Welcome to Paint Week everyone! This week we’ll be giving you the best tips and tricks for painting your home and beyond. Yesterday we learned How to Pick the Perfect Paint Color!
If you missed any of paint week, here’s the recap:
- Monday: How to Pick Your Paint Color
- Tuesday: How to Pick the Paint Sheens and Paint Types
- Wednesday: Prepping to Paint Your Room Like a Pro
- Thursday: How to Paint Your Room Like a Pro
- Friday: Top 15 Must Have Paint Tools
You finally decided on a paint color, but now you are utterly confused by all the types of paint available in the hardware store. How do you know which paint to use for your specific project? Picking the right paint the first time will save you the hassle of having to repaint in a year or two. Today, I’ll be covering How to Pick the Right Sheen and Types of Paint.
The sheen refers to the shine reflected off the paint when it is dry.
- Flat – No reflection. Flat paint is perfect for ceilings where you want the color to be smooth and flat. The ceiling is the only place I recommend using a flat paint. If painted on a wall, the flat paint will show dirt and finger prints very easily and it is much harder to clean without leaving a mark.
- Eggshell – One step above flat, this paint is a little easier to clean, but it also has very little reflection. If you have uneven or textured walls, eggshell paint will show less imperfections. Eggshell is a good choice for a bedroom or living room, but if you have kids I recommend moving on to a satin finish.
- Satin – This is your middle of the road sheen. It has a very slight reflection. Satin is relatively easy to clean for an occasional mark or finger prints. It is an excellent choice for any wall in your home. Satin can also be used on trim and moulding, as long as you opt for a higher quality paint.
- Semi-gloss – True to the name, this paint has a slightly glossy appearance and does have a reflection. Typically this paint is reserved for trim, doors, or wet locations like a bathroom or laundry room. It is also an excellent choice for furniture and cabinets because it can be wiped off easily.
- Gloss – A high shine makes this paint durable and easy to clean. Gloss is typically reserved for windows, doorways, trim and furniture. Once dry, this paint is resistant to dirt, grease and grime. However, if you have any imperfections, gloss paint will accentuate them.
Types of paint:
- Interior – Just as it says, this paint is strictly for interior paint projects.
- Exterior – This paint is specially formulated to stand up to the weather outside. This makes it a perfect choice for your home’s exterior or repainting a garden bench or other outdoor items.
- Latex – A plastic or acrylic water-based paint for both interior or exterior usage. Latex paint dries much faster than an oil paint and it is easy to clean up with soap and water.
- Oil – A strong paint once it hardens. Oil paint takes a long time to dry and even longer to cure. In the past, oil paint was used on kitchen cabinets, doors, trim and other locations that take a beating. With the development of newer and stronger paints, oil tends to be a dying breed. Oil paint must be used in a well ventilated area and can only be cleaned with turpentine or mineral spirits.
- Alkyd – An oil paint that has an additive mixed in to speed the drying process. This paint has the durability of an oil paint but without the extremely long wait time. Use in a well ventilated area.
- Low or Zero VOC – The newest addition to the paint family are low and/or zero VOC paints. These paints have been specially formulated to almost completely eliminate harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). A good choice if you are concerned about safety for the environment and your family. Clean up consists of water and soap.
It is important to use a primer before you paint bare wood, unless you are using a chalky paint (a specialty paint). If you aren’t sure what type of paint you will be painting over, it is a good idea to use a primer. Nothing is worse than painting latex on top of oil-based paint and having the newly painted layer peel right off. Definitely use a primer over stained wood.
A water-based primer is the best for you and the environment, but it might not be strong enough to seal knot holes, mahogany stains, and an oil-based paint. For those tasks, opt for a shellac-based primer like Zinsser BIN Primer. All primers help prep the surface, blocking any potential residue, and allowing the surface to accept the new paint.
There are many brands of paint out there. I’ve tried most of them. At this point in time, I stick to Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams and Valspar. I am a big proponent of “you get what you pay for”, so when it comes to painting, I like a high quality paint. When Pretty Handsome Guy and I painted the guest room in our first house, we made all the mistakes a new homeowner could make. We bought cheap paint. We didn’t know how to roll on the paint and we secretly both disliked the color. One of the biggest problems we had was roller marks. We learned that cheap paint can leave roller marks and often requires many coats for a full coverage. A higher quality paint will have better coverage, resulting in fewer coats of paint. Finally, a good paint will be much more durable and easier to clean without showing scuff marks.
This is what I use in my home:
Next time you are buying paint, this should help you make the best choice based on your painting needs.