How to Choose the Right Paint for the Job
Choosing the Right Paint
Before you buy fresh paint, make sure that it blends in with your colour scheme by holding the colour chart against your drapes or carpeting samples. If at all possible, take a small sample tin of the paint home and try it out on a wall. Fresh paint tends to appear darker once it is applied to a wall so, if you are in any doubt at all regarding which tone of a color to buy, pick the paler one. The colour of paint can vary from batch to batch so when you buy your paint ensure that all the tins have the identical batch number on them.
There’s two main kinds of paint. Traditional paints are liquid in consistency. They are sometimes referred to as oil based (gloss) for wood as well as for metalwork, and water based or emulsion paints for walls as well as ceilings. It is essential to use an undercoat when applying oil based paint. Emulsion paints don’t actually need an undercoat but several coats may be needed to cover the colour that you are trying to hide. The first coat of emulsion paint will work as an undercoat.
The second kind of paint (specially formulated for beginners) is no drip paint, which is also called thixotropic or ‘one coat’ paint. The paint looks like jelly in the container and turns to liquid when it is applied to a surface. Then it solidifies again, making it less prone to drips and runs. Non drip paint has good covering abilities, since it is thicker compared to conventional paints and an undercoat is incorporated within the mix. For this reason, non drip paint is no more expensive than other paints in the long run, though it often is more expensive per litre. These such no drip emulsion paints come in both jelly as well as solid forms. The use of a roller with the solid paint, which is sold in a tray holder, liquefies the fresh paint so that the roller picks up just enough paint per application, and the ‘no drip’ quality of this paint makes it perfect for painting ceilings. Never stir ‘no drip’ paint before using it however, even if it looks uneven and lumpy in the container – if the paint turns to liquid because it has been inadvertently stirred or shaken, leave it to set again before continuing to use it.
The ultimate coat of paint (known as the topcoat) can have a gloss, semi gloss or matt finish. Alternative names for partially glossy paint includes egg shell, silk, satin as well as sheen, depending on the paint producer. The glossier the paint, the tougher and more durable the surface will be, and it is a well-known fact that paints are also usually stronger and more weather proof if they include a synthetic polyurethane resin.
Some paints include chemicals to make them more fire resistant compared to ordinary paint. They help to lessen the spread of flames, which makes them suitable for painting wood, expanded polystyrene tiles, and any combustible or flammable surface.
How to Choose a Paint for a Particular Purpose
Always adhere to the manufacturer’s advice on the paint tin. This usually states which surfaces can be covered with the paint, the drying time and the expected covering ability.
There are other special paints available for specific purposes, including: floor paint for both interior and exterior use, doorstep paint, matt black (for metalwork or decorative timber and blackboards), radiator enamel (which retains its whiteness under heat), garage floor paint, anti-damp paint, tile red paint (for window ledges and exterior tiles), and insulation paint (to reduce heat loss).