Best Paint Home Paint Buyers Guide Bestcovery

Best Paint Home Paint Buyers Guide Bestcovery

Best Paint (House)

Article Contents

  • Best Interior Paint
  • Best Ceiling Paint
  • Best Trim Paint
  • Best Exterior Paint
  • Best Cabinet Paint
  • Best Waterproofing Paint
  • Best Floor Paint
  • Best Paint for Metal
  • Best Pool Paint

Painting your house seems like a simple project until you take a trip to the paint store or lumberyard. Seeing the wide variety of paints available to you can easily take what you thought would be an easy job and turn it into something that makes you want to turn tail and run. In reality, very few run, but that doesnt mean that they have a lot of confidence in their decision on what type of paint to use for their paint job. In this article, Im going to try and take away your doubts and give you an idea how to pick out the right paint for your paint job.

Obviously, your first, and most obvious, decision is about color. Im not going to bother discussing. Read More colors here in this article, because this is really an interior decorating decision, and I dont consider myself an interior decorator. Im confident you can make this decision without my help.

Before we get into talking about specific paint types, let me mention something about paint quality. Like many other things, paint falls into the category of you get what you pay for. Generally speaking, higher cost paints will be thicker in viscosity with more base tint. This allows them to cover in fewer coats, laying a thicker coat of paint on the substrate, which will last you longer. If you decide to use a lesser-cost paint, you had better count on repainting your house sooner.

The other difference those higher cost paints will make is in coverage. Whenever you are trying to paint over one paint color with another that is significantly lighter, darker or a vastly different color, its hard to get the paint to hide the color below. It will usually take a minimum of two coats, and may take as many as three. However, higher quality paints not only are thicker bodied, but also have more tint in them, allowing them to cover better, faster, and often with fewer coats.

I recently proved this out in my own house. My house is brick and wood. I repainted the wood parts, which had been a blue-grey, with three tones of green, from a light, almost sea foam green on the soffits to a dark green on the fascia. By using a high quality paint, I was able to do everything in one coat. Likewise, when I was painting my interior walls, I was able to cover white walls with dark paint, creating accent walls

Okay, so lets start by talking about the different types of paint that are out there; what they are, and why they might be picked for a particular project (please note: Im not going to talk about paints that arent used for household applications):

Paint Materials

Contents

Latex

By far, latex based paints are the most popular on the market today. Latex is literally a rubber, which in paint is used as a base to insure that the paint maintains integrity sticking together and not turning into dust. Latex paints are water based, meaning that they can be cleaned up with water. This is where a lot of their popularity comes from.

Acrylic-Latex

These are essentially an evolutionary improvement on latex paints. Acrylic is a plastic and when it is added to latex paint (caulking as well), it makes for a tougher paint, which lasts for a longer time. Almost all quality latex paints are actually acrylic-latex paints.

Oil

Oil based paints are the old school paints. These paints start with a base of linseed oil, with the other materials added to it. Because of this, oil based paints need to be cleaned up with paint thinner (otherwise known as mineral spirits). For this reason alone, many do-it-yourselfers avoid using oil based paints. However, there are certain applications where oil based paints are a distinct advantage and worth the extra hassle of cleaning your paint brush with paint thinner.

  • High-gloss applications: Although there are a few acrylic-latex paints available on the market which are high gloss paints, they are extremely rare. Typically, if you need high-gloss paint, you need to buy an oil-based paint.
  • Painting metal: Latex and acrylic-latex paints dont do well on metals. Essentially, metals are better heat conductors than other materials. Have you ever touched a metal gate on a hot day? It seems much hotter than wood or brick siding on the house. Thats not because the metal is hotter, just because it transmits that heat to your hand better. What this does to paint is that it overdries the paint, essentially baking it onto the substrate. In the case of latex paints, this causes the paint to shrink, eliminating the flexibility advantage of the rubber, and causing the paint to crack.
  • When an extremely smooth paint application is required: Because oil-based paints dry slower than latex paints, they have more opportunity to flow out; eliminating brushstrokes and other things that cause uneven paint application.

Newer acrylic-latex paints have been developed which to a large part eliminate these advantages of oil based paints. For this reason, and even more so because of environmental regulations being imposed by the government, many companies are terminating their production of oil based paints.

Epoxy

Epoxy paint, like epoxy adhesive, is a two-part paint. We can say that it is a thin, tinted version of epoxy adhesive. Once the two parts are mixed together, the paint can be applied. Drying isnt caused by evaporation, but by chemical reaction. For this reason, you cant save the paint once youve mixed it. Youve got about six hours to apply the paint to the substrate, then you might as well throw away the rest.

Paint Sheen

Flat

Flat paint finishes are the best thing to use when you have imperfections in your walls finish that you want to hide. If your home is old or your wall texture isnt as consistent as youd like, this is what you want. Since the light reflects less off of these paints, they will do the best job of hiding those imperfections. On the other hand, these paints are more porous, which causes them to both absorb more moisture from the air and stain easier. For these reasons, its best to avoid using them in kitchens and bathrooms.

Eggshell

Eggshell is the next step up in gloss from a pure flat paint. Some manufacturers use the terms eggshell and satin interchangeably. However, in reality they arent interchangeable. These two sheens are the most commonly used for both interior and exterior applications in a home. For the interior, this sheen of paint cleans much easier than flat paints. For the exterior, this sheen of paint resists water much better than flat paints.

Satin

Just as satin fabric has more shine than an eggshell does, satin finish paint is slightly shinier than eggshell finish paint. They are essentially used for the same purpose. Which one you use is a matter of personal preference more than anything else.

Semi-gloss

When you want your woodwork to stand out or have superior washability, the clear choice is to use a semi-gloss paint. These paints are most commonly used for painted woodwork (as opposed to stained and varnished woodwork), or kitchen and bathroom walls. The drawback in using semi-gloss paints over satin finish paints is that they will show any imperfection much more obviously. It is essential when using semi-gloss or high gloss paints that you properly prepare your substrate, especially nail holes and drywall seams, insuring that you have a smooth surface to apply your paint to.

High gloss

High gloss paints are typically only used for painted wood trim and wrought-iron. This gives a finish which stands out much more than any other finish. As such, the only ones who use it for painted wood trim are those who put in wide, expensive trim. If you want your trim to stand out, this is the paint for you.

Additionally, high gloss paints are used in some specialty applications where high washability and stain resistance is necessary. The only places you might see this would be in a home would be a utility room or a garage floor. Additionally, although it isnt a residential usage, you occasionally find this in commercial kitchens.

Primers

Although this isnt an article about primers, there are some basic types of primers used in residential painting. I mention them, because proper priming of your substrate is an important part of insuring long lasting paint finish.

Regular Primers

Almost all surfaces used in the building of a home are porous. That means that the paint will soak into the surface, especially when it is new. Since paint can be expensive, this isnt necessarily a good use of paint. Primers, which typically cost less than paints, seal that porous surface, insuring that your paint stays on top of the substrate. The other effect primers have is to form a good bond between the substrate and the paint, adding to paint life. This is especially important with non-porous surfaces, such as metals.

Stain Covering Primers

These are used for repainting, especially repainting of interior surfaces. Any stains on walls and woodwork (crayon, mildew, rust) tend to soak through the paint and show up, even after a new paint job. These primers, which are quick drying and tinted white, dont allow the stain to soak through, instead covering it up and sealing it off.

Block Filler

Although not really a primer, Ive included this here with the primers, because it needs to be mentioned. Cement block, sometimes known as cinderblock is highly porous. When painting with any normal paint, the paint both soaks into the block and doesnt have enough viscosity to bridge over the larger dips in the surface. Block filler is an extremely thick primer, which works to fill those dips and seal off the surface, giving you a good paintable surface. Please note that unlike other paints and primers, block filler is only good for about 75 square feet per gallon.

Aluminum Primer

Aluminum is one of the hardest substrates to paint, as most paints, even oil-based ones, wont stick to it. However, almost all houses have aluminum flashing on the roofs. While the flashing on the roof usually isnt painted, it is painted when it comes down to meet a deck or a lower roof, such as a separate roof around the porch of a two story house. The normal procedure to paint aluminum is to acid etch it first, and then rinse off the acid. Once the aluminum is dry, a special primer is applied before painting.

Which Paint for Which Application?

Okay, we finally get down to answering the real question, which paint should you use for what?

Exterior Walls

Your easiest and best bet will be an acrylic-latex flat or satin paint. If you are painting the house for the first time, make sure to use a quality primer/sealer before painting. Some wood products come pre-primed, saving you the work of priming them. If you are painting your home for the first time, count on two coats; likewise if you are making a drastic color change. If you are covering a dark paint with a light one count on three coats (although you might be able to do it in two). If you are repainting your home, be sure to clean your home, preferably with a pressure washer, before painting.

Exterior Trim

You can use either satin or flat acrylic-latex paint for your exterior trim. If you are painting your home for the first time, be sure to prime the wood with a quality primer/sealer before painting. All cracks, splits in the wood, and sunken nail holes need to be caulked before painting. Be sure to scrape off any loose paint, especially if the wood is weathered, before painting.

Exterior Aluminum

Acid etch the aluminum, and then rinse it off with clean water. Once dry, you can paint it with either acrylic-latex paint or oil-based paint. Since the aluminum is primed, latex and acrylic-latex paints will stick to the metal. However, for the best long-term results, I recommend using an oil-based paint.

Exterior Doors

Of anything on your house, the exterior doors and door frames take the most abuse. Two things in particular are common causes of damage to a doors paint job: keys and shoes (kicking the door open or closed). For the sake of toughness, I recommend painting exterior doors with oil-based paints. Latex paints will work, but you will be repainting your door at least once a year to keep it nice looking.

Garage Doors

This is the exception to the case that you should use oil-based paints on aluminum. You can use acrylic-latex paints on garage doors, as long as they are pre-primed, without worry about the paint blistering and peeling.

Wrought Iron Fences & Gates

Before painting new wrought iron, I recommend cleaning it well with a strong degreaser. The steel mill that produced that metal uses oil as a lubricant in the extrusion and forming of those steel components. After cleaning, a phosphate treatment is recommended. This is a greenish liquid, which looks like light green water. You can buy it in the hardware store, lumberyard, or paint store. It is available under a number of trade names. The easiest way to apply your phosphate treatment is with a spray bottle. It will cause the surface of the metal to turn an uneven black as it dries. Final painting of the wrought iron (steel) should be done with two coats of oil-based paint.

Garage Floors

The best thing for painting garage floors is epoxy paint. While a little pricey, it will give you the best, longest lasting, most chemical and oil resistant finish you can get. Before applying your paint, clean any oil and grease thoroughly off of the floor with a cleaner designed for cleaning concrete. Once again, there are a number of these available on the market. If you cant find them elsewhere, try your local auto parts store. Try and apply two coats of epoxy paint if you can. That means youll need to split your material in half and only mix half of it at a time.

Interior Walls for Living Areas

Personally, I prefer flat latex paint for interior walls, however most people prefer satin finish latex paint. If you are painting on new construction, be sure to use a quality primer/sealer under your paint. Otherwise, your first coat of paint will soak right into the wall, acting as the primer. You will need to use two coats of paint for new construction. If you are repainting your home, one coat will work in most cases, except where you are making a drastic change in color (such as an accent wall). However, even in these cases, high quality paints will often cover in only one coat.

Kitchen & Bathroom Walls

For ease in washing and resistance to moisture, you want to use semi-gloss acrylic-latex paint in these areas. While it is possible to paint them with a satin paint, it wont stay clean as well. See the section above on interior walls for information on priming and paint coats.

Interior Trim (Painted)

Depending on your personal preference, you can use either semi-gloss or high gloss paint for your interior trim. It is not necessary to use an oil-based paint for this, as it really wont add anything to the life expectancy in this case. If you are building your home, prime and apply the first coat of paint to your trim before installing it. This makes it so you only have to apply one coat of paint with it installed (a great time saver). When repainting, interior trim may need two coats, depending upon the amount of damage to the existing paint job.

Childrens Furniture

Most childrens furniture is painted with high gloss oil based paint. This is done more than anything for durability. You dont want that paint chipping and peeling. Once again, make sure you use a quality primer/sealer before painting. If refinishing, be sure to properly fill and sand all dings, cracks, and nail holes. Prime those areas before painting.

Minimize

Best Interior Paint:

Most people dont realize it, but interior and exterior paints are actually different. The major difference between the two is that exterior paint has UV protection (ultra-violet) so that the paint wont be discolored by the light. Therefore, when interior paints are used on the exterior of a home, they have a horrible tendency to fade.

There is also usually a difference in sheen between interior and exterior paints. The exterior of most homes is painted with a flat paint, with either a flat or semi-gloss used for the trim. On the inside of the home, satin and semi-gloss paints are used; typically with semi-gloss in the kitchen and bathrooms and satin throughout the rest of the home.

This selection of paint sheen is based more upon washability than anything else. Painted. Read More walls in homes tend to get dirty, especially with small children around. Therefore, having the ability to wash the walls and trim from time to time is important; especially in the kitchen. Interior paint sheen choices start with flat, then eggshell, then satin, and finally semi-gloss. For a home where the quality of the wall finish isnt all that good, a flat paint should be used. However, in cases where the walls are well finished, eggshell or satin are the favorite choices.

Many people think that interior paint is interior paint and it really doesn’t matter what you get. There is nothing farther from the truth. Interior paints vary incredibly from one manufacturer to the next, even if they are supposedly the same thing. These differences include:

  • The amount of solids in the paint Paints with a lot of solids will cover better in one coat, provide a thicker finish and generally be more durable than low solids paints.
  • The type of material that is used for the solids Some manufacturers attempt to make a high-solids paint by adding clay for part of the solids. While this does make a high-solids paint that covers well, it is nowhere near as durable as one where the solids are latex or acrylic.
  • The amount of base pigment that is used The base pigment is the amount of pigmentation in the paint base (what you get if you order the white version of the paint, without any tint). Since it is the pigment that actually covers previous finishes and colors, a high pigmentation makes for a high chance of covering contrasting colors in one coat.

Due to these differences in formulation, the pigmentation system that each manufacturer uses is totally unique. You cant take the pigmentation system from Behr paint and use it for Valspar; the colors wont come out right. So before picking colors, you need to make sure that you pick out the brand and type of paint that you want. Otherwise, you may not be able to buy the color you picked in the paint you want.

Many people think that picking a best paint is highly subjective. While I will agree that there is some element of subjectivity to it, I’ve made my selections based on having been a professional painter, many years ago. The major criterion I used to make my choices were the paints ability to cover contrasting colors and the durability of the paint. Minimize

Best Paint (House)

Article Contents

  • Best Interior Paint
  • Best Ceiling Paint
  • Best Trim Paint
  • Best Exterior Paint
  • Best Cabinet Paint
  • Best Waterproofing Paint
  • Best Floor Paint
  • Best Paint for Metal
  • Best Pool Paint

Painting your house seems like a simple project until you take a trip to the paint store or lumberyard. Seeing the wide variety of paints available to you can easily take what you thought would be an easy job and turn it into something that makes you want to turn tail and run. In reality, very few run, but that doesnt mean that they have a lot of confidence in their decision on what type of paint to use for their paint job. In this article, Im going to try and take away your doubts and give you an idea how to pick out the right paint for your paint job.

Obviously, your first, and most obvious, decision is about color. Im not going to bother discussing. Read More colors here in this article, because this is really an interior decorating decision, and I dont consider myself an interior decorator. Im confident you can make this decision without my help.

Before we get into talking about specific paint types, let me mention something about paint quality. Like many other things, paint falls into the category of you get what you pay for. Generally speaking, higher cost paints will be thicker in viscosity with more base tint. This allows them to cover in fewer coats, laying a thicker coat of paint on the substrate, which will last you longer. If you decide to use a lesser-cost paint, you had better count on repainting your house sooner.

The other difference those higher cost paints will make is in coverage. Whenever you are trying to paint over one paint color with another that is significantly lighter, darker or a vastly different color, its hard to get the paint to hide the color below. It will usually take a minimum of two coats, and may take as many as three. However, higher quality paints not only are thicker bodied, but also have more tint in them, allowing them to cover better, faster, and often with fewer coats.

I recently proved this out in my own house. My house is brick and wood. I repainted the wood parts, which had been a blue-grey, with three tones of green, from a light, almost sea foam green on the soffits to a dark green on the fascia. By using a high quality paint, I was able to do everything in one coat. Likewise, when I was painting my interior walls, I was able to cover white walls with dark paint, creating accent walls

Okay, so lets start by talking about the different types of paint that are out there; what they are, and why they might be picked for a particular project (please note: Im not going to talk about paints that arent used for household applications):

Paint Materials

Latex

By far, latex based paints are the most popular on the market today. Latex is literally a rubber, which in paint is used as a base to insure that the paint maintains integrity sticking together and not turning into dust. Latex paints are water based, meaning that they can be cleaned up with water. This is where a lot of their popularity comes from.

Acrylic-Latex

These are essentially an evolutionary improvement on latex paints. Acrylic is a plastic and when it is added to latex paint (caulking as well), it makes for a tougher paint, which lasts for a longer time. Almost all quality latex paints are actually acrylic-latex paints.

Oil

Oil based paints are the old school paints. These paints start with a base of linseed oil, with the other materials added to it. Because of this, oil based paints need to be cleaned up with paint thinner (otherwise known as mineral spirits). For this reason alone, many do-it-yourselfers avoid using oil based paints. However, there are certain applications where oil based paints are a distinct advantage and worth the extra hassle of cleaning your paint brush with paint thinner.

  • High-gloss applications: Although there are a few acrylic-latex paints available on the market which are high gloss paints, they are extremely rare. Typically, if you need high-gloss paint, you need to buy an oil-based paint.
  • Painting metal: Latex and acrylic-latex paints dont do well on metals. Essentially, metals are better heat conductors than other materials. Have you ever touched a metal gate on a hot day? It seems much hotter than wood or brick siding on the house. Thats not because the metal is hotter, just because it transmits that heat to your hand better. What this does to paint is that it overdries the paint, essentially baking it onto the substrate. In the case of latex paints, this causes the paint to shrink, eliminating the flexibility advantage of the rubber, and causing the paint to crack.
  • When an extremely smooth paint application is required: Because oil-based paints dry slower than latex paints, they have more opportunity to flow out; eliminating brushstrokes and other things that cause uneven paint application.

Newer acrylic-latex paints have been developed which to a large part eliminate these advantages of oil based paints. For this reason, and even more so because of environmental regulations being imposed by the government, many companies are terminating their production of oil based paints.

Epoxy

Epoxy paint, like epoxy adhesive, is a two-part paint. We can say that it is a thin, tinted version of epoxy adhesive. Once the two parts are mixed together, the paint can be applied. Drying isnt caused by evaporation, but by chemical reaction. For this reason, you cant save the paint once youve mixed it. Youve got about six hours to apply the paint to the substrate, then you might as well throw away the rest.

Paint Sheen

Flat

Flat paint finishes are the best thing to use when you have imperfections in your walls finish that you want to hide. If your home is old or your wall texture isnt as consistent as youd like, this is what you want. Since the light reflects less off of these paints, they will do the best job of hiding those imperfections. On the other hand, these paints are more porous, which causes them to both absorb more moisture from the air and stain easier. For these reasons, its best to avoid using them in kitchens and bathrooms.

Eggshell

Eggshell is the next step up in gloss from a pure flat paint. Some manufacturers use the terms eggshell and satin interchangeably. However, in reality they arent interchangeable. These two sheens are the most commonly used for both interior and exterior applications in a home. For the interior, this sheen of paint cleans much easier than flat paints. For the exterior, this sheen of paint resists water much better than flat paints.

Satin

Just as satin fabric has more shine than an eggshell does, satin finish paint is slightly shinier than eggshell finish paint. They are essentially used for the same purpose. Which one you use is a matter of personal preference more than anything else.

Semi-gloss

When you want your woodwork to stand out or have superior washability, the clear choice is to use a semi-gloss paint. These paints are most commonly used for painted woodwork (as opposed to stained and varnished woodwork), or kitchen and bathroom walls. The drawback in using semi-gloss paints over satin finish paints is that they will show any imperfection much more obviously. It is essential when using semi-gloss or high gloss paints that you properly prepare your substrate, especially nail holes and drywall seams, insuring that you have a smooth surface to apply your paint to.

High gloss

High gloss paints are typically only used for painted wood trim and wrought-iron. This gives a finish which stands out much more than any other finish. As such, the only ones who use it for painted wood trim are those who put in wide, expensive trim. If you want your trim to stand out, this is the paint for you.

Additionally, high gloss paints are used in some specialty applications where high washability and stain resistance is necessary. The only places you might see this would be in a home would be a utility room or a garage floor. Additionally, although it isnt a residential usage, you occasionally find this in commercial kitchens.

Primers

Although this isnt an article about primers, there are some basic types of primers used in residential painting. I mention them, because proper priming of your substrate is an important part of insuring long lasting paint finish.

Regular Primers

Almost all surfaces used in the building of a home are porous. That means that the paint will soak into the surface, especially when it is new. Since paint can be expensive, this isnt necessarily a good use of paint. Primers, which typically cost less than paints, seal that porous surface, insuring that your paint stays on top of the substrate. The other effect primers have is to form a good bond between the substrate and the paint, adding to paint life. This is especially important with non-porous surfaces, such as metals.

Stain Covering Primers

These are used for repainting, especially repainting of interior surfaces. Any stains on walls and woodwork (crayon, mildew, rust) tend to soak through the paint and show up, even after a new paint job. These primers, which are quick drying and tinted white, dont allow the stain to soak through, instead covering it up and sealing it off.

Block Filler

Although not really a primer, Ive included this here with the primers, because it needs to be mentioned. Cement block, sometimes known as cinderblock is highly porous. When painting with any normal paint, the paint both soaks into the block and doesnt have enough viscosity to bridge over the larger dips in the surface. Block filler is an extremely thick primer, which works to fill those dips and seal off the surface, giving you a good paintable surface. Please note that unlike other paints and primers, block filler is only good for about 75 square feet per gallon.

Aluminum Primer

Aluminum is one of the hardest substrates to paint, as most paints, even oil-based ones, wont stick to it. However, almost all houses have aluminum flashing on the roofs. While the flashing on the roof usually isnt painted, it is painted when it comes down to meet a deck or a lower roof, such as a separate roof around the porch of a two story house. The normal procedure to paint aluminum is to acid etch it first, and then rinse off the acid. Once the aluminum is dry, a special primer is applied before painting.

Which Paint for Which Application?

Best Paint Home Paint Buyers Guide Bestcovery

Okay, we finally get down to answering the real question, which paint should you use for what?

Exterior Walls

Your easiest and best bet will be an acrylic-latex flat or satin paint. If you are painting the house for the first time, make sure to use a quality primer/sealer before painting. Some wood products come pre-primed, saving you the work of priming them. If you are painting your home for the first time, count on two coats; likewise if you are making a drastic color change. If you are covering a dark paint with a light one count on three coats (although you might be able to do it in two). If you are repainting your home, be sure to clean your home, preferably with a pressure washer, before painting.

Exterior Trim

You can use either satin or flat acrylic-latex paint for your exterior trim. If you are painting your home for the first time, be sure to prime the wood with a quality primer/sealer before painting. All cracks, splits in the wood, and sunken nail holes need to be caulked before painting. Be sure to scrape off any loose paint, especially if the wood is weathered, before painting.

Exterior Aluminum

Acid etch the aluminum, and then rinse it off with clean water. Once dry, you can paint it with either acrylic-latex paint or oil-based paint. Since the aluminum is primed, latex and acrylic-latex paints will stick to the metal. However, for the best long-term results, I recommend using an oil-based paint.

Exterior Doors

Of anything on your house, the exterior doors and door frames take the most abuse. Two things in particular are common causes of damage to a doors paint job: keys and shoes (kicking the door open or closed). For the sake of toughness, I recommend painting exterior doors with oil-based paints. Latex paints will work, but you will be repainting your door at least once a year to keep it nice looking.

Garage Doors

This is the exception to the case that you should use oil-based paints on aluminum. You can use acrylic-latex paints on garage doors, as long as they are pre-primed, without worry about the paint blistering and peeling.

Wrought Iron Fences & Gates

Before painting new wrought iron, I recommend cleaning it well with a strong degreaser. The steel mill that produced that metal uses oil as a lubricant in the extrusion and forming of those steel components. After cleaning, a phosphate treatment is recommended. This is a greenish liquid, which looks like light green water. You can buy it in the hardware store, lumberyard, or paint store. It is available under a number of trade names. The easiest way to apply your phosphate treatment is with a spray bottle. It will cause the surface of the metal to turn an uneven black as it dries. Final painting of the wrought iron (steel) should be done with two coats of oil-based paint.

Garage Floors

The best thing for painting garage floors is epoxy paint. While a little pricey, it will give you the best, longest lasting, most chemical and oil resistant finish you can get. Before applying your paint, clean any oil and grease thoroughly off of the floor with a cleaner designed for cleaning concrete. Once again, there are a number of these available on the market. If you cant find them elsewhere, try your local auto parts store. Try and apply two coats of epoxy paint if you can. That means youll need to split your material in half and only mix half of it at a time.

Interior Walls for Living Areas

Personally, I prefer flat latex paint for interior walls, however most people prefer satin finish latex paint. If you are painting on new construction, be sure to use a quality primer/sealer under your paint. Otherwise, your first coat of paint will soak right into the wall, acting as the primer. You will need to use two coats of paint for new construction. If you are repainting your home, one coat will work in most cases, except where you are making a drastic change in color (such as an accent wall). However, even in these cases, high quality paints will often cover in only one coat.

Kitchen & Bathroom Walls

For ease in washing and resistance to moisture, you want to use semi-gloss acrylic-latex paint in these areas. While it is possible to paint them with a satin paint, it wont stay clean as well. See the section above on interior walls for information on priming and paint coats.

Interior Trim (Painted)

Depending on your personal preference, you can use either semi-gloss or high gloss paint for your interior trim. It is not necessary to use an oil-based paint for this, as it really wont add anything to the life expectancy in this case. If you are building your home, prime and apply the first coat of paint to your trim before installing it. This makes it so you only have to apply one coat of paint with it installed (a great time saver). When repainting, interior trim may need two coats, depending upon the amount of damage to the existing paint job.

Childrens Furniture

Most childrens furniture is painted with high gloss oil based paint. This is done more than anything for durability. You dont want that paint chipping and peeling. Once again, make sure you use a quality primer/sealer before painting. If refinishing, be sure to properly fill and sand all dings, cracks, and nail holes. Prime those areas before painting.

Minimize

Best Interior Paint:

Most people dont realize it, but interior and exterior paints are actually different. The major difference between the two is that exterior paint has UV protection (ultra-violet) so that the paint wont be discolored by the light. Therefore, when interior paints are used on the exterior of a home, they have a horrible tendency to fade.

There is also usually a difference in sheen between interior and exterior paints. The exterior of most homes is painted with a flat paint, with either a flat or semi-gloss used for the trim. On the inside of the home, satin and semi-gloss paints are used; typically with semi-gloss in the kitchen and bathrooms and satin throughout the rest of the home.

This selection of paint sheen is based more upon washability than anything else. Painted. Read More walls in homes tend to get dirty, especially with small children around. Therefore, having the ability to wash the walls and trim from time to time is important; especially in the kitchen. Interior paint sheen choices start with flat, then eggshell, then satin, and finally semi-gloss. For a home where the quality of the wall finish isnt all that good, a flat paint should be used. However, in cases where the walls are well finished, eggshell or satin are the favorite choices.

Many people think that interior paint is interior paint and it really doesn’t matter what you get. There is nothing farther from the truth. Interior paints vary incredibly from one manufacturer to the next, even if they are supposedly the same thing. These differences include:

  • The amount of solids in the paint Paints with a lot of solids will cover better in one coat, provide a thicker finish and generally be more durable than low solids paints.
  • The type of material that is used for the solids Some manufacturers attempt to make a high-solids paint by adding clay for part of the solids. While this does make a high-solids paint that covers well, it is nowhere near as durable as one where the solids are latex or acrylic.
  • The amount of base pigment that is used The base pigment is the amount of pigmentation in the paint base (what you get if you order the white version of the paint, without any tint). Since it is the pigment that actually covers previous finishes and colors, a high pigmentation makes for a high chance of covering contrasting colors in one coat.

Due to these differences in formulation, the pigmentation system that each manufacturer uses is totally unique. You cant take the pigmentation system from Behr paint and use it for Valspar; the colors wont come out right. So before picking colors, you need to make sure that you pick out the brand and type of paint that you want. Otherwise, you may not be able to buy the color you picked in the paint you want.

Many people think that picking a best paint is highly subjective. While I will agree that there is some element of subjectivity to it, I’ve made my selections based on having been a professional painter, many years ago. The major criterion I used to make my choices were the paints ability to cover contrasting colors and the durability of the paint. Minimize

Best Paint (House)

Article Contents

  • Best Interior Paint
  • Best Ceiling Paint
  • Best Trim Paint
  • Best Exterior Paint
  • Best Cabinet Paint
  • Best Waterproofing Paint
  • Best Floor Paint
  • Best Paint for Metal
  • Best Pool Paint

Painting your house seems like a simple project until you take a trip to the paint store or lumberyard. Seeing the wide variety of paints available to you can easily take what you thought would be an easy job and turn it into something that makes you want to turn tail and run. In reality, very few run, but that doesnt mean that they have a lot of confidence in their decision on what type of paint to use for their paint job. In this article, Im going to try and take away your doubts and give you an idea how to pick out the right paint for your paint job.

Obviously, your first, and most obvious, decision is about color. Im not going to bother discussing. Read More colors here in this article, because this is really an interior decorating decision, and I dont consider myself an interior decorator. Im confident you can make this decision without my help.

Before we get into talking about specific paint types, let me mention something about paint quality. Like many other things, paint falls into the category of you get what you pay for. Generally speaking, higher cost paints will be thicker in viscosity with more base tint. This allows them to cover in fewer coats, laying a thicker coat of paint on the substrate, which will last you longer. If you decide to use a lesser-cost paint, you had better count on repainting your house sooner.

The other difference those higher cost paints will make is in coverage. Whenever you are trying to paint over one paint color with another that is significantly lighter, darker or a vastly different color, its hard to get the paint to hide the color below. It will usually take a minimum of two coats, and may take as many as three. However, higher quality paints not only are thicker bodied, but also have more tint in them, allowing them to cover better, faster, and often with fewer coats.

I recently proved this out in my own house. My house is brick and wood. I repainted the wood parts, which had been a blue-grey, with three tones of green, from a light, almost sea foam green on the soffits to a dark green on the fascia. By using a high quality paint, I was able to do everything in one coat. Likewise, when I was painting my interior walls, I was able to cover white walls with dark paint, creating accent walls

Okay, so lets start by talking about the different types of paint that are out there; what they are, and why they might be picked for a particular project (please note: Im not going to talk about paints that arent used for household applications):

Paint Materials

Latex

By far, latex based paints are the most popular on the market today. Latex is literally a rubber, which in paint is used as a base to insure that the paint maintains integrity sticking together and not turning into dust. Latex paints are water based, meaning that they can be cleaned up with water. This is where a lot of their popularity comes from.

Acrylic-Latex

These are essentially an evolutionary improvement on latex paints. Acrylic is a plastic and when it is added to latex paint (caulking as well), it makes for a tougher paint, which lasts for a longer time. Almost all quality latex paints are actually acrylic-latex paints.

Oil

Oil based paints are the old school paints. These paints start with a base of linseed oil, with the other materials added to it. Because of this, oil based paints need to be cleaned up with paint thinner (otherwise known as mineral spirits). For this reason alone, many do-it-yourselfers avoid using oil based paints. However, there are certain applications where oil based paints are a distinct advantage and worth the extra hassle of cleaning your paint brush with paint thinner.

  • High-gloss applications: Although there are a few acrylic-latex paints available on the market which are high gloss paints, they are extremely rare. Typically, if you need high-gloss paint, you need to buy an oil-based paint.
  • Painting metal: Latex and acrylic-latex paints dont do well on metals. Essentially, metals are better heat conductors than other materials. Have you ever touched a metal gate on a hot day? It seems much hotter than wood or brick siding on the house. Thats not because the metal is hotter, just because it transmits that heat to your hand better. What this does to paint is that it overdries the paint, essentially baking it onto the substrate. In the case of latex paints, this causes the paint to shrink, eliminating the flexibility advantage of the rubber, and causing the paint to crack.
  • When an extremely smooth paint application is required: Because oil-based paints dry slower than latex paints, they have more opportunity to flow out; eliminating brushstrokes and other things that cause uneven paint application.

Newer acrylic-latex paints have been developed which to a large part eliminate these advantages of oil based paints. For this reason, and even more so because of environmental regulations being imposed by the government, many companies are terminating their production of oil based paints.

Epoxy

Epoxy paint, like epoxy adhesive, is a two-part paint. We can say that it is a thin, tinted version of epoxy adhesive. Once the two parts are mixed together, the paint can be applied. Drying isnt caused by evaporation, but by chemical reaction. For this reason, you cant save the paint once youve mixed it. Youve got about six hours to apply the paint to the substrate, then you might as well throw away the rest.

Paint Sheen

Flat

Flat paint finishes are the best thing to use when you have imperfections in your walls finish that you want to hide. If your home is old or your wall texture isnt as consistent as youd like, this is what you want. Since the light reflects less off of these paints, they will do the best job of hiding those imperfections. On the other hand, these paints are more porous, which causes them to both absorb more moisture from the air and stain easier. For these reasons, its best to avoid using them in kitchens and bathrooms.

Eggshell

Eggshell is the next step up in gloss from a pure flat paint. Some manufacturers use the terms eggshell and satin interchangeably. However, in reality they arent interchangeable. These two sheens are the most commonly used for both interior and exterior applications in a home. For the interior, this sheen of paint cleans much easier than flat paints. For the exterior, this sheen of paint resists water much better than flat paints.

Satin

Just as satin fabric has more shine than an eggshell does, satin finish paint is slightly shinier than eggshell finish paint. They are essentially used for the same purpose. Which one you use is a matter of personal preference more than anything else.

Semi-gloss

When you want your woodwork to stand out or have superior washability, the clear choice is to use a semi-gloss paint. These paints are most commonly used for painted woodwork (as opposed to stained and varnished woodwork), or kitchen and bathroom walls. The drawback in using semi-gloss paints over satin finish paints is that they will show any imperfection much more obviously. It is essential when using semi-gloss or high gloss paints that you properly prepare your substrate, especially nail holes and drywall seams, insuring that you have a smooth surface to apply your paint to.

High gloss

High gloss paints are typically only used for painted wood trim and wrought-iron. This gives a finish which stands out much more than any other finish. As such, the only ones who use it for painted wood trim are those who put in wide, expensive trim. If you want your trim to stand out, this is the paint for you.

Additionally, high gloss paints are used in some specialty applications where high washability and stain resistance is necessary. The only places you might see this would be in a home would be a utility room or a garage floor. Additionally, although it isnt a residential usage, you occasionally find this in commercial kitchens.

Primers

Although this isnt an article about primers, there are some basic types of primers used in residential painting. I mention them, because proper priming of your substrate is an important part of insuring long lasting paint finish.

Regular Primers

Almost all surfaces used in the building of a home are porous. That means that the paint will soak into the surface, especially when it is new. Since paint can be expensive, this isnt necessarily a good use of paint. Primers, which typically cost less than paints, seal that porous surface, insuring that your paint stays on top of the substrate. The other effect primers have is to form a good bond between the substrate and the paint, adding to paint life. This is especially important with non-porous surfaces, such as metals.

Stain Covering Primers

These are used for repainting, especially repainting of interior surfaces. Any stains on walls and woodwork (crayon, mildew, rust) tend to soak through the paint and show up, even after a new paint job. These primers, which are quick drying and tinted white, dont allow the stain to soak through, instead covering it up and sealing it off.

Block Filler

Although not really a primer, Ive included this here with the primers, because it needs to be mentioned. Cement block, sometimes known as cinderblock is highly porous. When painting with any normal paint, the paint both soaks into the block and doesnt have enough viscosity to bridge over the larger dips in the surface. Block filler is an extremely thick primer, which works to fill those dips and seal off the surface, giving you a good paintable surface. Please note that unlike other paints and primers, block filler is only good for about 75 square feet per gallon.

Aluminum Primer

Aluminum is one of the hardest substrates to paint, as most paints, even oil-based ones, wont stick to it. However, almost all houses have aluminum flashing on the roofs. While the flashing on the roof usually isnt painted, it is painted when it comes down to meet a deck or a lower roof, such as a separate roof around the porch of a two story house. The normal procedure to paint aluminum is to acid etch it first, and then rinse off the acid. Once the aluminum is dry, a special primer is applied before painting.

Which Paint for Which Application?

Okay, we finally get down to answering the real question, which paint should you use for what?

Exterior Walls

Your easiest and best bet will be an acrylic-latex flat or satin paint. If you are painting the house for the first time, make sure to use a quality primer/sealer before painting. Some wood products come pre-primed, saving you the work of priming them. If you are painting your home for the first time, count on two coats; likewise if you are making a drastic color change. If you are covering a dark paint with a light one count on three coats (although you might be able to do it in two). If you are repainting your home, be sure to clean your home, preferably with a pressure washer, before painting.

Exterior Trim

You can use either satin or flat acrylic-latex paint for your exterior trim. If you are painting your home for the first time, be sure to prime the wood with a quality primer/sealer before painting. All cracks, splits in the wood, and sunken nail holes need to be caulked before painting. Be sure to scrape off any loose paint, especially if the wood is weathered, before painting.

Exterior Aluminum

Acid etch the aluminum, and then rinse it off with clean water. Once dry, you can paint it with either acrylic-latex paint or oil-based paint. Since the aluminum is primed, latex and acrylic-latex paints will stick to the metal. However, for the best long-term results, I recommend using an oil-based paint.

Exterior Doors

Of anything on your house, the exterior doors and door frames take the most abuse. Two things in particular are common causes of damage to a doors paint job: keys and shoes (kicking the door open or closed). For the sake of toughness, I recommend painting exterior doors with oil-based paints. Latex paints will work, but you will be repainting your door at least once a year to keep it nice looking.

Garage Doors

This is the exception to the case that you should use oil-based paints on aluminum. You can use acrylic-latex paints on garage doors, as long as they are pre-primed, without worry about the paint blistering and peeling.

Wrought Iron Fences & Gates

Before painting new wrought iron, I recommend cleaning it well with a strong degreaser. The steel mill that produced that metal uses oil as a lubricant in the extrusion and forming of those steel components. After cleaning, a phosphate treatment is recommended. This is a greenish liquid, which looks like light green water. You can buy it in the hardware store, lumberyard, or paint store. It is available under a number of trade names. The easiest way to apply your phosphate treatment is with a spray bottle. It will cause the surface of the metal to turn an uneven black as it dries. Final painting of the wrought iron (steel) should be done with two coats of oil-based paint.

Garage Floors

The best thing for painting garage floors is epoxy paint. While a little pricey, it will give you the best, longest lasting, most chemical and oil resistant finish you can get. Before applying your paint, clean any oil and grease thoroughly off of the floor with a cleaner designed for cleaning concrete. Once again, there are a number of these available on the market. If you cant find them elsewhere, try your local auto parts store. Try and apply two coats of epoxy paint if you can. That means youll need to split your material in half and only mix half of it at a time.

Interior Walls for Living Areas

Personally, I prefer flat latex paint for interior walls, however most people prefer satin finish latex paint. If you are painting on new construction, be sure to use a quality primer/sealer under your paint. Otherwise, your first coat of paint will soak right into the wall, acting as the primer. You will need to use two coats of paint for new construction. If you are repainting your home, one coat will work in most cases, except where you are making a drastic change in color (such as an accent wall). However, even in these cases, high quality paints will often cover in only one coat.

Kitchen & Bathroom Walls

For ease in washing and resistance to moisture, you want to use semi-gloss acrylic-latex paint in these areas. While it is possible to paint them with a satin paint, it wont stay clean as well. See the section above on interior walls for information on priming and paint coats.

Interior Trim (Painted)

Depending on your personal preference, you can use either semi-gloss or high gloss paint for your interior trim. It is not necessary to use an oil-based paint for this, as it really wont add anything to the life expectancy in this case. If you are building your home, prime and apply the first coat of paint to your trim before installing it. This makes it so you only have to apply one coat of paint with it installed (a great time saver). When repainting, interior trim may need two coats, depending upon the amount of damage to the existing paint job.

Childrens Furniture

Most childrens furniture is painted with high gloss oil based paint. This is done more than anything for durability. You dont want that paint chipping and peeling. Once again, make sure you use a quality primer/sealer before painting. If refinishing, be sure to properly fill and sand all dings, cracks, and nail holes. Prime those areas before painting.

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Best Interior Paint:

Most people dont realize it, but interior and exterior paints are actually different. The major difference between the two is that exterior paint has UV protection (ultra-violet) so that the paint wont be discolored by the light. Therefore, when interior paints are used on the exterior of a home, they have a horrible tendency to fade.

There is also usually a difference in sheen between interior and exterior paints. The exterior of most homes is painted with a flat paint, with either a flat or semi-gloss used for the trim. On the inside of the home, satin and semi-gloss paints are used; typically with semi-gloss in the kitchen and bathrooms and satin throughout the rest of the home.

This selection of paint sheen is based more upon washability than anything else. Painted. Read More walls in homes tend to get dirty, especially with small children around. Therefore, having the ability to wash the walls and trim from time to time is important; especially in the kitchen. Interior paint sheen choices start with flat, then eggshell, then satin, and finally semi-gloss. For a home where the quality of the wall finish isnt all that good, a flat paint should be used. However, in cases where the walls are well finished, eggshell or satin are the favorite choices.

Many people think that interior paint is interior paint and it really doesn’t matter what you get. There is nothing farther from the truth. Interior paints vary incredibly from one manufacturer to the next, even if they are supposedly the same thing. These differences include:

  • The amount of solids in the paint Paints with a lot of solids will cover better in one coat, provide a thicker finish and generally be more durable than low solids paints.
  • The type of material that is used for the solids Some manufacturers attempt to make a high-solids paint by adding clay for part of the solids. While this does make a high-solids paint that covers well, it is nowhere near as durable as one where the solids are latex or acrylic.
  • The amount of base pigment that is used The base pigment is the amount of pigmentation in the paint base (what you get if you order the white version of the paint, without any tint). Since it is the pigment that actually covers previous finishes and colors, a high pigmentation makes for a high chance of covering contrasting colors in one coat.

Due to these differences in formulation, the pigmentation system that each manufacturer uses is totally unique. You cant take the pigmentation system from Behr paint and use it for Valspar; the colors wont come out right. So before picking colors, you need to make sure that you pick out the brand and type of paint that you want. Otherwise, you may not be able to buy the color you picked in the paint you want.

Many people think that picking a best paint is highly subjective. While I will agree that there is some element of subjectivity to it, I’ve made my selections based on having been a professional painter, many years ago. The major criterion I used to make my choices were the paints ability to cover contrasting colors and the durability of the paint. Minimize


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