Friday, August 6, 2010

Painting Your Home - What You Need to Know When Choosing Paint

One of the easiest ways to update a room is by painting it. There are many paints and techniques that you can use to make your home unique and interesting, and it all starts with choosing the right paint. Here are some pointers on which paints work best in different situations.

Interior Paints

There are different paint formulations for indoors as well as outdoors. When you paint a room in your house, you will want to use an interior paint on the walls. Interior paints are available in several finishes ranging from dull to shiny including flat (or matte), eggshell, satin, semi-gloss and gloss.

Flat Finish

Generally more formal rooms will be done in a flat or matte finish. This finish does not reflect light as well as some of the shinier finishes, so any imperfections in your walls are less noticeable. The challenge with flat paint, however, is that it is difficult to wash; so it is not a good option for high traffic areas or areas where children play. Ceilings are usually painted in a flat finish which again helps hide imperfections.

Eggshell Finish

With just a hint of sheen eggshell finish is only slightly more glossy than flat. It is a little easier to clean that a flat finish, but it is still not appropriate for high traffic areas.

Satin Finish

A more popular all-around choice is the satin finish. It offers the best of both worlds. It has a little more gloss than eggshell without being shiny, and it still does a pretty good job of hiding imperfections in the wall. It is easy to clean, so it is appropriate for molding. It also works well in high traffic areas and children's rooms, because it can stand up to a light scrubbing.

Semi-Gloss Finish

Moving up the shiny scale, semi-gloss is generally a little too shiny of a finish to apply to walls, but it works great on cabinets and doors. It can also work on trim and molding, especially in more heavily used areas of the house.

Gloss Finish

The glossy finishes are entirely too shiny for walls, but they still work well on cabinets and doors as well as furniture. Realize though, that when you use high gloss paint, every, little imperfection in the surface that you are painting will show up. Therefore, when using a glossy finish it is really important to begin with a flawless surface.

Exterior Paint

When painting the outside of your house you will use an exterior paint. These paints are formulated to hold up to the harsh elements of the weather. Not too long ago exterior paints were exclusively oil-based paints, but in the last couple of decades new water-based formulations are as good as or sometimes even better than the old oil-based exterior paints. While oil-based paints are certainly still an option when painting, they are harder to use, require solvents to clean up after, and emit noxious fumes as they dry. Water-based paints go on easily, clean up with water, and barely have an odor at all. However, either paint type will work for an outdoor application.

Latex Exterior

Using latex, water-based, exterior paint is generally preferred because the paint has more elasticity and as a result resists cracking and peeling over time. It is mildew resistant and does not "chalk" as readily as oil-based paint. It dries much more quickly than oil, and it is all around easier to use.

Whenever you paint, always prepare your surfaces with care, because your paint is only as good as the weakest layer.

This article was written by Aja Klenna and provided by, a site featuring unique wall decor art and leaf wall sculptures.


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