Paint Guide: Selecting the Right Type of Paint to Decorate Your Home

One of the most effective ways to transform a room is to give it a fresh coat of paint. But before you get the brushes and rollers out, you need to be confident that you’ve selected the best paint for your requirements, and that involves more than just looking at colour charts.

To help you choose, here’s our handy paint guide to the major interior paints and their uses.

Paint Guide: Oil-Based or Water-Based Paint – Pros and Cons

The pigments in a tin of paint are held together using either an oil-based or water-based binder. Oil-based products include alkyd and linseed paints. They’re hardwearing, making them popular choices for skirting boards and other areas that are particularly vulnerable to damage. However, they produce a strong odour (good ventilation is vital) and take several hours to dry.

Water-based alternatives include latex and acrylic paints. They smell less than oil-based paints and dry faster – usually within an hour. While coats of water-based paints don’t look as smooth as oil-based ones, they’re less likely to crack. As they contain lower levels of VOCs (volatile organic compounds), they’re safer too.

Priming the Surface

If you’re working with a previously unpainted surface, start by covering it in primer. It encourages paint to adhere to the surface without sinking in. Primer is also ideal for surfaces that have been repaired or are stained.

Creating a Good Base

Use undercoat paint before painting with your chosen colour to prevent the surface’s original colour from showing through. For light colour schemes, use a pale undercoat. For dramatic ones, a dark undercoat works better.

Applying Decorative Coats

There are two main kinds of topcoat paint: glosses (robust and ideal for woodwork) and emulsions (duller and less durable, but perfect for walls and ceilings).

Make sure your primer, undercoat and topcoat have the same binder (for example, if you use latex paint, the other products should be water-based too) to avoid problems.

Variety of Finishes

Topcoat paints offer a wide range of finishes.

  • High gloss – this finish is the most eye-catching, because it’s so reflective. High gloss paints create non-porous surfaces, making them simple to clean. However, avoid using these paints on uneven surfaces, as they highlight imperfections.
  • Semi-gloss – if you want a shiny finish without the drama of high gloss, this is a great option. It’s often found on doors and window frames.
  • Silk – emulsions with a silk finish are widely used in humid areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. The paints create a polished look but are also practical, as they can easily be wiped down and aren’t overly vulnerable to steam damage.
  • Satin – its softness creates a cosy glow and adds depth to topcoat colours. That’s why satin paints make living rooms and bedrooms look more inviting.
  • Eggshell – for chic, classic style, choose this the dublin painters finish. Its sheen makes rooms look warmer and works well on wood, providing a subtle alternative to gloss.
  • Matt – also known as flat, this velvety-looking finish is perfect when you’re painting large areas of plaster or Artex, as it won’t draw attention to flaws and touch-ups. Matt paints tend to attract dirt so work best in homes without children or pets.

Surrey Painting and Decorating Specialists

There’s a lot to think about when you want to paint one or more rooms in your home and we hope you’ve found our paint guide helpful If you’d like more help, why not let our experienced team make the process easy for you?

Our comprehensive painting and decorating service is available in and around Walton-on-Thames, Hersham, Esher, Cobham, West Molesey and East Molesey. Thanks to our status as a Dulux Select Decorator, you can be confident that the work will be completed to the highest standards and leave you feeling delighted.

For a no-obligation painting and decorating quote, simply call Extreme Handyman, Fencing and Decorating Service today on 020 8224 0830 or contact us online.

You might also enjoy