Paint Basics 1

  • What are the main components of paint?
  • Who makes the best paint?
  • Should I use latex or an oil base paint?
  • How good are warranties manufacturers give?
  • What is the best kind of brush?
  • What is the best kind of roller cover?
  • When I choose a paint color...
  • Apply an oil-base paint over a latex paint?

There are 4 basic components in paint. They are:

PIGMENT: A powdery substance that provides color, bulk, and hiding power.

BINDER: Binds the pigment into a uniform, continuous paint film, and makes the paint adhere to the surface.

LIQUID: Provides consistency and makes it possible to apply the pigment and binder to the surface.

ADDITIVES: Low-level ingredients that provide specific paint properties such as mildew resistance, good flow, and leveling.

Most major paint manufacturers make very good "top of the line" products. They also make lesser quality lines. Using these lesser quality lines are of greater concern and in our opinion should not be used. It doesn't cost that much more to use the "best quality" product and it lessens the chances of having problems in the future.

This choice is mostly a matter of personal preference, but it may help to make your choice based on the advantages each type of paint offers.

Quality interior latex paints provide better long term flexibility and resistance to cracking and chipping. They also tend to resist yellowing with age in areas protected from sunlight. They emit fewer odors, clean up with water and are not flammable.

Oil based paints offer superior one coat hiding and better adhesion to difficult surfaces such as those not thoroughly cleaned. Oil based paints allow for greater length of time the paint may be brushed before it sets, and superior resistance to "blocking" and abrasion. Oil based products have more durability on interior surfaces than latex products.

The paint companies do not guarantee how long the paint will stay on; they guarantee how long the paint film will last. Probably the most important aspect in how long paint will stay on is how well the surface has been prepped before painting.

There are two kinds of brushes made for a latex application. One is a brush made with polyester filaments and the other is a brush made with nylon filaments. The best kind of brush for a latex application is a combination of these two types of filaments. This type of brush has the advantages of a polyester filament, which has very good resistance to solvents, chemicals, moisture, and temperature. It also includes the advantages of a nylon filament brush, which provides a smooth finish, has good abrasion resistance, and is very durable.

The traditional kind of brush for use in oil-base paint is a brush made of hog hairs from China. The common name is a china bristle. These bristles have natural split ends called "flagging". This gives the brush the ability to pick up the paint and apply it to the surface very well. The hairs in this kind of brush are thinner than polyester and nylon filament brushes. A brush that is made of a combination of ox hair and china bristle is the best kind of brush to give the smoothest finish. The ox hair is a thinner hair than a china bristle and therefore applies the paint in a more even fashion without showing brush marks.

If you are applying varnish, the best kind of brush is a white china bristle brush.

A nylon and polyester brush can be used for applying an oil-base paint.

For latex applications:

When you are applying latex eggshell, satin, or semi-gloss latex paints, use a white Orlon or lambskin cover. If you are using a flat latex paint, use a polyester blend or lambskin cover. The density of the roller cover is determined by the surface texture.

For smooth surfaces such as drywall, plaster, or masonite, use a 3/8" cover.

For semi-rough surfaces such as a sand finish plaster, acoustical tile, textured walls, use a 1/2 " to 3/4" cover depending on how heavy the texture is.

For rough surfaces such as concrete block, stucco, brick, etc., use a 1" or 1 1/4 " cover.

For oil-base paint applications:

On smooth surfaces, use a mohair roller cover.

On semi-smooth and rough surfaces, use a lambskin cover.

The density of the cover is again determined by the texture

When I choose a paint color from a color chart, will it appear lighter or darker when it is on the wall?

In general, the color will be lighter than the color chart.

Yes, on interior surfaces only. There is no special prep work that is needed. Applying oil-base house paints over existing latex house paints can create an incompatibility problem and the oil-base paint may not adhere to the existing latex paint

Paint Basics 2

  • Can I apply latex over an oil-base product?
  • white oil-base enamels turn yellow in color?
  • What is an "eggshell" paint?
  • Can I touch up an eggshell...
  • What are the different sheen levels?

Yes, if the existing oil-base paint has a flat sheen. If the oil-base paint has a sheen, it MUST be sanded and primed with an oil-base primer, oil-base undercoat, or acrylic bonding primer.

Why do white oil-base enamels turn yellow (amber) in color?

The alkyd resins in oil-base products are naturally amber in nature to start with. Other factors such as lack of ultra violet light rays and the presence of ammonia can accelerate the yellowing process in most oil-base paints.

When someone refers to an eggshell paint or finish, it mostly describes the level of sheen the paint has, not the color. An eggshell sheen is a low-level sheen that is between a flat sheen and satin sheen.

Can I touch up an eggshell, satin, or gloss finish?

It is possible; however, the higher the sheen, the more difficult it is to touch up the surface

What are the different sheen levels for paint?

The sheen level is defined by the amount of light reflected from the surface when viewing the surface from an angle. In general:

• A flat sheen is less than 10 degrees.

• An eggshell sheen is between 10-19 degrees.

• A satin sheen is between 20-29 degrees.

• A semi-gloss is between 30-69 degrees.

• A high gloss is above 70 degrees.

One point of interest here centers on the industry. In general, the industry does not publish a structured reference point regarding the sheen levels. Each manufacturer determines their level of sheen for each particular product.

Types & Uses

  • What is an acrylic paint?
  • What is a latex paint?
  • What are latex paints used for?
  • What is an “alkyd”?
  • What is an oil-base paint?
  • What is a varnish?
  • What is varnish used for?
  • Who makes the best paint?
  • What is polyurethane used for?
  • About Epoxy Paints
  • What is a urethane-modified paint?
  • What is an acrylic-urethane coating?

This is a synthetic resin that is a blend of both acrylic resins and other resins such as vinyls. Acrylics added to latex paints generally help with adhesion, washability, and durability such as hardness. Some of the main areas acrylic paints are used for include exterior houses, metal buildings, interior walls, and ceilings.

Latex paint consists of a dispersion of fine particles of synthetic resins and pigment in water. The more solids a latex paint has, the better the paint is. It dries more quickly than oil-based paint, has relatively low odor, and cleans up with water.

Each manufacturer has both latex and/or oil-base systems that can be used effectively on most surfaces. It depends on the particular conditions you have and/or the end product you want. In general, latex products can be used for walls, ceilings, plaster, wood, exterior wood siding, aluminum siding, concrete block, concrete, gutters, some primers, and sealers.

It is an oil-based paint that requires thinner to clean brushes and roller covers. These paints are produced in different sheen levels: flat, eggshell, low luster, semi-gloss, and high gloss.

An oil-base paint contains pigments that are usually suspended in a blend of various oils such as soya alkyds, which are made from soybeans, a drier, and mineral spirits. The blended oils provide the binder for the pigments, the blend of various oils and the dryers, control the drying time, and the mineral spirits control the flowing qualities of the paint. In general, you can use oil-base products on wood, metal, walls, plaster, concrete block, sealers, and primers.

This type of finish consists of a solution of resins in a drying medium. Alkyd type varnishes contain little or no pigments. They dry and harden by evaporation of the volatile solvents, and through an oxidation process.

Varnish is recommended for both interior and exterior applications where a hard finish that is impervious to moisture is desired.

Most major paint manufacturers make very good “top of the line” products. They also make lesser quality lines. Using these lesser quality lines are of greater concern and in our opinion should not be used. It doesn’t cost much more to get higher quality paint, and it is more durable. It is resistant to abrasion, hot water, alcohol, food acids and common solvents.

Polyurethane is recommended for both interior and exterior applications where an extremely hard and durable finish is desired. It can be used on wood surfaces such as doors, trim, cabinets, paneling, floors, decks, furniture, tabletops, and bars.

EPOXY PAINTS

 

What is an epoxy paint?

A basic one or two-part formulation, which is thoroughly mixed just before use. Epoxy finishes are extremely hard and durable. They are excellent for demanding applications and protecting materials such as concrete floors, walls that require added durability, steel, aluminum, and fiber.

 

What is a polyester-epoxy paint?

These are two-component materials that are usually mixed prior to application. Polyester-epoxy combines and physical toughness, adhesion and chemical resistance of an epoxy with the color retention and permanent clarity of polyester. The film is stain resistant and moisture resistant.

 

What is an acrylic-epoxy paint?

A two-component coating that provides the resistance to staining, yellowing and scuffing of acrylic resins, combined with the toughness, acid and alkali resistance of epoxies. Their performance characteristics are almost equal to those of polyester-epoxy solvent-based products; their stain-resistance is superior.

 

What is a polyamide-epoxy paint?

A tough, two-component finish with outstanding hardness, abrasion resistance, alkali and acid resistance, and adhesion. It is excellent as a concrete floor finish.

A one-component finish for outstanding abrasion resistance. This type of product has good resistance to normal household materials such as alcohol, water, grease, etc. This product will yellow to some degree with age.

This coating is recommended for use on areas that demand superior chemical and stain resistance, plus color and gloss retention. This type of coating has high performance properties including excellent resistance to salt, steam, grease, oils, many coolants, solvents and general maintenance-type machinery fluids.

Prepping & Painting Interior

  • Existing drywall or plaster walls & ceilings
  • New walls and ceilings
  • New plaster
  • New concrete (not floors)
  • New concrete floors
  • New concrete block
  • Existing concrete block
  • New interior wood to be painted
  • Existing painted wood to be painted
  • Existing stained and previously finished....
  • Existing wood (to have varnish or...)
  • New wood that is to be stained

Prep the walls by sanding, filling holes with spackle, repairing the cracks using fiberglass mesh tape and drywall mud, and spot prime these areas using a good latex primer such as XIM’s X-Out or Zinseer 123. You can use either latex or oil-base paint for the finish coat. Use a 3/8” nap roller cover made of white Orlon or lambskin roller cover on smooth walls that you paint in latex and a mohair roller cover on smooth walls that you paint in an oil-base paint.

Latex products are easier to apply, and if you want good washability and durability, apply an eggshell, satin, or gloss sheen.

Sand the drywall and apply a good latex primer such as XIM’s X-Out, ICI’s 1200 series, or Zinseer 123. You can use either a latex or oil-base product as the topcoat. If you use an eggshell sheen or higher, you will need 2 coats of the finish product. If you only apply one coat of the finish coat, the walls will have an uneven sheen. Use a 3/8” nap roller cover made of white Orlon or lambskin roller cover on smooth walls that you paint in latex and a mohair roller cover on smooth walls that you paint in an oil-base paint.

The most important thing is that the plaster must cure for at least 30 days. A good oil-base primer/sealer should be used and then either latex or an oil-base product can be used for the finish coat. Use a 3/8” nap roller cover made of white Orlon or lambskin roller cover on smooth walls that you paint in latex and a mohair roller cover on smooth walls that you paint in an oil-base paint.

The most important thing is that the concrete cures for 60-90 days before you apply paint to this surface. A latex block filler should be used as a primer, and either latex or an oil-base topcoat can be applied.

The most important thing is that the poured concrete cures out for 60-90 days, depending on drying conditions. Then the floor must be either etched with a solution of 10% muriatic acid and 90% water and rinsed thoroughly, or coated with a clear bonding primer.

The primer and finish coatings depend on the type of system you are going to use. Oil-base, epoxy, and latex coatings all have different primers that should be used

The most important thing is that the concrete block cures 30-60 days. For garage and basements, a waterproofing masonry paint or latex block filler should be used. Either latex or an oil-base topcoat can be applied.

Remove the loose material. If there is any efflorescence (crystallized salt deposits on the surface) remove this by scraping and thoroughly washing with a mild acidic wash such as Lime Away to neutralize this lime buildup. Allow the surface to thoroughly dry. Prime these areas using an oil-base primer. The finish coat can be either an oil-base or latex product.

Sand the wood using 180-220 grit sandpaper. Apply a good oil-base enamel undercoat or XIM’s UMA primer. Sand the wood again using 180-220 grit sandpaper; caulk the joints where the wood meets other surfaces such as other wood, walls, ceilings, etc. Fill in the holes using a good spackling paste. Use a tack rag to remove any loose particles. We also recommend straining the paint by pouring the paint into another container through a nylon panty hose or strainer. This will help you to achieve a smoother finish. The best type of product for the finish coat is oil-base enamel. It will be smoother to the touch and more durable. We recommend applying 2 coats of the oil-base enamel sanding and tack rags the wood in between each coat. Applying only one coat of the finish will produce an uneven sheen.

Sand the wood using 180-220 grit sandpaper. Caulk the joints of the wood where the wood meets other surfaces such as other wood, walls, ceilings, etc. Fill in the holes using spackling paste. Spot prime the bare wood using an oil-base enamel undercoat or XIM’s UMA primer. Use a tack rag to remove any loose particles. We also recommend straining the paint by pouring the paint into another container through a nylon panty hose or strainer. This will help you to achieve a smoother finish. The best type of product for the finish coat is oil base enamel. It will be smoother to the touch and more durable.

Existing stained and previously finished wood to be painted

 

Sand the wood using 180-220 grit sandpaper. Wash the wood with a liquid sandpaper (this will help with cleaning the wood and adhesion). Caulk the joints of the wood where the wood meets other surfaces such as other wood, walls, ceiling, etc. Fill in the holes using spackling paste. Use a tack rag to remove any dust. Prime the wood using an oil-base enamel undercoat or XIM’s UMA primer. Sand the wood again using 180-220 grit sandpaper. Strain the paint using a nylon panty hose or strainer. The best type of product for the finish coat is oil base enamel. It will be smoother to the touch and more durable. Apply two coats of oil base enamel, sanding in between coats.

Existing wood (to have varnish or polyurethane) that is stained and previously finished

 

Prep the wood by sanding with 180-220 grit sandpaper, fill in the nail holes with a color putty that matches the color of the stain, stain scratches or bare wood, wash the wood with a liquid sandpaper (this will help with cleaning the wood and adhesion), and use a tack rag to clean off loose debris. Strain the finish product using a nylon panty hose or strainer. Apply an oil-base varnish or polyurethane to the wood.

Sand the wood using 220 grit sandpaper. Apply the stain and allow the stain to dry thoroughly. Some heavy bodied stains can take up to 3 days to completely dry out depending on the humidity and temperature. Apply one coat of an oil-base clear sealer. Allow the sealer to dry, sand the wood again using 220 grit sandpaper, and use a tack rag to remove the loose particles. Apply two coats of an oil-base varnish, sanding and tack ragging in between each coat.

Prepping & Painting Exterior

  • The evaluation process
  • Finish products for the exterior of houses
  • New exterior wood siding...
  • New redwood or red cedar...
  • Exterior existing metal surfaces...
  • New metal gutters and downspouts (galvanized)
  • New iron or steel
  • Existing aluminum siding

This is simply the process by which you look at the areas you are going to be working on to determine what problem areas you have and the steps needed to remedy the situation.

 

1. If the house is very dirty, power wash the siding and eaves or hand wash with TSP and Clorox bleach or Sodium Hypochorite.

2. Remove all the loose paint from the wood and metal.

3. Sand any glossy surfaces

4. Caulk around the windows, doors, gaps in the siding, overhand, etc. If you have vertical siding, do not caulk the area where the top of one piece of siding meets the bottom of another piece of siding.

5. Spot prime the bare wood and metal using the correct primer. (Click here for correct primers)

6. If you are re-glazing the windows, remove as much loose putty as possible, prime the bare wood before you apply new window putty, apply the window putty, and then prime the window putty.

7. Make sure your gutters are cleaned out. This will help prevent areas around the gutter system to peel.

8. New galvanized gutters will need to be washed to remove factory oils. You can wash new gutters in the following manner: Wash the gutters and downspouts using xylene, naptha, or an oil and grease emulsifier. When you are cleaning the surface, keep using clean rags and thinner. The reason for this is that when the rag or thinner gets dirty, you are applying a greasy film back onto the surface. You can also use trisodium phosphate (TSP) and then rinse the surface thoroughly. There are also products that you can purchase from your local paint store. After the gutters are washed, use only latex products for the primer and finish coats. Oil-base products are not compatible with galvanized gutters. New factory finished gutters and downspouts should be cleaned with TSP (Tri-sodium Phosphate). They should then be sanded and then primed using an Acrylic Bonding Primer

9. If you want the siding to be smooth, prime the bare wood with an oil-base primer, fill in the rough areas with an exterior spackle, sand these areas, and then prime these areas again with an oil-base primer. You may need to go over areas 2-3 times before you get it smooth.

10. Spot prime bare wood using an oil-base primer.

11. Spot prime bare metal (except gutters and downspouts) using a rust inhibiting oil-base primer.

A 100% acrylic latex or alkyd modified acrylic latex house paint should be used for the finish coat on the exterior of a house. These products are superior to an oil-base paint because the technology has advanced to the point that they are better for fade resistance, chalk resistance, flexibility in the paint film, durability, and adhesion qualities.

Use oil-base paints on metal surfaces such as wrought iron.

There are some areas that will not hold up as long as other areas regardless of what system you use. These areas include, but are not limited to, windowsills, doorsills, fascia boards, decks, and areas that have heavy traffic such as floors.

Pay attention to the temperature when you are painting. Applying acrylic or latex paint when ambient and surface temperatures are at least 50 degrees. Applying acrylic or latex paint below 50 degrees, the latex paint dries more slowly, especially when high humidity is present. This hinders coalescence, which can lead to poor film-forming, lack of surface adhesion, and premature paint failure. There are some manufactures that offer latex paint you can apply as low as 35 degrees. These are specially formulated products that contain coalescing agents that aid in film-forming during lower temperatures. Check your local supplier

Another consideration is the effect of heavy dew. Humidity affects the drying time of all paints, but especially latexes. Most manufacturers recommend that at least two hours be allowed for paint to dry before sunset if cool temperatures and heavy dew are expected that evening.

Use oil-base paints on metal surfaces such as wrought iron.

New exterior wood siding (not redwood or red cedar siding)

 

It is best if you can prime all aides of the wood before installation using an exterior oil-base primer/sealer or a primer from XIM called UMA. A 100% acrylic latex house paint or an alkyd modified acrylic latex house paint is recommended for the finish coat.

New redwood or red cedar siding that is to be painted

 

The resins in these two types of wood, when combined with moisture, produce a soluble coloring that rises to the surface of the wood and deposit a brown stain when this wood is painted. A special type of oil-base primer must be used to prevent this. Make sure you ask your local paint store or email us (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for specific oil-base products to use for this situation. If the tannin acid appears after the wood has been primed, you can wash this brown stain off with a mild detergent and then rinse thoroughly with water. Do not use a water-base product for this type of wood. The stains will show through.

Exterior existing metal surfaces (other than gutters and downspouts)

 

Remove the loose materials by using a wire brush or wire brush attachment to a power drill. Remove the loose dust particles, and any loose debris. Apply an oil-base rust inhibiting primer. Apply an oil-base product as the finish coat.

All new metal gutters and downspouts must be cleaned before you apply any paint. To clean the surface, use xylene, naptha, an oil and grease emulsifier. When you are cleaning the surface, keep using clean rags and allow the surface to dry. The reason for this is that when the rag or thinner gets dirty, you just apply the greasy film back onto the surface. You can also use trisodium phosphate (TSP) and then rinse the surface thoroughly. There are also other cleaning products you can purchase from your paint store.

Use only latex products on galvanized metal. Oil-base products are incompatible with galvanized metal.

Remove all corrosive deposits like scale and rust.

Clean the surface with xylene, naptha, or an oil and grease emulsifier. When you are cleaning the surface, keep using clean rags and allow the surface to dry. The reason for this is that when the rag or thinner gets dirty, you just apply the greasy film back onto the surface.

Use an oil-base rust inhibiting primer and an oil-base finish coat.

Scrape, sand, or use a wire brush to remove any white or light gray aluminum oxidation. Prime these areas with a Zinc Chromate primer. If the surface is chalking, (rub finger and see if a powder appears on your finger) wash with TSP, thoroughly rinse, allow the surface to dry, and apply an acrylic bonding primer (i.e., UMA or Benjamin Moore’s Fresh Start). Apply a 100% acrylic latex house paint or alkyd modified acrylic latex house paint as the finish coat. Caution: If the aluminum siding has a fluoropolymer coating (Teflon, Kynar, or Duranar) you will have adhesion problems using these kinds of primers. A different kind of primer must be used. Ask your local paint store for the correct type of primer or email us at (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).