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SMART® Zero-VOC Primer/Sealer FAQs



What are VOCs, and should I be concerned?

The term "VOC" stands for Volatile Organic Compounds. These are the dangerous chemicals that evaporate while most paints, caulks, spackling, and other liquids dry. The impact of VOCs ranges from creating irritating odors to activating serious breathing problems for people with allergies, asthma, and lung, throat or sinus conditions. SMART brand is the first collection of wall prep & repair products to eliminate VOCs, as well as glycols and other potentially unhealthy chemical ingredients.

What stains does SMART Stain-Hide™ primer/sealer block?

SMART Stain-Hide primer/sealer stops most common food stains, grease, pen and ink, water stains, crayon, heel marks and shoe polish, paint marks from toys and vacuum cleaners, and even the toughest stains like mustard, lipstick, red wine, blood, tea and spaghetti sauce. Waterbased stains blend into the primer and get locked in, so they won’t bleed through to the topcoat. Oil based stains are stopped immediately.

Why is SMART better for indoor spaces?

SMART products are ideal for indoor spaces, where air quality is most critical. Indoors, air flow is minimal, and chemical odors can compound, so our focus with SMART is on indoor air quality, fast dry, lasting performance where close daily contact is involved, and low odor—where innovative SMART performance makes it the finest collection of wall prep products for painting and wallpapering ever.

Will SMART work outdoors?

Yes. While SMART products are ideal for indoor spaces, where air quality is most critical. But to get the outstanding performance of SMART caulk & sealant, we built SMART with high performance exterior-grade acrylics for maximum weathering, mildew resistance and water resistance. That’s a performance bonus for challenging indoor areas like bathrooms and kitchens where moisture and steam can challenge the best products.

Can you tint SMART Stain-Hide™ primer/sealer?

SMART Stain-Hide primer/sealer can be tinted with up to 2 oz of universal colorant to match existing wall colors or the finish coat color. More than 2 oz of colorant will not mix properly into the container due to available headspace in the container.

What are the causes of failure of coatings?

The majority of many types of failure are caused by inadequate, poor preparation of substrate. Applying coating to surfaces that are not free of contamination, dust, oil and any other foreign material is certain to cause problems. This is more true for exterior coatings where service conditions are more severe. While this seems obvious, we see it often.

What are causes of failure in exterior coatings?

Causes of failure besides substrate preparation are mold and algae growth, exposure to ultra violet and infra red light, wind and dust abrasion and "hot-cold" cycles. If a roof is baking in the sun and suddenly it rains, you have gone from a possible 140 degree surface to a seventy five degree surface in a very short time. A coating must stand this expansion, contraction cycle hundreds of times.

What can I do to enhance and prolong the life of my exterior coating?

Wash and clean the surface with a mild bleach solution at least every two years. This will remove abrasive dust, kill mold and algae and renew the reflective qualities of the coating, thus combating all three of the worst causes of degradation. A maintenance program like this can prolong the life of the coating and continue to perform its functions of reflectance, protector of the substrate and beautify the structure.



The information on this site is provided as a free service. It is based on common conditions and may not apply to your specific situation. Please contact a Gardner representative with specific questions or comments.


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