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From the Resene SmartTouch info hub

Resene SmartTouch conductive coating is applied like any other waterborne coating. It is used as a basecoat which will be covered with Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen or Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterborne enamel for a durable good looking finish.

Follow the design rules for coating the area that will be touched (Resene SmartTouch Active Area). This can be on almost any interior building surface and cover an area up to two square metres. Where long stripes are included, these should be over 400mm wide.

Feather out edges during application so that the Resene SmartTouch Active Area edges do not show through once topcoats are applied when an invisible installation is required.

The Resene SmartTouch Active Area is connected to a Resene SmartTouch controller through a Smartlink cable. This cable has a small metallised pad at one end that is adhered to the Resene SmartTouch Active Area by a combination of Resene SmartTouch conductive coating and brass pins. The Smartlink connection can be in a variety of locations depending on the installation requirements - behind switchplates, behind decorative mouldings/architraves, beneath plaster and in shallow trenches cut into the substrate. Watch the video showing these installations for more details; see the Resources section.

When installed behind an existing switchplate, use an Application Template to ensure the Resene SmartTouch coating is applied only in the correct location. The supplied templates provide positioning points for PDL 600 series and Iconic switches. See the Resources section for guide videos for using the templates.

For new installations, check with the electrician which switch will be installed. Read the instructions for use with other switches. To help the electrical installation, attach the Smartlink cable when applying the final coat of Resene SmartTouch conductive coating.

Allow at least 6mm clearance between Resene SmartTouch conductive coating and metals forming part of an electrical installation, including screws and switchplates with metal backing. For best results do not apply Resene SmartTouch conductive coating directly beneath the location of electrical fixings e.g. lights, heat pumps.

Avoid painting over any metals or metal joinery attached to earth. Poor operation occurs when painting over substrates attached to earthed metal such as steel framing. The system will not operate when Resene SmartTouch conductive coating is earthed. See the Design section for more information.

To ensure the coating has been applied correctly, Resene advise testing the dry coating with a handheld multimeter. See the Resene SmartTouch Electrical Resistance Specification table for guidance on testing.

› Read the Resene SmartTouch painting instructions for full details and watch the Painting SmartTouch conductive coating video.

› View the Resene SmartTouch label.

Key points to check and remember before you paint

  • Keep areas less than two square metres and stripes at least 400mm wide.

  • Use Resene roller sleeve #1 (2 coats) or Resene roller sleeve #4 (3 coats).

  • Feather out edges to make the installation invisible when overcoated or accentuate to identify the Resene SmartTouch Active Area.

  • Don't paint over earthed metals - the system may not function.

    • Nails and screws into timber framing may be painted over.
    • Wall linings over steel framing, steel-reinforced concrete and structural steel are not suitable for Resene SmartTouch in most circumstances.
    • Take care to avoid painting onto metal mounting frames and brackets used to hang wall linings as these are commonly earthed. Resene SmartTouch will not work if earthed.
  • Make sure that Resene SmartTouch conductive coating is not applied in areas directly where electrical equipment is to be installed e.g. beneath lights, heat pumps etc. Allow at least a 6mm gap when applied by switchplates between the coating and metal parts such as screws and backing plates. Use the supplied Resene SmartTouch templates to ensure this clearance.

  • Consult the electrical installer to make sure the Resene SmartTouch Active Area and Smartlink locations will be in appropriate locations for wiring.

How to paint

  1. Prepare and prime (new surfaces) or spot prime (existing painted surfaces).

  2. Apply the first coat of Resene SmartTouch conductive coating by brush, speed brush or synthetic fibre roller (Resene No.1 – two coats; Resene No. 4 – three coats) to the areas where touch activation is required. Ensure edges of stripes are feathered to reduce texture in subsequent coats. Allow to dry.

  3. Connect SmartTouch Smartlink to each active area, following the instructions.
    The Resene SmartTouch Smartlink may be installed at a later stage by an electrician – they will need a small quantity of Resene SmartTouch conductive coating for this so you will need to leave them a small volume if you wish the electrician to connect the Smartlink. Configuration and tuning of the controller can be carried out with a wet connection providing the larger Active Area is dry.

  4. Apply second coat (and a third coat if using No. 4 sleeve) of Resene SmartTouch conductive coating as in step 2. Allow to dry for at least 12 hours.

  5. Test electrical resistance of dried coating and compare to the resistance specification table.

  6. Overcoat with your chosen topcoats – Resene recommends two coats of SpaceCote Low Sheen (this may be upgraded further with a final coat of Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen Clear), or Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss for a higher sheen finish.

DO NOT CONNECT Resene SmartTouch into the switchplate unless you are a registered electrician.

Measuring electrical resistance of Resene SmartTouch conductive coating

With a multimeter set to resistance mode:

  • Place probes 500 mm apart on the dried Resene SmartTouch conductive coating surface.

  • If using pointed probes place the angled edge firmly against the coating, not the sharp point.

  • Measure resistance in overlapping sections across the whole Active Area.

  • Ensure the SmartTouch Smartlink connector is a terminal in at least one measurement.

  • Compare the measured resistance with the Resistance Specification table. For proper operation, electrical resistance should be less than or equal to the specification which is based on the width of the section being measured.

  • Additional layers of Resene SmartTouch conductive coating can be applied to achieve specification if required.

  • Extra dry time may be needed under some environmental conditions to achieve resistance specification. On small areas, gentle heating (≤80°C – check substrate suitability) may be used to reduce electrical resistance.

Resene SmartTouch conductive coating Electrical Resistance Specification

Minimum Resene SmartTouch
conductive coating width
Maximum Point-to-Point
Resistance (500 mm)
Suitable distance from
SmartTouch Smartlink
100mm 2.5 kΩ <1 m
400mm 1.8 kΩ >1 m

Turn your wall into a light switch with Resene SmartTouch. Resene SmartTouch conductive coating is designed to turn an area up to two square metres into an invisible switch using technology adapted from touch screens...

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