When applying paint to other surfaces, such as concrete, brick, or metal, it is best to follow the directions from the paint manufacturer. Specific products are formulated for use on those materials.
A new house has been painted with the finishes specified by the designer. The entry hall has satin finish paint because the designer expected it to have lots of traffic moving through it and satin would be easier to clean than flat, yet still have a somewhat subdued reflectance of light. As the furniture is being moved into the house, one of the movers stumbles and the leg of the sofa makes a vertical brown stain where it scraped the entry hall. The homeowner finds the buckets of paint left by the painters and tries to cover the brown stain. After the paint dries, the brush strokes of the fresh paint are very obvious. Thinking that the brush is the problem, the home owner paints it again, this time with a sponge instead of a brush. Again the fresh paint shows and does not blend in with the original paint. The painter is called in to give advice on the paint in the entry hall. The painter explains that satin paint has a slight sheen. Because of the sheen, any touch-up will show as long as there is light on it. The only way to fix the touch-up is to paint the entire expanse of that wall, from corner to corner, without getting any paint on the adjacent walls. If any paint touches the adjacent walls, then they too will need to be painted or the newly painted spot will show.
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Gypsum board is available in sheets 4 feet wide by 8 or 10 feet long. Due to the size constraints, a wall will consist of several pieces of gypsum board with joints of paper tape joining the pieces together. Since the gypsum board is a light gray color, the designer thinks a primer is not necessary. The wall is painted with one coat of the latex paint, in the specified color and finish type. The designer and the client notice that something is wrong with the paint, because they can clearly see the joints that are not supposed to show. The painter shows them the latex paint he used. The designer calls the paint company’s architectural representative, who explains to her that new walls that have never been painted need to be sealed to keep the white tape joints from showing through against the light gray gypsum board. In this case, the product was improperly specified because a primer was necessary. For a new surface that has never been painted, a primer is needed to hide color differences and seal the surface of the gypsum board before the finish paint is applied.
Paint has been used throughout history on interior surfaces. Sometimes the purpose is to protect the structural material, other times the purpose is for artistic endeavors. Originally, paint was made from organic materials, minerals from the earth for color, and oils or eggs for binders. White was the most common paint because very few colors were available and paint colors were mixed by hand. The Industrial Revolution of the mid-1800s changed the conception of paint. It became available in ready-mixed cans, more colors were available, and new formulations were made. In the mid-1900s, synthetic products, vinyl and acrylic, were added to paint, as well as more colors, and painting became a do-it-yourself process. No longer were the long drying times and careful clean-up of oil paints required.
Paint is used somewhere in almost every interior, from being the focal point of the interior to being used for trim and barely noticeable. Although knowledge of color interaction is a large part of selecting paint, understanding the characteristics of different