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ESP Easy Surface Prep

Bonds paint and varnish to all shiny and smooth surfaces

from 32 reviews
  • Forms a film on the surface for paints to adhere to - oil or water based paint including varnishes
  • Quick drying and odourless - ideal for confined areas
  • Paint over with your choice of finish after just 2 hours!
  • Suitable for interior and exterior use
  • Eliminates the need for sanding so saves you lots of time
  • Available in a handy 1 Litre bottle
32.84 including VAT (26.70 excluding VAT)

ESP Easy Surface Prep is a wipe on/wipe off product which primes and prepares any shiny surface for painting. It completely eliminates the need for difficult and time-consuming sanding and leaves the surface ready for paint or varnish to bond to. It’s a safe and effective way to prepare any non-porous surface for painting and is ideal for use on ceramic tiles and melamine units.

It is easy on the hands, colourless, virtually odourless and can be wiped on and off with a lint-free cloth making it incredibly easy to use! Therefore, it is suitable for indoor and external use. ESP may be painted over anytime after 2 hours and up to 7 days later.

Why should I use Easy Surface Prep?

The benefits of ESP are self-evident:

  • Easy to apply
  • Eliminates the need for sanding
  • Does not remove or dull the old finish.
  • Paint over with any oil-based or water-based paint or varnish
  • Paint over anytime after 2 hours or up to 7 days later – so there’s no high-stress time frame!
  • It prepares all smooth or slick surfaces for painting or varnishing. Without a surface preparation such as ESP, the paint would quickly flake and peel.

Easy Surface Prep is suitable for interior and exterior uses including melamine, ceramics, lacquers, baked enamels, varnishes, paint, walls, furniture, radiators, the list goes on. This makes it excellent for painting tired or outdated kitchen cabinets, old bathroom suites, and worn out furniture! The simple fact that it eliminates the need for sanding should be reason enough to consider it – what a time-saver.

Ideal Uses for Easy Surface Prep (ESP)

  • Updating melamine kitchen furniture, great for revamping kitchen cupboards
  • Re-painting a bathroom without having to re-tile!
  • A great way to spruce up tired or outdated furniture without sanding
  • Upgrading cheap furniture, time to add some colour to those flat packs!
  • Suitable for use on baked lacquers and enamels, like lamps and ornaments
  • Even good for use on glass, it dries totally clear

Always read the Easy Surface Prep Product Information before using and follow the instructions carefully.

Surface Preparation

First clean and dry all surfaces to remove oil, grease and other contaminants and remove any loose and flaking old finish. For oily, greasy, waxed or varnished surfaces prepare by scrubbing with a green scourer or 00 steel wool soaked with ESP. Wipe clean after 5-10 minutes then follow the standard application instructions.

Application tools

  • Lint free cloth
  • Brush
  • Roller


Apply ESP generously with a clean, dry, lint free cloth. If ESP crawls or separates, the surface is not clean. Wipe off ESP and re-clean according to above directions before continuing. Leave to stand for 5 minutes then lightly wipe over the surface in one direction with a clean cloth to remove any excess ESP. Allow to dry for 2 hours. When dry, ESP may be left up to 7 days before applying the finish. If this time has passed, re-apply ESP as directed before painting.

Clean Up

Clean all tools and equipment with soap and water.

Things to Remember

  • Shake well before application
  • Do not thin
  • Ensure the new finish is compatible with the old finish
  • Use clean cloths to apply the ESP and change them regularly
  • Do not contaminate new clean ESP with old used ESP
  • Do not use ESP for dipping

1 star reviews for ESP Easy Surface Prep

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  1. Avatar

    Daniel Borley

    Purchased this after reading good reviews. Followed instructions to the letter twice and no good at all. Paint simply smeared around on kitchen cupboards. Waste of £25 not to mentioned the ruined cabinets. Thanks for nothing!

    • Owatrol Team

      Owatrol Team

      Hi Daniel,

      We are sorry your experience using ESP wasn’t successful.
      Having sold thousands of litres of ESP without a problem this is most concerning.
      May we ask that you send a contact number to; sales@owatroluk.com or call us on; 01582 592707 so we can speak to you further about this and get a resolution, please?

      All the best,
      The Owatrol Team

  2. Avatar

    Lyn McFarlane Verified Owner

    Unlike all the other reviewers, I was very disappointed in this product. It was expensive but simply didn’t do what it said it would. I was trying to paint brand new cupboards from Argos so there was no need to wash with sugar soap. I followed the instructions to the letter but to no avail or at least, not much.

    • Owatrol Team

      Owatrol Team

      Hi Lyn,

      Thank you for your comment regarding ESP.

      We are sorry your experience using ESP wasn’t successful.
      Even though your cupboards are new, sadly there could have potentially been some dust or other contaminant on the surface, which could have caused the ESP not to adhere to the surface properly.

      If you have any questions regarding the use of ESP, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

      All the best,
      The Owatrol Team

  3. Avatar


    Tried to establish if I could paint over a varnished door using this product and am left totally confused as the answer was to sand the area first. From the reviews I expected to wipe the area clean and apply the product, then paint after 2hrs.
    Not sure it does what it says on the tin.

    • Owatrol Team

      Owatrol Team

      Hi John,
      We’re sorry to hear that you have been unhappy with your Owatrol experience. Could you give us some indication of who gave the advice to sand the area first as it doesn’t seem to be what we would suggest? You should be able to use ESP directly on a varnished door without the need for sanding.
      Many thanks,
      The Owatrol Team

  4. Avatar

    Linda Young

    After reading the reviews I purchased this product. Followed all the instructions carefully and was really disappointed. Whilst the paint keyed to the surface of the melamine bookcases it marked so easily and came off. Would never use this product again. Id painted cupboards in my en suite with great success a number of years ago so I will have to repaint using a different primer. Like I said was disappointed and a waste of money

    • Owatrol Team

      Owatrol Team

      Hi Linda,
      We are sorry to hear that you have been disappointed with your experience with our product. Could you please give us a little more information about the surfaces and paints used?
      The Owatrol Team

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This coverage indication is only a guide and actual coverage is dependent on surface type, age, porosity etc.
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Coverage: 18m2 per litre
Tools: Brush, Roller, Rag
Suitable for: Exterior & Interior use
Clean up: Soap & water
Drying Time: 2 hours
Re-coating Time: Between 2 hours and 7 days
Suitable Surfaces: All shiny surfaces