Sandtex – made by Crown – is, along with Dulux Weathershield and Johnstone’s Stormshield, one of the “big three” brands of paint for exterior work. I must admit that in the past I’ve usually used Dulux, more out of habit than anything, but my customer chose a Sandtex colour for her garage doors, so I had to give it a try and provide an honest Sandtex Trade Flexigloss X-Tra Review .
I had a quick look online for some reviews, and they were very mixed. However, many of them weren’t clear as to whether they were reviewing Sandtex’s trade or retail product. To be crystal clear, I am reviewing the Sandtex TRADE Flexible Primer-Undercoat and Gloss system.
The first thing to say is that Sandtex X-Tra products are oil-based products, and are designed to be used together as a system. While I am a big user of water-based products indoors, I do still like a drop of the oil for outside work.
These products are specifically formulated for outside use, to withstand the onslaught of the British weather. When dry the products are extremely flexible, making them resistant to cracking and peeling; they also contain fungicides to help protect the finished paint film.
The recommended system (based on a conversation with the manger in my local CDC) is one coat of the Sandtex Flexible Primer-Undercoat, followed by one coat of Sandtex Trade Flexigloss X-Tra, or possibly a second coat of the gloss if needed. Used together as a system Sandtex claim they will give ten years of protection.
The job I tested the products on was a double garage, metal front door plus wooden frame, and wooden side door plus frame. The frames were white and staying white, the doors were dark green and changing to mid-grey. All of it was actually in pretty good condition, so didn’t require anything other than standard prep.
Sandtex Trade Flexible Primer Undercoat In Use
My first impression on opening the tin of Sandtex Trade Flexible Primer, stirring it and pouring it out was that this product felt really thin. I was initially concerned that there would be drips and runs everywhere, and that opacity might be poor.
I couldn’t have been more wrong! Yes, if you’re applying Sandtex Primer with a brush you should watch out for runs, but no more so than any other product. I found on large flat surfaces the best way to apply it was with a foam mini-roller, and then lay off with a brush. That way I managed to get a really even coverage and a decent finish.
And the opacity, both in white and in a colour (I used the off-the-shelf Charcoal Grey primer) were fantastic. The other thing that is noticeably different about Sandtex Trade Flexible Primer compared to other exterior oil-based undercoats is that when it’s dry, it’s quite shiny. I’m used to undercoats being quite matt, but this almost looked like an eggshell or satin.
Not that it matters, because it’s always going to be painted over with a topcoat anyway, but just thought I’d mention it in case any of you were alarmed when first using it.
But overall, despite my initial reservations, I was impressed, this covered up the old dark green in one coat perfectly, and no drips! This is quite an impressive achievment.
Sandtex Trade Flexi-Gloss X-Tra In Use
My initial impressions of Sandtex Trade Flexi-Gloss X-Tra were very similar to with the primer-undercoat; it felt thin, and I was worried about runs and opacity. But again, my fears were misplaced. It went on really nicely over the primer-undercoat, the two work really well together.
Again, I used a foam roller on the larger surfaces and laid it off with a brush.
It was a really sunny day when I did the gloss (sorry – should have said – the recommended recoat time is 16 hours, so I came back the next day to gloss), and I was paranoid about misses/grins because of the sun reflecting off the paint, but it covered absolutely brilliantly.
I was fully expecting to have to put on a second coat of gloss, as per the CDC store manager’s instructions, but when I visited on Day 3 both doors looked perfect, couldn’t find a drip or a grin anywhere, just a nice smooth, solid glossy finish (unfortunately, when I returned for the final “after” photo, it was a really overcast day!). Sandtex Trade Flexi-Gloss X-Tra is a very impressive product!
Sandtex Trade Flexible Primer-Undercoat and Flexigloss X-Tra (and for that matter, Flexible Eggshell which I’ve also heard great things about) are available from Crown Decorating Centres and online here, in white (1L, 2.5L or 5L), black (1L or 2.5L) or tinted (2.5L). I have to say, the prices I got on 1L tins of white in my local CDC last month were amazing on my trade account– undercoat and gloss for the price of just the undercoat of certain other brands.
If you do not have a trade account, then it’s probably cheaper and easier to buy this paint online. OK, that was on my Trade Account as I’m a Professional Decorator, but it’s still very reasonably priced, and once you overcome any initial concerns about its consistency, it’s really good gear. I’ve already stocked up ready for my next exterior project!
One final thing – I’ve returned to the property several times to try to get a better photo of the finished garage door in the sunlight, but every time I visit it’s clouded over, and you don’t get the impact of the glossy sheen of the paint. So, here’s an alternative picture of another garage door I’ve done more recently, using the same system in white – hope this shows the finish a bit better.