Tuesday, 22 May 2018 08:05

Paint – the finishing touch

    When it comes to paint, you’re not just deciding on colour. The vast range of finishes available offers up a whole host of options for different areas of a home, depending on the effect you want to achieve and where the paint is going to be used. There is also a massive difference in the quality of the paint. Some paints contain more cheap fillers and are thinner – so they will take more coats to cover and are likely to fade and mark more easily. Here Simon Tilbrook, Director at Fenwick & Tilbrook, summarises what each paint type is best for.

    Paint is normally oil- or water-based. Water-based paints are typically more environmentally- and user-friendly with less odour, quicker drying times and the brushes can be cleaned with water. Oil-based paints provide tough, glossy finishes but have higher VOC levels, longer drying times and the brushes need cleaning in turpentine or spirits.

    Walls and ceilings work extremely well in pure matt. These products have a 2% sheen which provides a sumptuous flat finish. The paint is easy to apply with brush, roller or even spray and it’s wipeable too. When choosing a low-sheen finish, some ultra-matt paints can seem dull so it’s important to choose a paint with high levels of chroma or colour intensity. This will really bring out the gorgeous range of tones you’ll see in different lights at different times of day and create a paint effect which ‘pops’.

    Interior eggshell is a tougher finish but with a soft and delicate 10% sheen. Lower sheen levels such as this mean that, although it’s an eggshell which you may typically associate with woodwork and metalwork, it is perfectly suited to walls too. The added durability makes it ideal for higher traffic areas such as hallways and, as it’s also wipeable, it’s perfect for kitchens and bathrooms. Interior eggshell is highly versatile, meaning you can paint everything from your walls to your radiators in it – perfect for a super coordinated look. Kitchens in particular are fabulous painted in interior eggshell – the paint can transform cupboards and cabinets while making sure they can endure cooking and cleaning day in, day out.

    Outdoor surfaces, including woodwork, plaster- and metalwork, are ideally suited to exterior eggshell. The finish is designed to be tough enough to withstand weather conditions, keeping moisture out but, at the same time, breathing and flexing as surfaces such as wood expand and contract. Garden furniture and seating look excellent with a rich coat of paint to complement planting and create welcoming outdoor areas. A lower sheen level of around 20% enables surfaces to be rich and colourful but without the harsh glare of a glossy finish.

    Masonry paint is, as it says, for exterior masonry such as concrete, pebbledash and brickwork. The paint is acrylic, so application is smooth, but the paint is tough and flexible to cope outside in the elements. With a sheen of around 15%, you can achieve stunning effects outside to really show homes and garden walls to their best advantage and create beautiful and inviting exteriors. We love the idea of a rainbow of painted houses along a street.

    Multi-surface primer, can be applied to any surface prior to painting to ensure there is a good bond. This is especially applicable if the previous coating was an oil-based product. Oil and water don’t mix!

    While many paints are self-priming, it is often advisable to use a primer. Primers can help to achieve greater coverage with the top coat of paint, meaning you need to use less paint to achieve the perfect colour-rich result. Primers also help extend longevity of paintwork and a good primer will enable you to paint virtually anything – the possibilities become endless.

    A quality paint will always deliver a better finish. Opt for a paint which is thicker with high levels of chroma and opacity to ensure colours that are rich and intense. A good quality paint should be rich in pigment and so require fewer coats and provide better coverage. They are typically easier to apply too by brush, roller or spray. Choosing a superior paint will also help to maintain that freshly-painted, pristine appearance for longer and provide added durability so you can wipe surfaces clean.

    There’s so much more to paint than just colour.

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