I recently tried a Bedec product that was new to me, although it has been on the market for a while. It’s described as an “elastomeric matt emulsion paint formulated to coat interior ceilings and walls. Interior-Flex is a unique product designed to bridge hairline cracks and flex with the substrate where movement causes cracking with conventional matt emulsion”.
If, like me, you’ve never heard of “elastomeric” before, it means “a substance exhibiting elastic or rubber-like properties”. Bedec Interior-Flex is a water-based emulsion for interior use, and is available from many independent paint stockists, or online by clicking here.
My Bedec Interior-Flex Review
Although I was aware of Bedec, having used their Advanced Gloss many times, I’d never come across Interior-Flex until about six weeks ago. A customer had had their living room ceiling skimmed by a plasterer, but unfortunately by the time I arrived to paint it, two or three very fine cracks had appeared on the ceiling.
As the ceiling was new plaster, the first coat I applied was a “mist coat”; a coat of ordinary white emulsion thinned down with water so that it soaks into the new plaster. Once this was thoroughly dry, it was time to try Interior-Flex for the first time.
Bedec say that it can be applied by brush, roller or spray, but I opted for a traditional brush and roller approach. The first thing Bedec say you should do is to brush some Interior-Flex into the cracks, and leave it to dry, which kind of makes sense – the paint is almost acting like a filler.
They were so fine that I didn’t notice them until I started painting the ceiling. I didn’t want to rake them out and fill them because they were really fine lines, and the ceiling had been so well plastered that it seemed a shame to start messing about with its super-smooth surface, so I thought I’d give Bedec Interior-Flex a try.
Fortunately, because the ceiling was new plaster and therefore very absorbent, this initial “filling” phase dried really quickly.
My first impression when pouring the Interior-Flex out was that it was quite thick and “gloopy”. I checked on the tin, but there are no instructions relating to thinning the paint with water, either for spraying, for use as a mist coat, or just for general use.
So, despite my slight concerns that it might be a bit thick and would not spread easily/evenly, I applied the Bedec Interior-Flex “neat” from the tin… and it went on like a dream! It’s really easy to use, rolls and brushes really nicely, and goes a long way. This was actually where I made my first mistake – I probably spread my first coat a bit too thin, which resulted in quite a patchy finish once it had dried.
In fairness, it does say on the tin that it covers at a rate of about 10m² per litre, whereas I would expect a normal vinyl matt emulsion to be more like 14, so it’s my own fault for not reading the tin properly! Anyway, I allowed the first coat to dry – Bedec say it will be touch dry in 2 hours, and recoatable after 4 – and then applied a second. On the second coat I made a conscious effort to not spread the paint out too thinly, and it looked much better.
The finish was good, it’s definitely a matt finish – maybe not a “flat matt”, but definitely without the slight sheen that you can get with some of the harder-wearing modern matt emulsions. So, it looks great, but the question still remains: as a professional decorator, I can get a decent finish with any number of matt emulsions that are cheaper than Interior-Flex, so why would I want to pay the extra for it?
One Month Later
Fortunately, I had another job booked in at the same property a month later, so I was able to take another look at the ceiling to see if the cracks had reappeared. And I’m really pleased to say that they hadn’t! Not a sign of them. That’s not to say that they won’t in time, but it’s an encouraging leap over the first hurdle. This gives me faith Bedec Interior-Flex does everything it claims. Click here for more information on the product.
Final Thoughts on the Bedec Interior-Flex
Speaking to Bedec, they sum Interior-Flex up as an “elastomeric matt emulsion to cover hairline cracks on walls and ceilings and to prevent them from coming back due to the flexibility of the paint”. And based on my first time using it, it did exactly that, and gave a decent finish into the bargain.
So, it has an added benefit above and beyond regular vinyl matt, and therefore to some extent justifies costing extra. I guess my feeling after using it is that I was pleasantly surprised and am certainly more inclined to try some other Bedec products now as a result, but I’m not sure how much I’ll actually use Interior-Flex – it seems to work ok, but when does a crack stop being a hairline crack and become something bigger that needs dealing with “properly”? Am I brave enough to risk it, or do I stick to my normal methods? But if you’re sure your cracks are of the “hairline” variety, this product is worth a try if it saves you time filling etc.
Best Tools to Apply Bedec Interior-Flex
I hope my Bedec Interior-Flex review has been useful so far. I just wanted to finish off by suggesting what I think is the best brush and roller to use on the job.
As you need to apply thick coats of this product, so I’d suggest using a long-pile roller like the Purdy Colossus. You’ll find it holds and dispenses large amounts of paint, which is perfect on this occasion. Just remember to de-fluff before you start. Available online by clicking here.
Any good quality paintbrush is fine for Bedec Interior-Flex, so it comes down to personal choice. I like the ProDec Ice Fusion, which you can by online by clicking here.
Bedec Interior-Flex Review for the Decorators Forum UK
Robin Gofton – Wokingham Decorating Services
Interesting review as I found the opposite, insanely thick and awful to brush and roll. Used on new plaster ceiling and walls which had minor hairline cracks.
A pity as I do like Bedec products like MSP, Barn Paint and Aqua-Advanced.
This was about 10 years ago so maybe Bedec have improved it.
can it be tinted? if not can you paint over it with another emulsion?