The success of your
painting project depends greatly on the care that goes into
selecting the paints and tools and preparing the walls. These are a
crucial parts of the process that will reward you with professional
All About Paint
Paint is available in a wide variety of types and finishes, with
color choices limited only by your imagination. Whether you want a
tough, childproof finish or a soft, sophisticated wash of color,
you’ll find just the right paint on the shelf of your paint store.
These simple guidelines for choosing paint will help steer you
toward the paint products necessary for the look you want.
Types of Paint
Paint falls into two basic categories: water- based and oil-based
paint. Both water-based and oil-based paints are available in
various sheens, each recommended for different areas of your house.
Virtually all interior painting jobs today--including wails,
ceilings, and woodwork--are done using water-based paint, which is
commonly called latex paint. Water-based paint is safer for the
envirom-nent and easier to use than oil-based paint. You can clean
up brushes and rollers quickly with soap and water, and just as
easily remove spatters from your skin. Latex paint dries quickly on
the surface, so you can apply second coats in a few hours. Most
latex paints have comparatively mild odors, so room ventilation is
less of a concern.
Oil-based paints, also called alkyd paints, give a durable, smooth
finish, They do, how ever, require longer drying times; and because
you must use harsh solvents like mineral spirits or turpentine,
cleanup is more complicated.
A glaze is a translucent film applied over a painted surface to
create depth and visual texture. By manipulating a glaze with
various tools or materials, you can create interesting effects.
Glazes are usually a mixture of glazing liquid (which is basically
paint binder without the pigment), water, and pigmented paint in
proportion suggested by the manufacturer. The resulting glaze has a
prolonged drying time, beneficial for creating decorative and faux
PRIMERS & SEALERS
Unseen beneath the top paint coat, primers and sealers are
nonetheless key ingredients in a quality paint job. Although they
usually have very little pigment, these products help cover flaws
and ensure that the paint adheres well to the surface. It is usually
not necessary to prime a nonporous surface in good condition, like
painted wood, painted plaster, or painted drywall.
Primers are available in both water-based and oil-based varieties.
Different types are recommended for different jobs.
||No sheen; for walls and ceilings
||Low sheen; for walls, ceilings, trim
||Slightly glossy sheen; for walls and trim;
||Reflective sheen; for doors, cabinets, trim;
||Low sheen; smooth, hard finish; for trim and
||Very glossy; smooth, hard finish: for trim and
||Very glossy sheen; smooth, hard finish; for
trim and furniture
FLAT LATEX PRIMER
Used for sealing unfinished drywall or previously painted surfaces,
this primer dries quickly so your top coat can be applied on the
DEEP COLOR PRIMER
When you plan to apply a very deep, dark color to your walls, prime
first with this type of latex primer. It is designed to be tinted
with a color similar to your top coat and will provide better
LATEX ENAMEL PRIMER
Used primarily for sealing raw wood) enamel undercoat closes wood
pores and provides a smooth top finish. Do not use the primer on
cedar, redwood, or plywood that contains water-soluble dyes, because
the dyes will bleed through the primer.
STAIN KILLING PRIMER
Available in both alkyd and latex forms, these primers are designed
to seal stains like crayon, ink, and grease so they will not bleed
through your top coat of paint. Use them to seal knotholes in wood
and for cedar, redwood, and plywood that contain water-soluble dyes.
METAL & MASONRY PRIMER
Designed specifically for use with metal, brick, or cement block
surfaces, these latex primers can be used on the interior or
exterior of your home.
You may find metal
primers for both clean, rust-free metal surfaces and for sur faces
where rusting has already occurred. Both types inhibit rusting and
allow the top coat to adhere evenly to the metal.
How Much to Buy?
To calculate how much
paint you will need to finish your project, use this standard
formula. Work in square feet (or square meters).
1. Measure each wall to
figure the area:
2. Measure each window
and door to figure the area:
3. Now subtract the total
window and door area from the total wall area:
4. Measure ceilings and
floors to figure total area you need to paint:
Most interior paint
products are designed to cover approximately 400 square feet per
gallon (36 square meters per 3.56 liters). To figure how many
gallons of wall paint you will need, simply divide your total wall
area by 400. (Check the paint can label for the manufacturer’s
coverage recommendation.) Don’t forget to double your final amount
if you plan to apply two coats.
It is a good idea to
estimate how long your painting project will take to complete. While
every painter works at a different pace, remember that as a rule,
preparation time takes longer than most people anticipate. If you
are planning to work on weekends, for instance, complete your wall
preparation on one weekend; then on the next weekend move furniture,
drape and mask surfaces, and apply paint.
1-4 hours 4--10
hours: do not
recoat for 24 hours
1-4 hours 6--hours:
recoat for 24 hours
1--4 hours 6—
hours: do not
recoat for 24 hours