With the warm weather finally descending upon the Vitamin D-starved Seattleites, “it’s time to paint the house and paint the doors,” says Pete.
He and Rob, as well as Rhys Skinner from Miller Paint talk about all the kinds of exterior paint jobs and treatment jobs you can do to your home.
Stain vs. Latex paint “You would use a stain if you have any exposed shingles that you want to maintain the beauty of the wood,” says Rhys. “You would also use it on exposed beams, or any kind of architectural shingles that you want to enhance.” Rob adds that you’d want to use a stain on any sort of wood that you’d want to maintain, like a deck. “The oil basically seeps into the wood grain and blocks water from leaching in,” he says.
Latex paint is beginning to cast off the stigma of the last 25 years. “They’re starting to use a lot better titanium,” says Rhys, “which is the actual base of the paint. It makes it so the paint can go farther and get better coverage.” Why titanium, you ask? “It binds with the clays and resins to make it dry hard and make it not very soupy. It also makes it retain color,” says Rhys.
She says you would use latex paint on your door, or on the outside of your house on vertical surfaces.
If you’re looking at using oil-based paint, Rhys recommends only using it for industrial purposes. “Oil and wood is kind of a problem because oil dries really, really hard, and wood always wants to flex,” she says. “That’s where you get the chipping and the brittleness of the paint.”
Enamels Contrary to popular belief, enamels don’t only come in oils. “Enamel means the hardness of the paint,” Rhys says. “So there’s acrylic enamels and oil-based enamels.” But, bear in mind, enamels have a sheen to them. She says enamels should always be used anywhere you want protection, either from things rubbing up against them, or the elements; for example, metal furniture should always be painted with enamels due to the hardness of the dried paint.
Color and Finish Rhys suggests, when looking for color, consider the type of space to be painted (e.g. indoor or outdoor, or what’s going on in the room), as well as what you’re looking for. Do you want earth tones? An accent wall? Then, begin to narrow your color choices, and finally select a finish.
Finishes, however, should be considered based upon the environment in which the paint is going to be. A bathroom? “There’s moisture in a bathroom and people wipe their hands on things,” Rhys says. “So you’ll want an eggshell to a semi-gloss.” You wouldn’t want a flat or low-sheen finish because moisture or touch can destroy the look.
A satin finish, which is one step above eggshell, she recommends for a bathroom with one fan and a small window – that way, you can still wipe off the walls, and it protects it from the moisture. Semi-gloss, however, would best be used for a locker room or a public bathroom due to the ease of cleaning. To round off the list, “high-gloss would be for very, very extreme [commercial-grade] purposes, and you’d want a very flat wall,” Rhys says.
The higher you move up the list of finishes (flat to high-gloss), the more imperfections show – but, the stronger the finish itself.
The optimal finish for the exterior of your house, according to Rhys, is low-sheen, due to the amount of the rain the Pacific Northwest receives. “If you put flat on your house, it breaks down and becomes kind of chalky. With low-sheen, the rain just continually washes your house, and if you pressure-wash it, it has more resistance against the water,” she says.
If you’re looking to blend in with the rest of your neighborhood, statistically speaking, you should stick with taupes and other earth tones, as well as green. Rhys recommends not painting your house bright, ostentatious colors unless you plan on sticking with that particular house for a long time.
When choosing a stain color, she recommends picking a red-brown stain with UV protection. The Northwest weather fades very light or very dark stains rather quickly.
If it’s time to change your paint color, first know what kind of paint you originally have; you cannot paint over latex with oil (although you can paint over oil with latex). The oil paint will bubble and look unattractive. So, if you need to get rid of the latex paint, Rhys recommends first priming the surface with sanding, then coat it with an oil-based primer. You can then paint over the primer with oil paint. You’ll want to sand between coats, however, as oil-based primer has a gritty texture.
Rhys notes that you’ll always need to use a primer, no matter what kind of paint you use. “There is no way to chemically mix a primer and paint,” she says. So even if you purchase paint that claims to have primer built in, you will still always need a primer.
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