FAQ

How do I make Guerra Paint?

What is a dispersion?

What is a binder?

How does this paint differ from other acrylic paint?

How much do I save making my own paint?

Why does this system cost so much less than pre-made paint?

Do you have workshops?

Why is my paint cracking and/or lifting?

What is a good ratio of dispersion to binder?

Why does my paint have bubbles?

How much water can I add to my binder?

How do I extend the drying time (open time) of my paint?

Why is my dispersion separated?

Why is my urethane cracking?

Can I use Guerra Paint for architectural coatings and wall treatments?

How much coverage can I get with Guerra Paint?

Can I use Guerra Paint for floor treatments?

Can I use Guerra Paint on Furniture?

Can I use Guerra Paint with Plaster?

Can I use Guerra Dispersions in Concrete?

Will Guerra Paint adhere to glass and metal?

Can I paint on fabric with Guerra Paint?

Can I airbrush with Guerra Paint?

Do you have a silkscreen medium?

Do you have a pour paint?

Can I use Guerra Paint for murals?

Can I use Guerra dispersions with Oil?

Can I use Guerra paint over oil paint?

How does Guerra Paint store and clean-up?

What health precautions should I take with Guerra Paint?

How long will Guerra Paint last?

Q. How do I make Guerra Paint?

A. The simple formula is Dispersion + Binder = Paint. Dispersion + Binder + Thickener #1 = thick paint. With this system you can make any possible kind of paint. Thick, thin, matte, hi-gloss and/or textured. We supply only high strength binders that can hold any possible textural filler at the highest concentration. There are endless types of paint to be made, please see our recipes and technical instruction sheets for more information or contact us directly.

Q. What is a dispersion?

A. A dispersion is an aqueous pigment concentrate ground from a dry pigment into water and surfactant. There is no binder in a dispersion and it will dry back to a powder if not added to a water-based binder. You can also think of a dispersion as a highly concentrated tint.

Q. What is a binder?

A. A binder is a glue that holds the pigment to itself and to a surface. It is the paint base. The technical term for “medium” is binder.

Q. How does this paint differ from other acrylic paint?

A. The difference is that we are not providing pre-made paint. We have the highest quality paint components that you can mix together yourself to make your own paint. Our dispersions are at the highest possible pigment load and our binders are made with 100% acrylic resin with the most resin content possible. By making your own paint, YOU control the pigment load, i.e. the saturation or brightness of the color. It is the best way to make the highest quality, most cost effective paint. It’s fun and easy too!

Q. How much do I save making my own paint?

A. Between 50-75%

Q. Why does this system cost so much less than pre-made paint?

A. Because we make and sell our paint components directly to the customer without the aid of distributors. We believe firmly in supplying the highest quality materials for the lowest possible price.

Q. Do you have workshops?

A. We do workshops daily on the premises, just ask for a demo! We can also answer all of your technical questions over the phone. Call (212) 529-0628

Q. Why is my paint cracking and/or lifting?

A. Our most common question. There are usually one of three reasons:

1. You used no binder or not enough binder. Pigment dispersions are not paints, they are liquid pigment concentrates with no binder. They will dry back to a powder. You must use at least 40% binder to avoid cracking.

2. You did not let your underlying surface cure properly. Generally speaking, A thin layer of acrylic needs 24 dry (not raining or high humidity) hours to fully cure. Urethane needs 48 hours.

3. You sanded your underlying surface and did not thoroughly clean off the dust particles. Dust particles will prevent proper adhesion, they must be completely removed.

Q. What is a good ratio of dispersion to binder?

A. Pigment dispersions make between 8 and 16 times their volume depending on the pigment strength of the pigment you choose. All pigments have different tinting strengths (see our 7 page chart or call for guidance) but a 1 oz of a strong pigment like Pthalo may be added to 16 oz of binder for full saturation, while a 1 oz of a weak pigment like Burnt Umber may be added to 8 oz of binder for full saturation.

Making paint is like cooking, it is very much to taste (without putting it in your mouth of course). The nice thing about dispersions is that you may add as little, or as much color as you like, YOU control the saturation of your color.

Q. Why does my paint have bubbles?

A. When you stir the paint aggressively, or for too long, you may force air bubbles in to the paint. Try letting the paint sit to allow the air bubbles to come out before application. You can also try a little antifoam, no more than 5 drops per liquid ounce of paint or you will have a paint defect called fish eyes which looks like inverted bubbles. This can be an interesting surface when done intentionally.

Q. How much water can I add to my binder?

A. We use only industrial strength, high resin content binders precisely so you can do a lot with them, including adding a lot of water. Acrylic 65 can be watered down up to 8 times it’s volume and still form a film. We don’t recommend adding more than 10% water to Urethanes because it may alter the surface quality. Silica Flat can not take as much water as acrylic because it is in essence Acrylic 65 with silica powder added to it. The powder and acrylic are at the perfect ratio to have maximum matteness but still have good binding power. We do not recommend adding more than 15-20% water to Silica Flat. (If you are planning on adding a lot of water to your binder do not oversaturate with dispersions-an overly watered down binder will not have enough binding power to hold a lot of other material)

Q. How do I extend the drying time (open time) of my paint?

A. Propylene Glycol is a general drying time retardant. We recommend making a 50/50 mix of propylene glycol and water and then adding this to your paint. Do not add more than 15% to your paint or you make end up with over-softening and pitting of the surface.

Q. Why is my dispersion separated?

A. We add no fillers or additives to our dispersions in the interest of purity of color. Because we do not add suspension agents you should expect some settling of the pigment contents. Tap the bottom of your dispersion on a hard surface and shake vigorously before use. Occasionally a dispersion will have a “hard settle” as opposed to the usual “soft settle”. This may happen in the heavier metal pigments such as Cadmiums, Cobalts, Cerulean and Chromium if they sit on a shelf too long without being shaken. A “hard settle” is when the pigment cannot be stirred up with an instrument such as a screwdriver or brush handle stuck in to the bottle. If this does happen, you may return the dispersion to us for an exchange.

Q. Why is my urethane cracking?

A. Urethane binders are the most sensitive binders. The coalescing agents have to react in the proper order in order for the film to form. Urethanes should not be used in an application that is thicker than 1/8” and. Each coat should have at least two days to cure and preferably four days to insure a successful cure. The underlying surface of the urethane should be fully primed and cured so coalescing agents within the urethane do not “wick out”. The room temperature should not be below 50 degrees. Avoid using urethane in high humidity or rainy days this may affect evaporation and cure time. Any or all of these circumstances can potentially cause cracking.

Q. Can I use Guerra Paint for architectural coatings and wall treatments?

A. Yes, Guerra Paint dispersions work well with any water based clear or white house paint base. If you want a bright saturated color use a clear base and if you are looking for a lighter color use a white base and tint until you reach your desired darkness *Do swatch tests, as wet paint usually dries to a darker color. Our binders are designed to be extra durable for artwork and although we do recommend using them for a mural where longevity is important, using them for a wall treatment would be overkill and much more cost-effective to use a house paint base. The main difference between latex house paint and artist acrylic paint is the type of resin that is used. House paints are not considered suitable for artistic purposes because they usually include lower cost resins such as vinyl that may yellow over time as opposed to the archival acrylic resin used in high quality art materials.

Q. How much coverage can I get with Guerra Paint?

A. A Gallon of paint will cover roughly 200 square feet, depending on how porous the surface is. Hiding power will be determined by the level of opacity of the particular pigment used. Please refer to our technical data color chart or call with questions about transparency/opacity ratings.

Q. Can I use Guerra Paint for floor treatments?

A. While we recommend using our paint for any floor designs or special colors, you will need to topcoat it with a durable clear floor coating specifically designed for floors.

Q. Can I use Guerra Paint on Furniture?

A. Yes. Our binders adhere well to raw wood or wood that has an underlying water-based coating. You may also stain raw wood with dispersions and then seal with a clear coat or add 50% water to binder, then saturate with dispersion and apply. A staining aid would be to apply a 50/50 mixture of disperse water and water to your raw wood before applying your watered down saturated paint. Disperse water is a surfactant that aids in wetting. Although not necessary, it may aid in achieving desired level of absorption.

Q. Can I use Guerra Paint with Plaster?

Some of our largest customers are decorative plasterers. Dispersions go seamlessly into plaster to create brilliant surfaces. Prussian Blue and Fluorescent pigments are not suitable for plaster

Q. Can I use Guerra Dispersions in Concrete?

A. Yes, though keep in mind that concrete is a very caustic material and can damage some pigments. The only pigments that are recommended by the Concrete Society are Cobalts and Earth Oxides. Other are questionable but still used. Look to alkalinity ratings on our charts or call for assistance for more guidance.

Q. Will Guerra Paint adhere to glass and metal?

A. Our water based urethanes will adhere to glass and metal, particularly the Urethane 32. Acrylics will lift off of these surfaces because of their slickness. To aid with adhesion you may sand and clean the surface prior to application to create tooth for the material to grab on to.

Q. Can I paint on fabric with Guerra Paint?

A. Guerra Paint adheres to all fabrics. We recommend using Silica Flat as your binder to reduce any chance of the paint sticking to itself during laundering. Let paint dry for a week before laundering to insure a fully cured paint film.

Q. Can I airbrush with Guerra Paint?

A. Many people airbrush with our paint. It is advisable to thin with up to 20% water. In lieu of water alone you may add a 50/50 mix of Propylene Glycol (drying retarder) and water in a 15% proportion to your binder. You may add an additional 5%-10% water to this if desired.

Q. Do you have a silkscreen medium?

A. Many customers do silkscreen with our binders but we recommend adding a 50/50 mix of Propylene Glycol and water to your binder in a 15-20% concentration. Some customers choose to add some urethane to their acrylic to aid in self-leveling properties. You may also use our dispersions with the silkscreen medium of your choosing.

Q. Do you have a pour paint?

A. We do not sell a paint that you can pour in to pancake puddles without mud cracks appearing. You can pour our binders but should then spread with a tool such as a squeegee blade so that the paint film is no more than 1/8” thick.

Q. Can I use Guerra Paint for murals?

A. Absolutely! Guerra paint was founded as a mural company. Silica Flat is an incredibly durable and long-lasting mural base for indoor or outdoor murals. All of our pigment dispersions are suitable for indoor murals and most are good for outdoor. Cadmiums are weather sensitive and fluorescents are not lightfast. These two pigment groups are not suitable for outdoor use. See blue wool scale and weatherfastness ratings on our pigment charts or call for guidance for more information.

Q. Can I use Guerra dispersions with Oil?

A. Our dispersions are manufactured to be compatible with water-based materials, that said, many customers have experimented with adding our dispersions to oil successfully. This is most likely due to the surfactant

A.k.a disperse water that is included in the dispersion formul

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Q. Can I use Guerra paint over oil paint?

A. The general rule of thumb is that you can paint oil over acrylic but not vice vers

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Q. How does Guerra Paint store and clean-up?

A. Our paint may be stored in any airtight container. A screw top jar will give the best seal. It may be advisable to spray the top of the paint film with water or lay a small piece of saran wrap over the surface of the paint film within the jar. The more airspace there is in the jar, the more likely you are to have paint coagulation, saran wrap will prevent air from reaching your paint. Our paint is water based and cleans up with soap and water.

Q. What health precautions should I take with Guerra Paint?

A. All of our paint is water based and rated non-hazardous. That said, we like to say “all paints are chemicals be cautious and careful . This means wear gloves and work with ventilation. It is best to have a window fan that pulls air out. If you do not have adequate ventilation you may want to consider using a respirator mask with a multi-use organic vapor cartridge that includes protection from ammonia, particularly if working with large batches. If using dry pigment or any type of powder you should use an N95 rated dust mask and gloves. Clean up any powder residue after use. Do not eat or smoke in your work space. A chronic hazard is different from an acute hazard. An acute hazard is immediate, chronic is a build up over time. All of our materials may fall in to the chronic hazard category if used irresponsibly by the consumer. Contact us with any further questions.

Q. How long will Guerra Paint last?

A. Binder shelf life is guaranteed for I year though it may last much longer. Dispersions will last indefinitely if the cap is not left open. Dispersions should be shaken from time to time to reduce settling.

Additional Technical Information:

Cure time for acrylics is 24hours for a thin coat. Cure time for Urethane is 48hours for a thin coat and preferably 4 full days

Avoid using binders in high humidity or precipitation as this affects curing time, particularly in the case of Urethanes that need to have films coalesce within a set time frame to form a successful film

Avoid freezing or extreme heat. Minimum film forming temperature is 49F, 9C

V.O.C. levels: 150 grams per liter maximum

No health hazard labeling required, labeling conforms to ASTM D-4236

D.O.T. shipping class: water-based. Not regulated. Freight Class 55. ECCN: EAR99

Policy- No Refunds, exchange only within 90 days of purchase. 10% restocking fee

Disclaimer-Neither the manufacturer or the supplier are responsible for any adverse effects due to misuse of the materials. In no event shall the liability of Guerra Paint & Pigment Corp. be greater than the sale price of the particular product, and in no event shall Guerra Paint & Pigment Corp. be liable for any consequential damages or for expenses incurred by use of products.

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