Pliolite is a synthetic polymer oil used as the oil in some paints, generally masonry. There are benefits of using oil-based over water-based when coating masonry, including durability, a longer lifespan and being able to apply the paint in adverse weather conditions. Some decorators will only use pliolite masonry paint when working during the colder months.
In this blog, I’m going to take you through the main trade pliolite products and give my honest opinion of each one as a decorator. Remember, it is only my opinion, but hopefully the text below will help you choose the best pliolite masonry paint for your project.
Johnstone’s Stormshiled Pliolite Finish
This is a paint I use on a regular basis because it sprays particularly easily. Available online, you should expect to pay around £70 for 5L in a tinted colour. It’s available in any Johnstone’s colour, which is another bonus.
This paint does everything it needs to do. The finish is fantastic, opacity is good, ease of use is as good as any other pliolite product. However, I’m struggling to review it really. Stormshield pliolite masonry paint doesn’t stand out as the best product on the list, but I can’t really pick many faults with it either. It does what it needs to do, and it looks good, so unless I need something special, I will carry on using it. One thing I will say is the colour seems to fade after a few years, whereas some of the comparable products last longer. 7/10 for me. Click here to see online prices.
Leyland TruGuard Pliolite Masonry Paint
Usually sold side-by-side with Johnstone’s Stormshield masonry paint, Leyland offer a budget pliolite alternative. Still trade quality, still a good finish, but a little bit cheaper. The opacity isn’t quite as good, so you tend not to dilute this paint as much before use. This effects the overall finish slightly, as pliolite is sticky at the best of times.
6/10 – Better than any retail alternative
Armstead Pliolite Masonry Paint
I REALLY don’t like Armstead pliolite masonry paint. Opacity isn’t very good and it doesn’t block stains. This is normally sold as a cheaper Dulux Trade alternative; however you can’t have Dulux colours mixed into Armstead and Dulux have discontinued their “all Seasons”, which was their premium pliolite paint.
4 / 10 – Avoid this at all costs
Sandtex 365 stands out as one of the best pliolite masonry paints on the market. Opacity and finish are second to none. This is a definite step up from Johnstone’s, although it is slightly more expensive. You can tell you’re using something special as you apply the paint. Then it dries dead flat with very few visable brush marks. The other thing with Sandtex 366 is it comes with “20 years protection”, as opposed to the 15 years offered by most of the others.
I used to use Sandtex masonry paint quite often and I have a soft spot for Crown products anyway. The issue I have with this is it only mixes into a handful of colours. You can’t have Crown colours mixed into Sandtex 365 and you can only have certain Sandtex colours. The other issue is Crown aren’t clear about which colours you can have mixed into pliolite. So, as a decorator I give my client a Sandtex colour chart. My client chooses a colour, I go to have it mixed at my local CDC, only to be told I can’t. It causes issues!! You can overcome this by choosing your colours online, but for me, I need the visual aid of colour charts. This is the opposite of Johnstone’s, who make choosing a colour very easy.
8 / 10 from me. Sandtex 365 would be my joint favourite if I could get it mixed into the colours I want and need. Click here to see latest prices.
Wethertex PP77 All Weather Pliolite Masonry Paint
This probably is the best pliolite masonry paint on the market, out of the ones I’ve tried anyway. Available online by clicking here, you should expect to pay roughly £55 for 5L in tinted colour. This also comes with “20 years protection”.
The opacity of Wethertex PP77 is exceptional! You can dilute this paint quite heavily and still achieve a solid finish with little effort. The overall finish is awesome and it’s breathable, meaning it is perfect for garden walls or sandstone windowsills!! You can tell when you’re using this paint that it’s something special. Drying time is a little longer than the other paints on this blog, but that helps when keeping a wet edge and achieving a good finish. 9 / 10 – an almost perfect score!
Choosing the best pliolite-based masonry paint can depend on a few things. If your surface needs to be breathable because you suspect the substrate to contain moisture, then you need to go with the Wethertex PP77.
If you need something you can pick up “off the shelf” at a Trade Counter close to your location, then you might be better looking at the Johnstone’s Stormshield, or Sandtex 365.
Best Tools to Apply Pliolite-Based Masonry Paint
Using pliolite based masonry paint isn’t like applying matt emulsion. It’s a very sticky paint product and you’ll really struggle unless you use the correct tools for the job. To that end, I thought I’d put forward my recommendations.
A relatively stiff paintbrush will make life easier. You don’t want to spend a lot of money on brushes either, because they’re likely to get wrecked. My suggestion is Hamilton for the Trade. They’re reasonably priced and will do everything you need them to. Available online here.
As for paint rollers, there are two you should consider, depending on what you’re paining. If your wall has a heavy texture, then the Axus Captain Chunk is by far the best option for pliolite masonry paint. It is expensive, but believe me when I tell you, it really will be a lifesaver. Available online here.
If your wall isn’t too textured, then Hamilton Perfection Long Pile roller will be fine. You’ll find distribution bang on. Available online by clicking here.
Best Pliolite-Based Masonry Paint – by Mike Gregory