Different Paints and Where to Use Them

Paint is something that everyone uses in his or her home. Even cavemen used paint to decorate their caves and paint on the walls. Once ...


Paint is something that everyone uses in his or her home. Even cavemen used paint to decorate their caves and paint on the walls. Once upon a time, paint was made from natural materials, such as eggs, plant dyes, and even blood. Today’s modern paints are usually made from synthetic materials, although companies such as www.realmilkpaint.com offer tips for using milk paint, which is made from natural ingredients.

Paints are designed for different surfaces. Water-based paints are typically used on walls and ceilings whereas oil-based paints are suitable on woodwork and metal, although you can use also water-based paints on woodwork too. There are also different paint finishes to consider, including gloss, matt, silk, and eggshell.

Primer and Base Coats
Primer paint and base coat is used to prepare a surface for a top coat. This is especially important if you are painting unfinished wood. When painting wood and metal surfaces, it is customary to start with a coat of primer followed by a base coat. 
Emulsion Paints

Emulsion paint is readily available from all good hardware stores. Emulsion is a very versatile, latex-based paint that can be mixed with water. If you are painting on fresh plaster, the paint needs to be diluted down and a ‘mist’ coat applied. New plaster soaks up paint like a sponge and if you try to paint it with undiluted paint, it will end up peeling off at a later stage. Diluted paint soaks into the new plaster and creates an impermeable layer, which provides a stable surface for the next coat of paint.

Matt finishes are good if the surface is uneven, as it does not reflect light. Eggshell is very hardwearing and therefore more durable.

Traditional Paints
Traditional paints such as milk paint, lime wash, and chalk paint come in soft, traditional colors and are ideal for period properties and furniture renovation projects. 
Gloss Paint

Gloss and satin finish paint is used on wood and metal. These are solvent-based paints, so you will need to clean your brushes with a special cleaner. Gloss and satin finish paint takes a lot longer to dry than emulsion, but once it us dry it is tough and hardwearing. 
Bathroom Paints

Bathroom paint is especially formulated for high humidity rooms. This type of paint contains anti-fungal chemicals, so is more resistant to mold. It is therefore a good choice for a bathroom, although it will not prevent mold growth if you never open the windows.
Floor Paint

Solvent-based floor paints are suitable for wooden, concrete or metal floors. They are very hardwearing and therefore a good choice for commercial environments. 

Painting a Room
When painting a room, start at the ceiling and work your way down. Paint the woodwork last, otherwise it will be splattered with emulsion paint and you will have to start all over again. Water based emulsion paints dry quite quickly whereas solvent based paints need around 24 hours to dry. Always ventilate rooms you are painting in, as paint fumes are not good for our health.

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