Understanding Different Types of Paint and Their Uses

Understanding Different Types of Paint and Their Uses 1

If you’re looking to commence a painting project at your home or commercial space, you must be wondering what are the types of paint that would suit the best- by finish, texture, and durability.

Painting has evolved over centuries as people have painted for as long as 30,000 years. Earlier paintings used red and yellow ochre, hematite, manganese oxide, and charcoal. They ground these materials to make a basic kind of paint, also using animal fat to add interesting touches to their artwork. 

However, right now what you are looking for is exterior painting or interior painting of your home or commercial painting of your building. You might be interested in knowing what are the different types of paint, and what types of paint for walls are ideal for your project.

You can get a FREE estimate for painting your home now at +1 (763) 515-44630. Or you can continue reading to learn more about types of paints and their best uses. 

What are the different types of paint?

Here are the types of paints and how they differ from each other.

1. Paint primers

These are like the base layer before you paint. They make the surface smooth, help the paint stick well, and can even cover stains or seal surfaces that absorb a lot of paint.

It’s not just a ritual before painting- it’s important for getting your walls ready. When you put on your actual paint color, the primer makes it go on smoothly and evenly. Plus, it acts like a guard, stopping the old color from showing through. If you want to step it up, you can even get the primer tinted to match your final color. That way, everything blends seamlessly, and your walls look top-notch. Priming is about making sure the paint job lasts and looks great.

2. Interior paint

As the name suggests, interior paint is the kind you use inside your home. It’s often water-based, and is easy to clean, and has fewer chemicals suspended. Interior paint comes in different finishes like gloss, matte, or eggshell. 

It’s what you put on your walls, doors, and ceilings to give them color and make them look good. Even cabinet painting is included in the interior painting. So, when you want to freshen up your living space or add some style to your doors and cabinets, you reach for interior paint. Different finishes, like matte or gloss, give you options to make your home look just the way you like it.

3. Exterior paint

This paint is tough and made to handle outdoor weather, like rain and sunlight. It’s stronger than interior paint and may have more chemicals to withstand the elements. So, when you decide to paint the outside of your home, go for exterior paint. This sheathing keeps your house looking good and protects it from the weather.

Exterior painting can get more expensive than interior painting as it comes with more durability, and does not chip out on cleaning. It’s also weather-resistant. Going for cheap exterior paint is not a good idea in the long run. Good quality exterior paint looks better and lasts longer. 

4. Acrylic paint

Acrylic paint is highly favored by artists due to its versatility on various surfaces like canvas or wood. It’s known for its quick drying time and user-friendly nature.

Originally developed in the 1920s by a group of Latin American artists, acrylic paint emerged as a solution for exterior mural painting. The paint’s composition includes pigment, binder, and vehicle. The pigments contribute to its long-lasting quality on walls. A significant advantage of acrylics is their rapid and uniform drying, allowing artists to work efficiently, transport artwork soon after creation, and prevent cracking during extended storage.

To maintain the stability of acrylic paint, it’s advised not to thin it with more than 25% water. Excessive water can disrupt the balance, leading to improper reconnection of acrylic polymer molecules and an unstable film. Diluting with an acrylic medium, without color pigment, is recommended to keep the formula stable.

Acrylic paint films are sensitive to extreme cold, so it’s not advisable to use them in temperatures below 45ºF to prevent brittleness. When used for interior or exterior painting, acrylic paint adds vibrancy and magnificence to your home or office. You can apply acrylic paint not only on walls but also on various objects within and around your household.

5. Latex paint

Latex paint is a type of water-based paint created with synthetic materials that form a resilient and non-toxic film as the water content evaporates. Notably, among various paints, latex emits the lowest levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), making it a good choice for indoor applications, and is most safe for children and pets.

It adheres to wood surfaces so well that it makes latex paint particularly suitable for providing smooth and consistent coverage on furniture, cabinets, and other wooden structures. Here’s where latex paint is often used:

A preferred choice for interior wall painting, latex paint is valued for its swift drying and straightforward cleanup, making it well-suited for high-traffic areas. While it’s not much different from acrylic paint, latex is recommended for larger projects, often acquired in larger quantities.

The key difference between acrylic and latex lies in their composition. Acrylic, being chemically based, offers greater elasticity but demands specialized solvents for cleanup and necessitates careful handling due to potential emissions. While latex, being water-based, facilitates easy cleanup with soap and water.

While latex paint commonly finds application in residential and commercial painting, acrylic paint is mainly used in artwork. 

6. Water-based paint

Water-based paint is a broad category encompassing paints that use water as a solvent instead of other chemicals. This makes them environmentally friendly, easy to clean, and versatile for various applications. These paints have gained popularity for their reduced impact on the environment and health compared to solvent-based alternatives. They are suitable for indoor and outdoor projects and provide a wide range of colors and finishes.

Water-based paint stands out as a popular and widely utilized paint type for home applications. Emulsion water-based paint, also known as latex paint, is known for its eco-friendly nature, lack of strong odors, and extensive array of color choices. Applying water-based paint requires only basic brushes and paint rollers. The composition of water-based paints includes a pigment and a binder, with water serving as the carrier.

Water-based paints have a few advantages over oil paint.

  • Quick drying– Water-based paint dries at a faster rate than its oil-based counterpart.
  • Environmental friendliness– Its eco-friendly composition makes it a preferable choice for those looking to minimize their environmental impact.
  • Odorless or low odor– Water-based paint is either completely odorless or emits a significantly lower odor compared to oil paint.
  • Color retention– It preserves its color effectively over time, contributing to a long-lasting and vibrant appearance.
  • Ease of cleaning– Unlike oil-based paint, water-based paint can be easily cleaned with soap and water, simplifying the cleanup process.

7. Oil-based paint

Oil-based paint is a type of paint that uses natural or synthetic oil as a primary component. It is known for its ability to dry exceptionally hard, resulting in high durability and resistance to nicks, dings, and stains. This toughness makes oil-based paint well-suited for woodwork subjected to heavy traffic, including cabinetry, bookcases, doors, window trim, and baseboards. The oily base contributes a glossy finish that is easy to wipe clean, making it particularly appealing for use in kitchens.

Here are the advantages of oil-based points.

Durability– They exhibit exceptional durability, standing up better to wear and tear compared to water-based paints, and are less prone to chipping or peeling.

Extended open time– Oil-based colors have a longer open time, remaining wet for an extended period during application. This allows for easier application and a smoother finish.

Moisture resistance– Resistant to moisture and humidity, oil-based paint proves to be an excellent choice for surfaces in high-moisture areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.

However, oil-based paints have certain disadvantages as well, like strong odor, more time to dry, and use of harsh solvents and VOCs.

8. Finish coat

The term “finish coat” might sound fancy, like a sealant or the final touch of polish for your home, but it’s just the regular paint you put over the primer. This is the paint coat in the color you’ve chosen.

The finish coat is the last layer of paint you apply to a surface, affecting how it looks. You can choose from different finishes, like shiny or flat, to get the appearance you want. This layer not only makes things look good but also protects the layers underneath. 

Picking the right finish is important because it decides how the painted surface will look and feel. Whether you like a shiny or a more subtle look, choosing the right finish coat makes sure your project is successful.

Types of paint finish

Paint finishes come in various types, and have distinct characteristics in terms of sheen, durability, and ease of cleaning. Let’s see in detail.

1. Flat/Matte 

Sheen– None

A matte finish reflects minimal light and offers extensive coverage, effectively concealing imperfections such as nail holes. While excelling in coverage, matte finishes are considered less durable, making them suitable for low-traffic areas like dining rooms and surfaces with minimal contact, such as walls and ceilings.

They are particularly favored for creating a cozy and relaxed ambiance, making them a popular choice for bedrooms and living rooms where a subdued and comfortable atmosphere is desired.

Due to their ability to mask flaws, matte finishes are also recommended for walls with textured surfaces or those that have undergone repairs. 

2. Eggshell finish

Sheen– Low

Eggshell stands out as one of the favored finishes, featuring a lustrous shine slightly superior to matte paint. With improved durability, although not matching the robustness of a glossy finish, eggshell finishes find their best application in low-traffic areas such as the living room and entryway.

3. Satin finish

Sheen– Soft-pearl-like

Among all finishes, satin is the most prevalent, showcasing a velvety sheen and ease of cleaning. Ideal for high-traffic areas like the family room, kitchen, bathroom, and playroom, satin finishes strike a balance between aesthetics and practicality.

4. Semi-gloss finish

Sheen– More reflective

It has a noticeable shine and reflectivity. Semi-gloss paints offer durability and are particularly suitable for rooms exposed to high humidity, like bathrooms, or areas experiencing more wear and tear, such as children’s rooms.

5. High-gloss finish

Sheen– Very shiny

As the shiniest option, high-gloss paints are known for their toughness, waterproof nature, and washability. Widely applied to doors, cabinets, trims, and other surfaces, high-gloss finishes demand intricate prep work due to their propensity to reveal imperfections.

Summing Up

When you planning to get your home newly painted or renovated, you must have a picture of how your home will look like when the project is done.

However, you might not have the best knowledge of what types of paints are available, which brand to choose, and which paint would suit best a particular part of your home. While this guide will certainly be of help, you might need professional expertise. That’s where a painting company comes in.

At Paris Paintings, we provide top-notch and complete painting services in Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Edina, Maple Grove, Minneapolis, North Oaks, Plymouth, St Louis Park, St Paul, Wayzata, and neighboring areas.

You can book house painters for your home in 3 easy steps:

Understanding Different Types of Paint and Their Uses 2

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