An old piece of furniture, an exterior wall, the kitchen floor and a porch column all share something in common; all of them can be beautifully renovated, just by applying one or two coats of paint. Of course, the results will only be amazing if you choose the right paint type. But, do you know what paint types there are and which kind will serve your purpose the best? Your Princeton handyman will let you in on the basics.


Choose the right paint type

Essentially, when people consider repainting something, they will first consider the color and then the finish (matte, glossy, etc.). However, the first thing that should be properly inspected is the surface itself. You have to check the material of whatever you plan to paint, as well as the position (horizontal or vertical), dimensions, texture, extra details, and so on.

This is not all though. It’s also important to decide immediately whether you’ll do a weekend job or take your time with waiting for layers to dry for days; or maybe even opt for a quick fix-up that will take you only a couple of hours. There are other details that can determine the right choice of paint, such as whether you’ll be painting indoors or outdoors, whether the object is prone to corrosion, porous like wood or smooth like metal. Sun exposure and high friction are also factors you may want to consider for the best result.

Once you have it all worked out, you can choose the right paint type for the job.


Types of paints and their best application


Synthetic paint

Synthetic paint has great durability and a more shiny and neat finish. These can be used for metal, plastic, glass, wood and ceramic alike, and can be applied with a brush, roller or blowtorch without inconvenience.

These are available in cans or aerosol, and require chemical solvents for cleaning (such as a thinner or turpentine). Due to having a longer drying time than other paints and the need for a base paint, synthetic paints are mostly used for the interior and small details, such as frames, moldings, and similar.


Latex paint

Also called “plastic” or “water”, latex paints are usually chosen for large surfaces. The main reason is that they dry quickly and can be easily cleaned with water. They can be applied with roller, torch or brush, both on vertical and horizontal surfaces (floor and ceiling alike).

Latex paint can be used for both interiors and exteriors, the latter being reinforced with additives that prevent the elements from damaging it. It can be applied on construction material (plaster, lime, cement and similar), wood, paper, cardboard, mud and virtually any porous surface. For plastic, slab, ceramic or metal, it must be mixed with lacquers or specific synthetic oily products.


Water enamel

This is a mixture of the two previously mentioned paint types. Water enamel paint has a shiny finish and the same uses as the synthetic paint. Still, it can be cleaned with water just like latex paint. It’s recommended for outdoor use, on large surfaces.


Base paint

Base paint (base coat) are light colors with a milky consistency. Their only use is to hydrate the surfaces and seal their pores, cracks, and textures, before the application of the coating paint. They don’t have a finishing quality but act as the first step in a painting project. The base paints are usually latex, although there are also water enamel ones.


Painting may not be the most difficult project there is, but you never know. If you need someone to help you choose the right paint type and even do the whole work for you, feel free to count on your local Princeton handyman and ifixit.

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