I received an enquiry today from someone asking if they can use Ronseal Paint & Grain on Lincrusta Wallcovering… I thought that it might make an interesting article, in case anyone else ever has a similar enquiry. My reply was as follows;
“Lincrusta is an extremely fine product that has a “putty” base, which hardens to a bullet-hard finish – over time… when installing new Lincrusta it is necessary to prime it with either an Acrylic Primer (for a water-based finish), or a Wood Primer (for an oil based finish)… similarly with existing Lincrusta, it is necessary to prime in accordance with the required finishing.
I believe that Ronseal Paint & Grain is a water based product, so, in theory it will “take’ onto Lincrusta – with the appropriate preparation and priming… However, I must add that you will encounter a number of issues;
1. Paint & Grain is primarily designed to be used on flat surfaces – furniture doors etc.
2. It will be extremely difficult to carry the grain effect over the high relief areas inherent in Lincrusta designs.
3. Paint & Grain will chip over time to reveal the white base coat, so you must varnish with an appropriate varnish. (Ronseal recommend this).
4. The combs supplied are not substantial enough for the job in hand – you should use a graining rocker in their place.
5. On most wood effect Lincrusta patterns there is already a grain texture… so, if you apply a grain over the top of this, the graining paint effect may look out of place. A subtractive paint effect works best with these patterns – paint the base coat that you require, allow to dry. Then wipe a darker colour over the surface – the darker colour drops into the grain texture enhancing the wood texture.
6. if you are set on using this product, you must practice thoroughly before the “live” application.
Sorry to be a little damning, but, really I do not feel that using Ronseal Paint & Grain is the best option for graining Lincrusta, yes, it will theoretically work (to a limited degree). However, as the old adage goes; just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
I have grained Lincrusta in the past – most notably for an Executive Box at Preston North End Football Club. The pattern was Georgian Panel and I used the technique I mentioned above to give a beech effect… however, this is an extremely open pattern, which does have a wood grain texture…”
I’m sure that products such as Ronseal Paint & Grain can be effective when used in the right situation and on an appropriate project. I just don’t think that there is any real substitute for actual Craftsmanship when working with the finest wallcovering in the World – Lincrusta.