Eight factors to consider before you head to the store to buy paint for your DIY project
Painting can be a super fun and affordable way to transform your space. But how often do we think about paint until we need it? And how much do we really know about it? It's easy to assume that any paint will do or that the most expensive brand is automatically the best. But in reality, there's a lot to consider when buying paint - and many potential mistakes to avoid. For example, how much paint should you actually buy? What type is best for your space? Before you hit the store, take a look at this guide to common paint-buying mistakes.
Think about the walls you're painting
No two paints or walls are the same. Don't just start painting without thinking about the wall itself. Walls that are more porous or undergoing big colour changes will need extra coats. Another thing to consider is whether your walls need priming before painting. It might not be necessary for every job, but it can save you time and coats if you're going for a big colour change or painting over a glossy, oil-based paint. New dry walls are also super-porous, so apply a coat of primer to reduce its porosity and reduce the number of paint coats.
Buy quality paint and tools
Don't be tempted to choose the cheapest option in the store. Cheaper paints often use lower-quality pigments, more solvents and lower-quality resins, making them less durable and requiring more coats to get the same effect as other paints, and you end up spending more. Not to mention, they can be damaging to your health. There are high-quality, eco-friendly paints in the market which will not blow up your budget and are worth the investment.
Invest in good quality tools. When it comes to painting tools, please don't skimp on them. A cheap paintbrush or roller may seem like a good deal, but they won't give you good results. Remember, in the end, it's worth spending a little more on quality paint and tools for a professional finish.
Not all paints are created equal
Check out all the different finish options when buying paint. You've probably heard of flat, satin, eggshell, high-gloss and semi-gloss; each has its own purpose and works best in different areas of your home.
• High Gloss
High-gloss paint is hard, shiny, and reflects light. It is a good choice for high-traffic areas such as cabinets, trims and doors.
Semi-gloss paint is suitable for rooms where walls are prone to moisture, drips or grease stains. It is an excellent choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and trims when you need durable paint.
• Low Sheen
Satin paints have a velvety lustre. They are easy to clean, making them excellent for high-traffic areas such as family rooms, foyers, hallways and kids' bedrooms. It can be tricky to do touch-ups, as the paint retains the texture of roller or brush strokes.
• Flat or Matte
This is your finish to pick if you are painting an old wall with imperfections or stains. Flat/matte paint soaks up rather than reflect light. It provides good coverage but is tough to clean, so it could be a good choice for adult bedrooms or low-traffic areas.
Remember, the darker and richer your paint colour is, the more sheen it'll have and the more imperfections it'll show. So, take a good look at your walls before you pick a sheen.
What is the opacity of your paint?
Opacity or hiding power of your paint is critical when painting an old wall. Especially if you are painting on a wall with imperfections or one with dark-coloured paint on it. Spend some time reading the specifications on the paint can and find one with high opacity. The opacity will determine the number of coats you need to get the right finish and output.
Have you considered the colour undertones?
So, you just picked up a can of blue-coloured paint and slapped it on your walls. But it looks a little green, grey or brown in certain lights. This variation is because of the undertones.
Unsure of a colour's undertone? Use a colour wheel or compare the shade to its pure form to quickly determine its undertone. So, don't forget about those undertones, and you'll be one step closer to the perfect paint job!
Order test paint pots
Testing your paint samples is crucial to ensure the colour is the one you want. Test to see if the shade looks good in all lighting conditions and fits your space. Take your time and be patient. Try them out in different parts of the room with different lighting to get a sense of what they'll look like at different times of the day. Also, be sure to put your sample colours far apart so they don't distract the look. And remember, you don't have to paint directly on the wall. You can also try painting a big sheet of paper and see how it looks at different times of the day.
Be wise and choose a low-VOC paint
Volatile organic compounds, commonly referred to as VOCs, are chemicals found in paints. It's best to steer clear of paints with high VOC content, as the fumes resulting from the paint can be toxic and cause all kinds of issues like breathing troubles, irritation and even organ damage. That's why it's smart to look for low-VOC paint. It's a good idea to read the label or talk to someone at the paint store to ensure you pick the best option.
Estimate the amount of paint you need and buy enough for the job
You think one pot of paint will do the job, but then you're halfway through painting and realise you need more. And, of course, the store is closed, and you're stuck wasting your precious painting time. But how do you know how much paint you need in the first place? Most paints will cover about 10-12 m2 per litre, but to be certain about the amount of paint, you will need, use the free paint calculator. So, grab a measuring tape and measure your walls to estimate the amount of paint to buy for your next project like a pro.