Hi, I'm a newbie here, and would appreciate some help.
We've a room covered in hessian which is dark and faded and horrible but well hung and well stuck to the walls. We thought we'd paint it over, but we don't know what to use and if we should use some sealant or primer first.
I assume you have tried wetting the hessian to see if it can then be removed easily, if you have, I suggest you apply two coats of oil based undercoat using a roller - make sure you have doors and windows open. This will seal in any waterborn stains and you can then paint with emulsion in a colour of you choice. Try a small area first to check that the hessian does not lift.
Thanks for that advice, Stoneyboy, but it does seem like a lot of fumes! We haven't tried stripping the hessian - we don't mind the hessian as such, just the awful faded dark green colour. Someone has suggested painting on 'glue size' - whatever that is. My dad thinks it's what artists use to prepared canvases for painting, so it may be a technically correct solution (pun!), but it might not be practicable on the scale of a 12x25 ft room!
The problem with using anything water based eg wallpaper paste (glue size) or PVA is that these products will not seal in the hessian so when you then paint over it stains will appear on your freshly painted wall. You do need to seal in the hessian by using an oil based paint but this is a final solution and will be a devil to remove in the future.
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millieminder,Just read your post regarding painting Hessian there should be no reason why you should not use water based paints as I am assuming that there is no dampness in the room and the Hessian is just old and the wrong colour. The problem I have had in the past is where you cut in with a brush and where you roller the flat areas showing up as two different textures. I over come this by rollering first and cutting in with a brush last, but also using a small finger roller preferably lambs wool long pile, and roller over the area that you have just cut in before it dries. This allows you to get as close as possible to the door frames and skirting and ceiling line, alternatively you could always mask up and use the finger roller right up to the woodwork. If you are having trouble with stains, goggle Clasidure a water based paint specially formulated for all types of stained areas.
Rigga, thanks for your comments. You are so right!
What we eventually did was to seal a couple of small water marks (from condensation run-off below a window cill) with a spray sealing paint, and then we rollered about 4 coats of emulsion on top, cutting in with a brush.
The spray sealing paint left a slightly fluffy effect (but petrified fluff) as it didn't press down the tiny loose fibres on the hessian like the roller did. We don't have too much difference in texture between the brushed and rolled areas, but the overlap definitely shows as brighter colour, just like it would do on a plain wall if you let the paint dry between rollering and cutting in. In this case, the paint seemed to dry almost instantly so we didn't manage to avoid it. And we were covering dark green with a pale neutral.
We used budget emulsion for the first coat and Dulux Paintpod for the topcoats.
We're fairly happy with what we did. If you look closely it looks like it could do with another coat, to help disguise the cutting in. But that's all it looked as if it needed before the last coat, so we felt as if we could go on for ever. With the curtains hung, carpet down, pictures on the walls and furniture in place it is a nice room, competently decorated. The 'fluffy' bits are behind curtains. It's really only me that sees the imperfections....
With regard to the warm feeling when you touch hessian (a major reason for keeping it in a 200 year old stone house), once it's painted it feels just as cool as any other painted wall!
Thanks to everyone who took an interest in my problem. I know it's a while since this discussion, but I noticed recently a post which pointed out that questioners on these boards rarely come back and say how they got on, and I realised that that can be a useful part of the circle. Good luck to anyone else who tries this!