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Léa Noémie Plourde-Archer
Léa Noémie
Plourde-Archer

(Author)
Wall decor: things you should know about paint

Wall decor: things you should know about paint

Last modified: 2018/06/12 | 3 mins

Paint is, without a doubt, one of the most popular wall covering materials, in addition to being one of the easiest to work with. Available in countless colours and textures, it has the power to adapt to any and all types of home decoration styles. If you are planning to paint  your house, read the following paragraphs to learn more about this particular material.  

There are two main types of paint:

  • Water-based paint, also known as acrylic paint or latex paint. They contain binding agents, pigments, additives and solvents. Since we are talking about water based paint, the main solvent in this type of product is water. This type of paint is suitable for most materials and it is easy to maintain. It also dries very quickly, does not have a strong smell and releases few very few chemical products when being applied.
  • Synthetic solvent-based paint: similar composition compared to water-based paint but with synthetic solvents. There are oil-based paints, with oil-based solvents, and alkyds, with a mix of water and oil-based solvents. Synthetic solvent-based paint offers better surface adherence and hides imperfections very well. However, it can smell bad, it requires more drying time, it deteriorates quickly and and while painting, emanates chemical substances that are harmful for the occupant’s health. This is especially true for oil-based paint.

Paint is very affordable: prices start at approximately $50 per gallon. It is relatively easy to apply – depending on the type of paint – and is also very customizable. The possibilities in terms of colours are unlimited and there are different types of paint adapted for each part of the house, for example: paints that are resistant to humidity, specially made for kitchens and bathrooms.  Moreover, different types of finishes are available, including three main categories:

  • Matte: absorbs light
  • Shiny: reflects light
  • Satin: compromise between matte and shiny, with a silky aspect

The choice of finish generally depends on the surface to be painted (new, used, imperfect, etc.) and on the room (whether or not it sees a lot of traffic). Nowadays, water-based paint products, namely latex paint, emit much fewer toxic chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOC) that are harmful for the health of the house’s occupants and that of the person who is applying the paint.

You will even find recycled paint! However, certain paints emit more chemicals than others, especially solvent-based paints. Therefore, they should not be used in bedrooms. Additionally, surfaces that are hard to reach, such as the ceiling or corners, can make the application process more complicated.

If you wish to do so, you can hire professional painters to make your lives easier and to guarantee good quality work. Lastly, the surface on which the paint is applied must be properly prepared according to the type of wall covering that is already in place and the type of paint that will be applied. For example: water-based paint such as latex paint cannot be applied directly on top of a layer of oil-based paint.

In some cases, you will also have to clean and de-grease the surface and you may need to apply a primer and complete other steps before you paint (sanding, stripping, etc.). A minimum of two layers are  usually recommended in order to make sure that the results are durable.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET A GENERAL IDEA OF HOW MUCH YOUR PAINTING PROJECT WILL COST? Test our cost estimator which calculates according to the room dimension and the number of colours.

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