Today, there are so many different shades, textures, and thicknesses of paint to choose from that making the right choice can seem bewildering. In reality, having more choice can make the job easier. Whether you are painting your house interior: kitchen, bathroom, lounge, ceiling, floor; or exterior: shed, conservatory, fences, decking, drainpipes, there is a paint to meet your needs.
All paints fall into one of two broad categories: water- or oil-based. Emulsions (latex) paints fit into the first category and are typically used on walls and ceilings. Oil-based paints, such as glosses and enamels, contain a solvent and they are ideal for wood surfaces such as doors, skirting (base) boards and window frames, and any metalwork. Both water- and oil-based paints come in matt (flat), mid-sheen (semi-gloss) and full gloss finishes.
If you are using emulsion paint, you will not need a separate undercoat, but you will need to apply at least two coats for good coverage. In general, gloss and enamel paints do require a separate undercoat, unless of the one-coat variety. One-coat emulsions are particularly useful when painting ceilings, reducing the amount of work involved.
Remember that if you are working with bare wood, metal, concrete or stone surfaces, you will need to apply a primer before the undercoat.
The thickness of paint is influenced by various additives. When thinning paint make sure you use the correct diluent. At one end of the spectrum are fully-liquid paints, which require a certain amount of expertise to ensure a drip-free finish; at the other are non-drip, thixotropic or solid paints, which give a good finish whatever your skill level. Use them at cornice-level, on ceilings and above picture rails to avoid splashes.
Textured paints produce a relief pattern on internal walls and ceilings. They are best applied with a roller, winch can be plain or have a textured patterned sleeve.
Enamel radiator paints are designed to withstand high temperatures and will not discolor like ordinary paints. You can choose from a range of bright colors to suit your decor, in satin or gloss.
Floor paints can enliven the dullest expanse of concrete, stone or wood. There is even a variety to transform tired vinyl and linoleum floors. Vary the effect with stripes, geometrical shapes or stencils for a unique look.
Kitchen and bathroom paints are specially formulated to cope with damp conditions. They contain a fungicide to stop mould growth and are considerably tougher than standard emulsions.
Microporous paints are also known as “breathing” paints. These water-based finishes, which are typically used on exterior wood, will expand and contract with the timber. These paints also let moisture escape so you will not end up with flaky or blistered paint surfaces.
The range of special paints is growing by the day. There are paints for use on MDF (medium-density fiberboard) and melamine surfaces, plus tried and tested outdoor paints, including masonry paints for rendered surfaces, colorful garden paints for walls, containers, fences and sheds, bituminous paints for pipes and guttering, and security paints, which remain tacky to prevent would-be felons from entering the house by climbing the drainpipes.
There are also traditional paints that use authentic materials; they come in various finishes, including matt, distemper, eggshell and gloss.
- On freshly plastered walls, make sure you use a new-plaster emulsion; standard types will not allow the plaster to dry out fully.
- If the paint can you are using is still quite full, seal it, upend it to allow the paint to form a protective seal around the lid. Store the can upside down until you need it.
This post was written and created by the team at Make Home Design Easy. If you would like to learn more about home improvement, then be sure to check out our website!