June 28, 2018
Is it time to enhance your space with a fresh coat of paint? If it’s been a while since you painted your home, this is the perfect way to brighten, enliven and update your rooms.
Homeowners typically dive into a painting project for one of several reasons.
- They are building a new addition.
- They are updating a current room.
- They are changing how they use a space.
- They are tired of the old decor.
- They are putting the house on the market.
- They are moving into a new home where the previous owner had different tastes.
Other times, rooms need a fresh coat of paint due to wear and tear. Experts recommend repainting every few years to keep things looking sharp. Of course, some areas of the home suffer worse wear than others. Cleaning professionals suggest the following repainting timeline for each area of the home:
- Hallways: Every two to three years
- Bedrooms: Every two to three years for kids’ bedrooms, less frequently for adult bedrooms
- Living and dining rooms: Every five to seven years
- Kitchens and bathrooms: Every three to four years
It’s important to keep in mind that the financial cost is not your only investment. A painting project costs both time and money. You’ll be spending time selecting colors, prepping the space and, of course, painting the room. Once the walls, ceiling and trim are complete, you will spend additional time on cleanup. For professional painters, this process may be fairly quick. However, even the most experienced painters must follow these same steps, and, for many DIYers, the project is much more difficult and time-consuming.
With this investment in mind, it’s easy to see how important it is to select the proper paint for the project. Choosing quality paint will make all the difference in the world to your painting experience and the final results. We’ll cover the specifics of this below. However, before you can fully understand this, you must know a few things about paint in general and what differentiates high-quality paint from low-quality paint.
What Is Paint?
To get a good grasp on what makes quality paint, you must first know what makes paint, period. What ingredients make paint? The answer to this question has changed quite a bit over the years.
Decorating with paint is not a new idea. Cave dwellers used a combination of dirt, soot and animal fat to spruce up their rock walls. Ancient Egyptians mixed dirt, oil, fat, animal blood, stones and glass to create paint. Fast-forward to the 1200s, and we find painters’ guilds forming and professionals starting to standardize the craft. By the 1600s, house paint had become a common product, typically made with an oil or water base.
Two hundred years later, a couple of paint manufacturers revolutionized the industry. Sherwin-Williams opened in 1866 and soon after released the first ready-to-use paint and introduced the resealable tin can. Benjamin Moore established its line not long after. A shortage of oil during WWII transformed paint once again. Alkyds, or artificial resins, replaced oil as the most common paint base. Today, house paint is mostly acrylic, or water-based.
After extensive research during the first two-thirds of the 20th century, Benjamin Moore introduced its computerized color-matching system in 1982.
After all these changes, painters today can enjoy a standard recipe for paint that is safe and simple to use. Modern paint is made of:
- Solvents are the liquid used to suspend the other ingredients in the paint. The solvent allows painters to spread the product evenly, then evaporates after application.
- Pigments are what give the paint its color.
- Resins bind pigments together to establish the final product.
Low-quality paint is diluted with a higher concentration of solvents and includes large pigment particles. In contrast, high-quality paint offers a greater concentration of fine pigments and high-grade resins. This combination gives the product a more durable finish and creates a more even color application. As you shop for paint products, keep these ratios in mind. Look for manufacturers that offer quality pigmentation and resins.
If the paint is mostly solvent, it offers very little to the painter other than frustration and disappointment. If a paint costs a bit more, this usually indicates it is made up of quality materials that will result in a better experience and more attractive finish.
What Goes Into a Painting Project?
To produce a quality paint job, you must select quality paint. However, a lot more than paint goes into a painting project. As you prepare to paint, you must gather a full range of supplies you will need to complete the project.
Primer: Many surfaces require a primer before quality paint can be applied. The primer prepares the surface by creating a smooth, even wall. It smooths cracks, covers blemishes and prevents the paint from getting absorbed into the surface. It also helps cover dark colors currently on the wall to reduce the number of coats of paint needed to finish the project. Various primers are available, depending on what you need to cover or what type of surface you are painting.
Paintbrushes: A plethora of brushes are available in all sizes, shapes and qualities. As with paint, selecting a quality brush can make a significant difference in the ease of your project and the final results. You’ll need at least one quality brush for edging. This task is necessary to blend the corners and edges of the space with the rest of the painted area. A quality brush will allow you to quickly reach these spaces and achieve a nicely blended finish.
Rollers: For larger areas, rollers are the best tool to use. Again, quality is important. Cheap rollers may take paint back off the wall as you roll, and they also may shed onto the paint. Choose a high-quality roller that is designed for the surface and type of paint you will be using.
Tape: Painters’ tape is useful for blocking off any surfaces you don’t want to paint. Use this for wall edges, trim, window and door frames or any other areas where you might accidentally spread paint if they are not protected. The tape is designed to be removed easily without leaving residue behind on the surface.
Dropcloths: Even the neatest painters need dropcloths. Use these to cover floors, furniture, counters or other surfaces below the area being painted. They also provide a safe surface to put paint cans, wet brushes or other dirty items you will use during your painting project.
Trays: Paint trays hold the paint in a way that allows you to easily apply it to your rollers or brushes. This method also protects the rest of the paint still in the can from being contaminated with a dirty brush or roller.
After you purchase all these necessary supplies, you want to spend as little as possible on paint, right? This might be tempting, but it’s not worth the savings. The right paint is the final and most important ingredient to a successful painting project. Because of this, it’s important to set your budget based on the cost of the paint. If you need to skimp somewhere, buy disposable dropcloths or medium-grade brushes and rollers, instead of top-grade. As you establish your project costs, consider what you can expect to spend on quality paint and make adjustments from there.
Is Quality Paint Worth the Price?
Quality paint is more expensive than other paint. It’s important to keep in mind the old saying: You get what you pay for. Cheaper paints won’t deliver the same quality as more expensive paints. You won’t achieve the same even coverage with cheaper paints, and you will have to apply more coats of the product. The cheaper the paint, the more coats you’ll need. The final result is little to no savings at all. Why? You have to buy twice as many cans of paint and spend twice as long applying them. Remember, your time is worth something, too.
What Makes Quality Paint Worth the Price?
Why is some paint so expensive? If you aren’t familiar with the paint industry, you may suffer sticker shock as you first begin pricing the products. However, you must remember the many advantages quality paint offers. With these in mind, the prices seem more reasonable. The benefits make the extra cost well worth the initial investment. Here are some of the advantages of using higher-quality paint:
Even coverage — Cheaper paints skimp on essential materials. As a result, you can’t get the same even coverage from these products. Quality paint is designed to provide even coverage in as few coats as possible. This thick, even coverage is just not possible with cheap paint.
Fewer coats — Most painting projects require one or two coats of quality paint to provide a nice, even finish. If you use cheaper paint, the number of coats required can soar into the double digits. This is especially likely if you are attempting to cover a dark color with your new paint. To avoid multiple coats of paint, use a quality product that can cover the surface with one or two coats.
Time savings— Using low-quality, cheap paint takes more time. As mentioned, you will probably have to apply additional coats of paint. Not only will this require more time for painting, you also have to wait for the paint to dry between coats. A simple paint job you could finish in a day with quality paint might take more than a week to complete with cheap paint, due to drying times.
Cost savings — With a higher price point, financial savings may not seem like a benefit of quality paint. Once you factor in the other benefits, this savings becomes clearer. Consider how many cans of paint you must purchase for the project. If a cheap paint requires several additional coats, you have to buy twice as much paint. Even if the initial cost of a can is half that of a quality can of paint, you end up spending just as much, if not more, on the cheap paint.
Durability — Quality paints offer staying power. Unless you enjoy painting, you probably want to paint as infrequently as possible. Cheaper paint is less durable and fades faster, which makes it more likely you’ll need to repaint again sooner. Quality paint, on the other hand, resists stains, scratches and fading. It offers a durable finish that better withstands daily wear and tear.
Simplicity — If you’ve worked with both quality paint and cheap paint, you know there is a difference. Quality paint is easier to apply. By using more expensive paint, you’ll enjoy a simpler process with fewer frustrations and headaches. Cheap paint often drips, coagulates, spreads unevenly and offers poor coverage. It can be as frustrating as trying to use a flat screwdriver in a Phillips fastener. It’s amazing how much more smoothly a project can go with the right tool for the job!
What Is the Best Method to Apply Quality Paint?
Once you understand the benefits of quality paint, you still have to make a decision when faced with a painting project. The question remains: Will you use it, and, if so, how? Homeowners typically have three choices. The first is to ignore the need for a paint job and live with dingy walls. However, the appearance will only worsen with time. Your property, living conditions and home value will suffer. It will also be more difficult to repaint if you wait longer, since there will likely be more damage to cover.
The second option is to repaint the space yourself. This option is excellent for those who have the time, skill, tools and willingness to complete the project. As mentioned, you will need quality paint, quality application tools and quality protection tools. In addition, you may need ladders, extension poles, scaffolding, safety gear or other project-specific tools. You will need to gather these supplies, then set aside the necessary time to prep, prime, paint, apply additional coats, then clean up. Not every homeowner finds these steps feasible. Due to schedule constraints or skill limitations, they decide painting is not the project for them.
This leads to the third option, which many homeowners find to be the best solution. You can contact a professional painter to complete the project. They will provide the required tools, skill and time to quickly and efficiently paint your space. With the minimal effort of a simple phone call, you can enjoy fresh surroundings.
If you decide your property could use a new coat, contact the professional painters at Shoreline Painting. We use top-quality products to ensure smooth projects and create impeccable surroundings. We proudly serve Fairfield County, Conn., Westchester County, N.Y. and New York City. If you have a property in this area that needs freshening, contact our team today.
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