Pick the right paint

A look at some things you may not know about this staple of home renovation

By Jay Somerset

paint roller

No comments

Choosing paint used to come down to a single decision: oil or water. Then the minor details: eggshell, matte, glossy–oh, the drama. But painting, as with DIY in general, has become more complex. Now we want paint with few volatile organic compounds (VOCs)–who knew that new-paint-job smell wasn’t good for us?–or paint that fights off mould and mildew. Recycled, magnetic, chalkboard-like paint: where do you begin? And once you pick your paint, what should you add to your shopping cart to make application easier?

In the can

“The No. 1 rule for any DIYer ready to get painting: go to places that sell to professional painters,” says Bruce Mac-Kinnon, who’s been painting professionally for more than 25 years. Premium paint can cost a bundle–“I think the retailers take lessons in saying, ‘That’ll be $55 a gallon,’” MacKinnon says–but the extra cash is worth it. A little more at the register means fewer coats, less priming, more vibrant colour and a stronger finish.

So once in a paint store, how does the average DIYer choose among the myriad cans available on the shelves? Luckily, we’ve done the legwork for you by picking the most innovative paints to help colour your world.

Tools of the trade

Painting can be fun; dress up in grubby clothes, lay down a drop cloth, turn up the tunes and get rolling. Good moods abound, until your cheap brushes start to look like horse combs and that $2 roller starts shedding like a cat in July.

Investing in quality tools is the way to go for all home improvement, including painting. “Saving $5 here or there is a false economy when you end up spending 20 minutes fixing a cheaply made brush,” MacKinnon says. After three or four uses, poorly made brushes, trays and rollers fall apart. What’s more, MacKinnon adds, “The better the quality, the quicker the cleanup.”

Choosing top-knotch painting tools is more than buying brushes; you also require something to wipe down walls, dispense paint and open up that pesky paint can.

With these tasks in mind, check out CHW’s list of time-saving tools to get you geared up for your next paint job.

Jump to a section

No comments

To leave a comment, please log in

Don't have an user account? Register for free


How do you heat your home?

Loading ... Loading ...