The best interior paint is what gives life to any home decor. The color and the finish imparted to space determines the feel attached to a room. A room in the neutral color palette with a matte or finish might just be right to portray a sophisticated space, while space is done in bright red or yellow with a glossy finish might perfectly resonate with a youth-centric pace. The paint type and finish determine the aesthetics of the space to a large extent. The look imparted with the help of the paints can, in fact, make a space lively and urbane or ruin the feel by imparting a ghastly finish and texture. Therefore, to make an informed decision regarding the paints for interior walls, one needs to have a little clue about the paint world. This article aims at giving an insight into the types of paints and finishes for interior walls so that the user can make a conscious decision before settling in for a particular paint and finish.
The First Hurdle – Water Based vs. Oil-Based Paint
While choosing the best paint for walls, the first hurdle is to choose between water-based or oil-based paint. In this leg of the article, are discussed the various comparative characteristics of the two types of paints; to help the users overcome the first hurdle of the process.
#1. The Best Paint For Walls - Appearance And Coverage
Water-based paints are devoid of the shiny coating. To achieve the perfect finish, one might be required to apply multiple layers of the paint. The advantage with these paints is that these help in concealing the defects of the wall to a large extent. Distempers, emulsions and acrylic emulsions all fall under this category of paints.
Oil-based paints have an inherent sheen and gloss in them. Oil based paints usually require a single or at the max two coats to cover the wall surface. The disadvantage with these paints is that the sheen might actually accentuate the defects of the wall instead of concealing them.
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#2. Best Interior Paint - Durability
While water-based paints resist cracking, the oil-based paints are susceptible to cracking and tend to peel off from the wall surface too. Water-based paints do not tarnish or yellow over time, while the case is not the same as the oil-based paints.
#3. Paint Drying Time
A single coat of water-based paint requires about 4-6 hours of drying time before a second coat can be applied.
Oil-based paints can take up to 8 hours to dry and one needs to wait for about 24 hours before applying the second coat.
#4. The Paint Cleaning Criteria
Whilst the water-based paints are easy to clean, cleaning oil-based paints is a hassle. One can easily clean the water-based paints by just using dilute soap water and a soft cloth. Oil-based paints need harsh chemicals to clean their surface.
#5. The Eco-Friendly Factor - The Best Paint For Walls
Water-based paints are composed of the lesser amount of VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds), thus making these a more eco-friendly solution.
Oil-based paints contain a higher percentage of VOC’s thus making these toxic and non-eco-friendly in nature. But, certain brands have started coming up with solutions for oil-based paints, which are less harmful.
Tip – People with respiratory disorders should refrain from opting oil-based paints.
With based paints, one should be careful to have adequate ventilation to get rid of the toxic fumes and odors.
The Second Hurdle – Finishes
While buying paint, choosing the right type and perfect color for your space is vital, selecting the right finish is equally essential. There are three broad categories of finishes to choose from, all of which have the specific sheen and reflective properties. These types are expounded in this leg of the article -:
#1. Flat or Matte Finish - Choosing Paint Colors
These paints impart a smooth finish to the surface while giving it a subtle look with low sheen. Since it has no gloss, therefore the surface is rendered non-reflective, thus making the surface imperfections less noticeable.
Pros vs. Cons
While the imperfections are less noticeable in a matte finish, the paint tends to attract and hold dust. Moreover, these paints are difficult to clean, as intensive cleaning or scrubbing may result in scraping off the layer. The touch-ups are easy and unnoticeable as the new layer blends well with the base layer.
This finish is recommended for surfaces of Living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, ceilings, and corridors. One should refrain from using these in bathrooms and kitchens – basically, any room that experiences high traffic and has higher chances of being soiled.
#2. Semi-Gloss Paint Or Gloss Finish Paint
This finish imparts a bright sheen to the surfaces, as these are reflective in nature. Though these finishes look nice and striking, but these tend to make the wall imperfections noticeable. The surface might even reveal the brushstrokes used while the wall. These are durable and therefore should be in areas, which are susceptible to getting dirty easily.
Pros vs. Cons
These paints prove to be highly durable and resistant to moisture. These are easy to clean as the surface can be easily scrubbed without causing any harm to the surface. The biggest disadvantage is that they highlight any imperfections on the surface. Any touch up also stands out due to the difference in the sheen of the two layers.
This finish is recommended for surfaces of Kitchen, bathrooms, windowsills, and passages or high traffic areas.
#3. Eggshell Paint or Satin Finish Paint
These are low luster paints that impart a silky and smooth finish to the surface. When dry these give a pearl-like sheen to the wall surface. This sheen helps in giving a character and depth to the room they are used in. The surface helps in bouncing the light in the entire room and at the same time resisting everyday lesions.
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Pros vs. Cons
These paints prove to be reflective, durable and easy to clean. These paints neither hide nor highlight the imperfections of the surface.
This finish is recommended for surfaces of the family room, children’s room, playroom, laundry, kitchen, bathroom, and dining area.
The paint types and various finishes can be used individually or in combination to create the required drama and special effect in the room in question. In the end, it all boils down to the kind of look that you want to impart to your space. For instance, if we talk about the finishes and the feelings associated then, a matte finish is associated with calm and serenity while the gloss finish resonates with energy and delight. The eggshell or satin finishes help in accentuating the color of the walls well. It is at the discretion of the user or designer for the choice of paint type and finishes to be used for space. One should certainly weigh all the types and finishes against each other to come to a final decision. After all, color and the overall finish are the two factors that help in imparting a character and thereby life to a space.
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