Choosing a Type of Paint

The first step in the painting process is selecting the right paint. Different paint types exist for different applications. Some key factors to consider when choosing a paint are as follows:

Color. Color scheme is an important and personal choice. Various color schemes create different atmospheres and often say much about the owner. To choose the right color scheme, view color samples at home if possible. Because the lighting at home is almost always different than at a paint store, samples may appear dramatically different when viewed at home.

Water-based vs. solvent-based. Water-based paints are commonly referred to as latex. Historically, water-based paints have not been as durable as solvent-based or oil- based paints. With recent advances in paint technology, there is currently little difference between the performance of the two. However, solvent-based paints are more hazardous than water-based paints.

Finishes. Paint is available in a variety of finishes, ranging from flat to glossy. Glossy paints are more durable than flat paints, but they show flaws in the surface and in the painting technique more easily than flat paints. The high sheen of glossy paint is ideal for areas that must be cleaned often, such as bathrooms and kitchens. The dull finish of a flat paint makes it appropriate for ceilings and walls in other living areas.

Quality. Skimping on paint quality by purchasing a less expensive, lower-quality paint should be avoided. Often, cheaper paints require an additional coat to get the same result as more expensive, higher-quality paints. Since the cost of paint is usually much lower than the cost of labor, cheaper paints often cost more in the end. Good, quality paints usually cover between 320 and 340 square feet per gallon. When engaging painters, homeowners should ensure that the paint paid for is the same as the paint applied. Some less-reputable painters have charged homeowners for expensive paints and then applied cheaper paints or simply used paint left over from previous jobs.