Why Mineral Paint
Modern-day acrylic paints were commercialised in the 1950’s, and quickly took off as a significantly better option than the oil and lead based paints available at the time: healthier, cheap and easy to use.
Mineral paints were invented in the late 1800’s in Germany, long before acrylic paints, however they have only been commercially available in the UK for around the last 20 years.
While acrylic paints effectively glue themselves to the surface, mineral paints soak into the surface and form a strong chemical bond through a process called silicification, adhering to the silica in the substrate itself.
Acrylic paints and their bond with the substrate slowly breaks down over time and they eventually start to discolour, flake or lift off after cleaning and through weathering, ultimately reaching a point where they become unsightly and require recoating. Mineral paints by comparison due to their chemical bond don’t break down over time, are extremely lightfast and hard wearing, and aside from natural weathering offer unsurpassed durability.
In an environment where an acrylic paint lasts 5 years a mineral paint should last 10. In an environment where an acrylic paint gives you 10 years, a mineral paint will last almost indefinitely.
While all mineral paints bond with the substrate, Beeck have a range of paints that take this a step further. Through a process known as active silicification (A.S.F) they form a permanent chemical bond with the substrate, etching into and essentially becoming part of the background so they cannot be removed.
Beeck is the only brand to offer active silicate paints, and all binders, pigments and additives used are derived from natural materials. Not all mineral paints can claim this.
Breathable and Natural
Beeck Mineral Paints contain extremely low VOC’s, are free from chemicals and additions, produce no hazardous waste or by-products, and can be fully recycled. They are naturally alkaline and therefore resistant to mould growth, and naturally fire proof due to their mineral composition.
Beeck paints are also fully breathable; that is, they are fully vapour open and allow moisture to pass through the paint. This means rather than moisture being trapped in the wall it is able to escape, which is essential for older buildings (solid wall construction). Where condensation is likely to occur it can also reduce mould growth, beneficial for both historic and contemporary construction.
Old and New
Used with the right primer, Beeck Mineral Paints are suitable for virtually any surface. For lime work, historic masonry and solid wall construction, only mineral paints can offer a long term durable finish. Acrylic paints are designed to seal the surface and are therefore trap water within the fabric, while lime washes have a low resistance to weathering and abrasion.
For modern or contemporary construction, Beeck Mineral Paints still allow for vapour movement where moisture build up occurs, making for a healthier environment. They also offer an environmentally friendly, low VOC, extremely durable and healthy finish suitable for homes, public spaces, schools, hospitals and hyper allergenic environments.
Maintenance and Upkeep
The initial purchase costs for acrylic paints may be lower when compared with mineral paints, however the whole life cost will likely be significantly higher. With ongoing maintenance and recoating, not to mention labour and scaffolding costs, any initial saving is quickly eroded.
Due to their chemical bond and high durability the maintenance for a mineral paint is relatively simple. The coatings are resistant to pressure washing (background dependant) and cleaning agents, they can be regularly cleaned and maintained with little hassle. When it comes to recoating a Beeck Mineral Paint, a clean down of the surface and one coat of the same coloured paint is all that is usually required.
Externally, Beeck Mineral Paints have been proven to exceed 10 years even in severely exposed conditions, which allows for simple maintenance cycles and budgeting. Internally a mineral paint will far exceed this timescale and will likely last as long as the background remains intact.
Beeck external paints are fully vapour permeable, suitable for application onto any external masonry with the correct preparation or primer. Due to silicification, Beeck Mineral Paints will comfortably outlast any conventional paint coating, even in the most testing environments.
Beeck’s external range of mineral paints also contain the addition of a hydrophobe. Whilst not completely waterproof, it repels liquid to significantly reduce the levels of water from entering the building fabric. This addition further protects the building and allows it to dry much quicker during wet spells, providing an additional layer of security.
The external range comprises of three coatings:
Beeck Renosil – Standard external mineral paint that can chemically bind to mineral surfaces, as well as existing masonry coatings. Renosil offers a long lasting, vapour permeable and water repellent coating. Renosil can support the full Beeck colour range.
Beeck Beeckosil – Superior external mineral paint for mineral surfaces, silicification active (A.S.F.), offering a true chemical bond to the substrate. Beeckosil offers the highest vapour permeability and durability for an external mineral paint. Beeckosil can support the full Beeck colour range.
Beeck S P Plus – Clear, vapour permeable, water repellent treatment for bare mineral surfaces such as stone and brick. S P Plus offers all of the benefits of the Beeck exterior mineral paints within a clear coating to retain and maintain the appearance of the natural mineral finish.
The Beeck internal paint range, Beeck Maxil Pro, is fully vapour permeable, hard-wearing, environmentally friendly and can be used on virtually any background with the correct primer. Suitable for historic and modern buildings, Beeck paints can help regulate humidity, achieving a healthier internal climate and offering unsurpassed durability.
Case Study – Coastal Chapel Restoration
This listed chapel sits within a small coastal village that is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is situated less than 100 meters from the sea. Due to its location the chapel is subject to heavy wind driven rain and the area is classified as severely exposed.
This image shows the original condition of the building. The external façade of the chapel was renovated, given the exposure and the requirement of a vapour permeable paint, an application of Beeckosil was suggested. However a lime wash was specified and 6 coats were applied. Lime wash, whilst perfectly suitable for its vapour permeability, was unable to withstand the harsh climate and had virtually been removed through weathering within 6 months.
This image shows the building 5 months after the application of five coats of limewash. Following the limited durability the limewash coating offered, the render was then cleaned back and Beeckosil was then specified as a suitable alternative paint coating.
The image below was taken 12 years later with the initial Beeckosil coating intact and still offering the same performance as it did from the original application. While the render has developed some signs of bio/mould growth, which is due to the close proximity of the tree, this can be easily removed with an appropriate fungicide.
The information provided by Cornish Lime is for informational purposes only and does not amount to a specification. Every project is unique, so please consult a professional before undertaking a project. Use of this site and reliance on any information on the site is solely at your own risk.