Painting a room or the exterior of your house is a big job and you want the best possible results for the time and money that you’ll be investing. When you hit the paint aisle at your home improvement store, you may be confused by all the options available – unless you read this article first!
INTERIOR PAINT The first thing that you need to know is that there is a difference in the paint used to paint the interior of your home versus the exterior. Interior wall paint comes in several different finishes; the type you choose depends on what finish you desire and how washable you need the paint to be. The glossier the finish, the more imperfections in the wall will be visible. Finishes for interior paint include flat or matte finish, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss and gloss.
Flat Paint – Flat paint will provide the most professional finish as it disguises imperfections in the wall so that they are barely visible. However, the downside of flat paint is that it is not easy to clean, so if you live with small children or pets, it will be difficult to wipe the walls clean. On the other hand, flat paint is an excellent choice for ceilings because it will reflect very little light and will make the ceiling look fabulously perfect.
Eggshell – This finish has just a small bit of sheen and is glossier than flat. It holds up better than flat paint but is not easy to clean.
Satin – Satin is a very popular choice because it results in a good looking finish that holds up well and is easy to clean. It works well for walls and trim in high traffic areas such as the bathroom, kitchen or kid’s bedrooms, as it can survive light scrubbing.
Semi-Gloss – Semi-gloss is usually reserved for trim, doors and cabinets because it is considered too glossy for walls. It’s a great choice for wood trim that needs to be cleaned frequently, such as in the kitchen or bath or your cat’s favorite windowsill.
Gloss – Gloss paint will show every imperfection in the surface, so considerable care and preparation should be taken before the paint it applied. It is usually reserved for furniture when a sleek modern look is desired and is sometimes used on cabinetry and trim.
EXTERIOR PAINT Exterior paint for outdoor projects comes in two varieties, latex and alkyd, which is also known as “oil-based” exterior paint.
Alkyd Exterior Paint – Alkyd exterior paints adhere well to surfaces, but tend to become chalky, brittle and cracked in time. Alkyd paint should never be applied to fresh masonry or galvanized iron. If your exterior siding or trim was painted in alkyd paint in the past, you will get better results in you repaint it with alkyd paint.
Latex Exterior Paint – Latex exterior paint is a more environmentally friendly than alkyd paint and it is easier to clean up brushes or rollers after the job is finished. It has better elasticity the alkyd paint and excellent adhesion; it also dries faster, doesn’t chalk and is more resistant to mildew. When painting exterior wood surfaces for the first time, latex is the way to go.
Lastly, whether painting indoors or out, take the time to fill and sand holes in the surface first and apply a good quality primer on raw surfaces or when going from a dark to light paint color.
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