With so many products available, it is easy to get confused when picking the right paint. Most people choose the paint color and finish first, before understanding the chemical components of paint. The advancements in the chemistry of paint allow for more specialty brands and products. Knowing the difference between interior and exterior paints will ensure a more successful paint job.
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Types of Paint
All paint falls into two categories: water-based paints (also referred to as latex paint and acrylic paint) or oil-based paints. Until about ten years ago, oil-based paint was widely used on exterior surfaces because it was more durable and affordable. However, it has been proven that it is harmful, even deadly, to the environment and the people in the area where it is applied. Because of that the government has greatly restricted its use, except is very small amounts in rare situations.
Water-based paint is now the common choice for use in both interior and paint projects. There have been many improvements in the ingredients to improve adhesion and coverage and it has many additional advantages.
The drying time is significantly shorter than oil-based paint, which requires up to 48 hours to dry, leaving the room unusable during this time. Latex paints also have a minimal odor and release significantly fewer VOCs during the drying process.
Water-based painted surfaces are easier to clean and dry faster than those painted with oil-based paint. They resist yellowing and fading overtime if protected from sunlight. These paints are not flammable, and the odor is not noxious.
The Main Ingredients in All Paint
Both interior and exterior paints contain the same four basic components: Pigments, solvents, additives, and resins. Each ingredient plays a different role to produce a good product. Knowing what each component does will help determine what type of paint to use for any surface.Pigments are finely ground particles applied to paint that make up the paint’s color. There are two types of pigments: prime and extender. Colorants are prime pigments that provide the actual color in the paint can. Organic colorants provide bright colors. Inorganic colorants are earthy colors and are more durable for exterior applications.Solvents are the liquids that suspend the ingredients so that you can put the paint on surfaces. In water-based paints, the liquid is primarily water. For oil-based paints, the liquid is paint thinner made from a variety of solvents, which could include acetone, turpentine, naphtha, mineral spirits, and the like.
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Additives give paint different properties. These include thickening agents, leveling agents, surfactants, emulsifiers, and biocides. These help with color accuracy, improve application, better adhesion and prevent mildew growth.