Paint companies select paint types, finishes and brands based on the job specifics. This article breaks down the different aspects of paint to give the homeowner a better understanding why their painter selected each types of paint or to aid in choosing the best paint for themselves. We will also cover wall color, texture, manufacturers, supplies and the paint stores that sell them. Cost is also an important factor. Paint prices vary between the different companies, type and finish. Painters Now price run down will get you headed in the right direction and might even save you a few dollars on your next project.
Types of Paint
Paint types come in many forms each type serving its own purpose. Interior-Exterior types are location specific. While specialty types are designed for more specific jobs or surfaces. Some types of paint have less impact on the environment, better known as eco-friendly Below is a quick overview of the various types sold at local stores, their uses and characteristics. Product materials in houses today include enamel, latex, specialty and acrylic paints. While leaded paint has been banned and Oil has increasingly fallen out of favor.
Acrylic paint has become the standard and is the base of nearly all today best products. The higher the the percentage of acrylic the better walls and old colors cover. Cheaper types have as little as 20% while the market leaders maintain 100% acrylic. Water-soluble makes clean up easy. Once cured it forms a water resistant barrier to help protect walls and other surfaces.
Artist also use various grades and mixes of acrylic to achieve different looks when creating murals and other custom features.
Oil Based Paint
Oil based paint is common in older houses and was used widely in all facets. The best characteristic of oil base should be obvious. It is by nature resistant to water and humidity. Generally thinner in consistency, when applied properly it tends to leave a smooth durable finish with less brush strokes and roller textures. Oil does have down sides and several reasons why it has all but been abandoned in the industry. Toxicity is a major issue, as is clean up. Not only will oil stay unbroken down once in the water supply, but the mineral spirits and paint thinners used to clean brushes and hands is also a contaminant.
Enamel paint is generally reserved for metal applications or where conditions have deemed durability to be a major factor. Today enamel products are made from both acrylic and oil bases. Though water based is becoming the more frequent of the two. Generally a high-gloss or glossy finish is implied with a hard shell like coating. It offers superior protection on exterior doors, metal railing or other repetitiously used surfaces.
Appliances, bathtubs-sinks and other house hold items also use enamels.
Spray paint companies produce a variety of sprays for lots of purposes. The first thing most people think of is graffiti, but they truly are the best option many times. Some come with job specific spray nozzles. This allows you to shoot directly up, down or multi-directional with less work.
Sprays are also great for small, odd shaped or outside projects like a mailbox, house numbers, interior vent covers etc.. A smooth non-textured surface can be achieved by applying several thin even coats.
Latex paint or the idea of it might be the greatest hoax of the twenty first century. Many of todays products mask the true materials being used. Chocolate bars aren’t chocolate any more, banana yogurt doesn’t use bananas and latex is no exception. Nearly all products refered to as latex paint actually contain 0% latex rubber. Vinyl a cousin to latex has filled the roll. With cheaper lines carrying as much as 80% by weight. There are exceptions to the rules. Modern ideas brought latex back into the big picture with spray and dip types designed for coating tools, stopping leaks or weather proofing.
Types of Paint Finishes
Types of paint finishes compared. Visually different in appearance satin, semi-gloss, flat-matte and eggshell all offer unique looks and material qualities. Lets compare the different types of finishes. Examples images for each have also been provided to give you a better idea of what each looks like compared to the others. Starting on the left with the most shine and ending on the right with the least.
High gloss also known as hi-gloss leaves surfaces with a smooth, shiny and glass like finish. Ideally suited for hi traffic areas like doors, commercial businesses and hand rails. High gloss finishes stand up to the worst of it.
Semi-gloss paint is fairly versatile and fills several roles in homes and businesses a like. It forms a slick water resistant finish and also offers a high level of durability making scrubbing walls clean easier. The water resistant finish also acts as a protector from the humidity formed in bathrooms and kitchens.
Satin wall finishes are becoming more frequent every day. Slightly less shine than semi-gloss, but still easy to scrub. Homeowners in numbers are choosing satin and they are not confining it to the walls of the kitchen and bath. Kids rooms with satin were the big thing just a few years ago.
Eggshell paint is our most popular type of wall finishes. It combines the best characteristics from the other types of finishes. Eggshell protects the wall with a hard shell like finish, can be scrubbed, but offers the soft appearance of a flat-matte. When painting whole houses single colors this is often the choice for the walls. Mainly for its versatility.
Flat – Matte
Flat paint or matte, as it is also referred to, can be a great choice for many reasons. It lacks several of the other features the other finish types have, but makes up for that with appearance and with being peel resistant. Offering the brightest softest finish ceilings are exclusively done using flat. Homeowners looking for a calmer warmer setting often select this type.
Paint Prices for eggshell-satin-semi-gloss-flat materials vary between manufacturing companies, stores and product quality. All though prices fluctuate continuously or price guide will help homeowners get a good idea of what to expect and what is out there. Generally speaking prices range from a little more than $20 to upwards of $60 for the higher end types. Flat is the cheapest followed by eggshell. Satin and semi-gloss tend to run $5-10 more than flat in any given product line. Exterior pricing also runs $5-10 more than similar interior products.
Formula materials are not always the same. No matter the use or type we suggest always get one that is 100% acrylic. Interior acrylic paints from big box stores like lowes and homedepot generally run $32-$40 and are well worth the money. Paint stores such as Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore and Porter charge a little extra on their prices, but provide premium quality products and service.
Our Paint Company uses their business discount prices and passes the savings directly onto our clients. We do not charge over the actual cost. This allows us to keep the total homeowners cost lower. Many times this can lead to optional aspects of the job being completed or money to go back into the budget for other things.
What is the best paint? It is debatable among different contractors, but these are the top 3 paints we like the best. We based our choices off diversity of use, prices, color changing/hiding qualities, longevity and usability.
Best Interior Paint
Valspar Signature lines high hiding properties are one of the reason it has earned itself a spot as one of the top 3 best. With primer incorporated and affordable pricing it is easy to see why. Available in all of the popular finishes- eggshell, matte, semi-gloss and satin. Great for interior jobs.
Best Overall Paint
SuperPaint is versatile, comes in interior and exterior versions. Finishes include gloss/semi, satin and matte. For eggshell at Sherwin they do offer Harmony which is low voc and finishes well, but lacks the covering ability of our top 3. Great for walls, trim, siding and any other projects.
Best Trim Paint
While not cheap Pro Classic is in our opinion is hands down the best semi-gloss trim paint on the market. Thinner than most of its competitors its ability to self level is the best we have seen. The finish is almost devoid of brush strokes and texture leaving your with a shiny smooth glass like finish.
Paint companies where to start? We compiled a list of the all the main companies whos paint can be found lining the shelves of stores across the united states. If you are looking for more detailed information about the different manufacturers visit our Paint Companies section of the website.
Top 10 Paint Manufacturers
- Sherwin Williams
- Benjamin Moore
- Clark & Kensington
Some companies that manufacture also have store fronts that sell their items directly to the public. The majority of them do not. Instead they rely on home improvement stores or big box retailers like Walmart for distribution. For more detailed information see our Paint Store website section.
Top 10 Stores
- Sherwin Williams
- Home depot
- Benjamin Moore
- Color World
- Ace Hardware
Specialty Paint Types
Specialty paint can be useful when creating wall space with special characteristics or protecting different surfaces. Modern materials types include chalkboard, whiteboard, magnetic and glow in the dark.
Chalkboard paint as a wall material can be great for kids and adults alike. Spruce up your childs room with a wall or framed in section to give them a creative outlet for using their chalks. For adults it can be little more practical. Maybe adding a section to the office or kitchen for planning and organizing task.
Whiteboards are great. Why be limited in size and scope by whats for sale on the shelf? Take your office or board room to the next level. Works with all dry erase markers and erasers.
To make it magnetic they simply add the proper amount of iron particles in the mix. This allows everyday magnets to easily attach to walls and other surfaces. The list of uses is practically endless and we always enjoy these unique project ideas.
Glow in the Dark Paint
Glow in the dark paint is great for man caves , teenagers rooms or businesses that offer low light settings. Subdued when the lights are on for a formal look, but wild and crazy when they are off.
What is Low VOC Paint?
VOC means “volatile organic compound”. All paint, low voc included, has some level of toxicity. Years if not decades after walls are coated they slowly release toxic organic compounds into the air. To counter that many companies are now offering low voc and zero voc options. Not only do these new products release far less toxics into the air, but many claim to not only remove air pollutants reducing odor, can kill airborne bacteria and viruses that reach the walls. Acting more like a buffer for homeowners looking for a healthier eco-friendly or green approach to painting.
Texture paint and drywall texture not only provide some of the more dramatic finished looks available, but also offer safety aspects in certain situations as well. Texture wall finishes can be achieved by various methods.
- Knock Down Texture– though rarely used in houses today it can add a dramatic touch to any room. Painters apply it using various methods and techniques to create unique wall patterns and designs.
- Popcorn Texture Paint – mainly applied to ceilings, but also walls. Popcorn adds a interesting look, but adds one great quality. Sound dampening. Not quite studio quality, but effective non the less.
- Sand Texture– Sometimes sand texture is added to interior walls, but the main reason for using sand is safety. Some sand grit in your porch, patio, garage or basement floor adds the extra bit of traction needed to stay safe.
Though not truly a paint texture ceiling textures are an important part of your houses overall look. Some common ceiling types:
- Orange Peel– Thinned down drywall mud is sprayed directly onto the ceiling. True to its name the finished surface looks like that of an orange.
- Stomped– Special brushes are used on the end of poles to stomp star burst patterns across the ceiling.
- Rolled On– Not as popular as the first 2 types, but a quick and affordable way to hide unsightly ceiling defects.
Faux paint textures can be achieved using different types of materials and applicators. Layering techniques create some of the more popular finish styles:
- Textured Rollers
- Plastic Bag
- Crackle Paint
- Metallic Layering
Paint colors in the 21st century have no limitations. There are literally thousands if not tens of thousands of company designed color choices to choose from. Often times stores will have color packets and brochures to help narrow the search. Home design magazines and tv shows are also a great place to get color ideas. Another common method is to get the wall colors directly from a home furnishing, bedspread or the like. With advances in custom paint color technology improvements such as color matching lasers optics the sky is the limit. Any color idea or dreams you have can be created in your house. Coming soon–Online Paint Color Selection app.
Ceiling materials are the most over looked aspect of our jobs. People generally put them of years before including them in estimate or having a ceiling leaking that stands out. By this time most ceilings have slowly dried out and began to take on a yellowish tint. This makes touch ups impossible to hide and usually leads to the entire ceiling being done. There are several gimmicky products in the market designed to help aid in completing the task. What they make up with gimmicks they lose in other attributes. What good does having having purple material and change to white so you can better see what you are doing if it does not offer one coat coverage.
To avoid this at our own company we steer clients towards wall products designed to hide discoloration and color changes. SuperPaint or Signature both perform incredibly well at this task. It give the best opportunity for one coat coverage, because the last thing on anyone’s mind is doing the ceilings twice. They are also great for covering light smoke from candles, fireplaces or oil and steam stains from cooking certain foods.
Heavily smoked in, fire damaged or otherwise heavily stained ceilings take a little more work. All will need a minimum of one coat of quality primer first. Nicotine especially likes to cling to ceiling surfaces and is extremely hard to remove. Shellac primer is used in these instances with most others being accomplished with oil based products.
Paint Supplies are as important as the materials your using. Painters Now only uses premium paint supplies, brushes, rollers and tape when working in clients homes or businesses. We suggest the same for your personal projects. Trying to save money in this area can lead to real disasters later.
Cheap brushes leave streak marks, make it hard to cut straight lines and because they hold less material many times require unnecessary labor constantly reaching back into the can. Cleaning them can also be a problem with poor filament materials they often only make it through one job. Size is also an important factor having to big or small of a brush makes work difficult. We use 3″ brushes for walls and trim and have smaller sizes like 1″ for the more detailed work.
Roller Naps are no exception. It is temping to just grab a cheap pack of 3/8″ rollers and go on your way. Generic rollers have many issues, but 2 main ones jump to the top of the list. Leaking roller covers if the inner liner does not seal properly to the handle it leads to excess material collecting inside the handle. Drips and wall lines follow quickly after this happens. The other main problem is nap lint. Something you never think about until during mid process you start seeing debris being left behind all along the walls.
Paint Tape is critical to producing clean lines for two tone or custom designs. Keeping trim, fireplace mantels, counter tops and other surfaces free from splatters and drips. We go into more detail about the specific kinds in our Tape Review website page.
Drop clothes are the work horses of the industry. They protect the carpets, hardwood and tile floors on our houses interior and driveways, patios and landscaping on the exteriors. Often overlooked one of the most important aspects. Making sure drop clothes are constructed well enough to do their job is crucial. Drop clothes are not a stop all solution and generally speaking only buy you enough time with large spills to avert disaster. We like double thick drop clothes and also carry some thinner versions with plastic backing which also work well while still maintaining flexibility during use. They come in various shapes, sizes and materials depending on your need. Most vary in size from 10’x3′ mainly used in hallways and wall edges to 20’x20′ for ceilings or large jobs where entire areas need to be protected.
Special Paint Tools
Specialty tools can make many jobs that seemed impossible easily within reach and safer. We saved all the details for Paint Tools website page, but have created a short list of some of the best examples in our arsenal.
- Ladder Leg Extenders
- Roller Handle Pivot Tools
- Brush Holding Pole Extensions