Wednesday, April 18, 2012

In's and Out's of Paint basics

If you are planning on painting your self, you may consider what paint will work best in your home.
Some questions you may want to ask are:
What is Latex and oil paint?
What sheen should you use?
What brand is better?
If you want a low VOC Paint?
What colors may need a primer coat?

The first thing you may do is go the the nearest paint store to find out what kind of paint to use.

There are several different types of common house paint the most common being Latex.

Latex comes in all sheens from flat to gloss.  It is quick drying {a few hours} and holds up well in most applications.  It is also low odor and does come in Low VOC.  Latex is commonly used for walls and the popular sheens are low sheen or eggshell.  One of the questions I get most often is:  Don't I need to use semi-gloss for baths and kitchens?  the answer is no.  Back in the days of our grandmothers, the best paint was Oil based and came in higher sheens like semi-gloss.  Since then latex paint has come a long way and now holds up well in moist rooms and cleans very well for greasy areas.  I commonly paint eggshell in both of these areas.

Oil-based paints are commonly used for woodwork.  They are still popular for these areas but are increasingly changing to latex or a hybrid.  Latex does come in higher sheens and has several pro's for using instead of oil.

Latex Pros:   Dries fast, easy touch up, cleans up with water.  Low odor, and comes in LowVOC, stays flexible, less yellowing over time. It is flexible so it will chip less.

Oil Based:  Takes 8-12 hours to dry, low VOC variety can take more than this to dry, will yellow over time as little as 6 months,  harder to touch up especially since it yellows, gets brittle as it continues to cure. It will crack and chip when bumped.

Enamal comes in both latex and Oil and is usually used for woodwork and doors.  Enamal is made to be thicker and hold up to washing and bumps.  It also tends to level out to a smoother finish.
Latex and oil are now very similar in apearance and Latex continues to get better for fine finish work.

Sheen is the next thing to consider.

Satin is a good middle of the road and holds up well in all areas in the house. 
Eggshell is popular and does hold up well but I recommend a middle of the line or above paint.  Cheap paints should be in a higher sheen to hold up.
Flat is great for ceilings and works well in closets.
Semi gloss is common for trim, satin has been becoming more popular as well.

If you are choosing to paint a whole room you would use latex enamal for wood work,
Eggshell for walls, and flat for the ceiling and closet.

Low VOC (Volital Organic Compounds)  Usually the problems people have with paint is the amonia in paint.  This makes me sneeze when I paint.  Low VOC paints have less or none of this and other things that make it smelly.  Low VOC paints can also be Low odor.  I always question a Low VOC paint that still has a noticable odor.  The little odor a good paint has will disapait as it dries and does not linger as long as a regualr paint.  Solvent based paints will also have Low VOC's but may still have a higher odor.  The VOC's have just been lowered not eliminated.

Now Let's talk about brands.  I have a preference to Sherwin-Williams for several reasons. 

Proximity,  I did start going to Sherwin-Williams because they were close.  I recommend going to a close store and get to know who's behind the counter. 
Most stores will keep your information for 3 to 5 years, incase you need to repaint or touch up what you have ordered.

Quality:  Not all paint is made the same.  I know many of you love Behr and this is very strange to most contractors as it is the worst paint for us to use.  There are Hate Behr sites out there from contractors.  In my experience I call Behr paint "Babysitters paint"  as soon as I turn around it runs down the wall.  I  also do not give a warranty when I use paint becasue of its inconcistency.  Home owners love it because of the convience of location and store hours.  It realy is expensive and is not the quality of other paint lines.  I always recommend going to a paint store, they are all about paint and will give you the best options. 

Ask what contractors use Often times the guys at the paint store will offer the most expensive paint.  They are selling.  Contractors will use contractors lines and have a preference for certain paints.  I like paints that are good on cost and hold up well.  Here are some statics to think about when considering paint.  These are based on averages and my own experience.

1# Walls are painted every 7 years.

2# ceilings are painted every 20years.
As well as closets.

3# Trim and doors are painted every 15 years.

4#  Exteriors are painted every 10 years.

You may decide to buy $50 paint that has a lifetime warranty and think you will not paint again.

However, you will buy a new couch and want a new color or replace windows so the exterior needs to be painted.  Using a middle of the road paint { Not too cheap or expensive}  is best. 

Let me know how your paint project goes.  I also love to answer questions.

Happy Painting!!

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Pincushion Creations

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