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Know your paint

Paint effects and faux painting are techniques that enable you to re-create particular looks in your home without having to use the original and authentic materials. One example is a faux marble effect for walls. When cleverly applied, only very careful scrutiny would be able to tell the faux effect from the real thing. The right paint is one of the most important ingredients in the recipe for success with faux painting techniques.

Paint technology is very advanced and sophisticated these days and there are specialist paints for a wide variety of purposes. Paints can help you to create an artisan finish on walls, paint floors for wear resistance, covering newly plastered walls and textured surfaces. Painting interiors whether for special effects or simple wall colour needs consideration as there are so many paint types that can be used and some are used on wood, walls, or metal in a multitude of colours and finishes.

Paint terminology is sometimes confusing because it varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. The main differences are whether they are water-based or oil-based, matt or glossy. The degree of gloss varies and there are semi-matt and silk finishes. Matt paint is unreflective and 100% gloss gives surfaces a high shine. Gloss paint is unforgiving and does not easily mask flaws and accentuate dents and bumps.

Undercoat or Flat paint

This type has a matt finish but is not the same as matt paint. It is a cheap interior paint for basic cover or for use underneath another type of paint. It is not washable and if used alone, will need constant touching up but it does a good job of hiding imperfections in walls. It is not suitable as a base for faux paint effects but can be used alone in clean low traffic areas in the home for an economical job

Matt paint

This paint is high quality and non-reflective. It contains ceramic beads and other elements that repel stains and create a washable surface. Matt paint is ideal for period looks and for any type of interior wall or ceiling.

Eggshell paint

Eggshell has a slight attractive sheen which is a little livelier than plain matt and gives a little more definition on interior walls.

Satin and pearlescent paints

Very similar to eggshell and certainly comparable to, this type of paint gives a velvety smooth finish and is a very useful paint for interiors. Different brands use these different names for essentially the same product. Satin or pearlescent paint is the ideal base for faux painting because it allows the glaze to spread smoothly and dry slowly. This type of paint is versatile, easy to clean and multi-purpose that can be used on woodwork, such as doors and window frames, as well as walls. They are also water and steam-resistant types, which are excellent for bathrooms and kitchens.

Semi-gloss paint

This paint halfway between mat and gloss gives a soft, low shine and is simple to wipe down. Used especially for wood (doors, windows, furniture), it has all the advantages of satin and pearl paints, but bear in mind the level of gloss in this paint will show up and accentuate any flaws, rather than hiding them.

Gloss paint

This paint when done well is rich and luxurious with a glass like shine creating a smooth, highly reflective surface. As imperfections show up so easily, preparation is the key to a good result and proper paint striping, sanding and filling will be necessary for a perfect finish.

Knowing your paints gives you a head start on any interiors project especially when you are going to try some ambitious faux paint effects. Why not try one of our short interior design courses at Absolute Academy where you will learn about colour and paint techniques so you are confident of painting your home. Knowing the tips of the professionals will save you time and money on wasted paint colours and your decorating labour.

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One Response to Know your paint

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    Dynamic 21/08/2013 at 6:22 pm #

    Thanks for the very informative post on paint types and best for uses. These types of posts can offer a homeowner (and pro) good insight on what to use and when for painting!

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