Selecting House Paint
Paint cost can vary depending on the brand, range and quality of the paint. Avoid cheap paints unless you know that the product is good. Painting is disruptive, hard work and cheap paints can be difficult to work with, do not cover well, will slow the job down and do not last.
- Cheap Paints – Avoid
- Trade Paints – Painters know their paints and will use trade-line paints selectively for certain applications and premium paints for others. Trade paints have fair to good opacity (cover) due to adequate solids content and average viscosity with medium drag making them mostly easy to apply.
- Premium Paint – is used for critical applications including sealing, binding and finish coating. Premium paints have excellent opacity (cover) flow on easily due to a balanced viscosity and tend to settle (flatten off) when drying for a better finish.
Paint technology has come a long way over the last ten years and this has opened up a number of options which were previously unavailable. Some old and new options are detailed below for interior house painting;
Wall Paint – Low Sheen acrylic is commonly used because it is considered easy to maintain, which is true but the sheen levels will show any faults,(including cleaning marks), can be inconsistent and the end result can look hard, especially in living areas. New ranges of premium flat or eggshell (names vary) paint finishes are now available which are as easy or easier to maintain and have a wonderful soft looking, lustrous finish which hides any imperfections.
Trim Paint – Oil based gloss and to a lesser extent semi gloss enamel, has until recently been the only real choice for painting woodwork and trim where a hard durable finish is required. The main problem with enamels is that the colour deteriorates over time as the paint oxidises – for example white paint will yellow. New water based enamel paints have now been perfected to the point where they have similar characteristics to oil based enamels without this downside. Less fumes and better drying time is also a big plus.
Important: if switching to a water based enamel from oil based enamel ensure the surface is well keyed (sanded) and use a premium water based 3 in 1 sealer-primer-undercoat.
Tip; Consider using water based semi gloss enamel instead of gloss as it has a softer appearance, hides any imperfections and simply looks better. After undercoat (3 in 1) apply 2 coats (lightly sand in between) for best finish.
Exterior house paint will now last 10 to 15 years or more providing the preparation is done correctly. Premium paint is always recommended as the few extra dollars will buy you time before the job needs redoing. The key to this increased longevity lies with the paints flexibility and the ability it has to expand and contract with extreme weather conditions without cracking.
Many exterior paints are self priming but it is recommended that a quality acrylic (vinyl) primer sealer undercoat be used for bare timber and new work. Tip; Resist the temptation to not apply the recommended number of paint coats as the overall thickness of paint will dictate its ability to last. Tip; Oil based paints should be generally avoided on exterior surfaces as they become brittle and tend to crack.
Speciality Paints and Faux Finishes
When it comes to decorative paints and painting finishes you have a seemingly endless variety of choices including textured effects, metallic effects, Tucson effects, to name but a few. Applying these more specialised painting finishes requires a specific application technique detailed on the product for the suggested effect result but there is plenty of room to have some fun and do your own thing. Faux finishes allow you to express your artistic side.
Video – Examples of Faux finish techniques
Paint Touch Up
Paint colour will change over time so rather than rely on the original paint colour or formula (assuming you can find it!) for a touch up or partial repaint try the following; Locate an area on the (wall etc.) that you want to match the colour from (less obvious is better) or find a large flake of paint. Using a utility knife or similar – carefully cut a fifty cent size hole through the plasterboard paper and peel away the surface containing the paint. Don’ worry this can be filled and painted later on. Take this to a major paint store and ask them to colour match the sample using a device called a colour spectrometer. If they sell a lot of paint they should have one. This device will match the colour and produce the formula automatically but on lighter colours and off whites a colour chart match is recommended.
Tip; Take care to specify the sheen level (Flat, eggshell/mat, low sheen, semi gloss or gloss). For best results use the same method to apply the paint as was done originally (brush or roller – mini rollers are available and very handy).
A list of materials for painting;
Filler (premixed filler)
Blue Painters Tape
Caulking Tubes (No More Gaps)
Sandpaper (120 + 80 Grit) Putty
3 in 1 sealer-primer-undercoat Finish Paint (colour)
A list of Painting Tools
Paint brushes including a quality cutting in brush.
Paint roller frame and trays
roller sleeves (medium nap)
Extension pole for roller
Scraper and putty knife
Drop sheets (canvas/plastic)
Wire brush (for prep and cleaning brushes)