Faux Wall Finishes: What Paints are best?

Which paint you should choose will depend on where you want to use it and the particular effect you want. High quality paint is always worth buying to achieve the best finish but you will also need to match the type of paint to the room, the surface and location (indoor or outdoor) that you will be transforming.

Paint technologists have produced specialist paints for a wide variety of purposes, and every stage of the process from sealing newly plastered surfaces to creating wear-resistant floor covers. For interior use there are a few standard paint varieties that you need to know about.

Different manufacturers describe their paint in different ways but the key distinguishing factors are: oil- or water-based paint and degree of gloss. 100% gloss paint creates a high shine finish that will show up any cracks or dents in the surface. High gloss paints can be brittle and chip more easily.

Flat paint (which has a matte finish but is not to be confused with matte paint) is the cheapest kind of interior paint, used as basic cover. It isn’t washable and you’ll have to touch it up if it gets dirty, though it does hide surface imperfections. It is not recommended as a base for faux painting, since it inhibits the glaze moving. It’s a useful paint for areas that aren’t going to get dirty and need constant retouching.

Matte paint is a type of interior paint that, though it also has a matte finish, is a pricier and higher quality product, designed to be washable and resist dirt. It typically contains special ingredients to achieve this purpose and is accordingly more expensive.

Eggshell paint has more gloss and reflectivity than matte paint, but rather than being shiny has the low sheen that you can see on your breakfast egg. It is also used for interior painting.

Pearl and satin paints have a medium degree of shine and create a smoother, more reflective finish. There is little difference between them, with the precise term used dependent on the manufacturer.

Satin and pearl paints are the products of choice for faux painting. They are durable and washable paints suitable for various purposes and surfaces in the home, including both woodwork and walls. In general, the higher gloss percentage, the more water-resistant the paint is, making these ideal for kitchens and bathrooms. For faux painting they are the ideal undercoat, because they do not allow rapid drying and the applied paint can be spread about easily.

Semi-gloss paint is similar to pearl and satin paint, but more reflective. It has the same advantages of being washable and versatile. It is particularly suitable for wood but, with a higher degree of shine, it has a lower capacity to conceal any flaws in the surface.

Gloss paint, at the top of the scale, is high-shine and hence not suitable for all surfaces. If the item or area to be painted is pitted or cracked, it will need dedicated filling and sanding, as any flaws will show clearly. Lower gloss paint may be required.

To achieve the best possible results, pay attention to your paints. Don’t skimp and be sure that you are using the right paint in the right place. Mistakes may cost you dearly. Your faux painting effect will only be as good as the materials you use.

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