FAQ

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Behold, some of the most common questions asked, but if you have any particular questions about our paints just send us an email and we will reply to you in no time.

Frequently asked questions

Painting Furniture & Other Items

Is Earthborn paint suitable for radiators?


With correct preparation, Earthborn Claypaint, Lifestyle and Eggshell No.17 can be used on metal including radiators. Our paints don’t like being applied to very shiny, non-porous surfaces so we recommend using an appropriate metal primer as per the manufacturer’s instructions, and always testing an inconspicuous area first. Make sure the radiator is switched off during painting and drying stages. Claypaint will provide an ultra-matt finish but is not recommended for heavy-use items, whereas Earthborn Eggshell No.17 will provide a durable subtle sheen and is available in the same range of colours. When applying Earthborn Eggshell No.17 we would suggest building up the finish in layers and sanding lightly in between dried coats. Don’t forget you can always email us if you have any queries.




Can I use Eco Chic or Eggshell No.17 on kitchen cupboards?


Earthborn Eco Chic and Earthborn Eggshell No.17 are ideal for updating wooden kitchen cupboards. The glossier the surface you’re painting, the more difficult it will be for the paint to stick. So if your cupboards are plastic, melamine or wood effect, you should sand well to provide a key and test an inconspicuous area first to see how the paint takes. Eco Chic and Eggshell No.17 are primarily designed for painting wood, so you may need to use a specialist cupboard primer to help the paint to stick to non-wooden surfaces, we recommend our Multi Purpose Primer and bear in mind the paint might not be as durable as other specialist products.




Can I use Earthborn paint on children’s cots or toys?


The following are certified as being safe to use on children’s furniture and toys, carrying the Safety of Toys Standard (EN71-3:2019). Eco Chic Claypaint Eggshell No.17 Lifestyle Furniture Wax Furniture Glaze Multi Purpose Primer Wall Glaze Ecopro Eggshell Ecopro Matt and Lo Sheen Emulsions To read our full Toy Safety Statement CLICK HERE.




Do I need to use a primer before painting furniture with Earthborn paint?


No primer is required before painting furniture with Earthborn Eco Chic. After sanding, we recommend diluting the first coat of paint with water by 10-20%. This will act as a primer. If you’re using Eggshell No.17 you will need to use a primer, we recommend our Multi Purpose Primer. Follow this with a full coat of paint, giving a light sanding between coats.




How should I prepare my furniture for painting?


If your furniture has existing paint work, gloss or varnish, then we recommend lightly sanding first to provide a ‘key’ and help the new paint to stick. If painting onto bare wood, ensure it has a smooth surface – again, lightly sand if needed. After sanding wipe or brush away any residue and you are ready for painting.




Which Earthborn product should I use for painting furniture?


We have two paint finishes that are ideally suited to painting furniture: Earthborn Eco Chic Claypaint for furniture has a luxuriously thick, creamy consistency and can be applied in a variety of creative ways; layered, sanded, as a colour wash, with Earthborn Crackle… the options are limitless! Eco Chic is best finished with our clear Furniture Wax or Furniture Glaze for added protection. Earthborn Eggshell No.17 is a water-based yet highly durable paint that dries to a subtle sheen, perfect for paint projects requiring a smooth, consistent finish.




Why should I use Earthborn paint for my furniture project?


We get lots of enquiries from people who would like to use environmentally friendly products to give their furniture a new lease of life. Earthborn Eco Chic Claypaint for Furniture and Earthborn Eggshell No.17 are easy to apply. They are odour free with no acrylics, oils or nasty emissions, allowing your wooden furniture to breathe.





Green Matters

Are Earthborn paints natural and organic?


‘Natural’ and ‘organic’ are words that have been borrowed from the food industry. In the paint industry however, these terms have no legal meaning and can be misleading. ‘Natural’ is often used as shorthand hand for ‘healthy, wholesome and eco’. However many traditional, natural ingredients in paint can also be hazardous. Think about lead and turpentine (derived from trees) which are either banned or controlled because of the harmful effect on health and the environment. When people ask for ‘natural’ they usually mean healthy and eco friendly, and those are the criteria we use at Earthborn when formulating our paints. We would advise to be suspicious of any paint claiming to be a natural paint as there is no such thing as a liquid natural paint in a tin. All paints by necessity contain some synthetic chemicals (for instance water based paints require a preservative to keep them ‘fresh’). In the chemical industry, ‘organic’ refers to the chemistry of carbon based matter or in other words, living or once-living matter. As such the petrochemical industry is the world’s largest organic chemical industry. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are carcinogenic and harmful to the environment, which is why their use in paint is strictly controlled by legislation. Away from the food industry ‘organic’ can have the opposite meaning to what people may think. Safer to simply use the term ‘eco’!




Why should I use a breathable paint?


Many properties suffer from damp, particularly older properties. To resolve this, the approach by some is to seal the building to make it waterproof, using non-breathable building materials and vinyl paints. Whilst this may offer some short-term relief, water will naturally find its way in (through tiny cracks in the walls for example, as the building moves). This water then has nowhere to go, and becomes trapped beneath the waterproof material and paint work, causing damp in the walls. ‘Breathability’ therefore refers to how easily water vapour can pass through a wall. A breathable wall is one that will take in moisture in the air then release it (as if the wall is breathing) without impacting on the fabric of the building. The type of paint you use is one factor that can affect the breathability of the walls. One way to avoid damp in a building is to use breathable building materials, such as lime render or plaster, followed by a breathable – or ‘microporous’ – paint. Any paints that contain vinyl, acrylic, oils or plastics are not breathable and can trap moisture beneath the surface, causing mould build up or even blowing the paint off entirely. Our Ecopro Silicate Masonry System (coming soon) is designed as a breathable, durable finish for exterior use, and our Claypaint, which has an exceptionally high level of breathability, is formulated for interior surfaces. Even if your property has not been built with breathable materials like lime, using a breathable paint can still contribute to a heathier environment. Claypaint is our most breathable paint, allowing moisture to easily flow through the surface, reducing condensation, mould and mildew.




Do Earthborn paints include petrochemical ingredients?


We take a holistic approach to environmental issues and consider not only what goes into paint but also, perhaps more importantly, what comes out. There are instances in which the alternative to a petrochemical based ingredient can be more harmful to the environment or health than the petrochemical derivative itself. There is no legal requirement for paint labels to include a full list of ingredients. At Earthborn, however, we believe consumers should be able to make informed choices, so all our products carry a full declaration of ingredients (except our sample pots, because the labels are too wee!). If you have any specific questions about our ingredients, email us on earthbornmt@gmail.com




What is the EU Ecolabel?


The EU Ecolabel is an independent accreditation system for goods and services that meet the strict environmental criteria of the scheme. There are a number of accreditations available but the EU Ecolabel is unique because it is truly independent of any profit making organisation and not an accreditation that can be ‘bought’. Earthborn is the proud holder of the first UK licence for Indoor Paints and Varnishes. The following Earthborn products are licensed to carry the EU Ecolabel (Licence UK/044/001): Claypaint Lifestyle Emulsion Eggshell No.17 Eco Chic Claypaint for Furniture Head here to read more about the EU Ecolabel.




Are Earthborn products suitable for vegetarians and vegans?


We’re proud to declare our Vegan status for each of our products and their ingredients, as follows: – None of our products are tested on animals. – All Earthborn paint finishes (including all products in our Classic and Ecopro ranges) are Vegan friendly. – Three of our traditionally formulated decorating products are not Vegan*. *These products are: Earthborn Casein Paint & Casein Filler (which contain milk protein) and Earthborn Furniture Wax (which contains beeswax). We have taken every care to check each stage of manufacture to ensure our suppliers and the raw ingredients we use in all Earthborn products (apart from those three listed) are Vegan friendly. More information about our products, including data sheets, can be found in the products section of our website. But if you have further questions about our paint, why not contact us here? To read our full vegan statement CLICK HERE




Are Earthborn paints VOC free?


Volatile Organic Compounds, known as VOCs, are carbon based chemical compounds found in most paints. VOCs are harmful to health, the environment and contribute to global warming. It is a legal requirement for paint labelling to state the VOC content of the product. The VOC content in Earthborn paints is negligible. However recent legislative recommendations issued by the British Coatings Federation mean that UK paint manufacturers should no longer advertise or label their paints as being 100% VOC free. Although our paints do not contain any intentionally added VOCs, there are certain processes during manufacture (for example, when washing the clay) that are, unfortunately, beyond our control and could contain trace levels of VOCs. At Earthborn we take an open, honest approach to the marketing of our products. Therefore we have taken the decision to describe our products as virtually VOC free. It is important to remember that the VOC content is one of many criteria determining whether or not a paint is an eco paint. Not all paints declaring low or zero VOC content are the same and that unlike Earthborn paints, other paints can (and normally do) contain other ‘nasties’ such as acrylic softeners, ammonia or formaldehydes. Earthborn paints are free from acrylics, oils and vinyls.




I suffer from allergies/asthma. Will Earthborn paints help?


Many allergy and asthma sufferers experience benefits when using Earthborn products. There are a number of reasons for this: -Careful ingredient selection avoiding known allergens. -The breathability of our paints, in particular the moisture absorbing qualities of Claypaint, helps even out the humidity in a room, making for a healthier, more comfortable living environment. -The clay in Earthborn Claypaint emits negative ions; higher ambient levels of negative ions are widely accepted as being beneficial to health and wellbeing, especially for allergy and asthma sufferers. -Claypaint’s high clay content helps to destroy airborne odours and contaminants. -Less static electricity build up, so reducing dust and allergens. -A full declaration of ingredients on our products allows people to make an informed choice. -It is never possible to guarantee that an individual will not have a reaction to a particular product or ingredient. For this reason, we recommend potential users test the product first; samples of most of our products are available.




Do Earthborn paints comply with Ska Rating?


The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has launched a system for rating the environmental impact of office fit-outs in the UK. Ska Rating comprises 99 good practice measures across energy and CO2, waste, water, pollution, transport, materials and wellbeing. Depending on the number of measures achieved, and the significance of these from a sustainability perspective, a fit-out can earn a gold, silver or bronze ranking. Products are either stated as Ska Rating compliant or that they meet specific criteria of a Ska Rating Good Practice Measure. By having been awarded the EU Ecolabel, Earthborn Claypaint, Lifestyle Emulsion, Eggshell No.17, Eco Chic Claypaint for Furniture and Ecopro Eggshell & Emulsions, all comply with the criteria of Ska Rating. This means that the project can achieve that specific measure, which in turn helps it to achieve a Ska Rating. The system has been designed to be accessible to both large and small organisations. All information about the rating method, criteria and best practice guidance are available here.




Is Earthborn paint suitable for animal enclosures?


We cannot offer you a guarantee as our products have not been specifically tested for this. However, all of our interior paints have the Safety of Toys Standard (EN71:3), and are regularly specified for use on children’s toys and furniture. We know that Earthborn Eggshell has been used on beehives, garden ponds, aviaries etc, and to our knowledge, with no harmful effects.





Interior Paint Finishes

How do I apply Earthborn interior wall paints?


First check your wall is clean, dry, sound and stable, removing any flaky material with a stiff brush. If your wall is particularly powdery, Earthborn Wall Glaze can be used to stabilise the surface prior to painting. See our video on how to paint your walls with Claypaint.




I need help choosing between Earthborn Claypaint and Lifestyle Emulsion. What’s the difference?


Both paints are odour free, water-based and carry the EU Ecolabel. Claypaint is our most breathable paint, with a high solids content and a distinctive ultra-flat matt finish. With a thick, creamy consistency it covers exceptionally well. It’s especially suitable for older properties and lime plastered surfaces where breathability is a priority. Lifestyle Emulsion is durable and washable with a very low sheen. It’s perfect for busier areas of the home such as hallways and children’s playrooms because it can be easily wiped clean. It isn’t as breathable as Claypaint so not recommended for lime plastered surfaces.




Can Earthborn paints be applied to new or bare plaster?


Walls that have been newly plastered with conventional plaster can be painted virtually straight away with Earthborn Claypaint. If using Earthborn Lifestyle Emulsion, allow a couple of weeks’ curing time. For best results dilute the first coat with around 20% water to 80% paint, followed by a full coat of paint.




Which type of paint is suitable for use over interior lime plaster, lime wash or lime rendered walls?


For interior walls and ceilings that contain lime, Earthborn Claypaint is ideal because unlike most other paints, it does not reduce the breathability. Conventional vinyl emulsions would partially seal the surface, causing potential problems for the building fabric and the likelihood of the paint ‘blowing off’. Claypaint allows the walls to breathe and offers a viable alternative to lime wash. -A few simple steps should be taken before applying Claypaint to a lime surface: -Lime render or plaster needs to be fully cured before painting. -The best person to advise you is your lime provider, however as a general guide allow at -least 1 month curing for every 5mm of thickness. In poor drying conditions this time period may be extended. -Before painting make sure the surface is stable (not flaky or powdery). -Slightly moisten the surface before applying the first coat of paint – a water spray bottle is perfect for this. -When painting onto cured new interior lime plaster, dilute the first coat of Claypaint with around 20% water followed by a full coat.




Which paint is most suitable for kitchens and bathrooms?


For high traffic areas like family kitchens, bathrooms or hallways, Earthborn Lifestyle Emulsion offers a durable, washable surface with a classic low-sheen finish.




Can I overpaint vinyl paint with Earthborn paints?


Yes, no special treatment is required. Earthborn Claypaint and Lifestyle Emulsion cover exceptionally well. In common with most paints, if over-painting vinyl silk emulsion, a light sanding to provide a key may be required.




I have prepared the wall to be painted but the surface is powdery. Should I treat it with PVA?


No. PVA will partially seal the surface, which can be detrimental to the building structure and result in a less comfortable living environment. Therefore, other than in special cases, PVA should be avoided. First try brushing the surface thoroughly with a stiff brush. If the surface remains powdery, stabilise it with a solution of Earthborn Wall Glaze and water. Email us on hello@earthbornmt.com for more information on our Wall Glaze ad how we can be of assitance to you.




We have treated a damp problem in our older property and have been told not to use a vinyl paint. Can you recommend a suitable paint?


This is because vinyl paint will effectively seal the surface and the damp will only move elsewhere. You need to let the damp out by using a breathable paint. All Earthborn wall and ceiling paints are breathable, but Claypaint has the highest level of breathability and is particularly suited to older houses or properties that have suffered from damp.




What is Claypaint and why is it so special?


Earthborn Claypaint is a unique paint with unique qualities. The first thing most people notice is that it has little or no smell and covers exceptionally well. Being totally free from oils and acrylics, it is a water-based, breathable emulsion suitable for walls and ceilings. It’s especially suitable for lime plaster, older properties and buildings that may have suffered from damp problems, as well as over painting pre-existing paintwork. The high clay content gives Earthborn Claypaint a beautiful creamy consistency making it a joy to use and results in its distinctive totally flat matt finish. If oyu have any additional question please email us here.





Finishes for Woodwork

Which paint finish should I use on interior skirting, doors or window frames?


We would recommend using Earthborn Eggshell No.17 on interior woodwork. Available in the same colour range as our Claypaint and Lifestyle Emulsion, it offers a durable, wipeable surface that’s especially suited to skirting boards, architraves, doors and interior wood trims. Free from oils and acrylics, Earthborn Eggshell No.17 is water-based with virtually no smell, and provides a breathable finish for your woodwork.




How should I apply Earthborn Eggshell?


For best results paint onto untreated, bare wood. Wood surfaces should be prepared with Earthborn Multi Purpose Primer and lightly sanded prior to application. Follow this with two full coats of Earthborn Eggshell. Sanding in between dried coats will provide an extra smooth finish. If painting onto previously coated woodwork, especially those painted with oil-based or polyurethane paints or varnishes, sand well to a matt finish prior to painting. Surfaces that have been previously painted with oil-based gloss paints can be overpainted with Earthborn Eggshell provided the previous coating is thoroughly aged (usually around 3 years). If you are looking for advice on using Ecopro Eggshell you will find full data sheets, information and specifications here .




Should I seal knots prior to painting?


Yes, as with all water based paints, it is necessary to seal knots prior to painting. Any standard knotting solution is ok and does not affect the performance / application of Earthborn Eggshell. However, if you are unable or reluctant to use a knotting solution, you could heat the knots with a hot air blower until resin bleeds out of the wood. You would need to wipe down with a solvent such as methylated spirits before painting. Dependent on the wood, this may not be a permanent treatment.




Is Earthborn Eggshell suitable for use on floorboards?


No, our Eggshell is not designed for use on floors or floorboards.




Can I use Earthborn Eggshell externally?


In line with our eco credentials, Earthborn Eggshell is water-based and formulated without oils or acrylics, making it perfect for interior woodwork but less suitable for external applications. This is because changes in weather conditions and outside temperature can cause exterior wood surfaces to expand and contract considerably, causing strains to the paintwork and leading to possible flaking or cracking. However if you are keen to use our oil-free Eggshell paint outside, we would suggest thoroughly preparing surface by sanding well, and in between dried coats. For technical queries feel free to email us on hello@earthbornmt.com





Website Orders

How much is delivery?


Delivery is free for all of Malta and Gozo. Colour charts are free to order, one colour chart will be sent per order details, and these are sent out by local postal service. For more information please see Delivery & Returns.




How long will it take to receive my order?


Our order are place every week or two and we shall inform you via email on the staus of your order. Orders placed in time as announced on our Facebook page or by email. We have just launched so bare with us until we get into the ryhtm of things, once we have established a routine and time frame our deliveries can also be weekly. We just need some time to get into the rythme, do not be surprised if we inform you that your order is in Malta in just a few days. We will also accept urgent orders to get what you need on time - this will have an additional shipping service charge. Please note, our offices are not open on a weekend, National or Bank Holidays orders will be processed the next working day. Our couriers only deliver Monday – Friday 9-5pm and on Saturdays in Gozo and we will be in touch via email to inform you that your order has arrived and is ready for delivery. You can email us any time and send us msgs on our Facebook page.