I Am Woman…Watch Me Decorate!

annie and paint wm

Painting 1 2 3… go

Yes, we will!  As women we love to decorate, we enjoy making our spaces pleasing for ourselves, and our families. This is an innate quality that we are born with… just watch a little girl…how she arranges everything just right…

But, before we get started we should know a little about painting.

So lets start with types of paint and their sheen’s.




Types of Paint

Acrylic paint: A water-based paint that contains acrylic resins, dries quickly and cleans up with soap and water. Also called acrylic enamel or acrylic latex enamel.

Latex: This is a term used to describe water based paint. There is actually no latex in the paint. Wikipedia describes Latex paint as follows: Latex is the technical term for a suspension of polymer microparticles in water. Interior latex house paints tend to be a combination of binder (sometimes acrylic, vinyl, pva, and others), filler, pigment, and water. Exterior latex house paints may also be a co-polymer blend, but the best exterior water-based paints are 100% acrylic, due to elasticity and other factors, but vinyl costs half of what 100 percent acrylic resins cost, and PVA (polyvinyl acetate) is even cheaper, so paint companies make many combinations of them to match the market.

Enamel: Oil based paint is often referred to as  “enamel” due to the hardness and durability of the paint (It will be years before you will need to repaint it). You can buy it in gloss and semi-gloss paint finishes. Down sides to Oil based paints, they take longer to dry and require paint thinner or mineral spirits for clean up. They can also discolor over time, but this takes years.  It is a good paint to use on window, door and base trim.

Alkyd: Alkyd is a modern synthetic resin or binder used to replace “oil” in an oil paint. The alkyd compound binds the pigment to the solvent, which is usually mineral spirits. This is the base of most “oil” paints.


Paint Finishes

Flat paint:  A shine free paint that reflects almost no light. This paint is water based and good for hiding minor imperfections in wall surfaces. The disadvantage to flat paint is that dirt adheres to it and it is not easy to clean.  It shouldn’t be used in areas such as kitchens or bathrooms. Best used on ceilings.

Egg-shell paint: Water based paint that has a moderate sheen finish much like an egg shell. Its finish makes this paint type good for hiding minor imperfections in wall surfaces. It is more resistant to dirt and washable than flat paint. Suitable for all interior and exterior wall surfaces.

Satin paint: A medium-sheen paint similar to Egg Shell. It may have a little more sheen depending on the brand.

Semi-gloss paint: This paint has a brighter finish than egg shell or satin, but not as bright (reflective) as gloss. Semi-gloss is hardy and durable, stain resistant and easy to clean making it suitable for doors, trim, bathrooms and high traffic areas. Semi-gloss may also be used outside. Not recommended for smooth walls as it will show most imperfections.

Gloss paint:  Can be either oil or water-based and suitable indoors or outdoors. This is a shiny, highly reflective paint. A gloss finish is durable, easy to clean and nice to apply as brush strokes are virtually self leveling. Gloss is suitable for areas  such as doors and trim molding. Not recommended for smooth walls as it will show most imperfections.

Primer: Most new bare surfaces such as drywall, wood and metal are unsuitable for painting. Using a primer provides an undercoat paint helps seal the surface and prevent the finish coat from soaking in. It also helps paint stick to surfaces that they normally wouldn’t be able to. Using a primer on new unfinished surfaces will save time and money as multiple coats of more expensive finish paint may not be necessary.


Paint Recommendations:

Sherwin William paint colors

I like to use flat latex paint for ceilings because of it’s low reflective quality. Ceilings are hard to cover well, so be sure and give them two coats.  For walls I use a quality water base Latex- satin or eggshell, which in my humble opinion have about the same sheen. The finish is durable and very easy to clean with a mild cleaner, great if you have kids and pets. Window, door and other trim is a different matter. I have always been a fan of high gloss for trim but never felt that I got the durability out of a latex/acrylic product so I go for the alkyd enamel here.  I know that it is harder to clean up and takes longer to dry, but I also find it the most durable and easiest to clean, doors and door jambs take a lot of abuse so I always go for the best here.

All paint manufactures vary their formulas over time and I have used various brands of paint over the years, currently my favorite is Sherwin Williams brand.  Why? Because they seem to hold up very well to the UV here in Florida.

Blue house

My Old House

For example, I painted our house with a Presidential Blue and several years later needed to do some touch up…the colors match perfectly… there was no fading.  This of course is amazing on its own because blue tends to fade quite rapidly for some reason.


Now that you know a bit more about paints, go grab a color fan deck and start planning!

Until next time…

Life is simple…Enjoy the journey!

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