Hello my fellow friends! I want to warn you and tell you that this post is probably all over the place but FULL of painting information. So, if you are not interested in learning about paint, skip this one! HA!
When I was in college, I worked for a paint store as a "color and wall covering expert" where I learned all about paint and helped people choose custom colors for their home and projects. This really helped me and I wanted to share some of my knowledge, especially due to the fact that I have seen some false information out there about which paints to use for different projects.
I worked for Porter Paint and I think they have a wonderful product. But I am a little partial.
Flat, Eggshell, Semigloss, Gloss
The higher the sheen the more washable your paint is, which is why people use semigloss or gloss for woodwork. Most people also prefer the Eggshell finish for their walls.
DO NOT use any harsh chemicals when cleaning painted walls or trim. A simple warm water and soap will do the trick.
Painters like to use Flat because of the way it hides imperfections... the higher the gloss the harder it is to hid
Oil vs Latex (water based)
how to tell if your paint is oil or latex... Get a cotton swab and some alcohol, if the paint becomes sticky or comes off it is Latex.
Oil does show more paint strokes and can only be cleaned with mineral spirits or paint thinner, this goes for your paint brushes as well.
Uses for oil paint-
A lot of people like oil for there trim because even though it is stinky and takes longer to dry, it dries harder and is usually more durable, which is why the experts recommend cabinetry and furniture be painted with oil based products.
If ever you try to put latex paint on top of oil, it will not stick, but you can put oil on top of latex.
Also, you can use oil based primer and go on top of that with oil or latex paint.
Anytime you are priming a surface make sure you sand it and clean it, that is key!
Why are darker colors harder to cover, or why do they take more coats of paint?
Darker colors are made with a clear base where are the lighter colors are made with a white base. This is why the color Red is so hard to paint and can take so many coats. Where as something with a white base covers better.
If you are wanting to paint a dark color like chocolate, or red etc... (unless it is out of the can Black) try having your primer tinted gray. Since primer is cheaper, and prepares your surface, it will allow for less coats of paint.
Another thing I always used to tell people is: From the swatches... blue gets bluer and yellow gets yellower. Trust me when I say this. The customers who picked a yellow and before I had them mix it I warned them... they came back and said it was way too bright! TOLD YOU SO! Always go with a more muted yellow! Unless you like high-lighters
Samples are wonderful and worth the money of trying out a color. COLORS IN THE STORE DO NOT LOOK THE SAME IN YOUR HOME. The lighting is different, the natural light is different. If you are at the store, go to a window or take them outside to look at. When you buy a sample I recommend that you do not paint it on the wall. Here is why; colors change... all the time. Paint a piece of poster board or cardboard that way you can move it around and see how it looks on all your walls with all your furniture. And don't forget to look at the color at different times in the day because that changes the look of it too. You can have the same color in 2 rooms and it looks completely different.
Make sure you look at the bottom of the swatch. You can tell if the color will look more green, pink or yellow (especially with neutrals!) be careful of this! A lot of neutrals have a pink or green tint to them and can look poopy once they are on the wall!
Custom color match: If you have a color you want matched I would NOT take it to a big box store, simply because they stick it in the computer and that is all. You can take it to SW, Benjamin Moore or Porter, they will take the time to get the match exactly where you want it and tweak it until is is perfect for you. Plus, the paint quality is overall better.
Touch Ups- There really is no such thing. Paint gets dirty over the years, so if ever you have a few spots on the wall, it is best to paint the entire wall so you can't see spots, also make sure your sheens match!
Lets say you buy a few gallons of paint. Even though it is the same formula, it is best to mix the paint together, especially if 2 different people make it! You can get the same paint but they don't match exactly, so mix it together if you can or use it in a different wall. In other words, don't trim out with one gallon and paint the wall with another, you might be able to tell a difference.
Here is another thing to remember: There are formulas for the paint where color is added. This can help you tell if the color will lean more towards pink or yellow or green. It is ok to ask which colorant goes into the color you choose.
Also, you can always darken a color of its too light but never lighten a color!
When painting furniture, ALWAYS sand prime and seal! I prefer to use an oil based primer with semigloss paint and then a finish coat. I have never used wax before but heard it works fairly well.
To avoid paint strokes on your walls, use a 3/4" nap roller and paint "W's", for cutting in and trim work, I prefer a good, short handled, angled brush.
I know this post was probably a little all over the place but I thought it might be helpful to share some of my knowledge. I hope this helps and gets you inspired to get some of your spring time painting projects started!