Decorating with Different Types of Paint
ALL ABOUT PAINT
Paint is cheap, quick and easy to apply, and available in a variety of different finishes and in a host of different colours. Thanks to technological advances, modern paints cover well, protect surfaces from weather and wear, and resist fading and discoloration. For all these reasons — both practical and aesthetic — painting is the single most popular way of decorating interiors.
Basic painting techniques are simple to master and the equipment required is not elaborate. With a little extra skill, you can open up a whole new dimension of decorative possibilities using special effects such as sponging, ragging and stencilling.
Paint consists of pigment (colour) dispersed in a medium (binder), together with a solvent or thinner which evaporates as the paint dries. Some paints may include other materials such as resin or silica to provide special characteristics. The two main types of paint are oil-based and water-based (commonly known as emulsion (latex!). They are incompatible when wet.
It is always a good idea to buy the best paint you can afford. Cheap paint is difficult to apply and looks streaky; you will end up needing to use more of it than with a good-quality paint.
These come in three finishes: gloss, which has a high sheen and is often used on woodwork; semi-gloss or eggshell, which gives a mid-sheen texture and can be used on walls or woodwork; and matt or flat oil paint, which provides the basis for many special paint effects.
All oil-based paints are soluble in white spirit or turpentine and require an undercoat. They take longer to dry than water-based varieties of paint.
This oil-based paint is designed to provide a good surface for the application of oil-based top coats. It is soluble in white spirit or turpentine.
These are also available in different finishes: silk, satin or sheen and matt. A popular choice for walls and ceilings, emulsion (latex) is quick-drying, soluble in water (tools and spills are easy to clean) and needs no undercoat.
Both oil- and water-based paints are available in non-drip versions which are easy for the beginner to apply. They need no stirring and should not be thinned. Similarly, trays of ‘solid emulsion’ can be useful for painting ceilings, stairways or wherever it is important to keep splashes to a minimum.
This thick, permanent coating dries to a textured finish which is very difficult to remove. It is designed to cover up poor surfaces and should be finished with a coat of emulsion.
Essentially an external paint, this can be used on interior brickwork for a durable finish.
This is an oil-based paint for small areas of wood and metalwork. It is very dense; only one coat is needed. There is also a textured version which separates as it dries to give a ‘crazed’ finish.
You can create your own colours by mixing a small amount of artist’s colours (oil or gouache) with the appropriate solvent (white spirit, turpentine or water) and adding the mixture a little at a time to the appropriate paint base.
|APPLICATIONS:||UNDERCOAT||OIL-BASED GLOSS||OIL-BASED EGGSHELL (SEMI-GLOSS)||WATER-BASED EMULSION (LATEX)/VINYL||SOLID EMULSION (LATEX)||ENAMEL||TEXTURED PAINT|
|SURFACES TO USE ON||Use on primed surfaces. Do not use on plastic, copper, brass or stainless steel||Woodwork, metalwork. Can be applied to plastic and copper without using undercoat||Walls, ceilings and woodwork. Ideal for bathrooms and kitchens||Walls and ceilings. Vinyl silk/ satin can be used as a base coat for paint effects||Walls and ceilings. Do not apply directly onto new/ unpainted plasterwork||Metalwork, woodwork. Best for small areas||Walls and ceilings. Particularly useful for covering uneven surfaces|
|EQUIPMENT||Wide paintbrush, roller or spray gun for large areas, small paintbrush for details||Wide paintbrush, roller or spray gun for large areas, small paintbrush for details||Paintbrushes, roller and tray, or spray gun||Paintbrushes, roller and tray, or spray gun||Roller for large areas and paintbrush for details. Usually sold in its own tray||Paintbrushes for small areas, roller or spray gun for larger areas||Shaggy (coarse nap) roller and tray|
|DILUTING||White spirit or turpentine can be used to thin the paint||White spirit or turpentine can be used to thin the paint||White spirit or turpentine can be used to thin the paint||Use water to thin the paint if necessary||Should not be thinned||White spirit or turpentine can be used to thin the paint||Should not be thinned|
|POSSIBLE PROBLEMS||Can be used as a top coat, but must be covered with mattto avoid marking||Go back over painted surfaces to brush out drips and runs||Patchiness can occur if surface is not thoroughly prepared and completely dry||Oil-based paint and water-based paint are incompatible when wet||Too absorbent to take most paint effects. Not recommended for kitchens and bathrooms||Shows up imperfections of surface, so thorough preparation is necessary||Extremely difficult to remove|
|DRYING TIME||2-6 hours. A second coat can usually be applied after 6-16 hours||4-6 hours. A second coat can usually be applied after 16-24 hours||4-6 hours. A second coat can usually be applied after 16-24 hours||2-4 hours. A second coat can usually be applied after 2-4 hours||1-4 hours. A second coat can usually be applied after 1-4 hours||2-4 hours. A second coat can usually be applied after 1-4 hours||1-4 hours|
|CLEANING||Use white spirit or turpentine to clean brushes immediately after use||Use white spirit or turpentine to clean brushes immediately after use||Use white spirit or turpentine to clean brushes and equipment||Brushes and other equipment should be cleaned with water and soap
|Roller and tray should be cleaned with water and soap||Use white spirit or turpentine to remove paint from brushes||Use white spirit or turpentine to remove paint from roller and tray|
|NUMBER OF COATS||1 or 2||2||1 or 2||1 or 2||2||1 or 2||1 coat, followed by a coat of emulsion (latex) or gloss|
|SPECIAL PROPERTIES||It has a high pigment content, and covers well. Chalky texture as top coat||Undercoat is not always necessary. Durable and easy to clean||Smooth finish with dull sheen. Easy to clean and withstands condensation||No primer required. Dries quickly to a smooth finish||Particularly good for ceilings and stairways because it is non-drip||No primer required. Some brands also contain rust inhibitors. Hard, shiny finish||Much thicker than regular paint. Can be used to create various surface patterns|
|COLOURS||Limited to a few basic colours||Wide range of colours, some coordinating with water-based ranges||Range of colours||Wide range of colours||Limited range of colours||Range of colours||Coloured paint is applied to textured surface|