When it comes time to paint a room in your house, you can quickly overwhelmed by all the different kinds of paint on the shelf.
If you do find yourself confused, you can always ask the person at the home improvement store what kind paint you need, but I find their advice to be a little hit or miss. Some of the people there really are experts and some are faux experts and just say whatever their employee manual says to recommend.
So let me give you a quick little primer about the kinds of paint so you have a good idea of what to get when you head on down to your local paint or home improvement store. (I generally shop at Home Depot for paint).
There are two main categories of paint – oil based and water based. When you’re painting a room in your house, most people opt for water based paint. Now if you’ve been to the store already, you probably purchased latex paint. If so, good work, that’s what you want. Latex is a type of water based paint and it accounts for about 80% of interior paint sold today.
One of the big advantages of using a water based paint (like latex) is that clean-up is much easier. I remember when I was younger my mother used oil based paints frequently and cleanup was a smelly and difficult mess. Cleaning oil paints requires solvents to get the brushes clean while water based paints clean up nicely using running water and a little soap.
Also, latex paint is less likely to fad or yellow and can be painted on damp surfaces. So if you live in an area with high humidity, you’ll definitely want to use latex since oil based paint isn’t going to dry in high humidity.
So with all the advantages that latex has, why would anyone use an oil based paint these days. Well, for one, oil based paints can be applied in colder temperatures. If the thermometer reads less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit, you’re going to have to go the oil based route.
Also, oil based paints can be applied to dirtier or shinier surfaces. It adheres to the surface better but it does take more work to apply it as it doesn’t flow off the brush or roller as well.
Now you’re ready to get started painting, time to pick a color and get a gallon or two.