Painting Tips: Choosing the Right Paint

Ceiling Paint

Ceiling paints are a special category of interior paints. They have an ultra-flat sheen that helps hide imperfections, deflect and diffuse light throughout a room, and eliminate harsh shadows. Their normally bright white color helps a room look larger and brighter. Quality ceiling paints are formulated to be more spatter resistant, making the paint job easier and neater.

A ceiling should be painted whenever the walls of a room are painted or wallpapered. A dingy ceiling can ruin a newly decorated room. It is difficult to paint a ceiling after the walls and trim have been finished.

White is commonly used, as it is the lightest tint of any color. White will also reflect the other colors in a room. For example, if the dominant color is blue, the white ceiling will tend to look slightly blue.

Although the change between wall and ceiling color may seem stark when viewed side-by-side, the "natural break" created where the wall and ceiling meet eliminates this effect. The eye accepts the color change easily.

Color on ceilings is becoming more popular. tintable ceilings paint and/or flat wall paint can be tinted to a lighter color of one of the decorating scheme's colors for the best effect. Medium or dark colors on the ceiling can make a room seem very small and close. Colors associated with the sun and sky can lend a very unique outdoor feeling inside.

Wall Paint

Latex paints are a class of paints usually made by mixing different pigments and binders in water. Clean up with warm soapy water, shorter drying time, and low odor are the most notable features of latex paints.

  • They quickly dry to the touch (half an hour in a typical interior application).
  • They have less odor than oil/alkyd paint.
  • Tools can be cleaned with soap and warm water.
  • They retain their sheen/gloss longer.
  • They retain their color longer.
  • They are more flexible than oil based paint.
  • Latex paints resist blistering and peeling because they do not trap moisture.

Oil/Alkyd Paints

Oil base paints were the first factory-made paints. The main difference between an oil/alkyd and a latex paint is the vehicle or carrier of the resin. In a latex paint, water is the vehicle. In oil paint, a solvent, such as paint thinner or mineral spirits is used.

Some advantages of oil/alkyd paints:

  • Exceptionally durable and washable
  • Adhere, flow, and level well - very good brushing qualities
  • Perform well at lower temperatures
  • Tolerate poor surface preparation; have more bite onto the surface

Oil/alkyds also have some drawbacks over latex paints. The solvent vehicles have more odor than latex, they yellow with age, and require solvent for clean up, rather than soap and water.