10 Jul 2018

Paint – adding the finishing touch

Having completed your dream home, painting and decorating is the final stage that really makes it feel like your own. Here Simon Tilbrook, Director at Fenwick & Tilbrook, gives his top tips on paint types for your self-build.

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The colours you choose will have a big effect on the look you create and enable you to inject even more of your own personality into each room. But when it comes to paint, you’re not just deciding on colour. The vast range of finishes available offers up a whole host of options for different areas of your home, depending on the effect you want to achieve and where the paint is going to be used. There is also a massive difference in the quality of paint which will affect how well it covers and how long it lasts.

Paint is normally oil- or water-based. Water-based paints are typically more environmentally- and user-friendly with less odour, quicker drying times and the brushes can be cleaned with water. Oil-based paints provide tough, glossy finishes but have higher VOC levels, longer drying times and the brushes need cleaning in turpentine or spirits.

Walls and ceilings work extremely well in pure matt. These products have a 2% sheen which provides a sumptuous flat finish that makes it ideal for virtually all rooms in all colours. When choosing a low-sheen finish, some ultra-matt paints can seem dull so it’s important to choose a paint with high levels of chroma or colour intensity. This will really bring out the gorgeous range of tones you’ll see in different lights at different times of day and create a paint effect which ‘pops’. It’s ideal for a bedroom, whether you’re opting for ultra-modern style with greys and whites or a soothing effect with greens and creams.

Interior eggshell is a tougher finish but with a soft and delicate sheen. This paint has around a 10% sheen, although others can vary. Lower sheen levels such as this mean that, although it’s an eggshell which you may typically associate with woodwork and metalwork, it is perfectly suited to walls too. The added durability makes it ideal for higher traffic areas such as hallways and, as it’s also wipeable, it’s perfect for kitchens and bathrooms. Interior eggshell is highly versatile, meaning you can paint everything from your walls and architrave to your radiators and shelves in it – perfect for a super coordinated look. Kitchens in particular are fabulous painted in interior eggshell – the paint can really personalise your cupboards and cabinets while making sure they can endure cooking and cleaning day in, day out.

When it comes to painting your home, it doesn’t just have to be limited to interiors. Exterior eggshell for woodwork, plaster and metalwork and masonry paint for concrete and brickwork enables you to achieve stunning effects outside to really show your home’s exterior and garden walls to their best advantage. Create beautiful and inviting exteriors which complement your interior and make the garden and outside space simply an extension of indoors. A coordinated approach can be really effective in creating a very natural flow from inside the house to outside in the garden.

The great thing about many paint companies, including Fenwick & Tilbrook, is that you can order any colour you like in any finish you need so there is no limit as to what you can paint.

While some higher quality paints are self-priming, it is often advisable to also use a separate primer first. This is particularly worthwhile if you are painting over unpainted surfaces new plaster which is quite porous and will soak up lots of paint. Primers can help to achieve greater coverage with the top coat of paint, meaning you need to use less paint to achieve the perfect colour-rich result. Multi-surface primer can be applied to any surface prior to painting to ensure there is a good bond. This is especially applicable if the previous coating was an oil-based product. Oil and water don’t mix! Primers also help extend longevity of your paintwork and a good primer will enable you to paint virtually anything – the possibilities become endless.

With paint, you really do get what you pay for. Some paints contain more cheap fillers and are thinner so they will take more coats to cover and are likely to fade and mark more easily. A quality paint will always deliver a better finish. Opt for a paint which is thicker with high levels of chroma and opacity to ensure colours that are rich and intense. A good quality paint should be rich in pigment and, so, require fewer coats and provide better coverage. They are typically easier to apply too by brush, roller or spray. Choosing a superior paint will also help to maintain that freshly-painted, pristine appearance for longer and provide added durability so you can wipe surfaces clean. There’s so much more to paint than just colour.

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