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Welcome to Detail Movement!

Hi, I'm Raluca, the Creative Director & Founder of Detail Movement. Feel free to have a look around and get in touch if you have any questions.

Thank you for stopping by!

Let's talk Wall Paint

Let's talk Wall Paint

Every interior is not complete until it has some colour on its walls! 

I am sure you agree with this statement. And yes, the walls of any room of your flat/house should be a statement - either a loud one or a silent, more subtle one, but definitely present. What that looks like is completely up to the personality of the people living in that space. 

But we are not here today to talk about people's personalities. We are here to talk about paints and VOCS - EMULSIONS - PRIMERS and other mysterious words that seem to be connected to paints in general. 

What about choosing colour I hear you ask? Fear not, I have done a previous blog post on this very subjects - you can read all about the basics here. If you are interested in how the colours actually influence and change our mood, let me know and I'll put something together for another time.

If you don't have any time now, that is alright, just make sure to pin the picture below so you can have a later read! That way you won't loose this post! 

Right, let's get work!

PIN ME OR SAVE ME FOR LATER!

 Lets talk wall paint ©Detail Movement PIN

Lets talk wall paint ©Detail Movement PIN

There are many companies on the market that produce beautiful paint colours for either the interior or exterior of a home, for walls, floors, furniture etc. Some of them are exclusively producing paints (companies such as Little Greene or Farrow and Ball) while others produce fabrics as well (companies such as Designers Guild or Zoffany).

But first things first, let's talk about the terminology that you will come across when buying paint for your projects.

1. PAINT

What is Paint? By definition, paint (usually in a liquid form) is a mixture of pigments and an oil or water-based binder. It is used to decorate pieces of furniture or walls, floors, ceilings, even windows/door frames. Alternatively, it can be used as a protective coating for the elements listed above.

2. VOC - VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUND

What are these VOCs you keep seeing on paint labels or hear people talking about? To put it simply, VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds which are basically chemicals that are used in all industries such as paint, building materials, even in the industry of soaps and cleaning products.

When painting anything, these chemicals evaporate into the air, adding their contribution to atmospheric pollution. You might recognize these as that little headache or nausea sensation that some of us get while handling paints pots, even small samples of paint. A little side note: wear protective gear and keep an open window when working with paints, especially if you have a sensitivity to them. 

Now, a water-based paint generally has very little VOCs, whilst a more traditional oil-based paint contain some VOCs, but in minimal levels. The level of VOC varies from supplier to supplier. 

Also, you can always check with the supplier or with a professional painter about any of this, after all, they are the specialists, so they will know best!

 Wall Paint ©Detail Movement 9

Wall Paint ©Detail Movement 9

3. PRIMER

What is a Primer? Simply put, a primer is an undercoat or preparatory layer that you add to the wall you wish to paint, before painting it in the colour you want. It is recommended that you first use a primer before changing the colour of your walls, especially if you want that colour to be more vibrant.

Primers ensure a better binding of the paint to the surface you wish to change, increases its durability and provides further protection to the wall or the piece of furniture that is being painted. Primers can be used on wood, metal and plastic surfaces.

4. COAT OF PAINT

A coat of paint is basically a layer of paint used to cover a surface. It is similar to coats of nail polish and usually, just one coat of paint (although sometimes enough), will not be sufficient to get that vibrant colour that you want on your walls.

So, how many coats of paint are usually needed? Well, professional painters are the best people to ask, but depending on the project, paint and surface that needs to be covered, a rule of thumb is minimum 2 COATS.

 Wall Paint ©Detail Movement

Wall Paint ©Detail Movement

5. EMULSIONS

What are emulsions? Emulsions are basically wall and ceiling paints, but they are divided into different categories, depending on their composition.

Modern day emulsions are water-based paints, with vinyl or acrylic resins added to the mix in order to make them more hard-wearing than Traditional emulsions (which are oil-based). This results in the paint having a level of gloss or sheen to it. The higher the sheen the more that paint will be able to withstand wear and tear.

With today's technologies, emulsions come in different types, but the most common ones are :

  • Matt emulsions;
  • Gloss emulsions;
  • Eggshell emulsions.

In turn, these emulsions can be water-based or oil-based, but new methods even use special components in order to make them completely washable for example. These are known as Modern or Intelligent Emulsions.

 Wall Paint ©Detail Movement

Wall Paint ©Detail Movement

Ok, now let's see which emulsion is best to be used and where. Remember, these differ from supplier to supplier.

MATT EMULSION

  • A high opacity;
  • Low odour;
  • Low VOC;
  • Is water-based;
  • Has a matt finish;
  • Sheen level - low - 2% - 5%;
  • Has a wipeable finish;
  • Best suited for Bedrooms, Living Rooms, Dining Areas and any other Low traffic areas.

MODERN EMULSION

  • A high quality;
  • Low odour; 
  • Reinforced water based matt finish;
  • Sheen level - low - 5% - 7%;
  • Quick drying;
  • Washable, wipeable;
  • Low VOC;
  • Is water-based;
  • Best suited for Kitchen, Bathroom and High traffic area walls.

OIL GLOSS EMULSION

  • Flexible, hard wearing;
  • Washable and water resistant;
  • Low odour;
  • Low VOC;
  • Quick drying;
  • Oil based full gloss finish;
  • Sheen level - high - 85% - 95%;
  • Best suited for both exterior and interior application to suitably prepared surfaces.

MODERN GLOSS 

  • High opacity;
  • Low odour;
  • Quick drying;
  • Water-based gloss finish;
  • Sheen level - high - 75% - 85%;
  • Best suited for painting radiators, Kitchen & Bathroom walls;
  • Suitable for both interior and exterior purposes.

OIL EGGSHELL EMULSION

  • Flexible, hard wearing;
  • Water-based;
  • Low odour;
  • Washable and wipeable;
  • Quick drying;
  • Low VOC;
  • Water resistant oil based eggshell finish;
  • Has a matt - silky finish;
  • Sheen level - low - 10% - 20%;
  • Best suited for furniture pieces, kitchen cupboards, radiators, skirting boards, doors and dado rails.

MODERN EGGSHELL 

  • High quality;
  • Low odour;
  • Quick drying;
  • Washable and wipeable;
  • Low VOC;
  • Water-based eggshell finish;
  • Sheen level - low to medium - 10% - 40%;
  • Easy to clean up – wash brushes in warm soapy water
  • Best suited for kitchen furniture; radiators and kitchen & bathroom walls;
  • Suitable for both interior and exterior purposes.
 Wall Paint ©Detail Movement 2

Wall Paint ©Detail Movement 2

There are many options to choose from (suppliers) and many wonderful colours to indulge in. Of course, each company has a different way of doing things, so naturally, the end product's specifications will differ from one brand to another. Some might be after more vibrant colours, while others will go for more toned down pigments. Others might put the environment first whilst others will favour functionality or usefulness above all.

Regardless of which one you want to use, remember that you can always get a Paint Colour Chart (full of colour samples) for FREE before spending any money! 

Each company has a Paint Colour Chart in which they display either a certain colour option or their full-colour range in small paint samples. You can find these in any hardware store that is selling paint.

The best part is that not only you can see all the colour range and think about which colour to pick before actually buying sample pots, but on the back of the chart, you have all the information you need regarding emulsions, primer etc (depending on the company). Of course, if there is not enough information or there is something you are particularly interested in, you can always check with that paint supplier or with a professional painter.

 Wall Paint ©Detail Movement

Wall Paint ©Detail Movement

 Wall Paint ©Detail Movement

Wall Paint ©Detail Movement

So that's it detail lovers, all you need to know in order to have the basics covered when it comes to wall paints! You can now go paint shopping, knowing what all these technical words mean and making the best choice for your home.

Have I missed something or is there anything that you would want me to look into for a future post? Let me know below in comments or on our Facebook Page (even on Instagram if it's easier for you - just tap @detailmovement and share your thoughts). 

Happy paint hunting!!

Raluca x

P.S: I did not receive anything from any paint company to write up this post. I composed this blog in hopes of helping you to better understand the paint products in general & to help you in your design journey. Best of luck!

All images that are credited as '©Detail Movement', are done by Raluca Vaduva for Detail Movement. All rights reserved. All pictures that are not my own, I credit them to the best of my knowledge & research, to their online sources. I do not claim ownership over them in any way.

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