by Marc Eichler
112 Railroad St., Revere, MA 02151
800.420.0021 /

When deciding to paint your house, inside or out, there are several questions that a do-it-yourself homeowner must first ask before purchasing paint.   What type of paint should I use?  What gloss or sheen do I want?  What color should I choose?  All seemingly basic questions, but without the right planning, it could make all the difference.

Types of Paint   Latex and Oil (also called Alkyd) based paints are the two most common forms of house paint from which a homeowner can choose.  The advantage of latex paints typically are that they resist fading and chalking, are easy to clean up, dry fast and are more flexible and breathable than oil based paints.  Alternatively, oil based paints characteristically protect metal better, have a high resistance to marking, and have excellent penetration and adhesive qualities.  For example, oil based paints are commonly a good choice for priming new wood due to their good penetration ability as well as the enhanced sealing qualities a basic oil primer will provide on nail heads and for hiding wood grains.  A latex finish coat works well with an oil primer, but the opposite is not always true.  A flexible latex primer beneath an oil topcoat can cause premature cracking and peeling due to the differences in elasticity.   However, with today’s advances in coatings chemistry, it’s possible to find either a latex or an oil based paint that will perform well in most applications.  The best course of action is to consult with your local paint dealer before selecting your type of paint.

Gloss  A paint’s sheen or gloss is a technical term for how much light it reflects at a specific angle. Simply put, it refers to how shiny the paint is.  Paint gloss is generally categorized from high to low by the terms high gloss, semi-gloss, egg-shell, satin and flat.  The gloss paints appear shiny when viewed straight on, whereas, the eggshells and satins have only a slight sheen when viewed at an angle.  Flats are just as the name implies, no sheen.  Choosing the right gloss is just as important as choosing the right color:  a shinny surface enhances detail where a lower gloss finish gives a softer, smoother look.  In general, flat finishes work best on ceilings, eggshell or satins on walls, and gloss finishes bring out the detail in wood trim around windows and doors.

Color   Deciding what color to choose is mostly subjective and depends on the individual’s tastes, but there are a few  things that one should consider when selecting paint color.  Very deep, bold colors tend to be more expensive than more subtle colors because they require a great deal of tinting or pigmentation.  Contrasting colors like a white ceiling and dark blue walls are more difficult to paint because they require a more skill in cutting in.  And repainting a lighter color over a darker coat may require more paint or at least the use of a primer coat than if the new coat were a darker color than the original.   Lastly, when ordering paint that is being tinted, always overestimate the quantity needed so that you are sure to have enough to finish the job (factoring in the number of coats needed), and have some extra for touch ups later on.  This is to ensure that the color is all uniform because no matter how accurate the computer tinting of your paint dealer may claim to be, you are always sure to get the color exact if you get it all in one batch rather than in multiple orders.

If you still have questions about paint, be sure to consult your neighborhood paint dealer for tips and advice.  It’s better to ask questions first, than to repaint later.  Durant Corp. Paints and Custom Coatings.  Serving the North Shore and North America since 1950.

Bring in this article or refer to it and get a 20% discount on any purchase of $30.00 or more.  Offer good thru 6/04.

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