Selecting a 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 are:

Water-based vs. solvent-based. Water-based paints are commonly referred to as latex or water-borne. 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 may not be available.

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.

Quality. 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 250 and 300 square feet per gallon.