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Choosing Paint: What You Need to Know

7th July 2017

Choosing Paint: What You Need to Know

Last week, we looked at the main types of paint used for decorating a home. Here, we go through the questions you need to ask to make sure you choose the right one.

Q1: Which room are you painting?

All rooms aren’t created equal, and some will need a different type of paint to make sure the paintjob stays looking good for as long as possible. If you are painting a bathroom or kitchen, look for special kitchen and bathroom paint (most major brands make it); at the very least, choose a vinyl silk emulsion, which will offer maximum protection against moisture. If you have children (or enthusiastic adults!) living in your house, some areas, such as hallways, playrooms and bedrooms would benefit from a more hard-wearing paint, such as vinyl silk or satin.

Q2: What finish do you want?

Some people hate a glossy finish, while others find matt bland. The finish of your paint determines how much light your walls and ceilings will reflect: this has a surprisingly significant impact on the overall effect. Balance the finish you want with the durability of the paint, and make sure the samples you get are in the right finish, so you can get a good idea of the final look.

Q3: What surface are you painting on?

New plaster, old walls and existing wallpaper all need to be approached differently – plaster may need sealing, to stop it from absorbing a water-based emulsion, and bold patterns will benefit from at least one undercoat to stop the pattern from showing through. Make sure you prepare the surface properly and get the right paint for your needs. Most tins have a list of suitable surfaces, so it is not too hard to work out what you can use.

Q4: How much time do you have?

If you are hoping for a stealthy, in-out paint job, don’t by watery paint that will need multiple coats. Invest in good quality paints that will offer great coverage, and do your best to pick a warm, dry day to decorate so that you can open windows and doors. Failing that, put the heating on low to encourage the paint to dry more quickly. If you are really pushed for time, you can get special quick-drying paint. It is important that you make sure it is still fit for purpose though, i.e. don’t buy quick-drying matt for a kitchen or bathroom.

Taking the time to make sure you get the right paint will make the job so much easier in the end. For advice on types of paint and home décor, why not contact a local decorator, who can offer you a free quote and advice?