There are so many different kinds of paint that sometimes it's hard to pick just one. There are so many colors, varieties, finishes, extra options like faux finishes, crackle, etc. that it can get to be a little much sometimes.
So we're breaking down the types of paint and paint finishes to help you decide what's right for your home and project.
1) Water-based or Latex paints are water-based so they clean up much easier than oil paint. Water-based paints are easier to apply since they go on nice and smooth. Latex paints tend to have lower amounts of VOC.
2) Oil-based paints are based with oil so they're sturdier and can take more abuse. Oil based paints can be harder to paint with since it's a thicker paint. These paints stand up to areas that get a lot of wear and tear like baseboards, cabinets, banisters, and trim and give a great, glossy finish. Oil paints tend to have higher amounts of VOC in them and drying time is longer since they tend to be a thicker paint.
3) Enamel paints are water-based paint that stands up to high traffic areas and tends to have a glossier finish. Enamel paints are usually easy to clean so many people use this kind of paint in bathrooms, kitchens and other rooms that get a lot of house traffic.
A paint’s finish is how it looks and feels after it has dried on the wall or painted surface. Here is more a more thorough explanation for each paint finish type:
Mattes: a matte paint finish has little gloss and has a flat look because the pigment it absorbs light really well. Color comes through rich and even with matte paints and it's popular because it hides flaws in walls well and touch-ups are easy to do while the paint is wet. Matte paint can be harder to touch up and clean once dry so it may not be the best choice for high traffic areas.
Eggshell and Satin: these paints are similar to mattes but they have more shine. Of these two, eggshell has less shine (you know, like a real eggshell) and satin has more shine to it. The paints have great wall coverage and are easy to clean once they've dried. Since eggshell and satin paints are a little bit thicker in applying the paint, they stand up well to high traffic areas like kitchens, bathrooms, and hallways and can be easily cleaned once dry.
Semi and High Gloss: gloss paint is thick and reflects a lot of light so it has a lot of shine to it. Gloss finishes are similar to oil paints so they tend to be thicker which is really useful in high traffic areas. For example, it's commonly used on trim, doors, cabinets instead of going on large walls. Once it has dried, this translates to easier cleaning of cabinets, doors, and trim. Since gloss finishes are shinier, wall imperfections may show more than if you’re using a flat matte finish.
Dripless paints are great to use on ceilings and other hard-to-reach areas so you can paint without paint going everywhere. These paints are thicker to make them easier to apply and can be great for painting ceilings.
One Coat paints are made with more color pigment in them, so an application can be done with just one coat of paint. Just like anything, often you get what you pay for so make sure you understand exactly how your one coat paint will finish up and work to avoid unnecessary frustration with your end-product.
Rubber-base paints contain a liquefied rubber so it is waterproof and very durable. Its main advantage is it can be used on concrete, masonry and other hard to work surfaces. This kind of paint does need special prep work of the surface area and can be expensive.
Textured paints often contain sand and other abrasive materials to give the walls and ceilings more definition and feel.
Textured paints or "popcorn ceilings" can create a unique atmosphere in a room and is great for long-term application since the removal of this kind of paint can be difficult.
If you're painting over textured paint, be sure to budget for additional paint since the texture crevices add to your surface area.
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