We all know that paints add color to blank surfaces. These surfaces can be found inside and outside our houses. Now, before you go grabbing buckets of paint or calling folks that offer painting services to make them colorful, here are some things you need to know:
What’s in a Paint?
Paints are composed of resins, solvents, additives, and pigments. Latex paint has water as its solvent while its counterpart in oil-based paints is mineral spirits. In case you’re wondering what solvent does to paints, it keeps it wet enough to make it easy for us to use them. When the paint dries, the solvent evaporates and all that's left are the additives, pigments, and resins.
The pigment is responsible for giving the paint its rich color. Resin, which can be made of silicone, epoxy, or acrylic, is what binds paint to the surface. The additives are what gives paint special properties like easy cleaning and application, or resistance to mildew.
Paints used for different purposes have different properties. This is why it’s important to use interior paints for indoor painting and exterior paints for the outdoors.
Interior paints are formulated to resist stain and make for easy cleaning and scrubbing. Most of them are also water-based, since odor is a factor that needs to be eliminated when painting indoors. They also contain few to none volatile organic compounds (VOC) – toxins that can cause severe lung damage to people who are exposed to them for a long time. Although the VOCs present in interior paints are low in number, it’s still important to keep the windows and doors open when using them for proper ventilation and to avoid suffocation.
Natural elements like water, wind, and sun can cause damage to exterior paints. They’re also prone to fading mildew which is why they contain a lot of VOCs. The last thing you want to happen to a painting service that is done perfectly is to them crack and peel off weeks after.
The application of exterior paints need to be done in moderation. You need to wait for 48 hours after applying to first layer for the VOCs to completely exude before adding the second layer. Once that is done, you need to wait for another 48 hours to add the third layer, and another 48 hours for the next one.
There are also paints that can be used for indoor and outdoor purposes. This is fine, but we highly suggest that you seek help from a professional before using them. The amount of VOCs present in each brand varies, which means the “dual-purpose” line on the label may be for marketing purposes only. Paints, especially the ones that are of good quality, can also be a bit pricey. Professional painters can help you look for paints that are worth investing in. They can also give you tips on how to prepare before, during, and after application.
partnered post • cc-licensed image by Warren Long