May 25, 2024
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May 25, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

I had a quiet evening so I took some time to write something that you might consider running. No harm, no foul if it’s not suitable for publication. I ain’t no Truman Capote.

Let’s talk about paint. It’s been my experience that one of the first things a realtor recommends when asked to sell a client’s house is that all the main rooms, if not all the rooms in the house, be given a fresh coat of paint. The reason for this is that painting is one of the least expensive improvements to freshen up a house.

In this article we’ll look at the importance of quality of the paint you choose, the different finishes of the paint and their usage, and the parts of a paint project.

Like anything else in life, quality costs and this applies to paint as well. Paint consists of various components. The main two that we concern ourselves with are the pigment and the solvent. There are many other components that do very important things, but let’s keep this concise.

The pigment is the actual color we are applying. What’s important is how much pigment is in the paint and that’s where quality/price plays in. It’s always tempting to go to the big box store and get their top of the line paint because it’s less expensive. The issue here is that the bargain paint has less pigment than even the ‘contractor’ line of paints offered by either Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams. What this translates into is that your colors will not be as deep or last as long. Are you really saving money if you need to apply three coats of paint to attain that desired depth of color and then have it fade sooner than expected?

The solvent is what makes paint wet and evaporates as the paint cures. One type is water-based (also called latex) paint and the other is what is called colloquially oil-based (no longer really oil but the name stuck). For most of our day-to-day work, we use water-based paint since it’s easier to work with, cleans-up with warm water and has a less disagreeable smell. We tend to use “oil-based” paint for special surfaces where we want a super smooth finish. Think furniture and cabinetry.

For those of us who are worried about our families breathing volatile organic compounds (commonly called VOCs), I’ve been seeing that almost all Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams paints are rated 0% VOC. That’s not to say that you won’t want to open a couple of windows. Let’s face it, the paint still has a smell to it.

Flat, matte, satin, eggshell, semi-gloss,and hi-gloss are finishes (sheens) that paints come in. Flat is totally non-reflective so it’s commonly used on walls that are less than smooth and ceilings, this is to hide imperfections on those surfaces. In order of increasing reflectiveness, you have matte, satin, and eggshell. It’s really a matter of personal taste which of these you might use on your walls. Semi- and hi-gloss finishes are found on doors and trim. Again, one might use semi-gloss to downplay imperfections in your trim work since repairs to these surfaces are difficult and costly.

Once your floors are covered with drop-clothes and furniture with plastic sheeting, a paint project will normally start with remediating minor damage. Foundation cracks, splits between trim and its mounted surface, noticeable dents should all be attended to even before a can of paint is opened.

The scope of the actual paint project is up to you or what the room requires. Sometimes all you need is a clean-up (freshen-up) coat of paint to the walls. In this case the ceiling, trim, and doors are in good shape. A clean-up coat does require that the new paint is the exact color and finish as the existing one. Do you want a color change? This will normally require a primer coat and two coats of paint. I normally suggest that the primer be tinted the paint color. It doesn’t cost extra but adds to the depth of the color. Finally, you have what I call ‘the Full Ride’. This includes remediating all surfaces, then painting the ceiling, walls, trim, and doors.

I’ve spent over 20 years in home improvement, having painted in dozens of homes and working with some of the best painters and finishers in Bergen County. I hope this article gives you some insight into the world of interior painting.


Adam S. Mark, Your Neighbor With Tools Home Improvements 201-675-0816

Elite Custom Closets and Storage Systems 201-355-3540 x101

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