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House Painting Basics: Paint Types You Need to Know

House Painting Basics: Paint Types You Need to Know

Are you thinking of renovating or redecorating your house’s interior or exterior? One of the first things you’ve probably thought of is switching up your wall colors or applying a new coat. New paint colors can liven up a place or make it look more inviting. Whether you’re trying to do a DIY project for the rooms inside your house or thinking of hiring an exterior painting service, there are some house painting basics to consider before you begin. 

Choosing the colors that work best for the outside walls or your bedrooms and bathroom is one thing, but before even getting to this exciting part, you should first understand what kinds of paint you will need. Here are some paint types you need to know to help get you started. 

Paint Primer

When you go to a hardware or supplies store, you see some cans labeled “paint primer” or just “primer.” This isn’t technically a type, but you need it for your painting project. As the name suggests, a primer is something you apply before using your wall paint. Some people skip this part of the process because of cost, effort, and lack of time, and while there are situations where you can skip using a primer, it’s still highly recommended as it comes with several benefits.

A primer prepares the surface for painting. For some surfaces, your chosen paint might not stick well and won’t come out the color you imagined it would. As a result, you would need more coats to cover it enough. The primer prevents this from happening. Primers can also help cover stains and molds, so it’s helpful if you’re repainting to sell your house or want to make it seem like the walls are brand new.  

There are three primers, each with pros and cons: oil-based primer, latex primer, and shellac primer. You need to choose the one that works best with the surface you’re painting on and the kind of paint that you want to use. 

Paint Base Types

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When choosing the paint, you must determine which works best for your working surface. One way to choose is by looking at the base or material that the paint is made of. When considering the base, you generally choose between water-based and oil-based paints.

1. Water-Based Paint

Also known as latex, water-based paint is the most common type used for houses. This paint is easier to clean up, dries faster, smells less foul, and is more environmentally friendly than oil-based paints. Because of its ability to resist extreme temperatures and prevent moisture from entering homes, it’s primarily used on walls and ceilings. Besides these, it’s used for different surfaces, even those that have previously been painted using oil-based paints. 

2. Oil-Based Paint

Another type is oil-based paint. This paint type is most commonly used for bathrooms and kitchens, where there is high moisture because of its durability. You’d want to use oil-based paint if you want it to last for a long time, especially since it can resist stains and rust on surfaces. Compared to water-based paint, though, this paint type has a stronger paint odor, takes more time to dry, is not very environmentally friendly, and requires chemicals for it to be removed. 

Paint Finishes

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels

The finish is another aspect you should consider when choosing a paint type. You might’ve seen the words “eggshell” or “satin” on the paint cans you see around stores – these refer to the paint sheen. The amount of light that the paint reflects into a room is based on how shiny the finish is. So, for example, if your living room is quite dark or dull and would want colors to pop out more, you can choose a paint finish that has a higher gloss. There are five paint finishes:

1. Matte Paint

This type is also known as “flat.” It has the least amount of sheen as it absorbs light. Since it provides the most coverage among other paint types, you can use it to paint over damaged walls with some imperfections. It is harder to clean the walls where you’ve used matte paint, though, so you should consider using this kind of paint for rooms where the walls won’t easily be touched or damaged by people. 

2. Eggshell Paint

Another popular paint choice is eggshell paint. It’s given the name “eggshell” as it’s shinier than matte paints but has a low sheen as an eggshell has. This paint type also covers wall imperfections well but is much more durable than matte paints, making walls with this paint easier to clean. It’s best used for rooms where many people gather or use, like the bathroom or living room.

3. Satin Paint

Satin paint, described as having a “velvety sheen,” is more glossy than eggshell paint. This type of paint finish is most commonly used for interior walls and is also easy to clean. Because of that, it’s best used for places many people go to, like bedrooms, kitchens, and hallways. It’s a great paint choice, but its main flaw is that you can see any painting errors, like brush strokes, and it can make touch-ups challenging. 

4. Semi-Gloss Paint

Next, there’s the paint finish that is shiny and reflective. Semi-gloss paint is durable and can resist moisture, making it ideal for doors, cabinets, and windows. Since it reflects a lot of light, you can consider using them on surfaces where you’d want to see more striking colors. However, since they are glossier than the first three, they reveal more wall imperfections. 

5. High-Gloss Paint

Lastly, as the name suggests, high-gloss paint is the shiniest paint finish. This paint type is the most durable and easiest to clean, which means it’s the best choice for surfaces people usually touch or where objects are placed, like cabinets, trim, or doors. However, since the sheen is high, it’s usually not preferred as the interior wall paint. 

With these different paint types, it all comes down to what you think would work well with the surface you’re planning on painting. Then, think about how many people would be staying in the rooms with that paint or what imperfections you’re trying to cover. Understanding these house painting basics can hopefully help you start your paint project. Good luck!

Thank you for reading House Painting Basics: Paint Types You Need to Know

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