is a derivative of a Canadian product called XIM Extender, but I may be wrong.

I’ve been using this in a lot of water based trim paints recently, in particular Johnstone’s Acrylic Satin.

It doesn’t look like Floetrol, in fact it looks like car antifreeze, but it will totally transform how the paint performs. Wet edge time and the levelling of both brush and roller marks is excellent. I recently painted a very large interior bay window board which can be a challenge with acrylic paint if you are not extremely quick. But the Zamix allowed me to briskly cut round the entire sill then roll it with a 4.5" Wooster Micro Plush sleeve and get no dry edges or lap marks. It also left little roller stipple when dry.

You don’t need much but you may need to add more product throughout the day to keep the flow.

If you are looking for the finest finishes with acrylic trim paints this product is well work seeking out.

This seems to be pretty hard to find, so just in case anyone is looking for it in the east side of London/Essex area there is a place called CJ Johnston that may be about to start keeping it, so it may be worth dropping them an email if you might ever be in need…

Thanks for the info Steve.

Zamix is available from @£11.58 ltr

I decided to call XIM tech support in USA to ask a few questions about their product, as I hear there isn’t really a lot going on in the UK in that department. From the company that makes Latex Xtender:

XIM will not affect the solid cure, nor adhesion, nor colour.

It will affect the paint in its wet state, but not in its dry state.

If the extender freezes, when it thaws it will be undamaged. This doesnt mean you should put extender in your water based paint tins to protect them from frost, as the quantities required for painting purposes are so small!

The recommended quantities are 2 to 6 ozs per US gallon, which in our money equates to 75ml to 225ml per 5 litres of paint.

It will increase open time of waterborne paints up to 15 minutes, and will evaporate completely on drying.

Several times I asked, how does it affect the thickness of the paint film, and they wouldn’t answer that direct, saying it will not affect the durability of the film, and that the extender will evaporate completely leaving the paint intact.

My unanswered question is still - XIM Latex Extender may not affect the durability of the film that is there after it has evaporated off, but is that film at the desired thickness after having been extended?

has anyone dipped a micrometer in their XIM modified paint to see if what they have left behind is correct per the paint manufacturer’s requirements?

They also said that compared to Floetrol you need very little product (2-6 oz per gallon). Also that Floetrol, which is an emulsified resin, will make paint brittle and whites will yellow.

It is quite a competitive market in America, I would say.

If you want to find out the nitty gritty of their products, you can call XIM in the USA on 001 (800) 262-8469 I have no idea how much the call costs.

I asked XIM, now I’m asking Owatrol’s Thomas Rathbone their International Sales Trainer & Technical Adviser

My unanswered question is still - XIM Latex Extender may not affect the durability of the film that is there after it has evaporated off, but is that film at the desired thickness after having been extended? –

XIM also said that compared to Floetrol you need very little (2-6 oz per gallon). Also that Floetrol which is an emulsified resin, will make paint brittle and whites will yellow.

Can you clarify what is meant when you say that FLoetrol “will not degrade the paint”. I havent heard of yellowing due to floetrol, is that documented anywhere? –

[quote]The term “will not degrade the paint” refers to the fact that Floetrol maintains the inherent quality and characteristics of the paint, while fortifying it. It achieves this because you are adding something namely acrylic in this case which has body and solid content unlike something such as water which will thin the paint and thus extend it resulting in a thinner film of paint being applied to the substrate. We have no documented evidence of Floetrol causing whites to yellow and in the time that I have been involved with Owatrol products (14 plus years) this issue has never arisen.

The purpose of Floetrol is simple, to extended the wet edge (working) time of the paint thus giving the paint time to level off properly and the end user time to apply further paint without getting pull or drag when working in difficult conditions. Floetrol also makes water-based paints work and feel like oil-based paints. All of this while maintaining the integrity of the paint and not affecting its overall drying time.

Thanks for the technical input.

So, micrometers at the ready, do conditioners reduce the final dried thickness of the paint film? If so, how does that affect performance

Hello all,

I was wondering if anyone has used XIM/Zamix with emulsion paints to maximise the finish quality on walls? I recently used Little Greene Intelligent Matt (shirting) straight out of the tin on the highly prepared walls in my hallway and thought the results could have been flatter (needing 3 coats and doing them in hot weather probably didn’t help…). As an experiment I have just used the same paint to paint a door (LG claim the Intelligent Matt can be used on woodwork), and added XIM, resulting in a very flat finish without any brush marks (albeit there are a couple of runs - perhaps I overdid the conditioner this time). I’ve got some more walls to do next and would be interested in any thoughts/advice.

One unrelated Q I have: does anyone know what these conditioners do to the eco/non-toxic credentials of the likes of LG water-based paints?

Many thanks,


Hi Gavin

I have used Floetrol in emulsion, it helps a deal. The criticism that it is a costl additive, yes it is not cheap, however every litre added to emulsion creates a litre more of paint.

I will ask Owatrol if they can clarify your question about the eco credentials.

Please read the next post about XIM and Eico 100% acrylic gloss

We have been advised that for the time being, steer away from adding XIM Xtender to Eico 100% acrylic gloss, particularly whites, until they have clarified if the conditioner is compatible.

Thanks Andy - grateful as ever.


Hi all,

I am testing the XIM in eicó paints at the moment and they are witing to hear back from the paint tech specialists in Twickenham. I will keep you all posted as to findings on both.

Hello All,

I sent some feedback to Little Greene about my recent experiences and got two calls back, one from someone whose role is in customer relations, the other from a tech support person. I thought others might be interested in the following:

  1. The Intelligent Matt Shirting is ‘as opaque as they can make it while ensuring toughness’.
  2. They conceded that the product info could be clearer about the use of paint conditioners with the Intelligent Eggshell but seemed reluctant to concede that they are necessary except in large surface area applications.
  3. Zamix/XIM was described as a ‘poly-glycol’ surfactant the function of which is to ‘hold on to the water in the paint for longer’. Apparently it is ‘not volatile’ and therefore shouldn’t need to be topped up (which makes me wonder whether the experience of needing to top it up during the day is in fact a consequence of water evaporation rather than the conditioner evaporating/breaking down, in which case perhaps a little thinning with water would be preferable).
  4. Zamix/XIM has no impact on surface thickness.
  5. As to why LG don’t add something with the same properties to the tin: ‘we make the paint to be used in exterior as well as interior applications’ which in essence imposes a need to have a product that dries quickly and isn’t affected by rain.



Thanks for the info Gavin. Im surprised / pleased they even discussed additives, fair play.

Best place to buy Zamix, anybody?

I get mine from Decorating Direct online


Just to follow up the findimgs on XIM and eicó.Sorry it is a bit overdue!

It was found that XIM does affect the colour and the gloss level of eicó Alterior Gloss.

eicó standard white naturally has a small amount of yellow ochre pigment in it - it is not a brilliant white. When testing XIM in 15ml increments after 15ml the yellow ochre level was reduced and a stronger yellow pigment was recorded. At 30ml added the yellow ochre pigment has gone, taken over by sronger yellow. After 45ml Strong yellow was recorded as well as Blue. Under a dalight simulator this colour difference was quite marked - under flourescent less so.

This slight introduction of pigments especially blue can have a marked effect on the whiteness of paint and is highlighted even more due to the fact that XIM also slightly increased the gloss level of the eicó paint.

Having spoken to various suppliers the Scandinavians take a very dim view of paint additives (especially coloured ones)in any shape or form and only advise thinning with a little water if necessary as there is no way of telling what the additives do to the paint or the pigments over time.

If it were me - i would not use XIM in any white paint at all and if you want to add something go for Floetrol as it is colourless.

Thank you very much to Ron Taylor for his patience in all this - we got there in the end.


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Thanks for the information Ben. Unless you have painted woodwork with XIM added to white paint, and later down the road there is touching up to do, and you touch up with white trim paint that has no XIM added - you would never know there was anything to watch out for?

Best that users make a mental note of where XIM has been used on jobs in the past, so if colour difference is ever an issue, the additive is one possible cause.

How is everyone getting on with the XIM in he various w/b paints currently and at what dilution are you finding best results in white trim paints?

i would seem that IXM, zamix latex extender is now unavailable anyone know different