There has never been so much help available for amateur house painters as there is today. There are tons of new paints & equipment which have become available in the market over the previous few years and this has made it possible for almost anyone to paint their own house as easily and efficiently as a professional would. Whether it is a one-coat paint job or a disposable blowtorch, everything today is designed with an intention of making the job look better, cost less and go faster.
There are new rollers available for painting the outsides of the house with which you can easily complete an average sized house in 2 days. If you add an extension to the roller, you can even roll the terrace without having to stoop or leave the ground.
Hard Spot Painting
There are specialized aids available that have built in features that help tackle most hard spots for the inexperienced painter.
What’s even better is that you no longer have to spend countless hours preparing yourself for the job and a few more hours after completing the job cleaning up. You now have access to premixed paints, self-dispensing calk guns, electric-drill attachments, etc. which aid in making the preparation short lived. And if you are using rubber paints, cleaning up involves just soap & water. Oils too would just involve a quick dip into a special cleanser. You even get paper paint pails and disposable dropcloths that can be thrown away after use.
The next section of this article provides you a few tips that will make it easier for you to paint your home. It may not be the preferred method for professionals. But it pretty much delivers the same result.
The word paint below includes enamels, shellacs, stains, lacquers and varnishes as defined.
- Paints are either composed of organic vehicles, mineral pigments or a combination of thinners.
- Enamels are varnishes which are pigmented.
- Shellac is usually a lac gum that is dissolved in alcohol.
- Stains can either be a penetrating type or pigmented oil.
- Lacquers can either be clear or pigmented. The liquid portions are usually nitrocellulose dissolve which is treated, in thinners.
- Varnishes are basically resins that are dissolved in organic thinners.
A lot of these materials including varnishes, paints & lacquers are formulated with a particular purpose in mind:-
- Exterior varnishes and exterior paints are supposed to perform exceptionally well even in the face of weathering.
- Interior paints are usually formulated keeping in mind that it should provide great coverage while being easily washable.
- Floor enamels are created basically to withstand abrasion.
- The primary benefit of lacquers is that they dry fast.
There are even other formulas which provide fume-resisting, extra self-cleaning, flexibility, hardening, waterproofing, resistance to fading, breathing qualities, mildew-resisting, etc.
Interior paints are usually used for obtaining a decorative effect or to improve sanitary conditions or to help improve lighting in a room. These paints are basically of 4 types: water paints; flat, semi-gloss & gloss; one-coat flats and wall primers.
Some of the common interior water paints include casein, gloss, resin-emulsion and calcimine water paints. Calcimine mainly consists of powdered whittling & clay which is mixed in with animal-glue as a binder along with a preservative. You cannot recoat it, but can very easily be washed off in case you want to re-decorate.
Although it isn’t compulsory for you to remove casein before you re-decorate, one of the most efficient ways of removing it is by washing it using a hot solution of trisodium phosphate. When it comes to resin emulsion paints in a paste form, you can thin them using water before applying them. They provide an excellent medium for decoration and don’t need to be removed prior to decorating either unless they are in bad condition. This can also be done with gloss water paints.
The main difference between flat, semi-gloss & gloss paints lies in their varying degrees of gloss, hiding power, etc. Paints that provide superior hiding power aren’t very glossy although there are a few high-gloss enamel paints which have a decent hiding power as well.
One-coat flat paints can only be described as paints which are organic-solvent-thinned. They are intended to accomplish all three operations of priming, sealing & finishing in a single coat of paint. They are mostly sold in a thin paste form and usually require an additional thinner to be added before you can apply the paint on an interior surface.
Primers are usually meant to be applied on a direct bare plaster or wall board or any other porous surface. They help make the surface uniform and sealed which allows for easy application of additional coats of paint. Primers are usually made from bodied-oil vehicles, varnish or hiding pigments. It is supposed to only slightly penetrate porous interior surfaces. The best way to apply primer is using a wide wall brush.
How To Paint Like A Professional Using Modern Paints
If you are able to purchase the correct paint, you will find painting your home to be a lot easier than you had imagined. The most difficult part of the job would be choosing the right paint for each surface.
Earlier, there was only one kind of paint. Each paint smelled, looked was applied and dried in exactly the same way. But nowadays, things are a lot different. Apart from oil-paints, there is a large variety of other paints you can use as well. Let’s take a look at them:-
- First of all, there are water paints which are meant to be used on the exteriors of your house. (You can even clean your paint brushes with water from the faucet and use a garden hose to get any spatter off your shrubbery.)
- Then there are finishes available which are tough enough to withstand attacks from a group of children at the same time.
- There are paints which dry within an hour. You can even start applying the 2nd coat immediately after you complete the first with some of them.
- There are even colours in glittering confusion.
Remember though that you can’t purchase a single paint which has all these features. There are many different types of paints available today that are sold under multiple trade names. But these trade names can be quite confusing sometimes. This means that you can’t just go by the trade name of a paint. You have to carefully read the fine print in order to find out exactly what you will get in the can.
Let’s take a look at vinyl paints. They come pre-thinned with water and are ready for you to brush, spray or roll on. The label on a can of vinyl may read as PVA, polyvinyl acetate, vinyl emulsion or just plain simple vinyl.
It can be used on almost all exteriors apart from wood which has been painted earlier. You can use it with wood shakes or shingles, asbestos shingles, stucco, brick, masonry bricks and concrete. There are some manufacturers that claim you can even apply if on wood clapboard as long as it is unprimed and new.
The biggest advantage with vinyl paints though is the thinner, water. This means that you don’t have to rely on decorators dust sheets to protect your furniture. Cleanups are just as easy as wiping dust off a bookshelf.
What about if it rains while you are painting? Luckily vinyl paints dry within half an hour and can easily withstand showers after that. It may take a full 12 hours of drying before it becomes tough and long lasting but after that it can easily stand up to the harshest of weather including salt air, factory smoke, sun, rain, etc.
The only problem with vinyl paints is that they cannot be used in cold temperatures. This is because the water solution can’t transform effectively into a durable finish when the temperature is less than 50 degrees. But then, conventional oil paints do not stick that well in cold temperatures either do they?
Some people may recommend vinyl paints for painting both exteriors and interiors while others may refute this. The fact of the matter though is that vinyl paints are meant specifically for painting interiors.
You can even apply a coat of vinyl primer-sealer in a room and immediately follow it up with a finishing coat. It can be applied easily using either a roller or a brush.
Acrylic is another wonderful new paint. It is also considered as a plastic-in-water. You may know solid acrylic from the glasslike Lucite or Plexiglas.
Acrylic really gets to shine when applied on the interiors of a house. It can dry faster than any other type of paint and also retains colour much better without much yellowing. The only disadvantage is that it is quite expensive.
There are even some acrylic paints which are recommended for paints the exteriors of a house. The biggest advantage you get with acrylic paints is that you don’t have to worry about the weather. You can apply it on cold days, humid days, hot days, etc. As long as the temperature is above freezing, you are good to go.
Alkyd is an old paint used on the interiors of a house. It has regained its lost popularity because of the introduction of a new super-refined chemical solvent which has minimal odour. It isn’t a water paint. It needs to be thinned and can be cleaned using either turpentine or mineral spirits. Or, if you want the odour to stay away, you can use the odourless solvent for cleaning purposes.
There are many advantages of using alkyd paints if you are willing to overlook the slight complications involved in the cleanup. It is extremely tough and is very resistant even to scrubbing. It performs quite well even in trouble areas like kitchens, bathrooms and trims. It is quite easy to apply and produces an even, smooth finish which is free from any brush marks or streaks.
Alkyds have very little odour but it is important that you remember the solvent is basically a petroleum product and the vapour will be there even though you cannot smell it. It can burn and also make you sick quite easily much like vapour from any other solvent. Therefore you need to be safe, keep the windows open and keep it away from any flames at all times.
You shouldn’t overlook the old and the reliable either. You can get conventional oil paints in a deodorized version today which are made using the exact same solvent used in alkyds. Oil paints have a lot in their favour as well. They are sold almost everywhere and its advantages as well as disadvantages are well known. It forms a tough film no matter what surface it is being applied on and offers the best colour range among all types of paint. It is quite cheap as well.
Rubber-latex, water-thinned paint is quite old and reliable as well. Even though it has been in use for only ten years or so, a major section of the market today purchases it and it is the most easily available paints with an easy-to-use finish. There is a new paint containing a combination of vinyl and rubber which is said to work better on interiors when compared with either rubber or vinyl on their own as it dries faster, has less sheen and lasts longer.
Even though most paints can be purchased as ready-to-mix, there should be enough consideration given to the fact that a surface can vary when it comes to successfully adapting to a paint. Even the atmosphere or something similar may affect the performance of paints adversely. Apart from standard weathering conditions of rain and sun, exterior house paints may sometimes be exposed to other elements such as factory smoke, dust, etc.
In areas where these conditions do exist, it is best to select self-cleaning paints. These paints usually have their self cleaning ability mentioned on their label. Whether it is metal, plaster or concrete surfaces, they all pose special problems while painting. For example, when paint is being used on new plaster or masonry it has to be resistant to alkalis or dampness, paints that are used on steel need to have rust-inhibiting properties.
Paint manufacturers usually target the woman in a household and the easiest way of doing that is with colour. There are more than six thousand different colours available today.
Almost every manufacturer of paints has a colour system. This is a book that contains chips of different colours of paints along with instructions on how they can be duplicated. The instructions usually involve mixing different colours of paint or by including concentrated colours to white or coloured paint. It can even involve adding concentrated colours to neutral colours. There is even a colour carousel which mixes colours inside the store. This means that nothing is left to chance when it comes to selecting the right colour.
When it comes to paste paints like resin-emulsion, lead-in-oil or aluminium, it should always be stirred using a stiff paddle & reduced to a consistency which is usable for painting.
Paints that are in the form of a powder require you to add liquids to the powder before you can use it for painting. Directions are usually available from the manufacturer with regard to the amount of varnish, water, oil, etc. required and should be followed.
“Boxing” is a popular method for mixing paints. As paints are usually a mixture between liquids and solids, it is very important that it is mixed well before use. In order to do this properly, you can start by pouring a large portion of the liquid into a clean bucket which is a little large than the can. Then, you need to use a stiff paddle to loosen any settled pigment in the first container and to break up any lumps that have formed. After this, you need to mix the material thoroughly in a motion that resembles an 8. This should be followed with a lifting & beating motion. You need to continue to stir the mixture vigorously while you add the liquid that was removed from the container back into the original can slowly. You can complete the procedure by pouring the paint between the container and the bucket continuously until the paint reaches a uniform consistency.
Powder and paste paints should always be mixed in quantities that you plan to use immediately. This is because such paints usually become unusable if you try to store them for 3 or more hours.
But if the paint has been standing for an extended period and lumps have started to form, you should get rid of this scum immediately. After this, you can stir the paint once again and then strain it through screen wire or a couple of thicknesses of cheesecloth.
If you are not able to obtain the shade you were looking for with these paints you can tint the paints using colours-in-oil. For this, all you have to do is mix the colour-in-oil with a little turpentine or mineral spirits and stir it into the paint slowly. If you are looking for a blended colour, you can choose to add even more than one colour like using chrome yellow and chrome green pigments to get a lettuce green shade.