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Earthborn proAqua eggshell

Listed under Blog, paint Posted Jul 10 2011

Eco painter Tom White likes Earthborn proAqua eggshell and regularly uses it on exterior woodwork with success. Also, my understanding is that it is being used by several kitchen companies. As hand-painted kitchens is my area of speciality, and Earthborn is a Cheshire-based company, I thought I would give it a test.

This is the marketing spiel, which is typical of the current eco putsch. You can’t dispute most of it, ie there are obviously other water-based paints that are not VOC free blah blah blah.

Unlike other water based paints, Earthborn proAqua Eggshell is totally free of VOCs, oils, acrylics and acrylic softeners. It does not give off any harmful emissions during or after use.

Suitable for exterior and interior woodwork, Earthborn proAqua Eggshell gives a smooth, flexible yet durable finish that allows the wood to breathe and will not fade or discolour with time.

It covers well, dries quickly and requires no separate primer or undercoat (for new wood just dilute the first coat with 10% water).²

That one paint does all raises a couple of eyebrows, otherwise it doesn’t say anything to really swing me – because most water-based paints are low VOC and quick-drying, and don’t yellow, and some “nasty” oil-based paint on the market is so microporous breathable it is almost a non-existent vapour barrier. Plus in testing, the coverage part didn’t work for me.

First impressions

I picked up a sample of white eggshell from Broken Cross and tried it on my tester bare oak door.

It goes on bare wood as a primer, undercoat and topcoat.

It does seem to work as a primer in terms of adhesion. It rubs down really well after a day.

It suffers the usual water based issue with lack of body, so did require 4 “topcoats” to cover and didnt fill the grain too well.

I found the finish to be quite plasticy, so to the last coat I added a drop of floetrol paint conditioner. I preferred that slightly flatter result.

I found that because of its lack of body compared to oil, the slightly ridged surface seemed to scratch fairly easily, early on in the curing process, so that would be a consideration – ie tell customers that their new Earthborn kitchen is to be treated with kid gloves till it cures. (I give this advice with oil eggshell too, but having said that, the oil finish on the reverse side of the door has filled all the grain and so isn’t prone to scratch so easily, early on in its life.)

Conclusion

Earthborn is very user friendly very quick drying, and in a commercial environment and / or where odour and VOC levels are important, I can see a lot of advantages.

It is runny and body-less so you have to think around that if you are going for a class finish over any grainy or new surface.

I never did a get response to this review from the company when I sent it in. I haven’t used it since.



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