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What are Types of Paints and Finishes?

This comprehensive guide to paint types will teach you how to differentiate your eggshell from your emulsion, and your semi-gloss from your satin. Here’s the information you need!

Different paint types do different jobs. Your first instinct when choosing a paint is to think about its appearance. However, durability is also important.

Matt paint, for instance, can be used to hide imperfections on walls. However, it isn’t as long-lasting or durable as gloss paint. Gloss is a great choice for a durable, high-shine finish. However, it is not as subtle and can enhance, rather that hide, imperfections.

What are the Different Types of Paints?

There are many options for paint. However, some are more durable than others.

This guide will show you how to identify the most popular paints for your home.

1. Oil-based Paint

Oil-based paints are a popular choice among professional artists due to their ability to provide a durable and hard finish that resists water and stains. They are commonly used on both exterior and interior bare wood surfaces such as doors and windows. However, they can be more challenging to apply compared to water-based paints, and it is worth noting that white paints dry faster and yellow quicker than similar water-based products.

Another concern with oil-based paints is the release of VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which have been linked to potential health problems. It is recommended to use these paints in well-ventilated areas and to take necessary precautions while handling them.

2. Water-based paint

Water-based paints have become increasingly popular due to their ease of use, quick drying time, and eco-friendliness. While they may not be as durable as oil-based paints, they are still long-lasting and offer a variety of benefits. They are easy to apply with a brush or roller, making them a top choice for DIYers. Additionally, they are low-odour and easy to clean up with water, making them a convenient choice for interior projects. Water-based emulsion, matt, gloss, and satin paints are great options for painting interior walls and windows.

3. Emulsion

Emulsion paint is a popular choice for ceilings and walls as it is a tough and water-based paint. There are two types of emulsion paint commonly used, matte and silk. Matte has a low shine and reflects minimal light, making it an excellent choice for painting ceilings or walls with imperfections. On the other hand, silk is more durable, easier to wash and has a smoother finish than matte. It can be applied with a brush or roller and is also easy to clean.

4. Semi-Gloss and Gloss

Gloss paint is known for its extremely high sheen, while semi-gloss paint has a slightly lower, but still luxurious shine. This makes semi-gloss a popular choice for wooden trim like skirting boards and door frames, as well as walls. However, the high sheen of gloss paint also means that it can show imperfections, so careful preparation is required to achieve a high-quality finish. With the right preparation, the best gloss paints can provide a long-lasting, durable finish that is both aesthetically pleasing and easy to maintain.

5. Satin

Satin paint is a versatile option with a moderate sheen that falls somewhere between gloss and matt finishes. It is commonly used on woodwork such as doors, windows, and skirting boards, and is often compared to gloss. Satin’s lower reflective surface means that it shows fewer imperfections and creates a subtler finish, while still providing durability and easy cleaning.

6. Eggshell

Eggshell paint is a popular choice for woodwork as it offers a subtle, low-sheen finish that is more lustrous than matte paint, but not as shiny as satin or gloss. Its finish resembles that of an eggshell, hence its name. Eggshell paint is a versatile option that can be used on walls and woodwork alike, providing a durable finish that is easy to clean.

7. Primer

Primer plays a crucial role in ensuring that paint adheres well to surfaces such as walls and metal. Acting as a sealant, it prepares the surface and provides a solid base for subsequent coats of paint. When applied to bare wood, primer seals the wood, preventing the undercoat and gloss from soaking in and creating a smooth and durable finish. This makes it an essential step in achieving an attractive and long-lasting paint job.

8. Spray Paint

Spray paint is often packaged in a convenient can and is particularly useful for smaller surfaces such as cupboard doors or chairs. Its ease of application is one of its main advantages. However, it is important to apply thin and even coats to avoid any runs or drips. Additionally, the strong odour of spray paint can leave a fine mist on painted surfaces. To prevent this, it is recommended to adequately prepare the area and cover any adjacent surfaces before using spray paint.

9. Enamel

Enamel paint comes in various types, and they are well-suited for use on surfaces like metal, wood, and concrete. When dry, enamel paints form hard-wearing finishes with a glossy appearance that makes them perfect for kitchen cabinets. Their durability and resilience make them ideal for surfaces that are prone to wear and tear.

10. Masonry Paint

Masonry paint is a versatile paint that is primarily used for exterior surfaces, but it can also be used indoors. The main purpose of masonry coatings is to provide long-lasting protection and weatherproofing. There are two types of masonry paints to choose from – smooth or textured. Smooth paint is easier to clean, while textured paint is better at hiding imperfections. Both options are durable and offer excellent weather resistance, but smooth paint may require more maintenance over time.

11. Speciality Paint

Certain materials or surfaces require specific types of paint to achieve the best results. Luckily, there are many options on the market for specialized paints designed for specific jobs. For example, if you are planning to paint tiles, you can purchase tile paint that adheres well to shiny surfaces. Alternatively, you may need a paint that is resistant to high temperatures if you are painting a stove or other heat source. By selecting the appropriate paint for your project, you can ensure a professional-looking finish that is durable and long-lasting.