All About Paint – Tips from G-Tech Service Glasgow

We see it everywhere and on everything. In the home, painting is one of the most frequent and popular home repairs made by home owners and renters. But what is this stuff? And when you go to buy it, on what do you base your decision? Is the £7/litre paint as good as the £25/litre paint? And what about latex paint and oil base paint? Or primer?

It can all be confusing and as a result many people just base the decision on price and get the cheapest paint they can buy. All to find out that they need to paint and re-coat and re-coat and re-coat again, just to get the cheap paint to cover.

Paint is a mixture of four basic ingredients: Pigments; Resins; Solvents; Additives

Cheap paints have a higher percentage of solvents per volume, say a litre. As a result there is less pigment and resins in the litre of cheap paint than high quality paint which can have 50% more pigment and resins than the cheap stuff. What this means is that most of what you are applying with cheap paint is water or mineral spirits (solvents up to 70%) which evaporate and leave little pigment behind. This is why you have to re-coat and re-coat up to four times with low quality paint before enough pigment is left behind to cover the colour underneath.

At the end of the day, all paints basically fall under two solvent categories which define their type; mineral spirit based (commonly known as paint thinner) or water based. In common convention these paints are referred to as oil based paint (alkyd resin base thinned with mineral spirits) or latex based paint (water thinned). Ironically neither latex based paint nor oil based paint contain latex or oil.

Latex paint is the most common and environmentally responsible providing for soap and water clean up. These paints also dry faster and have less odour from VOC’s (volatile organic compounds). Water based latex paints have come a long way and are extremely high performing paints.

Alkyd paint is a hazardous material and is sometimes regulated by local councils.

Latex Paint is the most common type of paint for home use for a few reasons.
It has soap and water clean up;
Environmentally responsible
Excellent performance;
Flexible so it withstands movement;
Can prevent mildew and moisture;
Fast drying;
Extensive colour selections and paint sheens.

You can use water based latex paint in almost any application in the home, from exterior paint and trim, to interior walls and woodwork.

Alkyd paint is not commonly used in home painting applications. It used to be that these paints were the standard for bathrooms and other “wet” areas since they were easy to scrub, had a higher sheen and were more durable than the early latex paints.

That is no longer true and now many latex paints equal or even outperform alkyd based paints because of the other benefits of latex paint.

Alkyd paints, when used in the home, are most commonly used for areas having high wear or prone to impact. These include trim, floors and sometimes cabinets. Another benefit to alkyd is it has a longer drying time than latex paint so it does not show brush strokes as much, an advantage when painting trim, woodwork and cabinetry.

Some disadvantages of alkyd paint include:
It is more expensive than latex paint
Odour intensive when drying and gives off VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) Requires chemical solvent clean up using mineral spirits (paint thinner)
Some local councils restrict the use of this paint because of the hazardous materials it creates in the waste stream.

Another consideration in selecting the proper paint is a factor called paint sheen. Paint sheen refers to how shiny the dried paint surface becomes. There are three basic sheens:
Flat or Eggshell
Semi-Gloss or Satin

Flat or Eggshell paints have the least amount of sheen. As a result, flat paints are the most forgiving in terms of showing minor wall imperfections. Think of a car with bad bodywork. If it were painted glossy black, you would see every flaw. If it were painted a flat white, you would not notice the flaws anywhere near as much. So flat paint is good for hiding imperfections in the drywall tape joints. Add texture to the mix which hides even more flaws and you have the reason textured ceilings painted with flat paint are so common. Flat paint is most commonly used in all walls and ceilings in the home. The most common exceptions to this generalised statement is the bathroom and kitchen.

Semi-Gloss or Satin paint is most commonly used in rooms requiring more frequent scrubbing such as the kitchen or baths. The problem with scrubbing flat paint is is may develop a slight sheen. So using a paint with some sheen to start with mitigates this problem and makes clean up easier.

Gloss paint is really pretty seldom used in the home except for some woodwork and trim, or special areas where a highly reflective sheen is desired.

If you are looking for professional and reliable painters and decorators in Glasgow area, do not hesitate – call G-tech Service Glasgow today for a free, no obligation quote.

Category(s): Painters and Decorators Glasgow

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