The ultimate medium of any designer is the paint that goes on the surfaces of homes, whether applied on the outside or in. While paints or finishes are effective ways to both protect and decorate surfaces, not all paints are applicable in every surface.
Most paints fall into general categories, and these basic types of paint will usually be enough for all your domestic paint job needs. Here they are for your consideration:
Base coats are what bind the finishing coats to the surface they are painted on. Done well, they keep the other coats from peeling off or from losing their colors because of the nature of the surface.
Primer – The primer, or whitewash, is used on uncoated surfaces in order to protect the material underneath as well as provide a good base for the succeeding coats.
First Coat – To build up the opacity of the decorative finishing coat, one or two more coats are usually applied. This is because the paints applied may not always be spread evenly or a surface may need more paint to be coated evenly.
Finish coats are more decorative, applied only after the base coats have dried, or after washing down surfaces that have been previously painted.
There are at least three types of finish coats: flat, eggshell, and gloss and satin. The first one is often used for ceilings and walls, and is best used on siding materials. Eggshell finish is more durable than flat, and gloss and satin goes best with wooden or metal surfaces.
While most paints will do well in most domestic purposes as long as the right primer is applied on the surface that they were designed for, there are some paints that are made specifically to fulfill a particular task.
Some of these specialty paints include bathroom/kitchen paint, floor paint, metal paint, and traditional paint. The first two are formulated to resist fungal growth, moisture, and staining, with the exception that newly-painted concrete floors need to cure completely before painting.
Metal paint is exactly what it is: high-gloss paint that is designed specifically to give metal surfaces their sheen, and can even be applied directly over rust. Cleaning the brushes used to apply metal paint will, however, take paint thinner instead of mineral spirit.
The last category of specialty paint is traditional paint, such as distemper, limewash, and other types of traditional colors, which can now be purchased much more easily. (One thing you need to look out for in limewash is that it can be volatile when mixed with water, so be sure to read the instructions carefully.)