Does antimicrobial paint do what it says on the tin?

I’m a microbiologist by day and DIY queen by night so when I came across wood oil for kitchen work surfaces from Ronseal, claiming it was antibacterial, my curiosity was awakened. I went on to read that it would ‘kill E Coli and MRSA’ and ‘stops E Coli and MRSA growth’. By this point my sceptical nature had been triggered. Whilst the antimicrobial properties of silver contained in the product is well recognised, the latter claims seemed to go a step too far.


When I asked for evidence I was eagerly anticipating what they might produce, but when I did get a response it said: ‘Naturally we base the claims we make for this product on sound scientific evidence’. Unfortunately we can’t see it. Why? ‘In the interests of protecting the confidentiality of our formulation’. That’s disappointing.

While Ronseal’s strap line is ‘Does exactly what it says on the tin’, when it comes to the evidence, you’ll have to forgive me for not taking their word for it.


This ask for evidence story was written by Rebecca Gladstone, a member of our Voice of Young Science Network. 

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