Choosing The Right Paint

Paint Attributes

Latex vs. Oil

Latex paint works well for interior applications, especially in areas where there is little ventilation, because of the minimal amount of odor they give off during application. Clean up with latex paints is very easy, simply wash all brushes, rollers, buckets, and spills with warm, soapy water. Oil Paints are more durable and are great for exterior applications where there is plenty of ventilation due to their strong odor. Mineral spirits must also be used for cleanup.

Interior vs. Exterior

Interior and exterior paints differ in their composition. Each contains additives specifically formulated for their intended use. For example, exterior paints will have additional mildew blockers and fade resistors that allow them to withstand the elements and constant sunlight. Interior paints contain additives that make them more durable for scrubbing and cleaning. For best results, be sure to use the paint that is intended for your project.

Paint Grades – Paint is manufactured to different specifications. In general these grades are: value grade, construction grade, and premium grade. When comparing pricing on paints, be sure that you are looking at similar grades of paint. Curtis Lumber only carries top quality paints, so you can be sure you’re getting the best paint on the market.

Hiding Ability – This is a term that refers to the opacity of the paint. The greater the paint’s hiding ability the better it will cover up problem areas and previously painted colors. While you might think a dark color would have better hiding ability than a lighter color, it isn’t always the case. In order to make a dark color, less titanium dioxide (which makes paint white & opaque) can be used, reducing its hiding ability.

Color Choice – There are a number of things to keep in mind when choosing a color. Space can be the most important factor. Is your room small or large or is the side of the house a long, straight run? Colors interact with each other in various ways so it is also important to consider the color of objects in a room, nearby walls, furniture, and anything else that will be near your painted surface. For example, an off-white wall will appear pink when placed next to a vibrant red rug.

Another factor is the amount of light in a room. Since color is a reflection of certain rays of light, the level of brightness will effect how a color looks. Browns will look much deeper in a darker room than in a bright one. It is important to take the color swatch home and see what it looks like in the actual space where it will go and to consider the type of light you are choosing the color in. If it is an exterior paint, you should choose the color in daylight. While color is a personal selection, be sure to ask your Curtis Lumber paint pro for advice on color pairings to create just the right look and feel.

Curtis Lumber can custom match virtually any color with a small swatch. Be sure to bring in your color choice for an exact match every time.

Sheen – Sheen is the term used to describe a paint’s degree of light reflection. In general, the less sheen a paint has, the less stain-resistant it is. Most paints and stains are classified as either Gloss, Semi-Gloss, Satin, Eggshell or Flat.

Gloss is the toughest sheen. It cleans easily and resists scuffs. This makes it a good choice for high traffic or constant use areas and items, like outdoor furniture. For shutters and other trim, gloss paint provides a sleek look. Gloss paint will, however, show imperfections in the surface more than other sheens and will not cover rough spots. Gloss paint is heavily used for industrial applications.

Semi-gloss paints are also durable and easy to clean, but have less shine than gloss. They are the preferred finish for trim, casings, kitchens, and bathrooms.

Satin and Eggshell offer a good combination of easy-clean and moderate sheen. It’s a good choice for siding and interior walls that may get fingerprints or other markings on them. Homes with children and pets should consider at least Satin or Eggshell sheen in order to have the ability to clean the surface.

Flat paint is the right choice for ceilings or areas that will not come in contact with traffic. It has excellent hiding ability and can cover surface imperfections.