There are so many different kinds of paints & paint brushes out there…how do I choose???
To answer this question I will quickly touch first on paints, in order to choose your brush you need to know what kind of paint your using and understand the features & benefits of each.
Acrylic Paints – Synthetic paint pigment suspended in acrylic polymer emulsion.
What would this paint be good on:
- Any surface that is oil and wax free. Use Acrylic on canvas, glass, fabric, wood, paper, plastic, cardboard and metal.
- May darken slightly as they dry.
- Plastic appearance of the texture.
- Acrylics can be mixed with lots of different mediums such as frescos (plaster effect), sand effect, or metallics.
- Dry time 20-30 minutes, cure time (100% dry) can be 3 days-2 weeks.
- It’s durable, will hold up decently from touching.
- Water resistant when dry.
- Acrylics remain quite malleable when dried. The finish tends to not crack, peel, or turn yellow.
- Due to it’s availability at store such as Home Depot & Michael it’s typically inexpensive.
- Recommended if paining on a canvas to prime your canvas first, gives it more of a base to sit on.
- Use lacquer based sealers on final coat to seal.
- To clean or remove acrylic paint all you need is a little soap and water…so easy!
Brush to use: Synthetic brushes (a good quality white or blend of black and white hair) are more resistant, springier, durable and keep their shape well, and make a great choice for beginners.
Chalk Paints – Plaster of Paris, water & regular latex paint. Leaves a chalky (white undertone) aged appearance.
*Fusion Chalk Paints- Are characterized as a paint that can be applied easily, is self-levelling & usually with a built in top coat or primer. Meaning you don’t have to prime/sand and or seal. Most fusions are one or the other, i haven’t seen any that have both options (no sanding/priming and no sealing).
Examples of fusion paint brand names: Fusion Mineral Paint, Annie Sloan, Plaster Paint, Rust-oleum Chalked Paint.
What this paint be good on: Woods, metals, glass & some fabric. Most modern chalk paints or ‘fusion’ style chalk paints have a bonding agent that helps adhere to most surfaces. Looks amazing on furniture that needs a facelift, glass mason jars, you name it this paint will stick to it! As far as fabrics go you will have to check with each individual paint company to see if they’ve added a textile medium to their paint for fabric painting.
- Can mix colors together easily! For example you can add a little dollop of a metallic color to the red and increase the shine depth.
- Full of wonderful colour pigments!
- Most chalk paint lines allow you to avoid priming and sanding (See above example of Fusion paints, these are lines that don’t require sanding & priming).
- You can easily distress this paint before it’s sealed, just a little sand paper and some light pressure.
- Most chalk paints require you to seal with a wax or gloss wax which protects the paint & give the paint more longevity.
- The finish is a bit more consistent compared to Milk Paints, meaning the smoother and the pigments are blended well giving you a true color, no varying color pigments.
- Super fast drying time usually around 15-60 minutes, cure time (100% dry) approximately 30 days.
- To clean or remove chalk paint all you need is a little soap and water…so easy!
- Non toxic, Low VOC’s.
Brush to use: Depends on the look you want. Natural Bristles-Hold the paint much nicer, no brush strokes leaving a clean look. Or if you want a vintage look use a synthetic brush with courser bristles showing those great brush strokes. If the paint is quite smooth try a zip roller for a speedy, clean looking approach!
Milk Paints – All natural ingredients such as chalk, clay, limestone and casein (a milk protein) with color pigments.
What would this paint be good on: Furniture (wonderful aged look on early 1900’s antiques) painting plaster, drywall and a variety of other surfaces. If adding a Bonding Agent you can now use Milk Paint on even more surfaces such as previously painted walls, varnished or lacquered surfaces, previous coats of paint, ceramic tiles, metal or, glass.
- Can be water down and use as a wash, think old white wash effect.
- Leaves more of an unpredictable cracked, chippy look but when absorbed into a porous surface, Milk Paint will never chip or peel.
- Due to the organic material used in the base, Milk paints are typically within 15% color variants of each batch. Meaning you could have ten bags of the same color and each of those bags will vary slightly in color (lighter or darker) of one to another.
- Fade resistant.
- Breathable coating. Because of lack of petroleum within milk paint it allows air to pass through the piece to breath. Ex. A piece that is covered in a non breathable paint such as latex may crack over time due to its lack of breathability.
- Has to be sealed, with a wax or wax gloss which protects the paint & give the paint more longevity.
- Smooth over all finish after you distress & seal, no chalky residue.
- Dry time is usually around 30 minutes, cure time (100% dry) around 30 days.
- If wanting to use Milk paint on more surfaces add a bonding agent (glue & primer in one!), also allows you to avoid priming and cut down on sanding.
- To clean or remove milk paint all you need is a little soap and water…so easy!
- Organic, biodegradable and Zero VOC!!
- Mould resistant due to the lime additive.
- Less expensive since your paying for bags of powder unmixed.
Brush to use: Depends on the look you want. Natural Bristles-Hold the paint much nicer, no brush strokes leaving a clean look. Or if you want a vintage look use a synthetic brush with courser bristles showing those great brush strokes.
Latex Paint – Water and an acrylic resin binder.
What would this paint be good on: If you’re painting something that rarely gets touched or used, latex is idea. Use latex on- End tables, picture frames and stair railings.
- Latex paint actually has a a surface that is not rock hard, but more elastic.
- After latex paint is applied, it remains flexible, meaning that as the temperature changes the surface will expand or contract.
- Dry time is usually around 1-2 hours and cure time (100% dry) approximately 21-30 days.
- The latex paint manufactured today is as good as an oil based paint and in many ways is superior to the oil based paint. The surface of today’s latex paint is extremely durable and resists scuffs and scratches, washability, breathability and provides superior adhesion to the surface to be painted.
- Interior and exterior use.
- Latex paints do not cause cracking and peeling as do oil based paints
- Breathable, moisture can escape and pass through porous surface.
- To clean or remove latex paint all you need is a little soap and water…so easy!
- When painting on wood think of latex paint ‘bonding’ to the wood opposed to an oil paint ‘absorbing’ into the wood.
- To ‘cure’ latex paint (which means completely dry) can take up to 30 days.
- Minimal oder.
- Low VOCs.
Brush to use: A synthetic bristle for water based (latex) paints. Nylon and nylon/poly blend brushes can be used for oil or water based paints, but a polyester brush is best suited only for latex paints.
Oil paints – Are particles of colour pigments suspended in a drying oil (commonly linseed oil).
What would this paint be good on: Kitchen tables, media centres, front doors, nightstands and pieces that will get used heavily every day.
- Oil paints discolour with age.
- Oil paints require you to seal with a varnish which protects the paint & give the paint more longevity.
- They can stay wet for days so your dry time is much slower. For example, Furniture oil paint can take up to 6-8 hrs and 3-7 days to cure (100% dry). Oil on canvas takes up to 6 months to cure before needs to be sealed.
- To remove or clean Oil based paints from a brush turpentine is needed.
- Provides a smoother finish than latex paints.
- Hardwearing for exterior & interior use, resists scuffs.
- Easier to wash because the surface is much hard than latex paint.
- More chemically resistant to stand up to washing detergents than latex.
- Since oil based paints are thicker than latex, they tend to hide wall imperfections better than latex.
- When using oil based paint on wood, the oil will soak in & becomes part of the wood.
- You don’t need to use a primer, you don’t have to worry about what is on the furniture currently. Oil paint sticks to anything.
- If painting on a canvas be sure to prime canvas first so oil doesn’t soak through and lose colour.
Have more pigments with a richer more balanced colour.
Brush to use: Natural bristle brushes work well with oil-based paints.
If you are painting oil-based paint on top of latex paint then you have to prime the latex first. Latex paint and oil-based paint expand and contract at two different rates. If you paint oil-based paint on top of a latex-based paint without priming first, your latex will move so much underneath that the oil-paint will quickly breakdown.
You can get away with painting a latex paint on top of an oil-based paint without primer, but be safe and prime first when you are switching from one type of paint to the other.
Questions to ask yourself when choosing paint:
What am I painting????
What sort of look am I going for????
How long do you want or need this finish to last?
Last but not least!
We hope that this blog has helped you to understand some of the different paints on the market and the brushes that you might need to best apply them. No matter what you might be painting or what product you might use, remember to take your time and make it you way. There is no right and wrong, only what your heart desires!!
For those of you eager beavers who would like a little more or maybe you are ready to start a project, click on our image below, “Milkpainting in just a few easy steps” and receive our E-Book tutorial FREE!!
ALWAYS BE CREATING!!
Layne + Matt