Paint brand for interior painting or exterior painting projects.
The multitude of paint brands leaves an aspiring painting contractor or decorator, and especially a homeowner, wondering about which one is better and if they are actually any different.
Yes, different brands perform differently. But, unfortunately, there cannot be a universal advice for several reasons. For one, different brands may suit one type of application better than the other. Additionally, paint manufacturers constantly change formulas of their paints, so the same exact kind you used the last time might not do the same good job this time. Each brand has several paint lines ranging from the lower to the top grade, and the performance will change with the product line. Also, if a paint manufacturer develops a considerably different formulation and launches a new line, it may demonstrate a non-typical for this brand performance.
It is possible to say, however, that good performance cannot be expected from the cheapest paints. Some of the reasons were explained in the earlier articles. Additionally, the high price tag will not guarantee the best performance either. It is generally recommended to look among the mid-price range products. Among those potential candidates, consider color selection, binding and fading qualities, ease of application, etc.
Each painting contractor has his/her own preferences and will be advocating them. Sherwin-Williams Aura and Behr Premium Ultra are among the best interior paints lately. The same brands, but different lines, currently hold the top positions in exterior paints, namely Sherwin-Williams Duration and Behr Premium Plus. But many others are capable of doing a good job. As painting contractors are professionals who have extensively worked with different brands and lines of paint, their preferences are usually substantiated. Just be careful about the suggestions from the very top or bottom of the price range.
There is a variety of paint finish types, also called paint gloss levels, with each one being best suited for a particular application. Types of finishes of interior paints are explained below.
Flat, or matte, finish does not have any gloss. This is the ceiling paint finish and is also the choice for walls if the goal is to create the most depth and softness. It is the most capable finish to conceal surface imperfections. However, these strengths should be considered against a few weaknesses – flat finishes are easily stained/scuffed and do not endure cleaning/washing. Additionally, the surface of a flat finish is more porous and will not withstand mildew or mold in wet locations. Some new formulations, enamel flat paints, have a much improved durability and can tolerate some cleaning.
Eggshell, or pearl, finish is the most versatile. It has the minimal gloss (shine) and is also good at covering surface defects. It does not result in the same deep and soft finish as the flat paint, but it can be washed. Eggshell is a popular choice to compromise between luxurious finish and maintenance and is a better choice for wet locations.
Satin, or velvet, finish is glossier than flat and eggshell, but it is only “gently” shiny and can be easily cleaned. Plus, it has a good mold/mildew resistance.
Semi-gloss finish is even shinier and is usually chosen for trim, wood work, and those areas that need to reflect the light or be cleaned often.
Gloss finish is the shiniest and is occasionally used for high impact applications.
When it comes to exterior painting, there is usually a smaller choice of finishes, especially among mainstream paints. The properties of interior paint finishes generally can be applied to exterior paints. The most versatile exterior paint finish is satin as it is suitable for most applications, including wood and plastic wall materials. Semi-gloss finish is a favorite choice for exterior trim, shutters and doors.
Paint color discussion is coming in the next post. In the meantime, feel free to comment and share your experience and thoughts.