PAINT CHART: TYPES OF PAINT & PAINT CHART: FINISHES

Painting is easy and an inexpensive way to change the look of a room, especially if the walls and ceilings are already in good shape, and you just want to change the color. In this chapter we’ll discuss painting inside the home.

TYPES OF PAINT

There are two main kinds of paint: water-based latex paint and oil-based (or alkyd-based) paint. My favorite kind is latex. Why? Because it’s easy to clean up with soap and water, it’s easy to clean and rinse the brushes, and it dries faster. Many professional painters, however, like the oil-based paints. They say that they go on smoother and are more for giving since they take longer to dry. They are a good option if you are planning to do detailed faux-finishing work, but I’ve even used latex for that application as well. Also, sometimes there are local building codes and restrictions about using oil-based paints, so check with your local building inspector before using them.

Paints also come in a variety of finishes, ranging from flat to high gloss. For a detailed list of paint finishes, see below…

PAINT CHART: TYPES OF PAINT

TYPE OF PAINT DEFINITION USES PROS CONS
Oil Based/Enamel Pigment mixed with an oil base. Walls Slow drying, so good to use for faux painting. Long lasting and more resistant to fading. Once on a wall, easy to keep clean. Works well on rough services. Slow drying, hard to clean up or dilute. Must use paint thinner or turpentine. They are usually more expensive. More difficult to use.
Water-based/Latex Pigment mixed with a water and latex base. Walls Dries quickly. Easy to clean up, easy to wash (and reuse) brushes. Easy to use. Less expensive than oil-based. Perhaps only that it is quick drying, so not good for faux uses.
Wood Stain Very thin type of paint that penetrates the surface (instead of typical paint that stays on top of the surface). It contains pigment. Wood Enhances wood, doesn’t cover wood. If you want to cover the wood completely, this won’t work.
Varnish or Shellac Paint without pigment. Usually oil-based. Glossy finish. Wood Provides a protective finish without adding color. Slow drying.
Lacquer Glossy varnish. Wood Provides a protective and durable finish. Hard to remove later.
Polyurethane Water-based clear coating. Wood Provides a protective and durable finish. Dries quickly. None.

PAINT CHART: FINISHES

FINISH WHAT IT IS WHERE & WHEN TO USE
Flat A flat finish gives no shine or luster to a wall, Bedrooms, family room. Any room where you want a warm, flat feeling. Don’t use it in a room that requires a lot of cleaning, as it is difficult to clean up if it gets dirty. Looks good in any color. It’s a great way to cover up imperfections in the wall, as there is no reflection to emphasize it.
Eggshell Actually, it is lust like it sounds— like the surface of an egg. It is mainly flat, but has a tiny bit of luster. Same as flat.
Satin A step up in luster from the eggshell finish. This finish will give you a little shine, without any glare. This finish is easier to clean, but you have to be careful not to scrub too much, as you will take off the finish. Use in most rooms of the home (bedrooms, office, hallway, family room). Where you use it depends a lot on personal preference.
Semi-gloss A step up in shine from the satin finish. This finish gives a little more shine and tiny bit of glare. Same as satin.
Gloss (or High-gloss) A glossy finish provides shine, luster, and reflection, making the room appear brighter. Use in bathrooms and kitchens. This does not absorb kitchen greases or bathroom condensation as much as other finishes. Also use in playrooms. This is the easiest finish to keep clean, as you can just wipe off anything. Not good for rooms that you want to appear warm.

TIP: Always read the label on paints. The label will give you a lot of useful information and keep up with the changing elements of paint. It will usually give you drying time, surface preparation information, average area of coverage, and warning information. The label is your friend!

Hardwood Floors – Choosing Stains and Finishes

CHOOSING STAINS AND FINISHES

I really love dark stains—I have mahogany on my own floors— but you can pick what’s in fashion or follow your personal preference or how the color matches the rest of your house.

The same goes for varnishes; it depends what you’re going for. For example, if you have an old cabin, you’re not going to want a high-gloss finish. You’re going to want a matt finish or semigloss.

I always check with my local hardware store and ask someone who knows their stuff about stains and varnishes because new ones are coming out all the time. A knowledge able salesperson will also be able to advise you on the best finishes for various climates.

Not that advice is always foolproof. The first time I did my hardwood floors, I asked the guy in the store what kind of finish I should buy—choosing between semigloss and high gloss. He told me that high gloss would look like I was walking into a high school basketball court—too shiny. So I got semigloss—and it barely shined! After putting in so much work on a floor, I wanted it to shine. Its personal preference, of course, but I went back three months later and got the high gloss, and it did not look like a basketball court ably because I had old wood floors. They were shiny but it just looked like they were clean.

Again, take advice, but at the end of the day, always trust what you like. And sometimes, you just have to experiment.

When shopping for stains and varnishes, I usually use the big hardware stores because of the selection they have; sometimes the smaller stores will only have two different types of varnish. The bigger stores will have ten or twelve different kinds, with a wider price range to fit your budget.

If you’re really on a tight budget, you may want to get the cheapest varnish, instead of the best, most expensive varnish. This might apply if you’re doing a “flipper,” and getting rid of the property; you may just want the quickest fix, the one that is going to cost you the least amount of money. If this is for your own house, and you don’t want to revarnish or change the look often, then get the very best quality stains and varnishes because you’ll save money in the long run. If it’s an investment property or a rental, then you’ll probably be looking at the cheaper options.


TIPS:

• The easiest way to apply stain is to put it on rags and rub it on the floor. You can also mop it on.

• Varnish is generally easier to mop on. Some companies have their own mops specific to particular products.

• Its common sense, but starts in the farthest corner and work your way out of the room. You have to let it dry, typically for forty-eight hours before you put furniture back, though usually you can walk on it after twenty-four hours.

• Put felt pads on the bottom of your furniture. That way, when you want to move it or adjust it later, you won’t ruin or scratch your beautiful hardwood floors.

Exterior Finishes – How to Finish a Wooden Picnic Table

A wooden picnic table right at your garden is a fun dining venue on weekends. However, wooden picnic tables are exposed to outdoor elements most of the year and needs extra protection. One way to protect your wooden picnic table from outdoor elements is to apply finishing. Here are the materials that you will need along with the instructions on how to finish a wooden picnic table.

Tools and Materials Needed:

• Paint brushes
• Sanding sealant
• Sandpaper
• Wood stain

Step 1 – Sandpaper

Smooth the surface of the picnic table using fine sandpaper. Start at the table top and sand in a circular motion until your get a relatively smooth and even surface.

Step 2 – Apply Sanding Sealant

With a paint brush, apply a sanding sealant on the surface of your picnic table and dry for 30 minutes. Sand the picnic table again using the procedure in Step 1.

Step 3 – Apply Wood Stain

After sanding, apply a coating of wood stain on the picnic table using a fresh paint brush. For a lighter wood stain apply only 1 or 2 coats of wood stain. For a darker wood stain apply additional coating until you are satisfied with the hue of the stain. Make sure to allow enough drying time between each coating of wood stain.

Step 4 – Remove Excess Stain

Check your picnic table for excess stain and remove any by sanding. Excess stain often accumulates at the end pieces and corners of your picnic table.

Step 5 – Finish

Apply polyurethane finish on your picnic table using another fresh paint brush. Apply 2 or more coatings to protect your picnic table from outdoor elements such as rain or direct exposure to sunlight.

Glosses and Finishes – Latex and alkyd paints alike come in several finishes

Latex and alkyd paints alike come in several finishes. It is sometimes confusing when it comes time to decide which finish is right for the job you are doing.

Latex paints are much better for beginners; they are easy to apply and clean up. However, for some areas in the home alkyd paints may be desired for a more “finished” look.

The degrees of gloss:

High Gloss – mostly used for interior surfaces, such as hardwood floors and handrails. High traffic areas. High gloss is not generally used outdoors due to the increased possibility of blistering. Also high gloss finishes require extra precise prep work. This finish will show every imperfection.

Semi-gloss – perfect for indoor and outdoor trim. It makes a beautiful contrast against flat wall paint. It also increases the durability of the trim.

Low Lustre – also a semi-gloss type finish. A fancier term for it. Another great choice for trim.

Eggshell – just as the name implies, it resembles the outer finish of an eggshell. It is smooth and washable, but with little reflective gloss properties. An excellent choice for high traffic areas where you don’t want to use semi-gloss.

Velvet – also an eggshell type finish. Generally alkyd products use the velvet term for finish.

Flat – No gloss, no shine. The perfect look for most of the walls in your home. Flat paint is not very washable, so it may not be your first choice for kitchens, bathrooms and children’s rooms. However it is the classic look.

Exterior Finishes – How to Finish a Wood Table for Outdoor Use

In order to finish a wood table so that it will not suffer damage when it is used outside, there are several steps that need to be undertaken. With a little treatment, you will find that a wood table will last a lost time, despite it being exposed to the elements.

Tools and Materials Needed:

• Paintbrush or roller
• Varnish
• Sandpaper
• Rags

Step 1 – Prepare

The first step necessary to finish a wood table for use outside is to prepare the wood. Start by undertaking any repairs that are required and sand away any scratches. Follow this by cleaning the table so that no debris is present to get caught in the varnish.

Step 2 – Gather Materials

You should ensure that you finish a wood table using the correct method according to the type of wood. Some will benefit from oils that can be rubbed into the wood and will highlight the grain, while the use of varnish will be better for others.

Step 3 – Apply Treatment

Finish the wood table by applying the varnish with a paintbrush, working methodically to ensure that it is completely covered. Keep a rag in hand to wipe up any drips. Allow the first coat to dry before applying another.

Finishes & Glazes Asked Questions

Can I faux finish over my wallpaper, paneling or heavily damaged and patched walls?
Wallpaper must be primed using a flat alkyd primer and base-coated twice but the seams will always show. Faux finishing will distract the eye enough to erase most of it visually. Paneling can be sanded lightly and painted with alkyd primer and then with either alkyd or latex paint. Heavily damaged and roughly repaired walls must have the repairs sealed and crack free. The heavier plaster texture will hide everything but not the Italian Plastering which is put on very thin and then polished.
Can any of your “Great Wall Finishes” be used on exterior surfaces?
No. All of faux techniques are meant for interior surfaces only.
Are glazes safe to use in my child’s room?
Most water-based glazes are safe. Oil-based or alkyd-based glazes are not and should be clear coated after drying with a water-based urethane.
Can a faux finish be used on cabinets & furniture?
Yes. Care must be given to preparing the surface with the proper primer and covered with a good quality water-based urethane. Never put a water-based paint or glaze on an alkyd surface. if you are not sure swab the surface with rubbing alcohol, if it rubs off it is a water-based finish. Semi-gloss or gloss surfaces either alkyd or water-based latex paint must have a light sanding before the faux finish begins.
How can I make sure my faux finish is washable?
On walls of bathrooms, kid’s rooms, kitchens and stairwells use one coat of water-based urethane in the lowest sheen as a protective coating. Use two coats of semi-gloss on floors. Wait 24 hours after faux finishing before applying.
What happens when the glaze starts to dry before I am finished?
Some glazes that dry in 15 minutes are not suggested for colourwashing, denim or suede finishes. Read the label for opentime, use glazes that stay open at least 45 minutes. Turn off the air conditioning and work steadily with all your supplies within easy reach. Make sure you have enough mixed to reach the end of the project and do not stop until you reach a corner. Never go back over an area while it is wet. It will remove the glaze and make a hole. Use two people if you are unsure, one to apply a wide strip and one to remove it.
How do I soften the effects if it is too vivid?
Wait until it is dry and go over it again with a very thin lighter coloured version.
How long before a newly painted basecoat can be faux finished?
Overnight. If taping is required we recommend that you wait at least 4 days. Beware! Even low tack tape can tear the base coat surface. Do not leave on for long periods of time.
Can a faux finish be painted over?
Most faux finishes can be painted over with 2 coats of a good quality paint but techniques with texture such as leather, Italian Plaster, heavily textured drywall and even the denim finish which has heavy brush strokes must be skim coated with a drywall compound. It then must be sanded, primed and painted as usual.
How do I achieve a fresco finish?
Texture the wall with a drywall compound, sand and prime with a masonry primer. Or, if the actual texture is not wanted, proceed as below. Use a top quality 4″ soft bristle brush and apply one or more colours by dipping in each colour and using wide overlapping rainbow strokes. Pat off the excess using cheesecloth and blend out the edges in 3′ x 3′ areas at one time. Use a small narrow brush after a full wall length is done to remove the excess from the corners, ceiling and baseboard cracks.
What is the difference between rag rolling and ragging ?
Rag rolling uses a square of cotton dipped in diluted paint or a glaze mixture. Squeezed and then twisted into a cylinder shape and rolled softly down the wall, replenishing the paint when the pattern starts to fade. Ragging-on uses a rag bunched into a carnation shape and patted over the surface.
How do I choose good colour combinations?
Selecting colour for your home is a personal matter. There are no strict rules governing the selection of a colour scheme. The first step in selecting a colour scheme usually is to decide on the main colour to be used in the room. if you don’t know which colours you will be happiest living with, glance through your wardrobe. If you do not see any red, you probably would not like living in a room decorated in a red colour scheme.
Proportion and balance are important. After you decide which colour will be dominant, add other colours in unequal amounts. A guideline is to select the dominant colour for use in about two-thirds of the room and use the other colour in lessening amounts. The floor covering in a room is often the part of the decor that home owners do not want to change. If this is your case, the floor covering colour must be a consideration when selecting a colour scheme.
Start with the paint colour chips. Keep in mind that the colour will be much more intense on a large wall than on a small paint chip. Take the paint chips home and examine them in the room you will be painting, under both natural daylight and artificial night lighting. If you are still unsure about your colour choice, buy the colour that seems best in the smallest quantity. Brush out several 2 ft. x 2ft. samples on the wall. When it is dry look at the sample in the morning and evening. Usually for a more dramatic effect, use a darker coloured glaze over a light colour. For a softer look, use a similar coloured glaze over a basecoat than is slightly darker than the glaze.
Oil paint uses a binder or resin that is derived from a vegetable oil such as linseed or soya bean. This resin is usually dissolved in a solvent such as mineral spirits.
What is alkyd paint?
Alkyd paint is the most common kind of oil paint, and many oil paints are therefore normally referred to as alkyd paints. Alkyd is simply the name of the synthetic resin, usually containing a vegetable oil, that is used as the binder.
What are the benefits of alkyd paint?
Alkyd paint provides resistance to mechanical damage from abuse and abrasion. Alkyd paint is therefore well suited to areas of high wear. It has traditionally been used for such frequently cleaned areas as:
• Doors and trim, both inside and outside
• Kitchens
• Bathrooms
• Cabinets
When would I use alkyd paint?
It depends on a number of factors. See Selecting Interior Paints and Selecting Exterior Paints for more information.
Can I use alkyd paint over latex paint?
Yes, but it is a good idea to do some sanding to provide adhesion.
Note: As a result of ongoing improvements in latex paint technology, latex paints can often be suitable for uses that traditionally required alkyd paints.

Color choices for faux finishes

Painting tips & tricks

Color choices for faux finishes

Color tips for techniques:

When using colorwashing, sponging or dragging techniques

A pastel cover of an off-white background will produce a fresh, cheery effect.

A dark color over a light background will give a bold, dramatic look.

Slight variations of the same color will give the surface a feeling of depth.

Common Exterior Uses of Caulk

Filling in the gap between a window and the molding (brick mold) around it.

Filling in gaps where different surfaces meet (such as a foundation and siding).

Filling in holes in the concrete block of a foundation (use masonry caulk).

Use a putty knife to make sure the caulk bonds to the surfaces around it.

Filling in the gap between a sidewalk and foundation.

Common Interior Uses for caulk

Some Common Interior Uses of Caulk

Prevent moisture from getting into gaps between walls, bathtubs, countertops and sinks.

Filling in gaps where different surfaces meet, such as ceramic tile and baseboard.

Concrete crack repair

First determine if the crack is severe enough to repair.

If only a hairline crack, my recommendation is to leave it as is, since patching will only make it look worse.

If the crack is 1/8” or greater, the following would be the best remedy.

Note: If the crack has been caused by unstable substrate under the slab from poor compaction, my recommendation would be to have a slab jacking service (if available) come to your rescue and stabilize the slab before repair-

Clean entire surface using T.S.P General Household Cleaner, or a suitable exterior cleaning solution.

Tuck into crevice a foam backing rod (available in 1/8, 1/4” – 3” diameters) setting it down into the crack ½” from the surface.

Apply Weldbond or concrete adhesive over foam backing rod. Allow to cure for 1-2 hours.

Apply polyurethane caulking (gray or concrete colour) into crack crevice.

Sprinkle dry sand over caulking and brush excess off using a paintbrush.

Allow to cure for 12 hours before using area.

Choices for Wood Siding

Exterior wood siding can be painted or stained. There is a wide array of products available in both mediums. I prefer an alkyd (oil base) primer for bare wood, the top coat would vary depending on the look desired.

Primer is not required under stain except solid color stain that is white or another light color.

For repainting, primer is only required for areas where the preparation steps brought you down to bare wood, or where stain killer is needed due to mildew or water damage.

Stains for wood come in several degrees of transparency. Semi-transparent stains are useful for letting the wood grain show through, that can be a very nice look over cedar shingles.

Painting Tips – Cleaning Up

If you are planning to continue the work the next day, just keep the paint and roller in the paint tray and cover with a tray lid or cellophane. The next morning run the brush or roller over a newspaper a few times and it will be ready to use.
After the job is completed wash the rollers and brushes and paint tray with water. Do not use a spinning tool to clean brushes as this will make your brush flare. Wrap the clean brushes and rollers with newspaper and secure with a rubber band. Store the brushes flat or hang them on hooks.
Excess paint can be stored in the can. If you have no further use for the paint donate it to a charitable institute or in the case of water based paint pour over shredded newspaper or cat litter and throw the paper or cat litter in the trash. If it is oil based paint it cannot be thrown as it is considered a hazardous substance. Make enquiries with you local council as to the best way to dispose of it.

Cleaning Wood Window Frames

If painted, use a solution of mild detergent and water, or a mild commercial cleaner whose label says it is safe for painted surfaces. Always rinse off solution.
Wipe off excess water with a dry cloth. Do not use strong cleaners or scouring powder as these will damage the paint. If you plan to clean window frames, do it before cleaning window glass so solution does not spot glass panes. If natural-finished, vacuum or dust regularly. Clean infrequently, only when really needed. Use a commercial wood cleaning product or cleaning wax whose label recommends use on natural wood finishes.