If you are looking for an easy way to alter how your house looks, a great paint job is one of your best options. The choice and possibilities of colors are endless, you can even choose from 30 different shades of white, just to give you an idea. Professionals can get this job done with ease, but at the same time, this is also a project you can DIY (do-it-yourself). Get rollers, masking tape, cut-in brush, and drop cloths, and all that is left to do is to choose some paint. Paint varies widely in quality and cost, and in this post, we are going to give you more information on what paint actually is, and how to go about choosing the best type to match up to your project.
Every type of paint is made up of some form of liquid. Once it is applied in thin layers it changes into a solid, dry film. Many particles and different types of liquids make up different paints. In this article, we will be covering latex paint. This is the paint you will be using for the interior rooms in your home. Latex paint is not a product that comes from rubber trees (so if you have an allergy to latex, you can still use this type of paint). In this context, latex paint means that there is water inside the product that holds the sub-micrometer particles. To explain this further, the solvent is water for this emulsion, which typically makes up around 30% of these paints.
The particles in the paint are usually a pigment that is combined with clay, lime or diatomaceous earth, calcium carbonate, talc, or silica. These are fillers that increase color retention, scrub retention, and sheen. The prime pigment will provide the color. Titanium dioxide is one of the common white pigments.
There are also binders present in the paint that improve the consistency of the product, which makes it easy to apply. The complex part of this is that the binder can be vinyl styrene or acrylic (along with a few other things). The acrylics cost more than vinyl. For this reason, many manufacturers use a combination of both in order to balance price and quality. For example, it is common to find paints with 80% vinyl and 20% acrylic. The acrylics provide better:
– Water resistance
– Stain protection
– Better adhesion
– Resistance to cleaners that contain alkali
The paints that have a higher percentage of vinyl are prone to lightening in color, especially when they are watered down. How will you know? The label on the product won’t help (companies prefer to guard their trade secrets), so the price should be your best guide. To ensure you are buying the best paint, keep in mind that better quality paints have higher levels of solids in them.
Some of the benefits of latex paints include a lower fire hazard potential compared to using petroleum-based thinners, etc. Cleanup also just involves a bit of soap and some water. One of the drawbacks of latex paint includes when you paint over wallpaper, water inside the paint may cause the wallpaper to start peeling. Latex paint also doesn’t adhere very well to high gloss surfaces (using a primer first solves this issue). Another drawback of using latex paint on metal is that is can result in rust due to the water content inside the paint.
When it comes to disposal, the acrylics and other ingredients in the paint means that you should not be pouring the leftover product down your drains. If you have any leftovers, rather allow the paint to dry out thoroughly with the lid off. Once the paint hardens, you can dispose of the cans with your trash.
Many people are concerned about breathing in VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). The dangers of this might be in dispute. However, if you are able to smell anything, it means you are breathing it in. It comes as no surprise that the low VOC paints have become increasingly popular over the years.
The low VOC paints must match up to EPA requirements (50 grams per liter of industrial paint) and typically have 20-30% of the VOCs of regular paints. In addition, most low VOC paints have anti-microbial products incorporated to resist bacteria, mold, and mildew.