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Painting Victorian cellar walls

We live in a south London c.1900 London terrace. We have a cellar which is dry, but the walls are dusty, ventilation is good, now! The walls have previously been painted - I’ve removed everything that is loose. I don’t want to apply a non breathable paint to the surface, having read your article a Beeck mineral paint seemed like a good idea. Can you advise what paint would be best. The walls are made of bricks and there are areas of repointing with modern masonry cementone mortar. I would like to simply paint the walls white to brighten the cellar, have a solid finish and also prevent dusting as much as possible.

One thought on “Painting Victorian cellar walls”

  • Adam Brown

    Hi Adam

    It sounds relatively straightforward and any of the internal mineral paints would be suitable. There are 3 internal paints and they are effectively ranked by their durability and opacity (hiding/covering power) and this is reflected in the pricing - Insil being the most cost effective with a reasonable durability, Maxil is the middle of the range and is an improved version of the Insil with higher durability and higher coverage, then we have Sensil which is the most durable paint we offer, this has the highest scrub class resistance and can be used for both homes and more commercial/industrial applications.

    All three are more than suitable and fully breathable, I would say it depends what you use the cellar for, if it is just storage i would go for the Insil simply based on cost (Insil is still perfectly suitable for most bedrooms and living rooms and will be as durable, if not more than standard emulsions) or if you are using the space regularly the Maxil or Sensil will perhaps be a better option with the improved durability.

    The one deciding factor will be the condition of the existing fabric and if any modern paints are currently on the surface. If you do have paint that cant be removed you would need to apply one coat of Beeck Gypsum Primer (still vapour open) and then paint. If you use this application method we would advise using the Maxil or Sensil as the top coat, due to their improved opacity you can apply one coat of Primer and then one coat of paint (for white and light colours,), whereas Insil would require two coats of paint over the primer so can work out more expensive.

    If the substrate is free from any existing paint you would apply one coat of Beeck Fixative as a primer and then two coats of the chosen paint.

    If you have any questions or would like to discuss this in more detail please give us a call on 01208 79779.

    Kind Regards

    Adam Brown


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