Help & Advice

Advice on choosing the right paint

Detailed advice on how to choose the right paint for your project. Acrylic, Cellulose, Synthetic or Enamel paint.

What is the difference between 1K and 2K Aerosol Spray Paint?

When choosing the right Spray Paint for your project, not only it is important to know the difference between 1K and 2K aerosol cans but also to understand the use of the hardeners which are required to cure 2K paint.

A 1 pack paint does not require an activator to cure so it usually requires less drying time, however the final coating is not as hard wearing and resilient as a 2 pack paint which does require an activator (hardener) to cure but in general takes a longer period of time to dry. However, it does provide the most resilient final coating.

It is important to note that most traditional 2K hardeners are Isocyanic based and are sold widely as 2 pack paints. This type of hardener used in the traditional 2k or 2 pack paints includes compounds which are harmful to both humans and animals, and are known to cause cancer and other serious respiratory illnesses. This means that these paints should only be used under the strictest health and safety conditions, the label should always state “for professional use only” and bare the correct symbol of skull and crossbone. Its use should always be after the proper training and with the correct equipment as you can cause harm to yourself and others around you.

Isocyanate Hardener vs Non-Isocyanate Hardener

The traditional 2K or 2Pack Aerosols that come with the Isocyanate Hardener use a ring pull/button (or similar), which is usually attached to the lid and that is used as a tool on the base of the can to pull and twist the release of the hardener. Some providers use slightly different variants, but the self-contained hardener is released in the same way.

From the release of the Isocyanate Hardener, the paint has a shelf life of up to 4-8 hours of use, which can be a major hassle if you have to use multiple cans for the job over a few days. This can also affect the quality of your finish if the hardener is not fully released or if the mechanics of the canister fail.

Before release, the Isocyanate Hardener inside the can has a maximum shelf life of 12 months, beyond that point the compound begins to change and decrease. So, unless you can be assured of the date the can was manufactured (and not sat on a shelf for months), then you run the risk of purchasing a “new” product with an out-of-date hardener inside which, of course, is a recipe for disaster.

As the importance of health, environmental and cost issues have become a real concern for many industry professionals, coating companies and now homeowners, we ensure that all our 2K paints use a Non-Isocyanate Activator or hardener.

2K Aerosols with Non-Isocyanate Hardener also known as 2K ADC (Air Dry Converter), use a non-isocyanate based hardener to convert conventional 2k force dry paint and materials into air dry materials without losing any of the full benefits of this most versatile paint. The 2K ADC paint is for customers who require 2K or 2 pack paint and materials without the health concerns associated with Isocyanates.

In addition, with the Air Dry Converter the spray paint benefits from improved drying times and provides a usage time of at least 12 months, which becomes much more economical at volume levels.

So in summary, you have a choice when buying 2K paint in Aerosols: A product with a slightly faster drying time, but with major health risks and a maximum of 8 hours usage time or, a product with a slightly slower drying time, with no health concerns, and which is much more economical as each can has a usage time of at least 12 months, if cleaned and stored correctly.

It is important to note for anyone carrying out spray painting, whether professional or not, the importance of using the right equipment such as protective gloves, masks and breathing apparatus, and to ensure that health and safety protocols are being followed to provide a positive spraying experience.

The 2K can is a superior product that is recommended by professionals when application is intended for an exterior surface. 2K provides durable protection against environmental exposure with a harder wearing, smoother finish, and an improved resistance to oil, petrol, scuffs & scratches.


We can supply both types of 2K cans, however we always opt to provide the safer Non-Isocyanate version unless specifically asked not to.

We do not sell the traditional cans through the website as this is open to public and trade so, if you require the traditional 2k cans please contact us directly at

Choosing the right paint types

When looking to purchase the right paint type, it is important to understand the many variances that perform different functions within paint finishing (which can become confusing) so, below is some information to help you understand the right paint for your project. If you prefer to call someone regarding this, then please contact our customer service team on 0800 530 0375 or

The two main questions we always ask clients when purchasing spray paints is to find out: what surface they are spraying onto and what type of finish is required. It is also important to factor in whether the surface they are spray painting is subject to weather, UV and other conditions and thus needs to be hard wearing or repellent in some way.

When thinking of paint finishes most people only think of the gloss level, i.e. satin, matt etc, and although this is generally known as a type of paint finish, this is not actually a finish – it is a sheen. Paint finish in its truest sense relates to the final coating to finish the job and thus relates more to resilience, such as weather or oil resistance (or durability), rather than just the sheen. Some coatings will be lacquered finished and others will need the paint to be durable at high temperatures.

1K vs 2K

First let us look at 1K and 2K, as this creates a lot of confusion when choosing Spray Paint.

Sometimes referred to as 1 pack and 2 pack Spray Paint, the main difference between a 1K and 2K is in how the paint cures and therefore to do with the resilience of the final coating.

A 1 pack paint does not require an activator to cure and so it is normally a faster drying paint, however the final coating is not as hard wearing and resilient as a 2 pack paint, which requires an activator (hardener) to cure and is in general a slower drying paint but provides the most resilient final coating.

Both our 1K QAD and 2K ADC come with faster drying times. Our 1K QAD Enamel paint comes with a quick air dry system to speed up drying times and our 2K paint is a full 2K paint mixed with a Non-Isocyanate Air Dry Convertor rather that the standard harmful Isocyanate based hardeners. It provides a safer application, increases the shelf life of the paint and provides more protection to people, animals and the environment.

This is a very important point, as there is a major health risk issue with the 2 pack paints that include the traditional Isocyanate based hardener if not used under strict health and safety conditions. So before buying 2K pack Spray Paint Aerosols please read up on Isocyanate Hardeners and the difference between 1K and 2K aerosol canisters, which we have included as part of our Q&A section.

Different Paint Types

2K Acrylic ADC (air dry converted): A full 2K paint and one of the most versatile and durable paints available. Acrylic is hard wearing, as well as being weather, petrol and oil resistant when fully cured and can be applied over most pre-painted surfaces without need for a sealer. Our version uses a safer Non-Isocyanate Activator (hardener) to cure material. Suitable for most substrate surfaces outdoors as well as inside, including metal, wood and some plastics.

1K QAD Enamel: An industrial 1 pack quick air-dry paint for use in situations where quick drying and tough coatings are needed. Suitable for most surfaces indoors including metal, wood and some plastics.

1K Polyurethane Synthetic: An industrial coating used in virtually all industrial markets to provide a smooth durable finish, which has superior resistance to corrosion, abrasion and chemical exposure. Suitable for most surfaces indoors including metal, wood and some plastics.

1K Cellulose: A historic paint used on cars prior to 1978, it has excellent drying times, ease of use and is simple to polish to a high gloss after application. Can be used for many substrates such as wood, metal and some plastics.

What is the typical coverage of a 400ml Spray Paint Aerosol?

Although coverage may vary from sprayer to sprayer, the typical coverage is around 2 meters squared per 400ml aerosol spray paint.

As you will require a minimum of 2x applied coats, typical coverage is 1 meter squared per aerosol canister.

Recommended film thickness is 30-40 microns per coat, however this will vary on actual use and specification. Great care should be taken to achieve DFT (Dry Film Thickness) stated in the agreed specification and avoid areas of excessively low or high thickness.

Can you match Farrow and Ball Colours?

Yes! We can match F&B colours in all paint types and gloss levels.

Can you match Pantone Colours?

Yes! We can match Pantone colours in all paint types and gloss levels.

Can you match Dulux Colours?

Yes! We can match Dulux colours in all paint types and gloss levels.

Can you match Crown colours?

Yes! We can match Crown colours in all paint types and gloss levels.

What surfaces are Spray Paints used for?

Spray Paints can be applied to any surface as long as it has been prepared and primed correctly.

Our 4x main paint types cover all surfaces: metal, wood, plastic, fibre, cement, glass etc. Please make sure you know which primer is correct for the surface you’ll be spraying on, and understand how to prepare for spray paint.

What are the advantages of Spray Paint?

Spray painting is a far quicker job to carry out in comparison to brush painting. You can also reach areas you cannot with a brush, the coverage is better, the finish is better and there are no brush marks or bubbles or cracks remaining on completion.

Surfaces that have been primed and prepared correctly prior to spray painting will last longer and are more durable.

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