Things to Know About Paint

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Paint is the world’s most popular coating

Why is this so? Because paint is economical, easy to maintain and the fastest and simplest way to transform the appearance or looks of an entire house or any edifice, or any surface, for that matter. Today’s paints are easy to apply, faster cleanup, and most importantly, greatly durable. With versatile tools available in painting works, working with paint is so easy even for the first-timers.


Water-based Paints (Latex)

Latex is a water-based paint. There are good reasons why this type of paint is the most popular paint today:

  • Dries quickly because it is water-based

  • Durable and washable

  • Applicable on all surfaces, except on tiles and acoustic ceiling materials

  • Odor-free

  • Tools and hands are easy to cleanup by just using soap and water

Latex finishes range from flat, semi-gloss to gloss. “Flat” finishes quite lack luster. If you need your walls to be a little bit shiny, you may opt to use the “semi-gloss” or even “gloss” which is very lustrous. However, latex finishes are not as shiny as the oil-based paints such as enamel. Gloss finishes by a water-based or oil-based are required when you want painted surfaces to be more durable and washable. On masonry walls, it is more advisable to use a special latex with vinyl because aside from being washable, it is alkali-resistant.

Remember this: Latex paint becomes only durable when applied properly. In order to avoid disappointment upon seeing the paint cracking and peeling off very early, you have to be sure that the surface to be painted is properly prepared in order to achieve a perfect bonding. Don’t do the preparation in haphazard manner.

Oil-based Paints (enamel)

Per se, oil-based paints produce strong stinging odors and very difficult to clean, and drying very slowly. To clean an oil-based paint, you need another harsh and strong-smelling solvent, such as turpentine. To solve this problem, manufacturers developed a formula whereby alkyds are mixed to oil-based paints. Aside from its odor-free result, the new compound also offers durable, washable, and quick-drying finishes. Use of thinning materials also are no longer needed. Stirring is all it takes. For cleaning up works, however, paint thinner is demanded.

Oil-based paints also has the same features as latex paints, but with some additional benefits:

  • Durability

  • Washability

  • Sticking ability

  • Quick-drying without brush marks

  • Highly resistant to odor, wear, and dirt

Quick-drying enamels are excellent in the kitchen and bathroom cabinets and closet doors because of their resistance to dirt and odor. They sport a very brilliant tile-like finish ranging from satin, flat, semi-gloss to gloss. But if you really desires for an excellent washability and color retention, synthetic enamel is the answer.

Wood Stains

Since there are some types of woods that are not supposed to be painted and that their grains should show through, wood stains were developed for that purpose. They are available in oil, water, or alcohol. The pigments determine the transparency or translucency of the stains. Wood stains are applied onto the wood by brush. Stains do dry very quickly and has to be followed immediately by wiping.


Polyurethane are plastic coatings applied into wood paneling or cabinets that require extreme durability and washability. They are available in both colored and clear finishes and very easy to use. The most popular type of polyurethane finish is the interior satin finish. Scuffing, water, or grease are harmless to its surface.

One type of polyurethane, the so-called penetrating resin sealer, soaks into the wood, rather than coating the surface. Use this finish if you want to maintain the texture of the wood. Use paint thinner for thinning and cleanup purposes.


Varnishes and polyurethanes are made for the same uses. Varnish is a resin-based coating. The finishes range also from flat, semi-gloss to gloss. Varnishes are wood’s protection against marring, abrasion, and blemishes due to water. Thinner is used in thinning and cleanup.


Shellac is made from alcohol solution and should not be applied to surfaces that already have coatings because the alcohol contents present on the shellac will dissolve them. Use shellac only on bare surfaces or onto a wood-stained surface. Shellac dries within thirty minutes or so. They are available in amber (natural) or white (clear). Shellac is best on trimmings, doors, wood paneling, and cabinets. Its finish is very glossy.

Since water marks are visible on surfaces coated with shellac, it is not available in places where there are always instances of water splashing or sprinkling. Shellac is not recommended in areas like the kitchen, bathroom, laundry rooms or other places where there is an extreme moisture. In cleaning works and thinning, use only shellac grade thinner.


There are paintable surfaces where an ordinary type of paints are not suitable. Things like acoustic ceiling, for example, demand some special kinds of paints.

Acoustical ceiling paint

Do not use an ordinary paint on acoustical ceiling or walls because the sound-deadening effect of these materials are affected. The right paint for them is only the so-called acoustical ceiling paint, a special paint which could be easily applied either by brush or sprayer. Acoustical paints are porous paints that do not alter the acoustical properties. There is not much color available with this kind of paint. You choose the one appropriate for your home’s interior color scheme. Thinning is done with water and cleanup is just by soap and warm water. If you use a roller to apply this paint, roller moves smoothly without changing the panel’s acoustic.

Epoxy paint

There are surfaces that require very extreme hardness in order to withstand scrubbing and abrasion. Non-porous surfaces such as tiles, plastic, porcelain, fiberglass, etc. need a special kind of paint for the purpose and this paint is none other than the epoxy paint. The only problem with this kind of paint is in the application process because it dries very slowly and brush marks cannot be avoided.

Textured paints

Textured paints are composed of basic texture paint, sand paint, and stipple enamel. All are thick substances containing texturizers. They disguise effectively all imperfections in the walls and this is the reason why they are popular. They also deliver pleasing effect. Sand paint is a latex paint to which you add a 30-mesh  sand or sandlike material to produce a coarse finish which is good for gypsum board’s taped joints. Stipple enamel also produces a textured effect, very much similar to a skin of an orange. To achieve a textured effect, apply first with brush or ordinary roller, then, finally, use a carpet-type roller.


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