How to Select and Buy Interior and Exterior House Paint

Paint Guide 101:

Go Green? What Paint is right for You? interior painting woodstock What is a good quality Paint? Here is a quick guide to choosing the right paint like a pro! Before you can choose a paint, you need to ask yourself what do I expect out of this paint? If you are painting your house for the purpose of selling it your paint will not be the same as someone who has three children a messy pet and no intention of moving. There are many questions a paint retailer may ask you when you are buying paint. They may use words you are not familiar with so let’s give you a quick education on some terms and definitions.

Oil and Waterbourne paints: Well without getting to technical, oil based paints dry harder and need mineral spirits to clean up with for the average homeowner it is a real nightmare. Waterbourne paints do not dry as hard (which in many cases is a plus), they clean up with water and are much easier to work with. Oil paints should be regulated for covering unwanted stains.

Let’s talk about Sheen: The easiest way for me to explain sheen is to simply substitute the word sheen with shine or gloss. In most cases the more sheen the more durability/washability the paint has. The scale of sheen usually goes as follows Flat, Matte, Low Sheen/Luster, Eggshell, Satin/Pearl, Semi-gloss, Gloss. Paints with very low sheen tend to hide imperfections in walls; whereas glossier paints tend to reveal imperfections. That is why mostly ceilings are painted flat. Since the ceiling surface rarely gets touched, washability is not a concern and flat paint can help to hide drywall seams. Conversely doors and trim and baseboards get handled regularly so semi-gloss and gloss paints are the norm. What about your walls? Well look at your walls now are they subject to a lot of wear and tear? If you live alone or just don’t have any children or pets, you may enjoy the softness of flat or matte paint. However if you or your kids are “hands on” when it comes to your walls low sheen or eggshell will probably make the most sense. Satins are usually relegated to kitchens and bathrooms. That too is a judgment call.

Green Paints: What is the big deal with “green paints”? Well as a painter for over 15 years I couldn’t wait to switch to “green paints”! Here is the quick rundown. Non eco-friendly paints contain volatile organic compounds or VOC’s these are emitted from the paint as it dries. According to the EPA’s website, some health concerns are as follows “Eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches, loss of coordination, nausea; damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous system. Some organics can cause cancer in animals; some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans.” Now you know why I couldn’t wait to make the switch! So even if your not into saving the planet think of yourself and others who may be in the house your painting. The best thing about these “green paints ” is there are lots to choose from, some have No VOCs and some are Low VOCs. Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore have products at many different price points I commonly use their contractor grade products Pro Green by Sherwin Williams, and Eco Spec by Benjamin Moore and the performance of these paint surpassed their non eco-friendly predecessors.