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14 common misconceptions about interior painting

If you want to update or completely transform your space, there’s no better bang-for-the-buck way to do it than with new interior painting.

This could require hiring professional painters to get the job done, or you can approach the task yourself. Either way, it can be a big task that comes along with a lot of preparation and misconceptions.

We clear up 14 of the most common painting myths below:

1. All paints are comprised of the same ingredients.

One common misconception is that all paints are the same and contain the same ingredients. In reality, this is not the case; the ingredients vary from paint to paint. For the best appearance, higher quality paint should be used. High quality paints typically contains better resin to ensure it bonds to surfaces. This results in longer lasting results with less flakes and rub marks.

2. Cheapest is best.

Because it’s difficult to tell what paint ingredients are and what they do, some people grab the cheapest can for a paint job. This leads to the misconception that cheap paint can get the job done as well as a more expensive paint can. Higher quality paint lasts longer and provides better wall coverage, so it’s worth it to pay more for a superior end result.   

3. It is better to use oil primers than latex primers on wood.

Oil primer and latex primer are actually comparable in quality. Which type of primer you use depends on the quality of the wood surfaces. Sometimes oil primer will showcase your surface the best, and on certain occasions latex looks better. If the wood is new, it is always advisable to use oil primer.

4. Latex stains are better than oil stains.

Like wood and oil primers, both stain types are similar in quality. Again, it depends on the surface you’re staining. In case of rough surfaces such as cedar wood, oil stains are preferred. If the wooden surface is smooth, then latex is preferable. Latex stains on a smooth surface can last up to six years whereas oil stains have a capacity to last for a maximum of only three years.

5. It is harder to work with oil paints.

On the contrary, oil paints are very easy to work with. Oil paints take a long time to dry, so blending becomes easier under the circumstances. Water-based paints dry very fast and so the color can become lightened. Oil paints maintain their shine for a long time.

6. It is very messy to work with oil paints.

Just like a bad carpenter blames his tools, a bad painter may make a mess of an oil paint. Qualified painters use thinning agents and the end result looks even and not smudgy.

7. It is not advisable to use turpentine while painting.

In actuality, turpentine is the best solvent for paint. Because of the harsh odor, many people prefer not to use it, but it is still a powerful tool for thinning oil paint or cleaning brushes. There are safer mineral-based and odorless solvents available that may work well enough for your situation.

8. The toxicity level of oil paints is high.   

Oil paints contain most of the same chemicals as water-based paints. Low-quality paints may contain toxic chemicals, which is why they should be avoided.

9. Furniture has to be stripped completely before painting.

A very common misconception is that the paints in old furniture have to be stripped clean before applying a new coat. Only under circumstances where old paint is peeling off should you use a chemical stripper. Otherwise using sandpaper to rough up the area and applying the new paint is more than sufficient.

10. All brushes are the same and can work with any paint.

Paint brushes differ in the materials used as well as the bristles. There are three types of bristles: rounded, filbert and the flat. While applying oil paint, synthetic brushes with filbert tips are recommended. Watercolors demand squirrel brushes with rounded bristles. Your project will require a different brush depending on the type of paint you’re using.

11. Color mixing can be done by anyone.

Color mixing is an art and it requires a great sense of precision. The quantity of colors used should be exact. It necessitates skill and experience as well as a sense of imagination. Work with a professional to ensure your colors are mixed properly.

12. Not much preparation is required for a painting job.

The opposite is true. A lot of preparation has to go before the job is completed and it’s often not an easy job. Choosing the right color combination and paint type is very important. Wood paintings also require a lot of patience.

13. Any paint brand can be used to get the job done.

Any paint can do the job but that doesn’t mean you should use just any paint. Cheap paint naturally looks cheap; it will wear off in a couple of years. High quality paint, though more expensive initially, is worth the cost in the long run because it will simply last longer and look better.  

14. ANYONE CAN DO A PAINTING JOB.

If you’re not experienced in painting, it will show. Taping, color combinations, and clean up are tasks that should be handled by a professional or someone who has a lot of painting experience.