The paint and colour you choose for an interior or exterior painting project are two important aspects when tackling a do it yourself painting project and it would be easy to assume that buying a can of paint to get started would be a relatively simple and easy task to complete.
The troubles arrive when you go to your local paint store or home improvement centre and are faced with the daunting task of trying to decide on a paint colour from the forever growing list of shades, trying to understand the difference in the prices, and why there are different types of paint finish and choosing from the large line up of brands.
While it can be easier to hire a painting company or contractor to get it all done for you rather than committing your time and effort the following tips on how to buy paint for your own DIY painting can be helpful.
Guide To Buying Paint
When buying paint for any interior or exterior painting project we recommend going with a reputable brand of paint that is sure to make the end result the best it can be. Because there actually are differences between the cheaper brands of paints compared to the higher end quality paints.
The selection of paint colours and finishes is larger in the best paint brands as is the extensive choices for a colour palette. Each paint manufacturers level of sheen category will be a little different choosing the right paint will depend on the end results you are looking for.
The cost of paint should not be the only factor or reason to choose any particular brand. While the price of paint per gallon can start at $5.00 up to $20.00 per gallon or more depending on the brand, you want to end up choosing one that fits your home decorating budget best, and provides you with the best end results.
Tips On How To Buy Paint
Choosing the perfect paint colours when updating the look for your home can be daunting since it starts with how to choose the right paint colour to accentuate every room to selecting the perfect shade tone or hue, to buying top quality paint products without breaking the bank.
When starting your diy painting project it’s important to know how to estimate how much paint is needed and how often you should be painting to help keep the costs of painting down and within your budget limit and since there are so many decisions to factor in before getting started here are a few tips to help you along the way.
Choose Your Paint Colour
You can start by going online to find a paint brand you like as they all offer a variety of paint colours to choose from or alternatively if it becomes too overwhelming you can sometimes obtain a paint colour consultation from a reputable house painting company when you meet with the painter for an estimate.
You may already have a paint colour scheme picked out but remember you also need to choose the right paint finish or sheen for the space and take into account all natural and artificial lighting and how it affects the way the paint colour will look at the end.
It’s these types of questions and concerns that may be easier to ask a qualified painter.
Use Paint Samples
When you set out for your shopping adventure head to any home improvement store or local specialized paint store and select a few paint colour samples of your favourite colours. The usual thumbnail sized samples are typically found everywhere but if you can get your hands on some of the bigger size ones that you can stick up on the walls to get a better look and feel of what the colour will look like would be better in the end.
If you choose to buy small quarts of paint colours to paint the colour directly onto the wall keep in mind that they can be expensive and we recommend you limit your selection and purchase to just 2 or 3 to minimize your costs.
The Right Type of Paint
While knowing how to decide on paint colours is one key factor in your diy project knowing the difference between using an oil-based paint or water-based paint paint can help ensure you pick the right paint for your specific project that can end up saving you time and money.
Economy brands of paint may cost you less but they tend not to perform as well as the middle or top end paints since they are known not to provide the best complete coverage, they tend to fade faster because they have more water added to them and they are not as durable as the better quality paints even if you are use a primer paint first.
Hire a Professional Painting Company
We all lead busy and full lives and our days are filled with work and commitments to family and friends and DIY painting can become an overwhelming task with everything else there is to do, it just might be better to hire a professional painting company.
To ease the pain of doing it yourself it might just be a good investment to find the right painting contractor to work with. You can make an informed decision by reading the companies reviews about their customer service so that you can easily decipher the truth when you know the difference between fake and real reviews and prevent getting scammed.
Buying Interior Paint
When buying paint for an interior painting project a few factors to consider are things like how much paint is needed so that you can calculate the amount to buy without getting stuck with left over paint that is non returnable and non refundable.
To estimate how much paint you will need you need to take into account that a gallon of paint typically covers approximately 400 square feet. This information can be found on the paint can label and is explained as the spread rate of paint.
Calculate the square footage of the room or area to be painted, then multiply the width by the height of each wall and finally add these numbers together. You will then need to measure the area of other surfaces such as the windows, fireplaces, any doors etc., multiply the width by the height and add these figures together. Subtract this total from the previous total of the square footage of the area to be painted and add 10%.
To calculate how many cans of paint to buy you will need to divide the final number by the spread rate.
To paint any trim, baseboards or frames you can easily estimate you will need about one quarter of the amount calculated for painting walls.
Remember to factor in the LRV-light reflectance value as it ca n affect the final way the paint colour appears as both natural and artificial lighting affects how paint colours look and we recommend that you look at the sample paint colours in your space at three different times of the day and evening before committing.
When creating the ambience in a room it all depends on what that space will be used for and there are no paint colour mistakes that can’t easily be corrected.
To create a tranquil and serene space it’s always a safe bet to go with a neutral or you can go bold and trending with a popular paint colour to accentuate a wall or even help make a small room look bigger.
A paint finish is the term used to measure how much light will reflect from a painted surface and the term is used to describe how shiny or not the paint will be.
The differences between paint finishes or sheens is the amount of shine that is reflected from the surface. Some finishes are more durable and washable and some are better in high moisture areas such as bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms.
Flat Paints absorb the light and colours may tend to seem darker and the same applies to any textured walls or stippled ceilings. Flat or matte paint finishes are best at hiding imperfections in the drywall but are not the strongest at being resistant to stains and dirt, where if you wash or rub onto the paint surface you may run the risk of it showing up as a streak or spot.
Flat paint finishes are recommended in rooms like bedrooms that are typically less trafficked spaces.
Eggshell or Satin Paints have a slight shine and tend to elevate the sight of the imperfections on the walls. Although eggshell and satin paint finishes are tough and durable to withstand everyday household traffic they still tend to leave behind a visible lack of sheen when washed or rubbed.
Semi-gloss Paints will give a slight sheen and will show slight imperfections. It is a durable finish that is easy to clean. With drywall repairs done first the well prepared surfaces for semi-gloss finish would be trim, baseboards, frames and doors and cove or crown moulding or wainscotting. It’s also a good finish to use on the walls of kitchens and bathrooms,
Glossy Paints are more reflective of light therefore making smooth surfaces look brighter and shinier. Imperfections will appear more as the higher the gloss or shine the higher the likelihood all imperfections will show.
The more well prepared the surfaces are before you begin applying the paint the better your chances are to prevent the imperfections from surfacing. The most common choice by homeowners is to use an eggshell finish for the walls, a flat finish for ceilings and a semi-gloss finish for painting the trim and baseboards.
Buying Exterior Paint
Buying paint or stain for an exterior painting project typically follow the same tips and advice as above mentioned interior buying tips. Taking a walk around your neighborhood can help you choose a great colour to paint the front door of your home and make it the envy of the neighborhood.
The only difference to keep in mind when choosing the exterior paint finish is that the product is specially formulated to be stronger to help withstand against the environmental stresses like rain, snow, extreme heat, humidity which the exteriors face on a constant basis.
Flat Exterior Paint is perfect for painting the exterior walls because it is the dullest of the paint finishes. It’s perfect when trying to hide imperfections and is recommended for older homes and for houses that haven’t had a fresh coat of exterior paint in years.
Painting the exterior of your house is good maintenance as it provides a good barrier to the wood against all of nature’s elements.
Eggshell or Satin Exterior has a slight shine or gloss and works perfectly on outside surfaces.
Semi-gloss or Gloss Exterior is recommended for the trim woodwork. It can be used on the trim of an exterior door, front entry and the trim on exterior windows. This paint finish highlights the woodwork and is easy to clean.
Costs Of Buying Paint
Information is key to saving money and helping you to stay on budget and knowing why there is a difference in prices for the different paints is relative to calculating your costs for your next project.
The cheaper brands of paints will range in price starting as low as $25.00 or so and go all the way up to $44.00 per gallon, just depends on where you buy it and which paint brand you use.
Investing in a middle line paint product gives good coverage with 2 coats of paint and their price ranges from approximately $35.00 to $55.00 per gallon again depending on the name brand. The middle priced paint products are easy to wash and care for and have good durability.
The top end of the line paint products will cost a little more and are worth it if your budget allows. They provide the best coverage with 2 coats and is an easier and smoother paint to apply especially if you invest in the purchase of quality paint brushes and painting tools.
The average price for the higher end line of paints range from $40.00 to $78.00 per gallon and will vary depending on which paint stores they are purchased at and the name brand.
Expert painters will typically recommend using a higher quality paint especially for the exterior of your house as it will provide the best coverage, last longer and be most durable.
Today’s paints are environmentally safe as well as safe to be used inside the home since technology has made it possible for them to have little to no VOC – Volatile Organic Compound compared to the lead based paints of the past.
This post was originally published on May 21, 2017 and edited on July 20, 2021