Month: February 2019

How to Use Paint and Choose Paint Finishes For Your Home

Essential Guide to Paint

Paint is your passport to colour and arguably the easiest, least costly and most immediate way to transform a home. It can be as simple as brilliant white, but that would exclude all the other drop-dead gorgeous colours. Paradoxically, it’s the vast choice that often poses a problem – there are just so many brands, types and shades on the market.

Choose from historical hues for period homes; sleek chalky finishes that stand up to the rigours of modern life; or new formulas designed to suit all surfaces. By understanding the product you can unleash all the design possibilities of paint that make it such a tempting medium.

Types of Paint

Water-based paints are usually referred to as emulsions and were traditionally used only for interior walls and ceilings. But recently tremendous advances in paint technology mean that water-based formulas, especially the high-performing acrylics, are available for all surfaces, from woodwork to metal, and for interior and exterior use. The advantages of these paints over oil-based ones is that they are cleaner, have less odour and are more environmentally sound. Brushes can be rinsed clean with water.

Solvent or oil-based paints are used where a tough, durable finish is required for interior and exterior timber, masonry and furniture – although, as mentioned above, the new generation of acrylics and multi-surface paints offers viable alternatives. In general, brushes need to be cleaned with turpentine or white spirit.

Make-up and quality All paints are made of four key ingredients: pigments, binders, liquids and additives. Generally speaking, the more pigment used to make the paint, the better the quality it will be: a ratio of 30 to 45 per cent binder and pigments by volume indicates a paint that will be durable and provide good coverage and lasting colour. Consider the following when you are faced with a wall of paint pots and are struggling with what to buy.

Pick a brand you can trust Companies with their own high-street shops, such as Fired Earth and Farrow & Ball, and those that sell through the DIY giants are the most accessible. However, buying paint online is increasingly popular and can bring you a wider choice, especially if you live outside major towns and cities.

Go for good coverage Look at the figures per litre not for the whole can; 12sq m per litre is average. Coverability varies between brands, making the difference between needing two or three coats. You will generally find more pigment in premium paints, giving a greater depth of colour.

Select the right product. There is a dedicated paint for practically every surface, including tiles and appliances, such as fridges. For high-traffic areas consider scuff-resistant multi-surface paints that can be used on both wood and walls. Kitchens and bathrooms benefit from specialist formulas designed to cope with humidity without flaking.

Try before you buy Colour cards are fine for making an initial selection but you will want to see a true paint sample in situ before committing. Tester pots vary in price from £1 to £4. Paint onto a sheet of paper that you can move around the room to enable you to see the colour in different light conditions. The effect varies greatly. The window wall can seem dark while the wall opposite will be flooded with light. And of course there is a dramatic difference between natural and artificial light. Finally paint a patch directly onto the wall to gauge the colour, coverage and the final finish.

Specialist wall, floor and furniture paints

These days, there are paints to decorate every surface in the home, from melamine to ceramic tiles. Many of these formulas require no specialist preparation – Crown’s Cupboard Makeover Paint is available in 12 colours and does not need a primer.

There are also multi-surface paints, such as B&Q Colours Everywhere for walls, ceilings, woodwork and radiators, and Bedec MSP Multi Surface Paint, which can be used on everything from plastic to masonry. Areas such as bathrooms and kitchens benefit from durable, mildew-resistant coverings, which are available in pre-mixed colours.

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What You Need to Know Before Your Next Paint Job

Oil-Based vs. Water-Based Paint

When it comes to picking paint, selection begins with choosing between oil-based and water-based paints. For hundreds of years, people have been using oil-based paints for their impermeability and toughness.

Unlike water, oil does not dry by evaporation. It dries through a process of oxidation that converts the oil into a polymer chain. This means that the layer formed will be resilient and long lasting, and will withstand the degenerative effects of water and air longer than water-based paints. There are, however, several disadvantages to oil-based paints. First of all, oil paints take longer to dry than water-based paints, have a strong odor that lingers long after the paint has been applied, and contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The paint pigment in oil paint is suspended in the solvent. VOCs are found in this solvent and are released as the paint is drying or being cured. VOCs are harmful to occupant health and the environment. Indoor air pollution has now been identified as being three times more harmful than pollution outdoors. This is mainly due to the release of VOCs by oil-based paints and other off-gassing interior VOC-containing finishes and furnishings. Government regulations regarding VOCs are becoming stricter; this may be one reason why oil-based paints are decreasing in popularity.

As opposed to oil-based paints, water-based paints (sometimes referred to as “latex paints” or “acrylic paints”) do not use solvents; the carrier for the pigment is primarily water. Latex paints have come a long way from when they were considered an inferior replacement for oil-based paints, and they’re now on the verge of dominating the market. The advantages of latex paints are many. The drying time is significantly shorter than oil-based paint, which requires up to 48 hours to dry, leaving the room unusable during this time. Latex paints also have a minimal odor and release significantly fewer VOCs during the drying process.

Because fewer or no VOCs are released, latex paint is significantly less harmful to building occupants. In addition, it requires less care to apply than oil-based paint and solvent, which are both highly flammable. Latex paint can also be thinned with water, unlike oil-based paint, which requires a special thinner.

Picking the Right Paint Finish

Beyond oil- and water-based categorization, paints can also be classified based on their function (e.g. primers, sealers, binders, finishing paints, etc.). They can also be classified according to the type of pigment used, like zinc, lead, and titanium (each has slightly different properties). But, by far, the most important classification of paint is the one that provides information about the type of finish.

With the traditional application of paint, the finish reveals how the paint reflects light once it’s dry. An exception is when special painting techniques (e.g. faux painting) are used, since these lend a completely different finish. Generally speaking, in commercial buildings, the finish depends solely on the type of paint used.

Certain finishes are more appropriate for certain rooms; this is because each finish has certain properties, apart from the way it looks, that distinguish it from the other finishes. Finish options include:

Matte. A matte finish reflects light poorly. It’s a rough finish that’s generally considered to be warm and comfortable. Matte finishes are not slippery; therefore, they don’t wash very well. For this reason, it’s not recommended to use a matte-finish paint on walls in rooms that have frequent visitors (e.g. a reception area or a conference room). The best places to use this finish are in executive offices or boardrooms: places where only a few people use the room, and the chances of dirtying the walls are low. Matte finish is great for hiding imperfections in the walls because highly reflective paints draw attention to imperfections by creating a crack in the uniform light reflection. Matte paints inherently avoid this problem.

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Instructions Of Interior Painting

Interior painting requires as careful preparation of surfaces as does exterior painting. The advent of odorless paints now makes it possible to paint any time of the year. Formerly, most interior painting in the home was done in the fall or spring, when it was possible to leave the windows open to ventilate the room. But open windows brought dust into the room to mar the finished painted surface.

A good interior paint job is often 50% preparation and 50% painting. Do not rush in preparing the surfaces in your eagerness to get at the brush or roller. If you do not prepare the surfaces properly, you’ll be back with the paint brush or roller in a few months.

In this section you will find the necessary information on the application of different types of paints on various interior wall, ceiling and floor materials.

Plaster

New dry plaster in good condition, which is to be finished with a paint other than water paint, should be given a coat of primer-sealer and allowed to dry thoroughly before being inspected for uniformity of appearance. Variations in gloss and color differences in the case of tinted primers indicate whether or not the whole surface has been completely sealed. If not, a second coat of primer-sealer should be applied. If only a few “suction spots” are apparent, a second coat over these areas may be sufficient.

A flat, semi-gloss, or high-gloss finish may be applied to the primed surface. For a flat finish, two coats of flat wall paint should follow the priming coat. For a semi-gloss finish, one coat of flat wall paint and one coat of semi-gloss paint should be applied to the primed surface. For a high-gloss finish, one coat of semi-gloss paint and one coat of high-gloss enamel should be used over the priming coat.

Before applying water paints of the calcimine type to new plastered walls they should be sized, using either a glue-water size or, if the plaster is dry, a thin varnish or primer-sealer.

Cold water paints of the casein type may be applied either directly to a plastered surface, or the surface may be first given a coat of primer-sealer to equalize uneven suction effects. The same is true of resin-emulsion paints, with the recommendations of the manufacturer of the product being given preference in case of doubt. Since resin-emulsion paints usually contain some oil in the binder, they should ordinarily be applied only to plaster which has dried thoroughly.

Texture wall paints may also be used on plaster surfaces. The advantages of this type of paint are that one coat economically produces a textured decoration and relieves the monotony of smooth flat paint. It also covers cracks or patches in the plaster more completely than ordinary wall paint. The disadvantages of texture wall paint are that they Collect dust and are difficult to restore to a smooth finish. These materials are available as water-or oil-based paints, are thicker than ordinary wall paints, and may be applied to wallboard as well as plaster to produce textured effects such as random, Spanish, mission, and multicolored.

Composition Wallboard

Composition wallboard usually presents no particular painting difficulties if the ordinary precautions are observed, such as making certain that the surface is dry and free from grease and oil. The painting procedure for wallboard is the same as for plaster; it requires a priming and sealing coat followed by whatever finishes coats are desired, or may be given one-coat flat or resin-emulsion type paint.

Wallpaper

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How a Paint Company Lures You in With Their Color Wheel Display

Your average paint company knows that their most important advertising is done inside the paint retail location. A brand’s paint color display (or color wheel) is its best tool to attract you to their paint. How can a paint company use its own color wheel to lure you to their brand? The answer is easy… color. For centuries, advertisers have used bright, bold colors to focus the attention of customers on their brand. The power of bright colors is evident in signs, logos, and almost every form of commercial marketing. This fact is common knowledge, and yet it still comes as a surprise to many people that paint companies use these same tactics to draw your attention to their line of paint colors inside every home improvement store.

Using the Sample Card to Sell the Color Wheel

Of course, paint companies are a little sneakier than traditional marketers. Paint brands know that when you are faced with an array of paint displays (such as in your local hardware/home improvement store), you are most likely to focus your attention on the color wheel display that most attracts your eye. Since the marketers of paint brands understand the human (or perhaps, “animal”) attraction to bright colors, they know how important it is to include bright, bold colors in their paint lines and place them front and center in their displays. This is the best way to attract your attention to a paint company’s color wheel.

So how does a paint company accomplish this color hypnosis of potential customers? Well, it starts with the sample card. Have you ever noticed how the brightest, most saturated color sample cards are always the first row you see in a paint display? Well you guessed it… paint companies are playing with a loaded deck (of sample cards, that is)!

But a Bogus Sample Card Equals Bogus Paint Colors

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with stacking sample cards in the color wheel display so that the most attractive colors are the most visible. The problem occurs because so many of those bold, dramatic, “attractive” colors are basically useless as paint colors in your home!

It’s funny, but many of the colors that a paint company puts in its line would never look good painted on any wall. The colors are 100% used to grab your attention when you are perusing paint displays. People are helplessly attracted to bright colors; they are much more eye-catching and far more interesting to our brains.

Sadly, not only are people more attracted to the paint color wheels because of these colors, but beginners are more likely to find one of these bright, saturated colors most attractive and end up choosing one as their new paint color. Unfortunately, for most of the reasons discussed above, those colors look ridiculous painted on walls.

To be fair, when brighter colors are painted on smaller surfaces, such as in an accent color, on trim, on a partial wall, etc, they are far less offensive than when they cover a room. But the brightest colors in the display – with the least amount of white, black, or gray mixed in – will rarely even work in these applications.

Obviously, when mistakes like this occur paint companies have nothing to lose. Whenever people pick paint colors that they are unhappy with, the paint company does not have to refund the customers’ money. In fact, no paint brand in the country will allow you to return paint once you have purchased it. Even better (for the paint company), since the customer is unhappy with the paint color they chose, they are probably just going to buy a whole new batch of paints!

Designer Paint Color Wheels

Of course, there are a multitude of distorting factors making it difficult to pick paint colors that will end up looking attractive on your wall. So, rather than filling the world with disgruntled customers, paint companies have offered the marketplace a basic solution to their problem of conflicting interests. That solution is the designer, or “signature” brands that most paint companies now offer to accompany their primary brand.

Valspar Paint, for instance, also produces paint branded as Laura Ashley, Eddie Bauer, Waverly, and more. These separate lines, or collections, have their own color wheel displays and are usually available wherever the primary brand, Valspar in this case, are sold. Other examples are Disney Paints, currently produced by Behr, and Ralph Lauren and Martha Stewart, formerly produced by Sherwin Williams.

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The Real Deal on Home Painting Projects

If you are going to paint your home and have decided to do it yourself take a little extra time and spend a bit more money to do it right. Colors are subjective, but the quality of materials and painting tools are not. For this example we are going to go through the process of painting the interior of a typical home. In just about every paint job I did I insisted that customers used an oil based paint on woodwork and doors. Not only does oil paint make wood look and feel better it gives you a superior durable and washable finish that water based latex paint can’t. There is nothing worse than seeing a newly painted door or frame ruined by fingerprints and other marks.

First, and foremost don’t buy cheap paint. I prefer using Sherwin Williams Duration or Superpaint brands. They will run around $40 a gallon and $35 a gallon respectively. Expect to get coverage of about 350 square feet per gallon and two coats are always necessary. Another advantage of using higher grade paint is that touch-up down the road will blend perfectly.

Don’t buy an expensive brush for painting the walls. Look to spend around $8 to $10 dollars on a 2 and a half inch ANGLED sash brush. I stress buying an angled sash brush because that is how professionals paint straight lines and properly cut in a room. When cutting in ceilings do not use tape. People are afraid that they cannot paint a straight line. Painting is not like throwing a 30 yard post pattern in the NFL. You do not have to be an elite athlete to be a good painter have you seen the physiques of most professional painters? Painting is all about patience don’t try to rush through the cutting in phase since a good paint job is all about straight lines period. A little trick is when you are cutting in focus your eyes just slightly ahead of the brush. Your hand will magically follow your sight line. Try it it works.

If you have large holes or cracks in a wall purchase a small can of vinyl repair paste. The reason I prefer it over regular wall Spackle is that after it dries it is much harder and sands easily. You can even use it for minor wood repair in a pinch.

When it comes to rolling out the walls never ever use a cheap foam roller. Foam rollers never evenly absorb the paint out of the pan and will actually add time to you project and cause more mess. Buy yourself a synthetic professional 3/8 nap roller head for about $6 to $8. Not only will the paint be applied in a smoother fashion you will experience less work and mess.

Now here comes the fun part doors and wood work. This is where most people opt to use latex which is a huge mistake. Your home is your biggest investment don’t cut corners on it’s aesthetics. You want the finish on your woodwork to stand out from the walls especially if you have crown moulding or waynes coating. Don’t be fooled by water based products that claim to give the look and finish of oil. It’s just good marketing preying on people’s fears of painting with oil. Don’t believe the hype as those samples they show you have 3 or 4 coats that have been professionally sprayed in a dust free environment. You will not get the same results I can promise you that. You have a choice of semi-gloss or gloss finish. I prefer gloss because to me it gives you a bit more durability and shine. Either one will be fine for your project. Now let’s get started.

The first thing you need to do is clean your baseboards, doors, and wood work with a damp rag. Yes, your baseboards are that dirty. Now comes the time consuming process of taping off. This is a step that is skipped by most do it your self people and let me tell you it shows. Like I mentioned before a paint job is only as good as the straightness off it’s lines don’t cheat yourself here. Buy low stick professional painters tape and allow the walls to properly dry before you apply. Take your time as this process cannot be rushed through, but will give professional looking results. If you have carpet use 2 inch regular painters tape and tuck it in real good where the carpet meets the baseboard. Remove door hardware it takes two seconds and failure to do so will only slow you down in the long run. Open the windows and break out any fans as painting with oil based paint comes with paint fumes.

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