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The monolayer paints are meant to save us time. But do they really promise to cover a support in one application? That's what we wanted to check.

Criteria for the choice and comparison of monolayer paints

Which monolayer paint to choose?

There are two types of paint, multilayers and monolayers. For this test, we were interested in white monolayer paints.

What is a monolayer paint?

A monolayer paint is thicker than a multilayer paint. It is unctuous, even creamy (Dulux Valentine), runs little and contains more color pigments. These are the latter that make it more opaque and offer greater hiding power. A painting is entitled to the monolayer name if it covers 90% from the first application. On a clear support with a sub-layer, only one pass is possible, but all depends on the quality of the painting and the implementation (sloppy or neat). On a dark or stained substrate, it takes at least two layers where with a multilayer paint, three passes, or even four, are necessary. All manufacturers take the precaution of advising a second topcoat, because it is difficult to respect the amount of product to be applied per square meter in a single pass.

Water, resin and VOCs

The paints tested here are intended for the interior decoration of walls, ceilings and woodwork and some can be applied to radiators. They are in aqueous phase (the main solvent is water), odorless and dries quickly. The binder is an acrylic or alkyd synthetic resin in emulsion (Lyriance).
For Algo, the resin is vegetable (made from rapeseed and seaweed). The paintings selected here are sold in several packages (2.5 l, 5 l or 10 l, for a yield of about 10 m 2 / liter.
They all have a low emissivity rate of VOC (volatile organic compounds), between 1 and 29 g / l (Tollens), in accordance with the standard in force.
Three paintings have the Ecolabel (Algo, Lyriance, Renaulac), issued to products with a low impact on the environment.

First contact: the pot

single layer paint bucket

The pots are source of information for the future user. On the front of the container, we quickly distinguish the quality of the paint (matte or satin) and its destination (ceiling, wall...). For Tollens, the indications are very clear.

ripolin paint

At the back and on the sides, as on the Ripolin pot, are specified the types of tools to use, the drying time and the yield.

VOC content of a paint

You can also find the VOC content and the Ecolabel as on Algo, Inventiv, Renaulac and Lyriance.

paintings to begin

Some paintings like V33 and Avi are for beginners. They offer tips for painting without being wrong. Clear diagrams and legends placed on the back of the jar help understanding.

apply the paints on the woodwork

Some paintings, such as Oxi, Algo, Avi, Lyriance and Ripolin can be applied on woodwork (windows, doors...) and radiators.

monolayer paint in several layers

This specification is clearly indicated on the packaging. On a dark support, after application of the first layer, blue dots appear. This is the sign that a second pass is needed.
With Dulux, Tollens and Astral, the points are very little visible.

Lids of paint cans

open a paint bucket

There are three types of pots and lids.
The pots Algo, Inventiv, Renaulac, Variatech and V33 are made of iron and rectangular. The cover has several tabs on which you have to lever with a screwdriver. The disadvantage of this system is that the tabs deform making closing difficult.

technique of opening a paint bucket

The only cylindrical pot (Oxi) also requires the use of a lever to be opened.

open a plastic paint bucket

The other pots are plastic and rectangular. They open and close very easily.

Preparation of the paint before application

stir the paint

The paint must be stirred so that it is homogeneous, unctuous and supple. With its natural additives, Algo is a little longer to mix.

mix a pot of paint

The monolayers are thick and hardly flow, like Dulux which is a really thick cream. It is possible to take the paint directly into the rectangular pots.

painter truck

But when the container is cylindrical (like the Oxi), better pour the paint into a tank (or bucket).

sand the surfaces to be painted

On an already painted wall, it is imperative to sand the surface or apply a white undercoat.

Tools and cleaning the paint

apply monolayer paint

All paints are used with an acrylic roller or a brush. Some such as Oxi, Renaulac, Tollens or Ripolin can be used with a spray gun by diluting with 10% water.

wash his painter's roll

As the paints are quite thick, the tools should be cleaned quickly with clean water.

Machine tinting paint

Tollens paint is the only one of our test that can be machine tinted. A color chart is available from Tollens dealers and soon on their website. This allows to choose precisely the desired color, or to finish the pot by changing the color.

What painting for what room of the house?

  • For this test, we selected six matt and six satin paints. The matt (Algo, Astral, Dulux, Tollens, Renaulac, Variatech) are recommended for ceilings and dry rooms (rooms, stays, corridors, dining rooms). They have a hiding power slightly higher than satin paints and hide better stains and small imperfections.
  • Satin is recommended for walls and used preferably in wet rooms (kitchens and bathrooms). They are more resistant to stains that remain on the surface (jam, wine, coffee...).
  • All paintings on this test stand (except Variatech) are leachable. On the other hand, it is necessary to wait about twenty-eight days before leaching them. This is the time it takes for the painting to be really dry.

Progress of the paint marks test

  • The application of the paint takes into account its flexibility, its grip on the support and its comfort of use. But also the smell it can release, its speed of drying and its ability to impregnate the roller or the brush with each refill.
  • The covering power makes it possible to check the opacity of the paint on the support. The application was done in horizontal cross passes, ending with a smoothing from top to bottom.
  • The appearance was checked after complete drying of the first layer, and then after finishing. The second pass made it possible to highlight the brightness of the matt whites and the good gloss of the satin paints.

What to remember from the comparative?

At the end of the operations, it appears that the name monolayer is a little overused. Because even with the best paints, it is necessary to spend a second layer for a perfect rendering.

  • On arrival, this is the Dulux Valentine who takes the lead in our series of tests. It is the most homogeneous with excellent hiding power.
  • In second place, the Tollens loses points on its VOC content. But his drying time is the fastest.
  • Third, theAstral lack of comfort to the application.
  • The first distributor painting, the Renaulac is fourth. It is slightly fragrant and not very covering.
  • Fifth, the V33 is the first satin paint. Its gloss is correct and it can be used for wet rooms.
  • In the middle of the ranking, theOxi do not demerit, but its price can be a handicap.
  • In seventh place, the Variatech represents the best value for money.
  • Eighth, theInventiv Protect is not much cheaper than brand paintings a little more effective.
  • Ninth tie, lie theavi rather disappointing by its lack of homogeneity and theAlgo which is a painting based on seaweed.
  • The manufacturer does not sell it as a monolayer, but it has good hiding power from the first layer.
  • The Lyriance and the Ripolin close the march. They are a bit liquid and it takes two to three applications for a flawless finish.

The choice of System D monolayer paint:

Dulux Valentine. This paint is really effective on a single layer, whether the support is dark or clear.
White is bright and perfectly opaque. Its application is pleasant, thanks to its creamy texture. It does not run and when applied to the stand there is no splash.
It easily hides small imperfections and can be used on drywall joints without any worries. Its VOC rejection rate is one of the lowest in the test at 0.9 g / l. Finally, its price-performance ratio is very interesting.

Comparison of twelve monolayer paints

Comparative table of 12 white monolayer paints (in pdf)


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