ESP Easy Surface Prep

Bonds paint and varnish to all shiny and smooth surfaces

from 17 reviews
ESP packaging
  • Forms a film on the surface for oil or water-based paints, including varnishes, to adhere to
  • Quick-drying and virtually odorless - 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 Liter (0.3 US Gallon) bottle

In stock


Easy Surface Prep (ESP) is a wipe on/wipe off product which primes and prepares any shiny surface for painting. Therefore, it completely eliminates the need for difficult and time-consuming sanding and leaves the surface ready for paint or varnish to bond to. It is 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 colorless, virtually odorless and can be wiped on and off with a lint-free cloth making it incredibly easy to use!

Why should I use Easy Surface Prep?

  • Easy to apply
  • Eliminates the need for sanding
  • Does not remove or dull the old finish.
  • Can be painted over with any oil-based or water-based paint or varnish (anytime after 2 hours or up to 7 days later so there’s no high-stress time frame!)
  • Prepares all smooth or slick surfaces for painting or varnishing

Without a surface preparation such as ESP, paint would quickly flake or peel as it would not bond well to the surface.

Easy Surface Prep is suitable for interior and exterior uses including; melamine, ceramics, lacquers, baked enamels, varnishes, paint, walls, furniture, radiators…the list can go on. This makes it excellent for painting overtired or outdated kitchen cabinets old bathroom suites and worn-out furniture!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  • A great way to spruce up tired or outdated furniture without sanding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 color 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

Application tools

  • Lint-free cloth
  • Brush
  • Roller

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.


  • First shake the container well then 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

ESP application demonstration

17 reviews for ESP Easy Surface Prep

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  1. Avatar

    Home-schooling mom

    Buy now, thank me later. This stuff is magic. Weird, mild smell. Makes paint stick! Never be without it.

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    Worked exactly as advertised. Thinner than I expected so catch the drips. Used to makeover cupboard doors in kitchen. I cleaned doors with sugar soap and applied as directed. Great finish after 2 coats of paint. Very pleased

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    Mrs J Powell

    This is fantastic! I used it on my kitchen cupboard doors before painting. A little goes a long way and it saved me so much time. Paint still immaculate after over a year with two kids and a dog. Will be using before painting all wood in house.

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    Fantastic stuff. Used it on plastic plant pots. Paint still on them.

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    A happy customer

    Fantastic product and really worked well without the need for sanding wooden rocking chair before adding paint.

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    I used this product to paint over vinyl plastic wrapped wood trim (an experimental building product from the 1970s).. Because I’m compulsive, I sanded anyway then used Easy Surface Prep, then used an oil based primer (Kilz). The paint has stuck to these surfaces for 25 years . every now and then there’s a little chip where the vinyl will show through, but it only takes a little touch-up to cover it. I have also used it on kitchen appliances that needed repainting. It worked great.

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    John Dennis, Jr

    Excellent product; easy to use and works every time just as advertised. The supplier was very helpful with my questions.

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    very easy to use and seems to have done the job on kitchen cabinets.

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    S M Marsh

    Worked well, much easier than using sandpaper!

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    Ian Sales-Mossop

    Best thing since sliced bread! Cuts down prep time and haven’t found a surface that can’t be painted when using ESP yet

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    Steve Scott

    Great job – allowed us to paint and revice old UPVC windows inside

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    I actually painted my super-lacquered, ugly cabinets!! My landlord put in a bunch of junky, mis-matched cabinets and covered them in horrid, thick, orangey lacquer. I was dreading sanding all of them, but this stuff made everything seemless!

    I washed this stuff on generously with an old washcloth, being careful to check about 15 minutes after for runs or drips. Once that dried, I waited about 3 hours and then started painting. The first coat of paint doesn’t go on like it would on unfinished wood, but by the second coat, I was done. I left more than normal dry time between coats, just to be sure it had time to cure. Just seriously impressed with this stuff. For cabinet doors with more details and crevices, I put on two coats of ESP before the first coat of paint. They even note on the label or somewhere, maybe I imagined it, I dunno, that the paint will be soft for up to 30 days, meaning be gentle and don’t let things rub against the surfaces. But even with an ornery cat who claws the darn cabinets all the time, I’m not seeing any scratches or blemishes!

    I would purchase this stuff every time! I’ll never sand again!

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    Anna W Morris

    Can’t beat how easy it is to use. Does what it says it will. Will buy again when the need arises.

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    Jill W

    I hate to sand prior to painting and this worked like a dream. Was able to paint my kitchen cabinets in two days and have them back up looking wonderful!! I recommend to anyone and bought extra for future projects.

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    M Johnson

    I love, love, love this product. I have used it on cabinets, glass and metal works like a charm. I have used it for years and all of my projects still look good. No chipping or flaking.

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    Shirley G

    I saw this on Pinterest and decided to give it a try. Well, it worked beautifully! The nightstand had been polyurethaned to death and I applied this, waited the recommended time and then just painted over it and it worked! The acrylic paint stuck. Since then, I’ve cleaned it and the paint is still there and there isn’t any problems. This stuff works!!!!

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    Brenda Wilkins

    Love the ability to paint without first spending hours sanding! Painted these same cabinets several years ago without the aid of ESP and the job took three times as long.

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This coverage indication is only a guide and actual coverage is dependent on surface type, age, porosity etc.
Coverage: 18m2 (194 ft²) per liter
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