Blog, Good Advice, Home Decor

Everything You Need To Know About Paint

Are you ready to spruce up your home? The fastest and most inexpensive way to do so is with paint! There is something so promising about opening up a new can of paint. It has the power to transform walls, and freshen up a room almost instantly. Here you will find everything you need to know about paint and pro-tips on how to make your next painting project a success.

As you know, if you have visited my website previously my favorite color is aqua, hence the name “The Aqua Cottage.” Aqua blue reminds me of my favorite tropical beaches but; Did you know that the color blue is tranquil and calming? That’s because it’s the color of the sea. The word Aqua is not only a color, but in some languages also means water. The color blue  promotes relaxation which makes it ideal for bedrooms and bathrooms.

***This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase. Please, see my affiliate disclaimer for more details.***

Before you choose colors consider the function of the space. For example kitchens are high traffic areas and bathrooms have high humidity. Living Rooms and bedrooms are more restful. Do you want your paint color to spark creativity or encourage rest and relaxation? Before you pick up a brush, let’s look at the different types of paint and finishes first.

Types Of Paint

Primer: A coat of primer lays the foundation for a lasting paint job. Primers are formulated with special binders that help paint adhere to it. You can have your primer tinted to match your paint and ensure even coverage. There are also many new paint options that have primer already combined into the paint.

Latex: Today most paint is vinyl acrylic or one hundred percent acrylic latex. It’s water soluble and DIY friendly because it cleans up easily with soap and water. Latex paint dries quickly, usually in two hours or so and cures in a matter of weeks.

Oil: Oil paint is known as alkyd or solvent based. It dries slowly and must be cleaned up with mineral spirits. Oil paint also hardens well to create a durable finish. 

Low VOC: This paint has ingredients that contain volatile organic compounds to eliminate the gas which creates that familiar paint smell. It’s best for those with breathing or health issues where as regular paint fumes may be hazardous to your health. Today there are many low to no VOC lines on the market that still offer great color and coverage.

Paint Finishes

  • Semigloss: It’s less shiny than gloss and almost as easy to clean. It is the finish of choice for most kitchens and bathrooms. For the bath, choose a paint or primer with mildewcide such as Kilz (see below) to handle high humidity.
  • Flat: This finish has little or no shine creating and even tone and hides surface imperfections. It is harder to clean than finishes with sheen, also good for ceilings and living areas.
  • Satin, Eggshell: Good for foyers, family spaces, and high traffic areas: This finish has less sheen than semi-gloss. It also cleans up more easily and resists “burnishing” or shiny spots that result after being rubbed and scrubbed.
  • Matte: This is a low gloss finish that can help camouflage tiny cracks and bumps in the walls. Good for bedrooms, livingrooms, and dining rooms, this finish delivers a rich coat of color.
  • Milk Paint: This powered paint formula comes in dozens of colors and gives walls and furniture a vintage look. Just add water and mix with a blender or a hand mixer.  It can go right over sheetrock.

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Painting 101

Now that you know the type of paints and finishes, and how much you’ll need, it’s time to get started! Before you open that can of paint or dip that paint brush, here are some application techniques and secrets to giving your walls and trim a flawless finish. Painting walls is a delicate balance of cutting in with a brush around trim, outlets, inside corners, and the ceiling. Only cut in as much as you can roll while the paint is still wet. Otherwise you may notice a difference in sheen or a stripe that occurs where the wall meets the ceiling.

Click image to find list items here on Amazon.

One gallon of paint covers about 400 square feet. To figure out how much paint you’ll need, add up the lengths of all your walls, then multiply that amount by the room height. Subtract 20 square feet for each door and about 15 for each window. Divide the result by 400 to get the number of gallons you’ll need for one coat.

Now it’s time to paint! Follow these basic steps after applying painters tape.

  1. Cut in around the edges with a 2 ½ inch angle brush. Only dip the edge of the brush into the paint or less than half way in  to avoid over saturating the brush. Shake off excess paint, to prevent drips down the wall or floors. Draw the tip up to meet the edge, then drag the brush steadily along. Reload brush when the paint starts to fade. To prevent overlap marks avoid working the paint brush back and forth. Finish with a light pass across the area.
  2. Use the roller once you’ve cut in around a wall to fill in the field. Damped the roller before using it (with water for latex and paint thinner for oil). Dip the roller into a lined paint tray with just enough paint to reach the grate. Roll it back against the grate to distribute the paint evenly and squeeze of the excess. Make sure the roller is covered completely before using it on the walls to avoid dry spots. Start out rolling by making a W on the wall and then fill it in using short easy strokes. Now you’re painting like a pro! Aim to cover a 3-by-3 foot patch with each rollerfull. Keep a damp cloth handy to wipe up any drops along the baseboard. Continue painting until fully covered. Overlap the edge to avoid visible brush marks. Wait an hour to retouch the wall before applying a second coat.
  3. Remove painters tape pulling it off slowly while the paint is still wet. If you wait for it to dry the tape can gap causing damage to the finish or surface.

Once all of the walls are completed and the walls are dry, step back and take look at your work. See if there are any touch ups needed. Now, enjoy your newly painted space and decorate accordingly. If you love coastal decor, see The Ultimate Guide To Beach Cottage Style. I hope you found this article to be helpful. Save time and money by ordering online and have one neat pro-painters box shipped right to you door. You can easily find all of the painting supplies on the list through my link here on Amazon. Also, If you are planning to renovate your kitchen, see The Ultimate Kitchen Renovation Guide.

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