Paint is the first step in home renovations hands down. Since paint often makes the biggest impact for the least amount of money it is good to know about which ones work best for the purpose intended. Otherwise what money you save could go right down the drain. There are a lot of paints out there, and learning the differences between them can seem a little daunting. They all have secondary functions that are also important to know before making a choice. We have to consider a few things in the selection process, and here’s a few things to consider about the right paint for the right job.
Flat paints. Flat or matte paints are great on most interior wall surfaces inside the home. As the name suggests, the sheen on these paints are low to none. For walls and ceilings in common living areas like living rooms, dens, dining rooms and bedrooms it is the go to choice for most. Many types now have primer included in the paint and give optimal coverage in one to two coats of paint. Flat paints are ideal for walls that have surface flaws because the paint’s matte finish tends to mask the flaws. Drying time is relatively fast, but these paints usually will need touching up at times due to not being the easiest to clean. Keep a home maintenance binder and list the brand, color, and any other pertinent information about the paints you use, so that you have that for a reference later should you need it.
Eggshell paint. Eggshell paints usually have a slight sheen to them, are a little more durable and can be cleaned a little easier than flat paint can. For light clean up and durability and ease of coverage, an eggshell finish is a good paint for nurseries, and toddler rooms. Hallways and Foyers also are good places to consider using an eggshell finish paint. It can also be a good choice for eating areas and kitchens since it can be wiped down when soiled. In rooms that may have a little bit more traffic, or could be subject to light soil this is a good choice offering you the soft appearance of flat paint, while being a little more durable and easier to maintain.
Semi gloss paint. Semi gloss has as the name indicates a glossy sheen. This paint is great to use in areas where there may be some moisture exposure, such as a bathroom or in a kitchen where grease and steam can be prevalent. More durable than the other two mentioned, Semi gloss paint can take a beating, and as an added benefit, help add light to a dark room or a room with limited natural light sources. Semi gloss paint has a sheen and as such refracts light around a space. It is ideal for kitchen walls and ceilings and bathroom walls and ceilings. Dark rooms can benefit from the sheen because it casts light. Semi gloss should not be used on walls that have considerable nicks and surface damage. Be sure to fill any holes, dents areas that need sanding for the best results. Semi gloss can be used for painting cabinets and some furniture but will peel in areas of high use and contact.
High gloss paint. High gloss paints are the most durable of all paints and have the highest amount of sheen. It is not usually the first choice for walls inside the home. It is a good choice for painting cabinets, wood trim/molding, and furniture. Like semi-gloss paint, high gloss paint is not a good choice for any damaged surfaces because of it’s high reflective properties. This highlights the damage and will make them more noticeable. High gloss paint is sometimes a good choice on ceilings in dark rooms because of its ability to reflect light. If a room has only artificial light exposure high gloss on the ceiling will cast light from any light source downward into the space of the room. Choose light colors for this purpose. High gloss paint can sometimes be used in small rooms like bathrooms where there is low light, higher than average moisture and poor ventilation. High gloss paint does take longer to dry, so be mindful of this when you decide to use it.
Moisture problem rooms. If you have a home that has had moisture problems in the past, and is prone to mold issues, you may want to choose paints that have anti-microbial properties. These paints are ideally suited to protect against mold and mildew and other bacterial contaminants that can cause problems for those living in the home. Products like Sentinels 24-7 Zero paint have no V.O.C.’s and zero HAPS, have low order, anti-microbial protection and are scrubble. Do your research if you have these concerns about any room in your home.
Other problem rooms. If you purchase a home that was built prior to 1978, there is a good chance there is some lead paint in the home. Lead paint can be a concern and most homes that are at risk should be checked prior to purchase. Lead in paint can be a problem once it becomes air born. Sanding, cutting and scraping walls with lead based paints should be only done by a professional. Painting lead based walls may help seal the lead to a degree. There are paints available that can be purchased specifically for sealing walls that have lead based paint. Again, do your research and when in doubt seek professional guidance from those who are in the industry.