Mineral paints are among the most popular indoor and outdoor paints due to their good coverage, antibacterial and durable properties. These are products made from mineral binders that have been used for centuries. There are different variants, the most commonly used of which is known as silicate paint. In the application, various points must be observed for a successful process.
Intensive color results and good opacity over decades are made possible with the use of mineral paints. Also known as silicate paints, these paints have a long tradition. Even today there are buildings in European countries that were painted over 200 years ago and have lost none of their intensity. The colors are suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Especially indoors, they contribute to a pleasant living climate. The colors are significantly more alkaline compared to other products, which makes them much more difficult to use. With the right safety precautions and proper guidance, you can apply the paint yourself.
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Properties of mineral paint
Compared to other paints, mineral paints are made exclusively from mineral binders and dyes. As a result, the color does not just lie on the surface, but connects to it, which means that it cannot peel off. The properties indicate the possible uses of the mineral paint:
- extremely weather resistant
- durable (over 100 years possible)
- can be wiped off
- contains no artificial or organic ingredients (e.g. plasticizers)
- ideal for allergy sufferers
- disinfecting in relation to the room air
- protects against mold growth
The antibacterial and germ-inhibiting effect in particular make mineral paint an ideal indoor covering. This significantly expands the possible uses:
- living rooms
- wet rooms
- basement, cellar
The color can even be used in children’s rooms. The biggest disadvantage is the high alkaline value. The paints are caustic if they get on the skin or mucous membranes and can cause injury. Nevertheless, the positive characteristics outweigh the negative ones. Once you have decided to use paint, you need to consider the potential cost.
These depend on the type of mineral paint, which is determined by the base mineral used to mix the paint. The term mineral paint does not stand exclusively for a mineral type, but is most often equated with silicate-based paints. You can get an overview of the costs and types with the following comparison:
1. Silicate paint uses potassium water glass as a binder and is the most commonly available mineral paint today. Depending on the manufacturer, one liter is sufficient for an area of 7 m² to 10 m². The biggest difference to the other types is the ideal weather resistance.
2. Lime is also available as a base mineral for the paints. The colors are offered for EUR 1.50 to EUR 7 per liter, which is sufficient for 5 m² to 8 m². Lime paints are better suited for interior use than a facade as they are not as weather resistant.
3. Cement paints are made from white cement and building lime. They are significantly more dangerous than the other variants, but have a decisive advantage: they can dry without air. The colors are usually only available from specialist dealers.
Note: When choosing the mineral paint, be sure to pay attention to the ingredients, because some products are mixed with binders of non-mineral origin (e.g. polyvinyl acetate). They have different properties and do not provide the same result as pure mineral paints.
Use mineral paint
materials and utensils
- paint roller
- Sufficient painter’s film (at least for floor space and non-movable pieces of furniture)
- safety goggles
- optional: face shield
- protective gloves
- Protective suit or clothing with long sleeves and pants
- cap or hat
- folding rule
- masking tape
- optional: telescopic rod (ideal for outdoor use)
Preparing for painting is one of the most important steps for a streak-free and satisfactory result. There are several steps to follow before you can use mineral paint. The following points will help you:
1. Protective clothing
Always wear protective clothing when using mineral paint. It doesn’t matter whether you use lime or silicate based mineral paint, it is always caustic. Make sure that not an inch of your skin is exposed, as this is the only way to guarantee that you will not get a splash. Once painted, the paint is completely harmless and can even be touched, making it suitable for indoor use.
2. Painter’s film
It can be problematic not only for the skin when you use mineral paint. The alkalinity also damages various materials, including glass, natural stone or tiles. They become dull, scratched or discolored where they have been splattered with paint. For this reason, use as much painter’s film as possible, regardless of whether you are painting interiors or a facade. The better your floors, furniture and other items are protected, the less you have to worry about possible damage.
If you want to use mineral paint, it is important to pay attention to the substrate, because the products do not stick to all substrates, regardless of type. The paint only works on plastered walls, stone, concrete or cement. Other surfaces are completely unsuitable, especially walls that have already been wallpapered. Remove wallpaper before painting. The same applies to walls that have already been painted using emulsion paints. Mineral paint cannot hold onto these.
Tip: If it is a newly plastered wall, you will have to wait a whole month before you can apply the paint. The plaster must first dry so that it can serve as the basis for the paint.
Don’t take too much time painting once you’ve purchased mineral paint. It should be processed as soon as possible, as it cannot be kept for long after opening. If you buy the variant that is mixed directly in hardware stores or specialist shops, you should use up the paint within 48 hours. After this period, it is no longer effective in most cases and must be purchased again.
Paint mineral paint
When using mineral paint, always start with the edges, corners and other edges. Due to the nature of mineral paints, it is easier if larger areas are painted after the small details have been taken care of. As a result, the colors blend better and there are no streaks that are typical of incorrectly applied silicate or lime paints. To do this, use a paintbrush to stroke from top to bottom.
When painting an entire room, always start with the ceiling. As with other wall paints, this prevents paint from dripping onto the walls that have already been painted, which could result in streaks and bumps. The ceiling is also painted wet on wet. You don’t have to worry about the drops hitting the wall. These are simply painted over and do not really pose a problem if they have already dried. The paint roller is best suited for this purpose.
After the ceiling come the walls, for which the paint roller is also used. Apply the paint generously to the wall and work quickly. The larger your space, the more people should be involved in the project. Because mineral paints need to be applied wet-on-wet, it’s all the more important that you work quickly. This is the only way to prevent dry layers that make precise painting much more difficult.
Tip: It would also be ideal if one person takes care of the corners and edges while the other paints the large areas. If the area is small, the project can be done alone. We recommend stretches of wall with a width of 100 to 150 centimeters, which should be painted at once. Wider ones should not be chosen, otherwise the paint will dry too quickly.
After painting all the walls and the ceiling, it is now important to let the mineral paint dry. Since mineral paints generally dry quite quickly, you don’t have to wait too long. After about four hours, it is dry and can be used. There is nothing wrong with longer drying times.
Due to its properties, it is not necessary to use mineral paint a second time. The color covers very well and if you were to add more, the color layer added later would stand out clearly from the first.
Tip: If the use of mineral paints is too dangerous for you due to the caustic effect, contact a specialist company as a precaution. This way you can be sure that you won’t injure yourself.