Painting has its own language. Knowing what terms like ‘nap’ and ‘laying off’ mean will help you get the right paint, tools, equipment and techniques so you end up with an awesome finish on your next paint job.
Acrylic – Water-based paints that dry quickly. Commonly used externally and for walls and ceilings inside.
Enamel – Produces a hard, smooth finish. Traditionally oil-based, they are now available in water–based formulas which dry more quickly.
Ceiling White – A flat paint designed to hide imperfections in ceilings. It also has a thicker formula than wall paints so there’s less mess when painting overhead.
Gloss Level – The shininess of a paint. High Gloss, Semi-Gloss, Low Sheen and Matt are the different levels of finish available.
Stain Blocker – Used over smoke, mould or water stains to prevent them from showing through the final coats.
Binder – A paint used to bind powdery or chalky surfaces.
Adhesion primer – A primer used on hard to paint surfaces such as tiles, laminates and glossy finishes
Sealer – Applied to porous surfaces so following coats don’t soak into them and create a finish on top.
Cut in – Painting around the edges of a wall with a brush to get an even line or where a roller can’t easily get to, like corners.
Laying Off – Going over a freshly painted surface to remove any drips or runs in the work. Always lay off in the same direction.
Picture framing – Where the brushed area around a wall is noticeably different to the rest. Prevent it by trying to cover as much of the brushed surface as possible with the roller.
Drying time – There are two types. Touch dry is when a paint is not wet to the touch while the recoat time is how long it’s ready to be painted over.
Nap – The length of fibres on a paint roller. Short nap rollers are best for gloss finishes; medium nap for low sheen and matt paints; and long nap for rough or textured surfaces.
Paint pads – An alternative paint applicator to brushes and rollers on smooth surfaces. Available in a range of sizes, some also come with guiding wheels for getting a smooth line when cutting in.
Rollers –Apart from nap length, the roller material is also important. Better quality rollers won’t drop fibres and spoil the work.
Brushes – Like rollers, they’re not all the same. Use fine, long handled brushes for enamel finishes on trim and architraves. Wider, general-purpose brushes are good for cutting in using acrylic paints.