Acrylic – water-based paints that dry quickly. Commonly used externally and for walls and ceilings internally.
Enamel – produces a hard, smooth finish. While traditionally oil-based, enamel paints 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.
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