How to Know Which Type of Paint to Use

It can be difficult to know which paint to use on different types of projects. Whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been painting for a few years, there so many types of surfaces out there that no manual is big enough to have detailed knowledge about how to paint on each one. Add to that: The number of paints on the market in 2017 is astonishing. Different blends of paint are invented all the time that claim to do accomplish different effects.

To begin, there are different categories of paint to keep in mind. Eggshell, flat, gloss, or semi-gloss to name a few. More are being developed as technology advances, but those are the most well known. Of course, paint color can change depending on the type of primer applied to the surface, or even how much primer is applied. This primer coat is also known as your “base” coat, and it will vary depending on which color paint you choose.

Painting inside or out

If you’re painting walls, then you’ll want to consider the purpose of the paint. If you’re using a lighter colored pale paint, you’ll want a pale primer underneath it. If it’s a darker paint, you’ll need a dark base or first coat. If you’re using a water-based paint, you’ll likely need several more coats than if you are using oil. A safety/health tip: when using oil-based paints, make sure you’re using a high quality mask. The oil-based paints can fill a room quickly with powerful fumes that aren’t good for your lungs and let’s face it… just stink! Nobody wants to develop a headache from the stench of painting. It’s easy to find a great mask for not much money at Home Depot that’ll keep you painting for longer.

Finding the right finish coat

Your flat coat is latex-based, and it’s lovable because it’s so versatile. Typically, it’s used for interior walls and ceilings. It’s also great on home sidings because it can help protect the surface its on from natural moisture. They can be used in a sprayer when diluted with 10 percent water.

Your eggshell coat is a little more fancy because a slight sheen appearance. It’s great for use inside a home on wood surfaces and is a little less shiny than semi-gloss if you don’t like too much sheen. Eggshell is probably the most popular indoor paint.

Then you have satin and gloss coats. These are a totally different animal. If you’re looking to make a statement with your paint job, satin or gloss might do the trick. The sheen and shine will stand out in a way that other paints don’t. It is not for blending in! The good news about gloss is that it typically only takes one coat as long as it’s applied over the right primer.

Following? Good.

For environmentally friendly paints, those are becoming more common too! Alkyd paints are made from things like plant oils and contain fewer chemical preservatives. They also cause less pollution during the manufacturing process.

When it comes to floor paints, that’s another story. They are typically solvent-based and need to withstand plenty of abuse! If you’re painting a new concrete floor, you’ll need to make sure the concrete is totally hardened and finished drying before applying any paint.

Now let’s paint!