Using The Right Paint: When Labels Matter

You finally have the time to repaint your guest bathroom over the weekend! So on your way home after work you stopped by the hardware store to pick up your paint. You have all the preparation done and your plastic tarp is down, everything has been taped and all of your paint brushes and paint trays are ready to go. You are just about to go and open up your cans of paint when you notice something: the cans are both the same color and sheen, but one of the cans is for exterior paint and one is for interior paint. You have already committed to this project and you begin to question if it really makes a difference if you use two different kinds of paint. It absolutely does!

First we are going to discuss why the quality of paint is important. When you go shopping for paint, you will notice that there are all different brands and there are all different prices of paint. It can be very tempting to simply choose the least inexpensive type of paint and call it a day. Unfortunately though, inexpensive paint is typically not the quality of paint you want to use for your home.

It can be so exciting to repaint a room in your home and that fresh coat of paint can transform a room and make it bright and new. However, if you used a low-quality paint, that paint is going to lose its shine and start to look drab pretty quickly. High-quality paint makes your walls much easier to clean and it is more effective against wear and tear. This means you will not have to repaint the room for a very long time.

It is also important that you understand there are two different main types of paints. Paints are either oil-based or water-based. Oil-based paints take much longer for drying and curing, it is more difficult to clean the brushes, but it is also more durable than water-based paints and can provide a smoother looking finish. Water-based paints are not quite as durable, but the cleanup is much easier and drying and curing does not take as long as with oil-based paints. Oil-based paints should be used on surfaces that take more of a beating, such as on floors, doors, the exterior of the home and furniture. Water-based paints are a better choice for the interior walls and ceilings.

In addition to having different kinds of paint, it is also important to know and understand that there are different sheens to paint as well. There are paint sheens that are not shiny or glossy, and those are called “flat,” “matte,” “satin,” and “eggshell.” Matte paint is more durable than flat paint, but they are both good choices for a ceiling. Eggshell and satin paint are slightly more glossy than the other two, and these are often chosen for walls.

You also have “semi-gloss,” and “gloss” paints, and these are the most durable and they are easy to clean. These sheens are generally a good choice for kitchens and bathrooms.

With all of the paint options out there, make sure you educate yourself so you find the best paint for your project.