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Tips to paint it perfectly

10 Sep 2007
Painting your home can be a very daunting experience, especially if you are not one of those DIY people!

In fact, you only realise how little you know about it until the fateful day you decide your cream walled lounge has passed its sell-by date and it's time to add some colour.

There are just so many different types of paint out there. Where do you start? It is important that one knows which paint to use and why, in order to achieve successful results. For those of us who have chosen to repaint on our own without the help of a professional, it is important to understand where certain paints work.

Don't dive into a paint job before you are certain you know how. Ultimately, the type of paint you choose has an enormous effect on the colour of the paint as well as the surrounding room.

First, make sure the surface you have chosen to paint is primed and ready for the job.

Rule no. 1: Don't paint acrylic directly over enamel! Merit Universal Undercoat UC1 is an excellent general-purpose primer for surfaces both inside and outside. Merit Plaster Primer UC 56 is used for newly plastered walls, concrete, gypsum plaster, unglazed bricks and fibre cement.

For excessively plastered walls it is recommended that one uses bonding liquid before priming.

If you've decided to repaint your bathroom or kitchen, an excellent ceramic tile primer is available – Ceramic Tile Primer CTP 1. For wooden panels and other surfaces, Wood Primer UC 2 is an oil-based medium used to seal the wood. For those types of wood that bleed resin, Woodcare Knotting PK 2 is recommended to prevent the resin damaging any paintwork. Plascon Melamine Primer is great for cupboards and other melamine surfaces.

Paint can either be oil-based or water-based. Both oil and water-based paints can have matt or gloss finishes. It is also important to take into consideration the effect the finish will have on the chosen colour. High gloss paints always seem to make a colour darker. This is because the paint reflects light off the surface away from the colour.

Oil based paints have a very smooth finish and are durable. They are more difficult to use than water-based paints because the cleaning process afterwards can be quite laborious.

One should wash used brushes and rollers in turpentine to prevent them from being damaged. Oil-based paints have a much longer drying time than water-based paints and also have a strong odour.

It is recommended that the room be left to air before any further activity goes on. However, it is much easier to strip oil-based paints off wooden surfaces than water-based paints. In fact, oil-based paints seem to preserve wood better than water-based paints!

Water-based or acrylic paints are far easier to use than oil-based paints. Not only is the cleaning up painless, but the application is also far less complicated than oil-based paints. Water-based paints are virtually odourless and ventilation is thus not a problem.

Make sure to wash out any spills on clothes and carpets immediately!

Water-based paints are quick-drying and their durability has been proven time and time again. They have also been manufactured for use in specific areas of the house, which is a helpful guideline in choosing which paints go where. Just to add further confusion to paint categories: acrylic paint is also known as emulsion paint.

Once you've understood the differences between water-based and oil-based paints, it is also helpful to know about particular brands of paint and how they work in your home.

For instance, it wouldn't be the wisest idea to use a water-based paint in your bathroom. There is generally a lot of moisture in the bathroom area and using a water-based paint may result in damp and mould.

Knowing what types of paints are out there not only equips you to make successful decisions, but it can be quite an empowering experience to be able to walk into a hardware store and know exactly what it is you're looking for!

• Plascon's Double Velvet paint is an acrylic emulsion. It is easily washable and stain- resistant. It is suited for interior use on new cement plaster walls, ceiling board, gypsum plaster, fibreboard, metal and wood.

Double Velvet is said to be most useful in areas of high activity in the home, such as the passage way or children's rooms, because it is easily washable. It is odourless and as a result painting is far less hassle!

Plascon brought out the Disney range of paints, which makes repainting your child's room much more fun! With paints ranging from Pooh Bear Yellow DWP 7 and Glow in the Dark DGD 1 to Sparkle DGP 1 (sparkling, glitter paint), you can let your creativity run wild.

• Exterior paintwork is most successful when using Plascon's Wall & All paint. This paint is specifically made for exterior work and so is extremely durable and washable. It is also emulsion paint and has a sheen finish. Wall & All can be used on previously painted and new plaster, wood, concrete, primed steel, galvanised steel, various building boards, gypsum plaster and PVC piping and guttering.

• Plascon's Super Acrylic Polvin is an acrylic emulsion used for interior and exterior on various types of building boards, cement plaster, concrete and porous brickwork.

• Super Washable Sheen paint is a washable emulsion paint. It can be used for both interior and exterior surfaces and is of superior quality.

• Plascon's Velvaglo is an oil-based paint. It has either a semi or high gloss finish and can be used for interior and exterior surfaces on primed wood, plaster or metal. Velvaglo is a non-absorbent paint and is moisture and peel-resistant. As a result, this is the perfect paint to use in areas of high moisture concentration such as the bathroom or the kitchen.

• Super Universal Enamel is also an oil-based, high-gloss enamel for interior and exterior use.

• For an elegant ultra-matt finish in the lounge, dining room or even bedroom, Plascon's Cashmere does the job. Plascon's Suede paint also adds an elegant touch to a room by imitating the look of brushed suede on a wall. Suede is a water-based, textured interior paint.

• For the DIY painter, Plascon's One Coat ceiling paint is the answer to many problematic ceiling paint jobs! This is a white, matt finish paint that provides low roller splatter. It dries quickly and is mould-resistant. – Debbie Askham

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