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Theme: paints and finishes

Natural and ecological paints have continued to improve their market share of the DIY and trade paint industries. Although there have been few major changes in the paint industry, more manufacturers have entered the arena, which confirms consumer confidence in the products.

As the name suggests, natural paints are chemical-free compositions that have been extracted or produced from minerals or plants found in the natural environment.

Science is playing a big part in the research and development of natural paints.

Any paint manufacturer knows it will not survive long in a world where the consumer has access to a diverse range of textures and finishes, all claiming to last longer than their competitors. It is essential that the paints are easy to apply, durable and, for a natural paint, healthier for the planet.

Knowledge is power Hands-on training need not be limited to the tradesman. Specifiers, too, can benefit from trying products they may hope to use on future contracts. It is an opportunity to meet users and share experiences and it's very useful to have actually tried products in order to gain knowledge of their working characteristics. Practical and theoretical training courses in natural paints, limes and mortars are held regularly across the UK. Courses vary from a few hours to a few days.

Courses are run by:

l Ty Mawr Lime Tel: 01874 658249 Email: tymawr@lime. org. uk l Mike Wye, Mike Wye & Associates Tel: 01409 281644 Web: www. mikewye. co. uk l The Old House Store Tel: 0118 969 7711 Web: www. oldhousestore. co. uk l Construction Resources Tel: 020 7450 2211 Web: www. constructionresources. com l Natural Building Technologies Tel: 01844 338338 Web: http: //naturalbuildingproductscouk.ntitemp. com

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