EDITION 116: April - June 2023

Painting Your Home

By Jerome Allen
If you are planning to beautify the walls of your house with a fresh coat of paint, the many choices of paint types can be overwhelming. Let’s have a look at the different kinds of paint that are available, and how best to use each one. The first distinction to examine is the difference between oil-based and water-based paints. As a general rule paints that are oil-based are more durable and provide a smoother looking finish. However, the advantages of water-based paints are that they dry faster and can be cleaned up with just soap and water, whereas oil-based paints require chemical solvents to clean brushes and stains. Water-based paint is fine for places that don’t get a lot of wear and tear, like walls and ceilings. You might consider using oil-based paint on surfaces that need to resist abuse like exteriors, floors, doors, trim, and furniture. For an even stronger finish you can use an enamel paint, which has incredible durability and dries to a tough, hard finish. In the past, almost all enamel paints were oil-based, but now there are water-based enamel paints available as well.

All types of paint come in different levels of shininess from very soft to very bright. The least glossy are called mate (matte in English), and this type of finish is good for ceilings and other places where you want a softer feeling. The most glossy paint is labelled ‘brillante’, and it works very well in kitchens and bathrooms, because it is extremely durable and easy to clean. In between are ‘satinado’ paints which have more gloss than mate but less than brillante. This provides a good compromise that is still durable, but only a bit shiny so the surface does not reflect too much light.

For painting the outside of your home you need a paint that is specified for exterior use. Some paints are okay to use either for interior or exterior, but for an outside wall it is best to select a true exterior paint as it will cover better and last longer. Speaking of covering, whether indoors or outdoors, your surface may need a coat of primer before you start to paint. Primer adds durability and longevity by sealing the surface of a wall so that the paint adheres better. It is usually necessary on new, clean surfaces, but is also helpful to prevent discolouration when painting over an old colour. If you are painting over a previous paint job that is a similar shade, then you probably don’t need to apply primer. However, when painting a light colour over a dark colour it is recommended to use a primer first.

“Paint comes in a wide variety of colours, brightness & finish”

When it comes to colours, your range of choices is virtually limitless. Most paint stores have machines which can mix tints to create whatever colour that you desire in just about any type of paint. You choose from an extensive selection of shades that are on cards with many choices from each colour grouping. The machine mixes the tints, and the paint is then put into a shaking machine so that the colour is thoroughly blended and the paint is ready to be used. The next step is to buy some brushes or rollers. For most interior painting and smaller outdoor jobs, brushes are best and easiest to use. A large brush covers walls faster, but also get some small brushes for the more detailed work on borders and corners. When painting outdoor walls a roller can save a lot of labour as it goes on much faster. Of course, if you are not into do-it-yourself, then you can hire a professional painter who will likely do the job in much less time with no fuss.