B&Q requested that I email them to follow up the discussion off twitter. So here’s what I sent:
Valspar Wood Paint Complaint
Fri 3/13/2015 7:21 AM;;

Hello, ​


Further to our conversation on twitter yesterday, I am writing with regard to a 1L can of Premium Valspar Wood Paint that I purchased from your Sydenham branch on 22/02/15.

I have recently installed all new MDF wood paneling in my kitchen, and I intended to paint it with the Valspar paint. I prepared the surface by giving it a light sand, priming it with an MDF-specialist oil-based primer, then applying two coats of the Valspar paint – following all manufacturer’s instructions including those regarding drying times and time to recoat.

However, it is now two weeks after I applied the final coat of the Valspar paint and it has failed to dry fast. I have recorded a video of what happens when a fingernail is run down the boards, which I have attached to this email.


On the Valspar paint can, it claims that above and beyond the usual expectations that a paint will dry, this particular paint will deliver “long lasting beauty and durability” and that it has a “super scrub formula [that will provide] maximum durability”.

As you can see from the video evidence here presented, both those statements are shown to be false in this instance. The fact that the paint has failed to dry properly when used in accordance with all supplied usage instructions means that the product is ‘not fit for purpose’ under the Sale of Goods Act 1979.


I initially raised this issue with the Valspar UK customer services team (who I am also cc’ing here). I attach my email correspondence with them to this email, and in it you can see that they suggest the issue is due to the special formulation of their paint, which makes it unsuitable for use with an oil based primer.

However, you can also see that they confirm in writing that they do not provide this information anywhere on the pot or on their website, and nor was this conveyed orally during the purchase in store.

You can also see in this correspondence that they confirm that their product is peculiar in this respect, and that some similar products do work with oil based primers.

Therefore, a reasonable person using the product in accordance with all the supplied usage information would not be expected to know that this product has the unique quality of being incompatible with an oil based primer, which has caused the defect in this case.

As such, this is a grave error of omission and fails to satisfy the requirements for the supply of ‘accurate information’ with the product as per the terms of the Sale of Goods Act 1979.


This is a deeply unsatisfactory situation, which has left a brand new kitchen in a state of ruin. I have sought legal advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau and from my own Solicitor and prepared this letter according to their instructions.

As I’m sure you’re aware, as the vendor of the product, it is B&Qs responsibility to make sure that the product is in accordance with UK legislation, most pertinently in this case the Sale of Goods Act (1979). I have been advised that in this instance, the vendor has a responsibility not only to refund/replace the defective items but also to remedy the material damages done as a result of their defective product.

As such, I seek from B&Q the following remedies:

– Supply of a replacement 1L pot of Valspar Premium Wood and Metal Paint

– Supply of a 1L pot of Valspar Interior Primer (this is the remedy that Valspar recommend in my email correspondence with them)

– Supply of a painter/decorator for 1 day to strip the existing defective paintwork from the MDF boards (a less than straightforward task because the panels are textured and tongue and grooved, so the paint has settled in numerous crevices), prepare the surface anew, and reapply the replacement paint.

I am happy for you to arrange for your own contractor to complete these works, or I can use my own. I have been quoted £150 + VAT by my painter decorator for the cost of rectifying this situation.

I trust that you will resolve this matter quickly and efficiently,