Home Decorating, Special-Purpose Paints

Anti-condensation paint

You can use this paint indoors in those areas where mild condensation is a problem. It reduces condensation by providing an insulating film between a warm humid atmosphere and a cold surface: most do not absorb the condensation.


There are two types: one is a thick brown or black tar-like material used for waterproofing places like the inside of gutters; the other is an emulsion and is used for concrete or roofs.

Fire-retardant finishes

Special fire-relardant paints are manufactured in a wide range of colours. You apply either two coals of a fire-retardant emulsion or one coat of a fire-retardant undercoat, followed by one coat of a fire-retardant topcoat over a conventional primer. You should think seriously about using this type of paint in those areas of your house where the spread of lire is likely to present an exceptional hazard on a landing, for example, which provides access to a loft conversion. Ordinary oil-based paints are highly flammable: water-based paints are much less so.

Masonry paint

An exterior grade emulsion paint which is usually fortified by inert materials such as sand and crushed marble. For use on brickwork, stucco and asbestos cement. The inert materials reduce erosion of paint film by the weather and till fine cracks.

Textured finishes

Thick textured finishes are available for use both inside and outside. They have the advantage that they can cover up cracks and blemishes in the surface and. inside, they can be ‘worked’ into a number of different effects. Old textured finishes can often be difficult to remove except with special paint stripper. Do not use mechanical sandcrs the coating may contain asbestos.

Rust-killing paints

You can buy special, thick, rust-killing paints which can be applied directly to rusty metal after any loose particles have been removed. The paint will neutralise the existing rust and prevent further corrosion taking place. Normally, the paint dries to a hard or a ‘hammered’ finish.

Floor paints

This type of paint is for use on concrete, stone or tiled floor areas which are subject to wear. Available in a choice of colours (including, inevitably, red), the paint dries to a semi-gloss finish. Ideal for front door steps.

Anti-vandal paint

This oil-based, thickly applied paint is non-setting and is used on drainpipes, gales or fences to deter burglars from climbing them. Usually available only in black.

Radiator enamel

Normal gloss and emulsion paints will lend to discolour when used on radiators. Radiator enamel is specially formulated to withstand the kind of temperatures encountered in domestic radiators. Quick-drying, radiator enamels are available in white or magnolia and in gloss or satin finishes. May need a primer.

Matt black paint

Quick-drying paint, suitable for interior beams, ornamental iron work and for creating photographic darkrooms. May need a primer. Specialist blackboard paint is also available.


A quick-drying, very high quality gloss paint, for use both inside and out. Especially good for furniture.