Why are there so many different kinds of paint?
Paint is an affordable way to completely transform a room. The hardest part is not always selecting the color. Do you know how many shades of beige exist? Me neither.
An important part of this decision process is choosing the correct paint for the job and the quality you expect. Ever heard the saying, “You get what you pay for” ? Well that certainly rings true with paint. A good quality paint that will last for years, hold up to cleaning and fade less is thicker than dime store paint. Purchasing paint from a reputable paint or home improvement store is key. Off-brand paints or overstocks can have added water and even lower quality resins and oxides. Less water and high-quality materials makes for a more durable, colorful paint. Always buy the best paint you can afford.
Besides color, the biggest question to answer is latex or oil-based?
Oil-based paints have traditionally been the more durable paint but advances in latex have really made the two quite similarly long lasting. And really, latex can be worth the trade off simply because it’s a much easier cleanup, it dries quickly, less intense smell and ease of disposal (oil paints are environmentally hazardous when not disposed of properly.)
Many pros still suggest there are times when oil based paints are necessary – ie, trim work, kitchen back splash, exterior doors. Either latex or oil-based, some paints contain enamel, an additive to make the finished surface harder and less porous. This is especially good for high-traffic areas or areas that may be subject to spills and liquids and frequent cleaning.
Don’t think you’re finished with all the tough decisions – there’s more! The type of finish… these levels of sheen have different names, but typically you see the following types:
Flat – the flat finish absorbs the most light, so use it on walls with imperfections, not suited for kitchens and bathrooms because the porous finish absorbs the moisture in these rooms. Easy to touch up, hard to clean.
Eggshell – this low sheen is great for living rooms and bedrooms but not high traffic areas – its got a gentle finish that mars easily.
Satin – this finish works nicely on trim or woodwork and is good for children’s rooms, laundry, kitchen and bath. Difficult to touch up, easy to scrub clean.
Semi-Gloss – even more resistant to humidity, this finish is great in kitchens and baths, but works best on smooth, blemish-free surfaces.
Gloss – think patent leather! This finish is like a mirror – rarely used on walls, the gloss finish is mostly reserved for exterior doors and trim work.
Next week, I will explore brushes and some invaluable tips to make your DIY paint project go without hiccups. I’ll give you a teaser – don’t put brushes with oil-based paint in the refrigerator! The styrafoam insulation in the refrigerator will absorb the paint fumes and the odor will actually get in your foods.