How much area will one gallon
of paint cover?
For many paints,
one gallon will cover approximately 400 square feet. However, the
quality of the paint can affect how much it will cover. The label
on the paint can usually provide some guidance. In addition, there
are a number of factors that affect how much paint you will need.
These include: The type of surface being covered; The color currently
on the surface and the color being applied.
How do I recognize a good paint?
is made up of three components: The binder, the pigment and the
vehicle or, liquid. The best paints contain a higher number of volume-solids.
This is the material that remains on the surface after the paint
is completely dry. Pay close attention to the solid content on the
paint can label. For example: a $13 gallon of paint with a solid
content of 19-percent might cover about 200 square feet, while a
$20 gallon of paint with 41-percent solid content will cover almost
twice that amount. The binder is the most important factor in the
durability of the paint you choose. Choose a coating that has more
vinyl or acrylic content and less clay by-products (i.e., calcium
Are there advantages to using
In addition to being thinnable with
water, latex paints feature: Less odor; Water cleanup; They are
non-flammable; Offer faster cleanup; Easy to touchup; Easy to apply;
Better gloss retention; Fade less when used outdoors; Won't yellow
indoors and are less likely to crack or peel.
Where does paint go?
Flat wall paints are usually applied
to ceilings and walls. Flat wall paints are not suited for kitchens
and bathrooms because they lack the scrubability of higher sheen
paints. Semi-gloss or gloss paints withstand the frequent washings
required in these two areas. For windows, doors, wood trim and other
woodwork, the use of a satin, semi-gloss or gloss enamel are recommended.
These surfaces will attract more fingerprints, wear and soil than
walls. Because gloss enamels wash more readily, they are more desirable.
Semi-gloss latex paints serve well as finishes for wood trim areas,
plus the advantage of water cleanup. Enamels and gloss paints tend
to show brush and roller marks, so care must be exercised in application,
especially on hot dry days. Preparation of interior surfaces is
vital to good results. Do not use a latex based paint in an area
that is subject to repeated cleaning with ammonia based cleaning
What do I paint a floor with?
Floor paints, also called deck enamels,
are for walk-on surfaces. Ordinary high-gloss enamel is not suitable.
Floor enamels are formulated to withstand weather and wear on wood
and concrete. They come in both oil-based and latex formulas. Oil-based
paints are not recommended for many concrete surfaces, especially
those in contact with ground moisture, such as basements and patios,
because they will not adhere to damp surfaces. The alkali in concrete
may react with the oil to form soap, resulting in poor adhesion,
peeling and paint lifting from the surface. Concrete floors which
have been penetrated by oils, gasoline, etc., are virtually impossible
to paint because it is difficult to clean these surfaces well enough
to make paint adhere. A final advantage of latex floor paints: The
homeowner can lay resilient floor tile without removing the old
paint. This is not possible with other floor paints. Conventional
floor paints work poorly on garage floors. Car tires get hot as
the car is driven, and when the hot tires are exposed to the floor
paint, the paint sticks to the tires and is lifted off. Many gloss
floor paints are slippery when wet, and a non-skid additive should
Why do I need a primer?
Primer/sealers work to eliminate
stains (including stains from water and fire damage) cover wood
imperfections, hide wallpaper designs and serve as a foundation
coat on metals over which a finish coat is applied. They also seal
the surface evenly so a topcoat will have uniform gloss. There are
three basic types: alkyd-based, latex-based and shellac-based. The
alkyd and latex types work well as stain killers and general-purpose
primers on both interiors and exteriors. The shellac-based type
blocks out the widest variety of stains, including knots and sap
streaks in new wood, and adheres to slick surfaces such as glass
and tile. This type is recommended for general-purpose priming on
all interior surfaces, but should only be used for spot priming
on exterior surfaces. Acrylic or vinyl-acrylic latexe the most
frequently sold latex-based primers, but vinyl-based types are available.
The term "latex-based" includes vinyl, acrylic and vinyl-acrylic
copolymer types. Acrylic block fillers are used to prime concrete
What is Faux Finishing?
Faux interior painting is a hot trend as do-it-yourselfers discover
how easy it is to enhance the look of their rooms with a variety
of simple applications. Most types of decorative faux interior painting
involve applying one or more colors in broken layers over a different-colored
background, creating a mottled or textured effect. Most of these
techniques begin with a base coat of solid colored semi-gloss or
satin paint, followed by a thinner coat of paint called a glaze.
A versatile glaze can be made using one part interior latex paint,
one part water and four parts acrylic latex glaze. This basic glaze
works well for three of the most popular broken color techniques:
sponging, rag-rolling and ragging. Sponging is a simple technique
that begins with application of a solid base color of paint. After
the base coat dries, a glaze of another color is dabbed on with
a slightly dampened natural sea sponge, creating a mottled look.
More than one glaze color can be used, but each color needs to dry
before moving on to the next; using quick-drying latex paint can
speed up the process. Ragging and rag rolling can achieve effects
similar to crushed velvet, parchment, chamois leather, watered silk
or brocade. As with sponging, ragging begins with application of
a coat of paint in a solid color and allowing it to dry. A crumpled
cloth is then used to add glaze in another color. To rag-roll, a
cloth is rolled into a sausage shape of varying tightness, lightly
dipped into the glaze and rolled gently across the base coat. Ragging
and rag-rolling results vary according to the cloth material used.
Linen, lace and burlap are common choices, but almost any material
will do if it is clean and free of lint. For a slightly different
effect, each of these techniques can be done as a "negative method."
In this case, a glaze coat is applied over the base coat, and a
sponge is used to remove some of the glaze before it has a chance
to dry. As the glaze is removed, the underlying color is exposed.