When it comes to spray painting services, there are a variety of paint types to choose from. Primer, alkyd, lacquer, enamel, acrylic, vinyl and latex, epoxy, Plasti Dip and chalk paint are all options. But how do you know which one to use? How many coats should you apply? Should it be a thick or light paint? Does it need to be diluted? Do you need a primer? Will it work with your sprayer?Primer is often the starting medium for many DIY and home improvement projects. It provides an adequate base, indicates imperfections and covers old layers of paint.
First, an initial coat of primer gives the top coat something to “stick” to. Water-based paints, for example, penetrate fresh wood and leave a thin and uneven finish. The primer ensures a perfect coat. Second, many paint professionals use a primer (often diluted) to indicate defects on the target surface. Painting does not hide imperfections, but rather emphasizes them.
By quickly covering the material with a coat of primer, you can see where the surface is uneven, chipped or scratched and fix it with sandpaper and filler. Third, the primer acts like a clean slate that covers old, worn paint and allows a smooth and even coverage without the aged medium being reflected in the new layer. For the paint spray enthusiast, there is one key consideration: the primer is highly viscous. This means that you need a unit with a lot of noise such as the Iwata LPH440-181 pneumatic, the Control Pro 190 airless or the Wagner MotoCoat HVLP. For more information on using primer and examples of the best sprayers in this category, see my Priming Guide. Alkyd is an older painting format that has gone out of fashion due to the introduction of modern vinyls and enamels. However, it maintains a faithful following among DIY enthusiasts who love tradition.
Alkyds use resin or polyester as a binding ingredient which makes them capable of withstanding some serious abuses and repelling water. Therefore, it is used on high-traffic wood surfaces such as hallways, kitchens and bathrooms. In addition, thanks to its powerful binder you can apply alkyd materials to existing latex paint or to fresh wood without using a primer. For this type of paint you need a fairly powerful unit along with a fine tip to achieve the best results or at least buy it in an aerosol can. Personally, for a good job I would use a pneumatic HVLP gun such as the Sagola 475 or the Titan Capspray 75 for more important projects. Lacquer has become a kind of generic term for varnishes and lacquers.
Strictly speaking it differs in that it dries by evaporating mineral alcohol instead of oils. However DIYers and retail professionals use the terms interchangeably. To get a mirror-like shine you need to spray let it dry then sand and repeat again for a stunning French-Polish finish. For more information see my lacquer spray guide. Enamel paint is often used in areas exposed to high traffic and finger contact such as window and door frames kitchen cabinets railings and patio furniture.
It is dried to a durable hard and water resistant finish. As such you need a fairly powerful unit along with a fine tip to achieve the best results or at least buy it in an aerosol can. Personally for a good job I would use a pneumatic HVLP gun such as the Sagola 475 or the Titan Capspray 75 for more important projects. Do not confuse spray paint with vitreous enamel which is paint that is cooked in an oven for example on porcelain crockery. In addition it's not enamel it's made of powdered glass. Epoxy is possibly the densest paint on the market.
It is a water-based coating medium that presents a precise combination of polymers bonded to a latex or acrylic composite. Surprisingly durable this paint is used in areas exposed to extreme use or abuse such as floors marine applications industrial machinery and wind turbines. Epoxy can be found in two parts: resin and hardener which must be mixed before use and as a one-part formula which can be used right out of the can. Care must be taken when diluting as the base compound can be a variety of solvents such as hexane naphtha acetone or xylene so you should ensure that the dilution medium matches the main component of the paint. Once applied DIYers finish with wax or lacquer to protect the scaly surface. One of the attractions of this paint is that it can be applied directly to wood without priming or sanding since it apparently enhances the shabby chic appeal whatever it may be. In drywall and gypsum epoxy is prone to chipping and despite being dense requires numerous layers to obtain an adequate layer thickness. Enamel is an excellent type of paint that This Old House uses for spray painting projects.
Over the years more people have switched from lacquer to enamel because it lasts much longer.
How Many Coats Should You Apply?The number of coats depends on what type of paint you are using as well as what surface you are painting on. Generally speaking two coats are enough but if you are painting on wood then three coats may be necessary for optimal coverage.
Should You Use Thick or Light Paint?The type of paint you should use depends on what surface you are painting on as well as what type of finish you want to achieve. For example if you are painting on metal then thick enamel paints work best while if you are painting on wood then light acrylic paints may be better suited.
Do You Need To Dilute The Paint?Whether or not you need to dilute your paint depends on what type of paint you are using as well as what surface you are painting on. Generally speaking water-based paints should be diluted while oil-based paints do not need to be diluted.
Do You Need A Primer?Whether or not you need a primer depends on what type of paint you are using as well as what surface you are painting on.
Generally speaking primers should be used when painting on fresh wood metal surfaces or when covering old layers of paint.