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How to paint over efflorescence

Efflorescence appears as a result of salt being pushed to the surface of masonry. It’s a painting issue that’s easily overcome by the use of Zinsser Watertite®.


1. Surface Preparation

All surfaces must be clean and free from anything that will interfere with the adhesion of the materials to be applied. Remove loose material by scraping or brushing with a stiff bristle brush to a sound edge. Remove any efflorescence with a suitable efflorescence remover / brick cleaner in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
Rinse the surface thoroughly with clean water. Remove all visible signs of organic growth and treat the areas with Zinsser Mould Killer in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow to dry.
Fill any cracks and surface defects with a quality hydraulic cement as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow to dry. Rub down with a fine grade abrasive paper. Remove all dust.

2. Priming

Liberally apply the first coat of Watertite® by painting a square metre at a time using the brush to work the Watertite® into the pores of the masonry. Apply as much paint as necessary to produce a continuous, pinhole free film. Allow to dry for a minimum of 4 hours before overcoating.

3. Decoration

Decorate with one full coat of Watertite® in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.
Note: Walls can be damp, but must be free of any active leaks. Stir product thoroughly before and during application. Do not thin. Substrates should have a textured profile prior to application of Watertite®. Smooth surfaces may need to be abraded or blasted to create a surface profile.

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