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Home: Home Improvement and Renovations: Yes, Painting is Easy!

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Yes, Painting is Easy!

Written by; Chad Simco / TCCN Staff Writer
Added on: Sun Jun 28 2009


Painting Is Easy!

Nothing else so quickly, easily, and dramatically enhances a home's beauty as a fresh coat of paint. Dark and dreary rooms grow bright. Kitchens become extra warm and cheery. And do not fear color: a brand new hue enchants a sun-drenched room.

Especially with today's great house paints, painting is easy. And little bit of knowledge goes a long way. Unless you're doing a fresco or a bas relief, here's pretty much all you need to know:

1)   Use water-based paints indoors, except...

Easy to apply, easy to clean-up, and easy to maintain, water-based paints roll or brush smoothly and work on almost all interior surfaces. Far more earth-friendly than the other alternatives, water-based paints usually are non-toxic and contain no harsh or harmful vapors. Water-based paints generally adhere easily to walls and cover in one coat. But applying a lighter color over a darker one may require primer.

Of course, as in all home improvements, there are a few exceptions to the basic rule. Wood surfaces and heavy traffic areas generally require oil-based finishes. Oil-based paints penetrate surfaces, so that they don't ding and chip. Using most oil-based paints, you will need to sand the surface, and you probably will need to prime it before you apply the paint.

2)   Oil-based paints usually belong outdoors, except...

Great for eaves and trim, oil based paints penetrate deep into wood, and they last a long-long time. Because oil-based paints contain harsh solvents, they emit lots of dangerous vapors - a very good reason for keeping them outdoors. They typically require solvents for clean-up, too. In most cases, no matter what the paint can says, it's a good idea to sand and prime all the surfaces you intend to cover with oil-based paint.

3)   Know your finish before you start.

Deciding about a finish, you usually will have to choose one of three - flat, matte, or gloss; in some very rare cases, you may also have "high-gloss" thrown into the mix just to make it exciting. "Flat" means no shine at all - no reflection, no glare, nothing. "Matte" has very little sheen, and it tends to look "softer", subtler on walls. "Gloss" looks bright and shiny, and high-gloss looks like really bright nail enamel. Most interior designers choose matte finishes for every room except the kitchen, where gloss works well. Sometimes, you may choose to use a gloss finish in the bathroom, or you may use something glossy on crown moldings and chair rails.

4)   Mildew-resistant has its place.

Yes, some paints actually do resist mold and mildew. In some dark and damp rooms, either a mildew resistant primer or a fully mold-resistant finish will save a lot of difficult cleaning or discoloration. Specifically developed with bathrooms in mind, mildew-resistant paint is a must for all bathrooms no matter how well-ventilated.

5)   Never hesitate to ask.

Yes, that guy in the apron or vest does know his products and their uses, so that you always should solicit his advice and recommendation. Especially ask about product warranties - how long does the manufacturer guarantee the finish will last in regular use? And ask about the store's exchange policy - what if I take the first brush-stroke and totally hate it? Most of all, do not hesitate to ask the professional's recommendations for brushes, rollers and other tools.


Copyright: 2009

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