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Paint, Stain, and Solvents Buying Guide

Paint and stain can quickly transform interior walls, furniture, and exterior surfaces such as siding and decks. You don't have to be a pro to apply paint or stain, but the finished job will look better and last longer if you choose the best paint or stain for your specific surface. Use this buying guide to learn what type of paint or stain you should choose for your next home improvement project.

Types of Paint, Stain, and Solvents

Types of Paint, Stain, and Solvents

Choosing the right paint or stain can quickly become overwhelming because of the sheer number of choices, but understanding the key differences between various formulas can make the decision easier. In basic terms, primer prepares the surface for the top coat; paint coats the surface; and stain penetrates the surface and allows varying amounts of wood grain to show through. Paints are formulated differently depending on whether they'll be used inside or outside, so be sure to choose a paint or stain based on where it will be used and what surface it will be covering. Here are the primary types of paint and stain available.

Interior Paint

Designed to be used inside the house, this type of paint can be either water-base or oil-base. It's available in several different sheens. Because they are more rigid than exterior paints when dry, interior paints are easier to wash and less prone to scuffing.

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BEHR

For a paint that??s as versatile as it is beautiful, choose BEHR Premium Plus Zero VOC Satin Enamel Interior Paint. This rich, all...-surface sheen is great for any room in the house. The pearl-like finish makes it perfect for adding a pop of color to both walls and trim. Color: N330-1 Milk Paint Satin. read more

BEHR

For a paint that??s as versatile as it is beautiful, choose BEHR Premium Plus Zero VOC Satin Enamel Interior Paint. This rich, all...-surface sheen is great for any room in the house. The pearl-like finish makes it perfect for adding a pop of color to both walls and trim. Color: N330-1 Milk Paint Satin. read more

BEHR

To bring classic beauty to all of your home??s interior walls, choose BEHR Premium Plus Ultra Interior Matte. This traditional mat...te paint will create a low-reflective appearance that??s perfect for all of your home's rooms. It??s also great for hiding minor flaws, dents and nicks. Get the beautiful color you want with the exceptional durability you need. Color: N330-1 Milk Paint Matte. read more

Exterior Paint

Designed to be used on exterior surfaces, this type of paint can be either water-base or oil-base. Exterior paint includes additives to help it resist fading, and its chemical composition allows it to be flexible enough to expand and contract with a home's siding. It's available in several sheens. You can find different formulas designed for specific surfaces, such as floor/porch paint and masonry paint.

Primer

Applied under interior or exterior paint, primers are designed to create a uniform surface that will improve the adhesion of the paint top coat. Primers also block tannin, water, grease, and smoke stains and prevent them from bleeding through the top coat. Like paints, primers are available in both water-base and oil-base formulas. Oil-base primers can be used with either oil- or water-base paints, but water-base primers are not recommended for use with oil-base paint.

Stain

Instead of coating the surface like paint, stain penetrates the surface and allows the natural texture of the surface to show through. Stain can be used on many different wood surfaces, such as furniture, siding, and decks. Stains are available in both water-base and oil-base (alkyd) formulas and in a variety of colors.

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Restore

Use Restore Solid Acrylic Stain on vertical surfaces of Deck Restore and Concrete Restore projects such as railings, balusters, wa...lls and more. Restore Solid Acrylic stains, beautifies and protects with it's deep penetrating formula for lasting protection; with it's 36 tintable colors to match Deck Restore and Concrete Restore colors, which creates a uniform appearance. A low order, ultra low VOC with easy soap and water clean up. Color: Browns / Tans. read more

Restore

Use Restore Solid Acrylic Stain on vertical surfaces of Deck Restore and Concrete Restore projects such as railings, balusters, wa...lls and more. Restore Solid Acrylic stains, beautifies and protects with it's deep penetrating formula for lasting protection; with it's 36 tintable colors to match Deck Restore and Concrete Restore colors, which creates a uniform appearance. A low order, ultra low VOC with easy soap and water clean up. Color: Browns / Tans. read more

Restore

Use Restore Solid Acrylic Stain on vertical surfaces of Deck Restore and Concrete Restore projects such as railings, balusters, wa...lls and more. Restore Solid Acrylic stains, beautifies and protects with it's deep penetrating formula for lasting protection; with it's 36 tintable colors to match Deck Restore and Concrete Restore colors, which creates a uniform appearance. A low order, ultra low VOC with easy soap and water clean up. Color: Yellows / Golds. read more

Restore

Use Restore Solid Acrylic Stain on vertical surfaces of Deck Restore and Concrete Restore projects such as railings, balusters, wa...lls and more. Restore Solid Acrylic stains, beautifies and protects with it's deep penetrating formula for lasting protection; with it's 36 tintable colors to match Deck Restore and Concrete Restore colors, which creates a uniform appearance. A low order, ultra low, VOC with easy soap and water clean up. Color: Greens. read more

Epoxy

Ideal for garage floors, this durable, plasticlike coating is tougher than other paints and stains and is able to withstand the heat from hot tires. (As you drive on hot streets in the summer, your car's tires absorb heat and can cause standard floor paint to peel or stain.) Epoxy is not suited for damp floors, however.

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Schlage

IVES has produced a full line of quality building hardware for over 120 years. Throughout this time, IVES has adhered to the firm ...convictions of its founder, Hobart B. Ives, that the success of a company is dependent on two major factors - product quality and customer service. read more

Schlage

IVES has produced a full line of quality building hardware for over 120 years. Throughout this time, IVES has adhered to the firm ...convictions of its founder, Hobart B. Ives, that the success of a company is dependent on two major factors - product quality and customer service. read more

3M
$25.31
at Amazon

3M Scotch-Weld DP100 clear two-part epoxy adhesive is compatible with ceramic, fiberboard, glass, metal and wood materials with a ...48 hr cure time. Provides a 5 min working time. Works in a mix ratio of 1:1. Delivers great performance with a shear strength of 1500 psi and peel strength of 2 piw. read more

3M
AppliancesConnection
$6,798.68 $11,010.00
at AppliancesConnection

Professional Series Worktop Freezer 188 c ft 2-section wdoors 4 epoxy coated shelves 2 solid stainless steel hinged doors stainles...s steel front top ends stainless steel interior 4 6 casters 2 with brakes self-contained side mount refrigeration syste... read more

Solvents

Usually available in liquid form, solvents can be used to thin paint, as well as to clean and prep the painting surface. Many solvents are flammable and emit toxic fumes, so you need to wear safety equipment and work in a well-ventilated area. Some solvents—including mineral spirits, turpentine, denatured alcohol, linseed oil, and lacquer thinner—can be used to thin various substances, so it's important to choose the right one for your job.

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DEVILBISS

This 4th generation of the DeVilbiss FinishLine Solvent-Based Paint Gun incorporates enhanced atomization technology to spray the ...latest solvent-based coats, top coats, light primers New coatings are always coming online, and you want your paint gun to be compatible with the latest coatings out there. So upgrade to this DeVilbiss FinishLine4 Solvent-Based Gun FLG-670 Achieve superior results with soft uniform spray patternsIncludes precision-machined air cap and fluid nozzlesEasy-to-clean, anodized, forged aluminum bodyAnodized internal passagesRequires 13 cfm at 23 psi Enhanced atomization technology sprays latest primers, heavy coatings High-grade stainless steel components. HVLP high-transfer efficiency. 1/4 NPS male air inlet. Ergonomic handle. Imported. Replaces DeVilbiss' FLG-654 and FLG-BCG (Eastwood 50738). Note the old FLG3 series and the new FLG4 series have no interchangeable parts. DeVilbiss FLG-670 HVLP Paint Gun 1.3mm Fluid Tip for stains, lacquers, basecoats and clears 1.5mm Fluid Tip for general purpose, light-to-medium-viscosity material 1.8mm Fluid Tip for primers and medium-viscosity materials 900cc Aluminum Cup 1-year mfr's. defect warranty. 14863- Dev Finishline Flg4 Tip Seal Kit 1.3Mm 803051 14864- Dev Finishline Flg4 Tip Seal Kit 1.5Mm 803052 14865- Dev Finishline Flg4 Tip Seal Kit 1.8Mm 803053 14866- Dev Finishline Flg4 Tip Seal Kit 2.2Mm 803054 14867- Dev Finishline Flg4 Gun Repair Kit 803527 read more

Kohler

Protect and beautify your concrete with Eagle Solid Color Sealer. Your sealer will look better than new. Eagle Solid Color Sealer ...is an acrylic coating in an oil base for best adhesion and durability. Available in 30 colors, Eagle Solid Color Sealer dries to a semi-gloss. Add Eagle Clear Coat for a gloss finish. Color: browns tans. read more

Eastwood

Everything you need to paint your motor with Eastwood's 2K Ceramic Engine paint is included in this kit. These super durable engin...e paints are fortified with nano-ceramic particles that will withstand temperatures of up to 650F. Each color was painstakingly researched to match the original factory color. And the urethane based paints can be brushed on or applied with a spray gun. And the urethane based paints can be brushed on or applied with a spray gun. cups lids, 3 foam brushes and 15 absorbent Pig Mats so you keep the surrounding area and floor clean.2K ceramic engine paint, cups,lids, foam brushes, absorbent mats Everything you need to paint your motor with Eastwood's 2K Ceramic Engine paint is included in this kit. These super durable engine paints are fortified with nano-ceramic particles that will withstand temperatures of up to 650F.Each color was painstakingly researched to match the original factory color.And the urethane based paints can be brushed on or applied with a spray gun.And the urethane based paints can be brushed on or applied with a spray gun.cups lids, 3 foam brushes and 15 absorbent Pig Mats so you keep the surrounding area and floor clean. Not for sale or use in California. Eastwood Paints are formulated to meet National Rule VOC regulations check with your local and state guidelines as some areas may have stricter regulations than others. 1 Quart of Ceramic Engine Paint4 Ounces of urethane activator (21854z)5 One Pint Mixing cups lids (51201)3 F read more

Product Features

Product Features

Although various types of paint may look similar, their chemical composition can be very different. Paint can include a variety of additives, or additional chemicals, that can change properties of the paint. Additives in exterior paint can help it resist mildew, for example, while additives in interior paint can make it easier to clean. Here are a few features to look for when selecting paint for your project.

Low-VOC

Many paints—especially oil-base paints—include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can be dangerous to humans and the environment. More paint companies now offer low-VOC paint that poses less of a health risk and is more eco-friendly.

Nonskid Additives

These gritty additives can be added to floor paint to make floors less slippery.

Mildew Resistance

Some paints offer mildew resistance, which is especially important for exterior paint and interior paint used in kitchens, baths, and damp areas, such as basements. Water-base stains are also mildew-resistant, whereas some oil-base stains can encourage mildew growth. If you opt for an oil-base stain, look for one that specifically says it's mildew-resistant.

Hiding Ability

If you're painting a light color over a dark wall, you'll want to choose a paint that has good hiding ability.

Scrub Resistance

In rooms that get a lot of use (kids' rooms, family rooms, and kitchens, for example), a paint that can stand up to a vigorous cleaning is beneficial.

Resistance to Cracking

When choosing an exterior paint, look for one that resists cracking. If the paint finish cracks, it will expose the siding or trim underneath the paint to the elements, potentially resulting in surface damage.

Chalking Resistance

This feature helps prevent the buildup of a white chalky powder on an exterior surface. If you use an exterior paint that does not have chalking resistance, the paint will start to become streaked as the binder in the paint slowly degrades over time.

Blister Resistance

Paints with this component will help prevent moisture from coming through the paint surface and causing the paint to blister.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

You have a lot to think about when choosing a paint or stain. You'll obviously need to consider color, but you'll also want to think about what paint sheen is best for your painting surface, or whether you want an opaque or transparent stain. Is easy cleanup important to you? Can you handle the strong fumes of oil-base paint? Also consider the type of surface you'll be painting—different paints and stains are better for different surfaces. And be sure to consider quality, because all paints are not created equal.

Color

Deciding on a color can be the toughest part of purchasing paint. Plan to buy a sample jar or a quart of paint, and try out the color on various walls before committing to one. Look at the sample areas at various times of day, so you can see how the color looks under natural light and when indoor lighting is used.

Sheen

Both interior and exterior paints are available in a variety of sheens. Flat paint is good for hiding imperfections, but it doesn't offer much stain-resistance; use flat paint on living room and dining room walls and exterior siding. Eggshell and satin finishes have a slight sheen; they work well in family rooms, kids' rooms, and hallways. Semigloss paint is easy to clean but shows imperfections in the surface; use this paint for kitchen and bathroom walls and windowsills. Use semigloss and gloss exterior paints on trim, as they'll show off the details of the woodwork.

Opacity

The opacity of stains allows various amounts of the wood grain to show through the finish. Clear stains show off the wood grain the best, but they offer minimal protection from the elements and will need to be reapplied often. Semitransparent stains let some of the wood grain show through and offer more protection than clear stains. Solid stains form an outer coating on the wood surface, which hides the wood grain; they usually last longer than clear and semitransparent stains.

Oil-Base vs. Water-Base

Water-base paints are easier to clean up than oil-base paints, dry more quickly, and emit a less-powerful odor. However, oil-base paints can be a better choice in some circumstances. Oil-base paints can prevent stains and rust from bleeding through the paint, for example, so they're better for chalky and stained surfaces and metals that rust. Oil-base primers can be a good choice for raw interior wood.

Painting Surface

For the best results, be sure to choose a primer and paint that work well with the surface you'll be painting. Various primers are designed for use on specific materials—wood, concrete, and metals such as galvanized steel, iron, and aluminum. Also be sure to carefully clean and prep the surface before painting to ensure a long-lasting finish.

Quality

When it comes to paints and stains, it pays to pay more. Low-quality interior paints will require more coats than top-of-the-line products, and economy grades of exterior paints and stains won't hold up as well as high-quality versions. If you opt for a cheap line of paint, you may save money now but end up paying more in the long run.

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Pettit
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One-part high gloss polyurethane topside paint improved by the addition of silicone for a brilliant shine and easy brushability. E...xceptional flow and leveling. Contains UV filters for superior gloss retention. MFG# 3229G UPC# 725469004658 read more

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Interlux Ultra with Biolux Antifouling Boat Bottom Paint Ultra with Biolux is a high strength antifouling paint with a high load o...f cuprous oxide. Ultra uses Biolux technology to block slime and improve antifouling performance. New fast dry formula allow read more

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Masterchem 43150 Rust Cap 1 Quart Rust Cap Enamel Paint, Light Blue A unique rustproof paint that is formulated with a tough resin... base loaded with heat-hardened glass flakes and aluminum particles that bond together when they dry. Provides a high-gloss finish that is decorative and durable. Use on iron and steel, wood and many types of plastics. Not recommended for galvanized metal or aluminum without use of a special primer. In most situations a primer is not necessary, even when painting rusty metal. 1 generous coat is often sufficient, but when recoats are necessary they must be applied within 4 hours or after 6 weeks (hammered finish) or 48 hours (smooth finish). Dries to touch in 30 minutes or less. Large areas should be rolled or sprayed. Covers approximately 200 sq. ft. per gallon. Ideally should be applied at temperatures between 60 F. and 80 F. For best results, clean brushes read more

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