With so many brands and types of house paint on the market today, it can be confusing to know where to start when choosing paint for a new project. Despite the hundreds of paint cans lining the wall at your home improvement store, there are essentially two kinds of paint: oil-based and water-based. However, you will also find primers, enamels, acrylics, and many others. Here are descriptions of seven different house paints you will commonly find on the shelves.
This is not usually considered paint, but it is needed in many painting projects and will be found in the paint aisle. Primer can be either oil or water-based, so when you are painting, you will want to use one that matches the type of paint you are using. For example, if you’re painting with oil-based paint, use oil-based primer.
2. Interior and Exterior
You will see paint labeled as interior or exterior. You can use water-based paint on the interior of your home, but exterior paint is best left to oil-based varieties.
3. Oil-based vs. Water-based
Oil-based house paint takes more time to dry than water-based, which dries as fast as moisture can evaporate. However, there are drying additives in oil-based paints to aid in shorter dry times.
In order to clean oil-based paint you need to use harsh chemicals like paint thinner while just a small amount of detergent and water will allow you to clean water-based. Water-based paints are also not as durable as oil-based, and aren’t as shiny.
This is a term used to describe water-based paint. There is actually no latex in the paint.
Oil-based paint is given the term "enamel" due to its hardness and durability. These paints will also include gloss and semi-gloss finishes and they are mostly used around windows, doors, and trim. Over time this paint can discolor, however.
This is just another term for water-based house paint, but the binding ingredient in the paint is acrylic. Acrylic paint can be found in several varieties including acrylic latex, acrylic enamel, or acrylic latex enamel. Acrylic enamel house paint is considered as such due to its durability; it is not a mixture of oil and water-based paint. Always consult the labels of the paint as not all paint actually contains latex or acrylic despite the name. Also, remember that the higher the shine, the more imperfections the paint will show.
7. Specialty Paints
Each paint type can have additives included in it. These paints can include anti-mold and anti-mildew properties as well as fire retardants. Some also have anti-condensation additives, making them popular in locations like the kitchen.