Paint for Walls

Paint for Walls

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Published by TOP4 Team

The walls of any room (with or without the ceiling) represent its largest single surface. They provide the background for all the other furnishing elements that are to be included, and wherever you choose to look, they are smack in your line of vision. Whatever kind of treatment you decide to use here, therefore, will dominate your finished theme.

Because there are fewer practical limitations on wall finishes than virtually any other surface (you don’t walk on them, sit on them or spill drinks on them), your range of appropriate decorative options is uniquely wide and varied.

The easiest, and usually the cheapest and quickest, transformation you can effect in any room is to paint it a different colour. But before you are seduced by any of enormous number of shades on offer, however, you should familiarize yourself with the main types of paint on the market and decide which one you want to use where.

However complex and technical any survey of paint types may at first appear, the basic difference between them are straightforward: in composition, every paint is either water- or solvent-based (sometimes known as oil-based). If you’re unsure of a particular tin, check the product information on the side. Broadly, these paints have certain characteristics:

Water-based paints (emulsions, acrylic gloss and some primers):
dry more quickly
smell less strong
hold colour better
can be washed off (and thinned out) with water
contain fewer toxic chemicals so are less harmful to the environment
are ideal for matt finishes

But they also:
wear less well
mark more easily
offer less flexibility for beginners when it comes to trying out decorative effects since they dry almost instantly

Solvent-based paints (most gloss, eggshell and enamel finishes, plus undercoats and primers):
are extremely hard-wearing
can create a shiny finish
withstand higher levels of damp and moisture (in bathrooms, kitchens and utility rooms, for example)

But they also:
dry very slowly
have a strong chemical smell
hold colour less effectively (white tend to yellow)
must be thinned out and removed with solvent such as white spirit


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