Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Selecting Paint Colors / Part 2

Paint properties 

So we've talked about
selecting the right color for your room
in your home in PART 1 
of this paint tutorial,
so now it is time to talk about
the actual paint.

You have choices in finishes and types of paint --
oil versus water-based paints
and terms used in describing paint colors.
All relevant things to consider 
when making home decor paint decisions.

Let's talk about the options you have for paint
finishes on your walls and trim.

Your choices are

*  flat 
*  eggshell 
*  semi-gloss
*  gloss

 Flat (or matte) is best used on walls with
a lot of bumps or imperfections. It shows the least
amount of reflection -- so it's a good option on
textured walls. However, it is not easy to clean
and shows smudges and marks so if you are painting
a high-traffic area or a kitchen or bathroom --
this is not your best option. 
I recommend this finish for ceilings.

Eggshell (or satin) is great on walls. It's what I always
recommend for walls because it has a little more
luster than flat but yet it's not shiny,
 it is scrubbable* and it works well 
for high-traffic areas, bathrooms, 
kitchens, and kids' rooms. 

* I don't know about you, but I like to wash down
finger prints and scuff marks. Flat paint does not
allow for this so I always recommend eggshell for walls.)

Semi-gloss is tougher than eggshell
but it is a lot shinier. The gloss shows
imperfections and bumps or cracks.
Though paint companies recommend it
for kids' rooms (because it can take the wiping and
scrubbing)  you need to be a fan
of the shiny wall to be happy with the end result.
However, I LOVE it on trim and woodwork
or on a piece of painted furniture.

Gloss will be your shiniest finish
option for woodwork and trim.
If you have a new home with new wood trim
I would opt for this. If your home is older and
has layers of paint and imperfections,
then go with a semi-gloss which will
make bumps and blemishes less obvious.
Gloss on walls is very glamorous
but your walls better be pretty much flawless
for this application -- hire a professional
to get optimal results. :) 

Oil versus Water-based

Clients often ask me which is better...
oil-based paints or water-based? 
Though paint manufacturers have reformulated
their products so they contain less VOCs 
(volatile organic compounds) which the EPA 
warns may have adverse health effects, 
many choose to use 
water-based paints instead. 
However, certain applications call for one or the other.

Advantages of Water-based Paint
  • quick drying 
  • low VOCs
  • cleans up with water
  • an elastic, flexible finish resistant to cracking
  • stable color over time, without yellowing

Advantages of Oil-based Paints
  •  good "leveling" (brush strokes fill themselves in to create a smooth finish)
  •  hard, durable finish
  • attractive glossy finish
  • great for painted floors

Color Terms

When you talk about paint colors,
you hear words like hues, saturation,
values, and intensity.
It's important to know what these mean
 so you make the best decision
when selecting your color.

A HUE is actually the color.
So yellow is a hue, and blue is a hue.

The VALUE is how light or dark the hue is.

SATURATION refers to how dominant
the hue is -- for instance, as a color goes from
red to pink, the red's hue becomes less
dominant as it fades into the shade of pink.

The bottom color has the most
saturation on this card.

INTENSITY is the brilliance of a color -- 
like blue is more intense than a combined color 
such as a blue-green. A stronger intense color
has a more dominant hue.

This storage cabinet's paint color is INTENSE!

Hope this has cleared up
any questions regarding
colors and paint properties.

Stop back for Part 3
to learn about tips and tricks
when painting.



NanaDiana said...

This is a wonderful informational piece, Alison...especially for those that are just learning all the ins and outs of paint(ing).
I always use eggshell on my walls because of dirty little on my ceiling (all water based.
My woodwork has been Benjamin Moore's White Dove for years and I use the oil based for that because it is SO durable and gives a different sheen than water based paint.
Great post- xo Diana

Karena Albert said...

A wonderful tutorial Alison. I love an eggshell finish, it goes on beautifully and so easy to wipe off little marks!

The Arts by Karena

Kelly Deal said...

Hi Alison! Thanks for the information! Having to paint stresses me out, especially picking out colors! I love the intense yellow on that cabinet!

Pinky at Designs by Pinky said...

Thanks for all this info, Alison. We are about to paint and are selecting colors and finishes.

Karen said...

This is great information. Unfortunately, we can no longer buy oil based paint except by the quart. The EPA banned it in gallon sized. I like it for wood trim, doors and base. Oh well. We are doing some serious painting this spring and summer, so this is really helpful. Thank you.