What kind of surfaces are suitable for natural finishing materials?

The choice of surface or primer for achieving good result depends on the product in question. References to suitable surfaces can also be found on each product’s information sheet. In order to get a clean dust-free uniformly absorbent base surface, it is important to cover the base for paints and decorative plasters/pastes with a suitable primer that is also mentioned on the information sheet for the specific product. Uniformly absorbent base surface ensures that there are no off-colour spots on the finish after drying.

If you have any doubts when choosing a suitable surface, product or primer, feel free to contact our showroom staff.

Can I apply these materials myself or do I need to hire a professional?

If you wish to try plastering and painting yourself, our sales assistants are ready to advise you on achieving the desired result, if necessary. For more complicated surfaces, we can schedule a workshop session that allows you to test the work methods on smaller scale.
We recommend using professional help when dealing with large surfaces. Visit our webpage to find a list of interior finishing professionals whom we have worked with. Do not hesitate to contact them.

Are the paints ready to use or do I have to mix them myself?

The products that do not contain preservatives and therefore do not keep for long have to be mixed with water. Water quantities are listed on each product’s information sheet. If a product comes with a pigment for tinting, stir it carefully with water into a smooth paste before adding it to the mixture.

Do I have to calculate the material quantities myself?

Measure the surface before coming to buy the material and we will calculate the suitable material and pigment quantities at our showroom. We will weigh you the exact amount of plaster or paint needed for your surface area, if necessary.

Is there any point in using natural finishing materials if the previous layers have already been painted with conventional paints?

Room air quality is influenced mainly by the materials in contact with air. If surfaces are covered with paints, plasters and oils that contain toxic compounds, air currents will spread the vapours emitted from the materials and lower the air quality in the room. By reducing the amount of toxic finishing materials, we can improve indoor air quality. Moreover, natural materials have the ability to bind air humidity without triggering surface condensation, which in turn prevents mould growth.

Can these materials be used for finishing walls that have been painted with conventional paint?

This depends on the product, but we have paints that bond well with a variety of base surfaces. Still, to ensure a better result, we recommend preparing the surface with a suitable primer before painting.

Can some of these products be used in bathrooms?

We recommend using lime-bound products in humid rooms, because lime acts as a natural fungicide due to its high acidity and prevents the growth of some moulds. Hence, lime paints, lime plasters, marble-lime plaster and tadelakt are ideal for bathrooms. Tadelakt is also a good alternative for ceramic tiles when covering surfaces that come into contact with water.

Does the product range include materials suitable for outdoor use?

For outdoor conditions, Safran offers traditional lime plaster, some lime paints, wood finishing oils, lazure and opaque paints: terrace oils, linseed oil paints and wood protection for silvering deciduous wood.

Are natural finishing materials odourless?

Natural finishing materials are not odourless, because they do not contain odour-neutralising additives. Each product has a distinctive smell that varies in strength. Some individual products may have a strong, but not unpleasant smell that stays in the room until it has dried—from a few hours up to a week, depending on the product. Odour can be reduced by airing the room.

Can natural paints and plasters be washed/cleaned?

Most plasters and paints based on natural binders are not washable. Natural materials are valued for their water-vapour permeability that ensures good room climate and prevents possible moisture damage. As a result, wet dirt will penetrate the finishing as well. Generally, we recommend dry cleaning for most finishes. You can also try removing dirt with poster putty by rolling it into a ball and rubbing it against the dirty spot. In case of smoother surfaces, dirt can be removed with a light soft eraser. Natural dispersion paints that contain resin oils are more resistant to washing, but resins need time to solidify and can therefore be cleaned only after 4 weeks have passed. Of our selection, the products that can be washed with water and soap are stucco lustro and tadelakt, as well as linseed oil products and paints for wood surfaces. Nevertheless, in order to avoid surface damage, avoid using acidic and abrasive cleaning products.

What is the colour chart like?

Our showrooms have a selection of samples and colour charts from which you can choose a colour for your product. If you cannot find a suitable tone from our colour charts, we can tint the product to your liking. This might take a few hours or a few days, depending on the complexity of the recipe and the drying time of the material. When coming to the showroom to choose colours, we recommend bringing a sample of your wallpaper or some other material used in the room, so it would be easier to find a suitable tone.

Can clay plaster be used as final finishing or should it be coated with something?

Yes, it can. If you wish to use clay plaster as final finishing, we recommend giving it one final treatment with a sponge or a plastic float. This results in a durable and dense surface and keeps it free from loose sand grains that should otherwise be fixed with an adhesive. Even transparent fixatives might make a nice deep clay tones appear duller.

Can I apply the paint with a roller?

Yes, but it depends on the product. There are products that can be applied with a brush as well as a roller, but there are also paints for which we strictly recommend using a brush. Further instructions can be found on the product information sheet of the specific product and at our showrooms.

Are natural finishing materials more expensive than conventional products?

Natural finishing materials are not necessarily more expensive than conventional products. Safran offers a large selection of products from very different price ranges. Our showrooms offer you exotic surface finishing materials as well as simpler ones that are within the same price range as conventional materials.