Different Types of Paint Explained
There are a variety of different paint types and you may want to understand the differences between them before you start to paint. Both interior paint and exterior paint jobs will require different types of paint.
There are basically two types of paint that people use for painting: water based “latex” paint or oil “alkyd” based paint. You will find water based paints have mostly acrylic based resins and dry quickly. Oil based paints have a linseed or Alkyd resin which is a synthetic oil and takes very long to dry. Within these types of paint bases there are categories of specialty paints.
The main differences between these two has to do with how they dry, how easy or difficult it is to clean up and their finishes.
Oil Based Paints
Oil based paints take the longest to dry and therefore leave a smoother finish. These products are more difficult to clean up as they require mineral spirits or paint thinner. Alkyd based paint products are most popular for applications that require a uniform, sprayed-on look such as doors and trim.
Water Based Paints
Water based paints are the most popular type of paint for both interior and exterior applications. Latex based paint products dry faster and are easier to clean up. These paints come in a variety of finishes, can be used for interior or exterior projects, and are easy to work with.
Both oil based and latex products come in various categories. Primers are one category and they are essential when starting a new paint project. Primer makes painting over things, such as sheetrock, metal, wood and various other surfaces, much easier. Latex primers are the most common for basic applications while oil based primers are used more for covering stains and areas that were previously covered in wallpaper.
Another category contains specialty paints like those for kitchens and bathrooms that have a mold, mildew or anti-condensation additive built into it. They cannot totally eliminate condensation but they can lessen the effects of these situations.
Other specialty paints include floor paint which can be used on porch, basement and other concrete floors. Chalkboard paint which transforms any wall into a chalkboard falls under this category as well. Magnetic primer which is most commonly used in conjunction with the chalkboard paint would also fall under the specialties category. Also under this category would be decorative glazes for faux finishing.
In some cases people use interior paint that is heat resistant or fire retardant. The reason for this is because it can withstand the higher temperatures of a fire so it will slow the spread of the fire down. Often this is the type of paint that is used around fireplaces, old fashioned radiators and stoves.
Knowing the types of paints that are on the market will help you to be a more informed consumer. If you would like more information on how to find the right paint for you it might be good to talk to local paint store about your specific needs.