Time was, the biggest decision for any painter was whether to use an oil-based or latex coating. Fast-forward to today and, oh, how things have changed.
While oil-based paints are now banned in some places (and are on the decline just about everywhere), there has been a proliferation in the number and types of water-based latex coatings. Today’s latex paints offer a dizzying array of great benefits and performance characteristics – and one of these paints is likely just right for your specific needs.
With that in mind, if you’re about to undertake an interior painting project, take a few minutes trying to imagine the absolute perfect paint for your job. It likely exists. And knowing exactly what you want beforehand will make things far easier when you get to the paint store.
Let’s say that you have limited time to complete your project — maybe you can work only on the weekend, or you have company arriving from out of town. A self-priming paint (one that serves as both primer and paint) can hide even hard-to-conceal colors with fewer coats that otherwise needed, enabling you to more quickly finish your project before returning to work or greeting your guests.
Take another situation: Your house is full of little ones who tend to deck the halls (and other surfaces) with little fingerprints and other reminders that you are not alone. By choosing a high-sheen, top quality 100% acrylic latex paint, you’ll get a tough finish with exceptional stain resistance – giving your walls and woodwork a fighting chance to remain clean and fresh-looking no matter what they encounter.
Another hypothetical: The room or space you plan to paint has a variety of different surfaces – vinyl doors, wood trim, and walls made of plaster or drywall, perhaps. Unless you want to buy a passel of paint, your best bet is to select a single paint that performs well on multiple materials. Again, 100% acrylic latex is the answer. It provides the adhesion you need to grip onto even slick surfaces like vinyl. And purchasing just one type of paint will likely pay dividends at the cash register.
Those with an eye for fine design tend to be sticklers for color. If that describes you, then you’ll want to choose paint with good color retention – or watch helplessly as your carefully selected shades inexorably fade into pastels. Again, the answer is to apply a quality acrylic paint.
And if you abhor paint odor, but happen to live in an area that still permits oil-based coatings, don’t be swayed: Any water-based latex paint will outperform its oil-based cousins by a wide margin on this score.
By carefully assessing your needs and desires in this way, you’ll be able to quickly zero in on the perfect paint when you get to the store. Should you still need a little help, a knowledgeable counterperson can quickly steer you in the right direction.