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    27 Reviews
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      29.09.2012 00:51
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      Good quality paint

      Three years ago we bought a brand new flat.  Crown has been used on all the emulsion surfaces in only two colours, white and magnolia, both in matt.   The bathroom is completely white, however the walls of the rest of the flat were painted magnolia with a white ceiling.   When we first moved in there was some snagging and so we got the property developer to send out a decorator guy to touch up, and he gave me some spare paint which we kept in jam jars.

      I have touched up quite few times and have now run out of the spare paint. At some point I will have to go and buy a bit more, therefore it is really handy basic colours were used as it will be possible to buy the same paint again.  Although it is highly unlikely the same batch of paint was used for touching up the paint there is no sign that any touch-ups have taken place. 

      When I have applied the paint to cover accidents  ie. a little somebody decided to draw on the wall, I have found the paint really easy to apply.  It was a good texture, not too sloppy and not too gloopy, staying on the brush without dripping.  It easily covered the pen marks despite I was only using an art brush!  The paint seemed to be dry to touch in a couple of hours, although I kept the kids away and didn't place anything against the newly painted bits for about 7-8 hours just in case.  A couple of times, I have needed to apply a second coat which usually I (or hubby!) do the next day.  I just checked online and the recommendations are that the paint is dry within 2 hours and a re-coat can be applied after 4 hours.

      One thing I really like about this paint is that it is solvent free and has very little smell.  I was really pleased about this as obviously I wouldn't want to expose the kids to chemical paint fumes.  I could only smell the paint if I was very near to the jar, but once applied to the wall the smell had evaporated.

      I have been really impressed with the durability of the paint.  I am always catching the handle of the pushchair on the hallway way as I go in and out, which leaves a black smudge which I have been able to wipe off with a damp piece of kitchen roll.  Likewise, I have been able to wipe sticky finger marks off the kitchen wall and hand cream off the bathroom wall when it's squirted out too fast.  I have however noticed that there is paint left on the damp cloth after wiping, so I don't think it would be possible to continually wipe the same spot.  I have recently splashed oil whilst cooking onto the wall by the cooker and I haven't been able to wipe this off, I will have to get more paint to touch up.

      Crown paint does come in the one coat only variety, however that was not used in our flat.  The coverage is however very even, I suspect they used two coats and perhaps a primer although from previous painting experience one coat type paint is useful if covering a dark colour with a lighter one, but then two coats are still needed, where as with a "normal" emulsion it would need more.  The paint comes in matt, mid-sheen and silk, I am rather glad matt was used as I much prefer matt emulsioned walls.  There are special bathroom and kitchen paints for mould protection, this paint wasn't used in our flat and I have had no problem with mould, however the flat is new, the kitchen is well ventilated and open plan with the dining and living room and the bathroom is tiled on the walls nearest the bathroom and shower.

      This emulsion seems to be available for around £18 for a 2.5 litre plastic "tin" with handle that covers 35sq/m and available in a large range of colours for the matt emulsion range.  All in all this was a good choice of paint by the property developers and after three years our walls still look in great condition.  I am really pleased with the durability of this paint, so it gets 5 stars.

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      24.04.2012 23:07
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      Will be using again

      My partner is a painter and decorator so when we moved into our flat I knew exactly what I wanted! He managed to get the whole flat done in just a few days but had to return to work before he had managed to get the woodwork done. Therefore, that ended up being put off for a while!

      When I bought the paint for the woodwork I was given instructions from him not to get one coat stuff, however when I saw that B&M were selling 2.5l of Crown paint for £12.99 I thought that I would get that. However, they had ran out of the regular satin in white and only had the 'Solo' version, as this was only £1 more expensive costing £13.99 for 2.5l I did think this was a really good price and thought that despite him saying one coat almost always needed two coats it was worth a try.

      ==The Paint==
      The paint I bought is Crown Solo Satin in Pure Brilliant White. It is recommended for use on skirting boards, interior doors, shelves, radiators etc.

      ==The Tin==
      The tin is distinctive and it jumps out from the shelf. The tin is predominantly gold in colour with a white band around the top and a purple band around the bottom telling you it is the Satin version of the paint.

      ==Using the Paint==
      Both me and my partner have used this paint as although he is meant to be the decorator in the house he does work extremely hard so rarely has time to decorate at home too! He did the living room and I have done the hallway, bathroom and have also painted two shoe racks with the paint and even used it on a piece of slate to make a homemade sign! I still have the bedroom to do but I am putting that off until I can be bothered to move all the furniture!

      I found the paint really easy to apply. It has a nice consistency and is thick enough not to drip off of the brush but not gloopy. A little of the paint does go a long way and it covers well. It is very quick to apply. Initially we did think maybe it would need two coats (we were painting on top of an almondy colour) but it dried fine and made the skirting boards look so much fresher and cleaner.

      In the hallway we did have some quite dark pink paint splashed onto the doorframe (you think he would be more careful being a professional - obviously that doesn't apply at home!) and when I painted the woodwork in the hallway I did that bit first as I thought that would definitely need two coats but I was really surprised to see it didn't.

      The paint does take a while to dry, I would say leave surfaces for between 12 and 24 hours before replacing furniture etc as it does stay tacky for quite a while. The paint does comply with all of the necessary standards regarding chemicals but it does still smell quite strong, however even using it without windows open it is bearable - I didn't get a headache or anything.

      The paint is also good when you are going to be painting something else on top of it. I had two natural wooden shoe racks that I really didn't think matched the hallway so I painted them with this white paint and then painted flowers on them using some leftover matt paint I already had. The matt paint went onto the satin really well and it dried fine too. As I said I have also used this on a piece of slate and the paint has left thick solid lines which look consistent and really good.

      So far, doing the woodwork in our living room, hallway, bathroom and painting two shoe racks we have used about half the tin so it does go a long way. Our doors are oak so we haven't used the paint on them so if you do need to do doors aswell do factor that into how much you need.

      ==Availability and Price==
      As I said I found our tin in B&M costing £13.99 for 2.5l. The same tin is currently available from B&Q for £18.98 or 750ml is £12.98 so obviously the 2.5l tin is much better value.

      ==Summary==
      I was really impressed with this paint, especially for the price I found it for. It does exactly what it is supposed to do - needing only one coat to cover a surface even if a darker colour is underneath. It is easy to apply and has a nice consistency and it made our woodwork so much brighter than the almond colour it previously was. Recommended, especially if you can find it in B&M too!

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      08.04.2010 21:58
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      Not bad if you don't mind the drips...

      Having bought some Ikea stools on ebay, I was keen to paint them to match our decor, so a trip to the DIY centre was in order. Once there, I was faced with a massive array of tins of paint. Having narrowed it down to gloss paint, I then had to choose a colour and brand. Knowing nothing about any brands, I opted to choose my tin based on colour.

      A beautiful yellow colour was chosen and the tin happened to be a tin made by Crown Paints. It was a non-drip gloss paint, suitable for painting on wood or metal and cost £10.49 for a 1litre tin. I thought this was a little bit on the expensive side, but if it was non-drip, then it was going to be worth it.

      Arriving home, I sanded down the seat and back areas of the stools and decided also to paint some easel picture frame stands. Because these were bare wood, I applied a primer to them first, then opened the tin of Crown paint to begin painting.

      The tin opened quite easily, with the aid of a screwdriver. There's no need to shake or stir this paint, but the tin does warn that there might be a liquid layer on top of the paint, which you need to pour off. Pour off where, I have no idea, but luckily my tin didn't have a liquid layer.

      The paint itself is very thick, although when you are applying it to the item to be painted, it glides on quite easily and gives good coverage. I found that I needed a second coat, but I expected to have to apply another coat, as the surface I was painting on was bare wood. The tin said that the paint dries to touch dry in about two hours, but in order to apply a second coat, you need to wait for 16 hours. However, when I'd waited over 24 hours before I attempted to apply a second coat, my fingertips still made an imprint in the painted surface. I waited another 24 hours and it was fine.

      Once the second coat was on, the coverage was complete and looked perfect. It's a very glossy gloss and the colour is really vibrant. The paint was easy to apply and it covered a large area. One tin should easily be enough for a door.

      One niggle I had was that it's not non-drip, or it's not in my experience. Admittedly, I was painting items that had a lot of corners that could scrape paint off the brush, so that could have been my problem, as the paint itself didn't drip at all when it was on a flat surface with no corners, but to be fair, how often does one paint one side of a totally flat surface?

      So in conclusion, if I wanted to paint something else, this is one of the brands I'd consider, but I'd look at other brands as well.

      It's glossy, thick with good colour, but it takes a long time to dry and it does drip, despite the claims on the tin!

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      08.10.2009 11:24
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      excellent quality, luxury paint.

      When I think of paint I normally think of the big shaggy dog that Dulux use to advertise their products. On this occasion I was looking for textured paint and Crown offered a limited, but better, range in terms of colour.

      The paint is around £20 a pot and your local Homebase are currently doing a 3 for 2 offer which worked out at about £15 a tin which is better value if you need that amount.

      The tin is standard size with the ususal carry handle, nothing new there. The main difference of the tin is that it has a more expensive looking design. It also advertise that is is Breatheasy (low odour) and having used it I can clarifying that I had no unwelcome smell like you get from gloss paint. My youngest has serious asthma torubles and he coped just fine when he was helping me.

      The tin opens with a screw driver like most and requires stirring. It requires a lot of stirring and it requires frequent stirring. Once it is stirred the sand/grit that gies it the texture is miced through and you can see it when it goes on the wall. I left the tine to site while I had dinner and you could tell that the paint grit had sunk to the bottom of the tin.

      The paint is applied with a brush in a random manner to give the paint a 'suede' effect. It does not go on in a consistent manner and some areas will appear thinner than others. It does need two coats. I also recommmend undercoating first as colour can come through from below.

      The finish is rough to the touch but there is a noticeable 'suede' effect

      The paint is unusual in that it changes colour depending on the light. The ivory suede colour looks pale during the day and gets warmer looking as it darkens. Also bright ceiling lights don't bring it the best it is better lit with lamps and subtle lighting.

      All in it is a good quality product, although admitedly a bit pricey if you are buying it on it's own.

      I also bought a matt finish emulsion that I brushed on as it was just for a line rather than a full wall. That went on like a dream and took only one coat. Word to the eise, consider buying a couple of tester pots if the are is not tha big. I hardly used any paint and got great coverage. Again, thisis about £20 a tin, but well worth it.

      I will still by Dulux, but only if Crown don't do the colour

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      24.04.2009 18:47

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      Help!! I have just painted my hall, stairs and landing with Crown Solo paint and it's a disaster. Firstly the paint didn't go on with the first coat very well and so I was forced to do a second coat. It has dried patchy, like drying plaster, and has an odd affect to it. Crown has asked for the tin back, but I already know the results. I now have to repaint my Hallway etc at huge cost ( I had paid a decorator to help me due to sheer scale) and feel very let down!

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      28.02.2009 23:13
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      If you don't mind putting in the work it leaves a good finish.

      We're in the middle of getting the house sorted and chose Crown as the paint for my sons room (Dramatic) and the master bedroom (Choc Chip). Its a well known and respected brand so thought I was making a good choice, the fact that it was 2 for £20 sealed the deal!

      I did my sons room first, its a deep dark blue as he's having a space themed room, we did all the prep and put down a good quality lining paper to paint on. The paint was quite thin and wet but it went on ok with a brush when cutting in. It seemed to go on really well with the roller as well until it dried. It was then very patchy, also had a slight suede effect as you could see the cream from the lining paper coming through but because of the wetness of it it made all my lining paper bubble, that was a tense moment while it dried!

      3 coats later it has covered well and is a nice colour, just seems a shame that such a high profile make would need so many coats onto a perfect surface using good quality tools.

      I did think that it might have just been because of how dark the colour was but it was the same in the master as well, that still needs another coat, I'm just working up the energy to do another one. The Choc Chip colour didn't seem to go as far as the Dramatic weirdly enough, I'm nearly finished on the second tin.

      We got both colours in the breatheasy range because strong smells give me migraines and I must admit, the whole time I was painting I couldn't smell a thing so if you're decorating a babies room or someone with a sensitive chest then it really becomes a good buy, there were no after smells either.

      It dries amazingly fast as well, it might depend on the surface you're painting but by the time I got to one end of the wall the other end had nearly dried, ideal seeing as it seems this paint needs quite a few coats.

      I can't really comment much about the durability as we've not long painted so its not had much chance. My son does have a wall covered in chalkboard paint and the adjacent walls have to keep having the dust wiped off but its not had to face hard scrubbing yet.

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        14.02.2009 19:32
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        An exceptional top notch paint! As good as Dulux in my opinion!

        Although it is probably fair to say that Crown do not have the product range, or the extensive stock in the D.I.Y. Stores that Dulux do. I would say, that in terms of the quality of the actual paint they are certainly right up there.

        In the past I have been strictly a Dulux person, but I thought I would give Crown a try after seeing their three for two offer.

        After purchasing these paints, I dropped along to their website to find a great colour picker, and you can even "test" your paint choices on photos of bedrooms, hallways etc, to see what it will ultimately look like! Admittedly it would be better to visit this site before making a purchase!
        There is even a great section which has hints an tips for preparing walls and so forth!

        I recently decorated two rooms using this Crown Paint, and I was amazed at the results and coverage. In fact after popping open the tin, and giving it a quick stir I was amazed at how richer it looked.

        However despite looking decidely richer, it went onto the roller beautifully, and was not at all claggy, or too thick (in the past I have diluted Dulux paint for this reason).

        Another noticeable difference over Dulux was it's coverage, it adhered very well, spread well, and had great depth to its colour even after a single coat.
        In my opinion it is marginally superior to the Dulux paint I had used in the past.

        An the result after the second coat was outstanding. In fact I was even impressed with the way it dried, it was drying evenly and consistently. I know that paint drying at different rates on the wall, can cause stress leading to cracks, bubbles or ultimately flaking (in the future).

        Another great feature was that it had an almost unnoticeable smell.

        So on the whole, if your thinking of decorating and want a superior finish. I would avoid the budget paints, and would take a good look at Crown.
        In my opinion its as good as Dulux, if not marginally ahead.

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          19.01.2009 18:17
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          Great!

          I do not tend to buy branded products because I think you are just paying for a name most of the time, rather than paying for quality. With paint I am equally tight. However, I was recently painting a wall red and I looked at all the different shades of red across the various brands in our local B&Q and settled on a really deep rich red by Crown.

          The colour in that was shown on the tin was exactly the colour of the paint inside, which made a very pleasant change! Even more surprising, the paint that went on the wall and then dried, dried the same colour. It is not lighten or fade. I was really impressed with this, as I had matched up the colour exactly the match the colour scheme and if it was slightly out I would have been disappointed.

          The paint covered the wall well and I only needed to do one coat.

          Although it costs more, I would highly recommend this product. It does the job really well and there is a great selection of colours. I will definitely use this paint again.

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          09.01.2009 00:45
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          Good quality paint that lasts well.

          We have been doing some Spring decorating lol, a little earlier than usual but hubby felt `in the mood`!
          Of course any household decorating means a visit to B&Q, one of the busiest places you can visit during a weekend and to me not the most interesting of places to visit either.
          I am just the labourer, I do the cleaning up, paint the odd skirting board and make the cups of tea.
          Men tend to take the decorating pretty seriously, the equipment is everything, they have to have the right paintbrushes and good quality paint.



          B&Q often have some brilliant offers on top quality paint and although we have used Wilkinson`s paint many times before and it has worked well, if Crown or Dulux is on offer we would take that offer up.
          As we fought our way through the aisles hubby spotted Crown white emulsion paint on offer at £10 for 10 litres, a massive saving. Because he is going to do some decorating for our daughter he decided to buy two tubs.



          The plus point of a good quality paint is the way it handles, as you coat the emulsion brush the paint stays on the brush, so many cheaper paints are considerably thinner so they drip off the brush bristles as you paint, especially when you paint ceilings.
          A good quality emulsion paint also keeps its colour well, white stays whiter for longer.



          There's no doubting that Crown produce quality paints, for the coloured emulsions, gloss paints, period colours, one coat paints, kitchen and bathroom paints, easy clean and fashion paints you will pay more than average.
          Crown paints have a very helpful website, they give advice, there are online colour charts to help you co-ordinate your colours, the site also gives you ideas, guidance and inspiration.
          The website allows you to have a virtual room, from then on you just `left click` on your chosen colour and it appears on the walls of your room, giving you a good idea of what the end result would be. In your virtual room you can use more than one colour, it really does help to choose paint!
          There have been so many times we have stood in the Do It Yourself stores and have been mind boggled by the never ending ranges of colour schemes on offer.



          A half of the Crown white emulsion is now on our lounge ceiling, the paint was thick, creamy and therefore easy to apply. Crown paint dries quickly.
          Most paints have an odour, emulsion has less odour than gloss paint, but Crown do have a range of virtually odour free paint, the range is called `Whispers`. I realise there may be people who have chest problems or asthma who would welcome this.



          Hubby has just summed it up well for me, he says that own brand paints are fine, they produce reasonable results too, but for working with and getting an excellent end result Crown paints do have the edge.

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            18.11.2008 22:58

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            I've recently applied Crown suede emulsion paint to my walls (Colour Plum) The 1st coat was very patchy, and did not cover any marks on the wall from old paint or fillers! The 2nd coat was applied the next day and the results were shocking!Still patchy but also the paint tended to drag when overlapping after only a minute or two?My walls now look like they have been rough plastered, certainly not the velvet suede effect it says on the tin or in the book!I have painted and decorated for 20 years now and have never used such a god forsaken paint as this one!!Strongly advise steering well clear of this stuff!Unless you like the plaster look?

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            25.09.2008 13:11
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            A great paint but very expensive.

            DIY is by no means my strong point in life but I do enjoy painting (walls that is not pictures), I will turn my hand to painting walls but not ceilings and for a long time the only paint I would use was crown.

            The reason for this is that I felt they had the best colour range but more importantly they offered the best quality paint, leaving less chance of needing second coats and less chance of getting dripped on or getting runs when glossing.

            I have since turned to a few alternatives and can honestly say that some of the cheaper options are just as good. I have used Homebase`s own and also Focus DIY`s home brand and can find little or no difference between them, this is not to say Crown is not a good paint but just to say that others have caught up with Crown and are now offering cheaper and just as good alternatives.

            Crown do still have paints that are not offered by other companies as yet such as their very good textured range and their stonegaurd range of outdoor paints so they are keeping their noses in front on certain levels but really now you should shop around and buy the best value rather than thinking you are buying the best quality.

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              17.02.2008 13:37
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              A good household paint that is easier to use than gloss.

              I'm a lazy old sod at heart, and if I can find a handy short cut to assist me to complete a task a wee bit easier and quicker, then that's just fine by me. Add to that the fact that in general 'do-it-yourself' would most definitely NOT be one of my strong suits.

              My better half had been nagging (sorry, requesting!) me to paint the woodwork in the halls, stair and landing for simply ages. About a year ago I eventually got around to actually undercoating everything, but the glossing had then been 'put on the long finger', (an Irish expression for put off) as it's a job that I loathe with a passion. But even I'd began to notice that the old undercoat was beginning to show distinct signs of wear and tear, as tends to happen when you have a teenage daughter and her pals rampaging about the house.

              So I recently resolved to delay the inevitable no longer, and took myself off to the local builder's providers to obtain the paint required to complete the job. My usual choice of paint for interior woodwork is Dulux 'One Coat' Gloss, and it was this product that I had in my mind as I browsed the shelves. Then my eye lit on a paint I hadn't noticed before. Crown Solo 'One Coat Satin'. (Pure Brilliant White)

              "A durable one coat satin finish for interior wood and metal", it says on the tin.

              "Quick and easy to use" and " No undercoat required".

              So being the lazy beggar that I am, the hand immediately reached for the back pocket, and Euro20.57 went over the counter for a large 2.5 litre tin. A further Euro5 got me a small pack of four brushes, as I always seem to manage to destroy paint brushes every time I use them, by sticking them into an old tin of white spirit to keep them moist, and then forgetting all about them until all the white spirit has evaporated. I'm then left with something that's so hard it could be used as a substitute for a hammer, the next time I decide to use them.

              Back home, and a quick raid on the wardrobe unearths a pair of old cords and a tatty old jumper, as no matter how hard I try to be careful when I'm decorating, I always seem to manage to get as much paint about my person as I do on the surfaces I'm painting. (I've destroyed more good pairs of Levis and good sweaters this way than I care to think about!) Sheets are spread, the tin opened and the paint stirred, and off we go.

              "Hmmm. Handy stuff this", I think, as I fly through some of the main surfaces in about ten minutes flat.

              Put simply, this paint really does go on very easily. In fact, it's so easy that you'd think it was emulsion you were applying instead of a hard "eggshell" finish. Another major plus is that it doesn't run and 'hang' in the same way as gloss paint has a nasty habit of doing.

              So on we go, and in the space of a morning I have finished all the main surfaces, even allowing for numerous coffee breaks. (Well, you wouldn't expect me to go without my caffeine fix, now would you?) I then have a spot of lunch, and head back to finish off the job.

              "Hold on though. What's this??"

              I immediately notice that the surfaces I have already (supposedly) finished are not quite what you would call perfectly flat and even. In fact, there are about a dozen different shades of white!! So much for the boldly emblazoned claim on the tin

              "Guaranteed to cover in one coat or your money back".

              Further investigation of the directions for use uncovers in the small print a suggestion that IF a second coat is required, that you thin down the paint with white spirit. So an old tin is acquired, and the paint is duly thinned.

              To be honest, the second coat of paint actually went on even easier than the first, and when dry I had a lovely smooth, even finish, that 'herself' was absolutely delighted with. (Picasso eat your heart out!)

              Being an awkward and stroppy old bugg*r at times, (alright, alright, you don't ALL have to agree you know!) I then investigated the small print that tells you how to go about claiming your money back if the paint doesn't cover in one coat as claimed. You have to claim within 28 days, (phone number on the tin) and you have to be able to prove that you have used the paint strictly in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. (How exactly would you go about proving that, I wonder?!) Crown also reserve the right to send out someone to actually inspect your work before making any refund. This is as far as I took this, as let's be honest, who's going to be bothered going to all that trouble and hassle for the sake of Euro20 or so? And especially since I was actually delighted with the finished paint job once I had applied the required second coat.

              One last little crib that I did have was the absolutely overpowering stink of paint that hung about the house for about three days after I finished the job. In fairness, Crown do suggest that you open the doors and windows when you're using this product, to allow the smell to dissipate. But even allowing for this, I think the smell was far more powerful than the Dulux paint that I usually use.

              Crown Solo 'One Coat Satin' is made and supplied by Crown Decorative Products Ltd., in Darwen, Lancashire. It comes in a range of different colours, and gives you a "satin" finish to your woodwork that isn't quite so shiny as gloss paint, but can still be easily wiped clean using hot water and detergent.

              There are the usual dire warnings printed on the tin, about avoiding contact with the eyes, not drinking it in place of your usual cuppa, not throwing it on an open fire or flame, etc. But you can check those out yourself if and when you buy a tin.
              You can either buy it in a large 2.5 litre tin, (as I did) or if the job you have is smaller, then it also comes in a 750 ml tin for Euro9.36.

              All things considered, I reckon I was fairly pleased with this product, and will probably use it again instead of the usual gloss paint the next time I'm doing any decorating.

              **********

              © KenJ

              **********

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                22.08.2007 10:50

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                This is a review of Crown Suede Paint.--------------------------------------------This paint is easy to apply with a brush BUT:1. In comparison to normal emulsion, the final effect makes it look as if you couldn't be bothered to apply another coat.2. If anything rubs against it it completely peels from the wall.I won't be painting any other walls with this stuff.

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                11.05.2006 11:46
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                It's paint, that does exactly what it says on the tin.

                When we moved house, one of the main rooms that we wanted to change was our bathroom. When we had looked round the house, we had not really thought about the colour of the bathroom, rather taking in the whole appeal of the place than focussing on specifics. We knew the bathroom would need decorating but thought that we could live with it as it was for a while.

                After 4 months of living in our new abode we had really had enough of the bathroom and had moved it to the top of the to do list. One of the main problems was the colour of the walls. They were green. Very green. And the carpet (why oh why put carpet in a bathroom?) was like a shaggy bath mat (another day another review on flooring). We had previously decorated 3 other rooms in the house and had used a variety of different paints (B&Q Fresh in the Bedroom, B&Q Colours in the spare room and Dulux Hints in the lounge) so thought that we would be able to make an informed decision on the type of paint to use in the bathroom.

                On arriving at the DIY shop we realised that it couldn’t be easier choosing suitable paint and left with 4 different tester pots of handily named ‘Kitchen and Bathroom Paint’. When we got home we eagerly opened the testers and began slapping paint around (well in neat little squares actually). It soon became clear that we were down to a choice between a Crown and Dulux paint. The Crown paint comes in a tube (as a tester) with a spongey thing on the end, whereas the Dulux comes in a small tub with a brush attached to the lid. Our second test site was next to the tiles so we could see which would look the best. Both paints matched our tiles really well and we were stuck.

                Skip forwards 3 days and we are off to France on holiday…woo hoo.

                Skip forward another 2 weeks and we return, busting for a wee (they do have toilets in France but we had driven a long way) and were greeted with a green bathroom with small squares of blue. D’oh, had forgotten how we had left it.

                So, decision time. Both paints were around the same price (£15.99 for 2.5 litres from Focus DIY) and the colour was pretty much the same. However the difference arose when it came down to the application of the paint. Now it may be due to the spongey thing on the end of the tube but the Crown paint appeared to go on very smoothly and evenly, not like the Dulux which was a bit streakier.

                We bought the Crown paint and started to decorate. After applying the paint with a brush you start to see that this paint looks just as good as when using a sponge, where I had brushed the walls it looked fine with one coat, although some bits needed a bit of extra patching. Where my better half had used a roller the paint needed another coat, although due to the quick drying time (around 2 hours on a hot day), it wasn’t hard to finish the bathroom in one evening (is it me or do men always take the easy rollering job leaving us girls to do the ‘cutting in’ parts around the toilet and other exciting places!).

                The paint has the consistency of thick double cream and so doesn’t drip badly and you get very little roller splatter when applying it to walls. When pouring it into the roller tray we didn’t have to shake it our as you do with some paints, it glooped into the tray quite happily and didn’t run down the side of the tin either. A plus point for me as you don’t then get paint tin rings all over the floor.

                The paint is ‘mid sheen’, which I don’t really understand. What I will say is that it is shinier than Vinyl Silk, but not as shiny as Gloss paint. The downside of this is that if your wall has any imperfections in it they will become glaringly obvious as the light catches them. Fortunately I am an ace filler and ours don’t look too bad (modest too!).

                If you are an indecisive person, you may have to allocate a fair amount of time when choosing your paint as in the Crown range there are 30 different colours of paint in the Kitchen & Bathroom range, and 12 types of cupboard paint. We wanted blue, but there was still a variety to choose from, it’s actually called AZURE for those of you who want to know. The other ranges of Crown paints tend to have a wider variety of colours, with bog standard emulsion having 44 different colours.

                Crown have a number of ranges, Emulsion (silk or matt); primers (for making it all ready); Basecoat (for using as an undercoat, smoothing over cracks etc.); Easyclean (for areas that tend to get dirty quickly, eg stairs); Solo, so you only need one coat; and a range of colour varieties, Neutrals, Period Colours, Indulgence and Creative Paints. Obviously there is the Kitchen and Bathroom range which is the one I tried. What I would say if you were thinking of decorating either your Kitchen or Bathroom is to test this paint out for yourself. The ease of application gave it many plus points from me, and it just happened to be a perfect colour too.

                All in all a big thumbs up.

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                • More +
                  08.05.2006 09:59
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                  Super paint. Would thoroughly recommend.

                  There are many Do it yourself programs on the television nowadays and some of these are creative, whilst some a little mundane and temporary. Changing rooms is one where little things are done to change a room's ambiance instantly. Unfortunately, some of the changes are a little questionable and I would not let these people near my home.

                  Myself, I prefer subtlety. When I painted my kitchen white, it was functional, it served its purpose, but there is more in life that white paint. I did an experiment and I want to share it with readers because making changes does not have to be drastic. A subtle change of colouring in a room can make the room go from cold to warm. I changed the colour to a light yellow and on comparing photographs of before and after, what this paint did was transform my kitchen from a characterless white to a warmth and depth that actually amazed me. Never be afraid of colour although be aware that darker colours are harder to cover should mistakes be made, and that dark colours can actually make a room look smaller.

                  There are a whole spectrum of colours available in this range of paints. Emulsion is water based and is good for people that are a little shy about painting because it wipes up easily when spilt, and gives a room a whole new feel without costing an absolute fortune.

                  The range of colours is extensive, and what makes it even more so is that you can personalise the colour that you require by mixing two paints together. Before doing this, it is wise to put a little dab of each colour together on a paint can lid and see what effect you will get. I experiment so much with colour and this will show you the range of colours that you can achieve, i.e. by adding more of one colour with a little dab, and seeing the subtle changes that mixing will make to the finished colour.

                  Most emulsion paints (matt), dry a little lighter than the starting colour, so when mixing your own paints, you need to bear this in mind.

                  BUT WHY CROWN ?

                  Crown have been in the business for a long time, and there really is only one other maker that comes near to the quality of these paints (other than the really expensive exclusive paints which are sold expensively because of the name, rather than quality), and the comparable paint is that produced by Dulux.

                  WHY DO I CHOSE CROWN MATT EMULSION?

                  Matt paint is non reflective. It covers areas easier simply because of its non reflective qualities. If you imagine a little piece of wall that has a slight bump, well if you hilight that bump with a shiny paint, it will always show, whereas with matt, this tends to hide imperfections in the surface.

                  WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH THIS PAINT ?

                  There are a variety of methods available for using emulsion paints.

                  1. You can use directly from the can or pot in your chosen colour. Apply with a brush or roller and use two coats, the first of which can be thinned with water if the surface is too porous. New Plaster tends to be porous and difficult on the first coat, and here the diluted product covers easier, although neat paint should be used for the second coat, so it is advisable to mix your first coat paint in a separate container.

                  2. You can be more adventurous and mix your own combination of colours with this paint. You can have subtle differences between walls, i.e. a fireplace could be highlighted a little darker or lighter to obtain different effects. Alcoves can be made darker to give them the impression of depth. The pigments used by Crown are strong ones, and quite a good depth of colour is actually easier to produce with this paint than with cheaper brands.

                  3. You can use more inventive systems of painting such as ragging. This is a system that uses the paint to create a design. Firstly, a light coat of paint is required on the whole surface, after preparation of course, and then when this is dried, a slightly darker version of the paint that you have used can be ragged onto the surface. How this is achieved is to put the paint into a paint tray and literally dip a rag into the paint and then tap it against the surface of the wall, until you establish a nice rhythme and design that pleases your eye, and continue to do this all over the wall. Again, Crown gives good results whereas cheaper paints are not as easy to use, and can give disappointing results.

                  4. Roller ragging. This can be done with this paint and is a super finish. You simply get a piece of rag or even a polythene bag and put it over the head of a roller and keep it in place with elastic bands. Use as a normal roller and you will see that this creates a design. Again, use a darker or lighter colour than the background colour for the actual ragging.

                  5. Sponge effects. Sponging is fun and I know from experience that the consistancy of Crown coloured emulsion is super for this effect whilst other paints fail miserably because of their lack of substance and thinness. You can buy a sponge like the kind that you wash a car with, and take off the squared corners because for this finish, you really do not want uniformity. Pull little bits of the sponge away so that the surface of the sponge is irregular. Then prime the wall (giving it a coat of uniform background colour) and stipple the paint on for the second coat with the sponge using a tapping method, rather than smearing. It works a treat.

                  You may say why am I bothering to write all the instructional stuff on a review of paint, and the very reason for this is that Crown paints lend themselves to being used in a creative way. Other paints that I have tried do not because they are too runny, and the colour selection too poor to mix as you can with Crown paints.

                  I do not believe in the concept of one coat paints because really people even of any experience in painting tend to leave little areas that are less covered than others, and two coats really does ensure that the surface is regular and well covered. One coat to me is a shortcut that I cannot afford to take when I am decorating for other people, who expect impeccable results.

                  Drying time is usually less than 24 hours, and is stated on the can as being 3 hours, although I tend to keep to the 24 hour rule as this varies depending on the warmth of the room in question.

                  As for protective power, I believe that the two coat method gives better all round protection than a quick skim of paint. The painting that I have done at my house has lasted and lasted, and I am amazed at the durability of this paint. Even knocks and bangs do not seem to damage it, and even on the odd occasion when they do, the advantage of Crown matt paint is that you can touch up little areas without it showing that it has been touched up which of course you cannot do with oil paints.

                  The choice of colours is amazing these days, and Crown have a new range of paints that are inspired by Disney, although I really feel that these colours can be achieved by yourself without the Disney price tag.

                  As for ease of application, this paint is superb and even someone who has never painted before can get good professional looking finish to their work, although I would advise the non experienced users to mask off areas that they do not wish to paint, with a masking tape which will give their work a superb finish. Leave the masking tape until the paint is dry and then remove it.

                  One of the good things that paint manufacturers have looked into is odours. This paint is user friendly and not at all smelly. They call it breathe-easy and it really is, and if you find that the odour upsets you, add a few drops of vanilla essence and the smell goes away. Here, I would say that Crown excell over Dulux in that Dulux products are smellier.

                  This paint works out at about £5 a litre but a litre goes a long way because of the quality of the paint. Not a high price to pay when you know that the results will give you what you were seeking.



                  Thankyou for reading.

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