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All About Paint


As all professional painting contractors know, choosing the right paint is very important in order to meet budget and time conditions, and especially to achieve the desired results. Paint choice depends on the location, surface type and use, existing conditions, and intended end look. House painters should advise their clients on the paint differences if the customers buy their own paint. Certain types of paint are created exclusively for exterior house painting and should not be used inside a home. They have a smaller number of variables to consider and are usually marked for exterior use.

Professional house painters are educated about the contents of different types and brands of paint – such things as paint “vehicle”, or filler, pigments, binders, and various additives. All of the above are usually the details not known to the general public, but the ones that determine the characteristics of paint making it the best choice for one application or the other.

Cans of different paint.

For the interior painting services, a contractor would consider the impact of the following aspects of paint on the job at hand: type/content, brand, coverage, finish, and color.

Type: Latex or Oil-based

Latex/acrylic paints are the most popular choice for a wide range of applications. They dry much faster (but cure longer), have a low odor and contain significantly less VOC (volatile organic compound). They also can be thinned with water, and water is all that is required for a cleanup. Latex paints are fade-resistant and maintain color longer. This is the most often used paint for exterior applications as it creates a good protective surface while expanding and contracting with the material in the changing outdoor conditions. Latex paints need to be applied in the temperatures above 50F. High humidity will also affect the paint, extending its drying time, so it is not recommended to paint within 2 hours before the sunset or dew (and until the surface dries up in the morning).

Oil-based paints are mostly chosen for very smooth materials, such as plastics and metals. These paints are extremely durable, so they might be the preferred option even for other surfaces if they receive heavy usage. Oil-based paints provide a wet-edge longer because of the longer drying times, which can be a drawback. They have a strong odor and more of the harmful fumes, and they require mineral spirits for thinning and cleanup. Such paints are better at covering imperfections because of their thicker consistency. They also cover porous surfaces better because of the smaller molecule size of oil, which allows it to penetrate the surface of the material. At the lower temperatures, oil-based paints thicken, so that application at below 45F is not recommended.

In the next articles, we will discuss other paint aspects to consider. Stay tuned.

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