This story provides details about the different types of texture and specialty paints.
Texture paint will put some pizzazz into a plain painted wall. These paints provide an easy way to get both color and texture on the walls at the same time. And they have the added benefit of covering up problem walls or ceilings -- uneven surfaces, rough spots, and other flaws. You can apply texture to an entire surface or paint selectively to create patterned borders, adding a textural element at little cost.
Texture paints come in different forms. The most common is paint that has a light texture medium such as sand or other fine aggregate added. There are also texture additives that can be mixed in to most latex or oil-base paints. One such additive is an antiskid material for floors and stairs.
To paint a texture surface, apply two coats of oil-base sealer, let it dry, then apply the texture paint. In their initial application, texture paints go on about the same way as any other paint -- cut in the edges with a brush and finish the remainder of the surface with a roller. (Don't spray texture paint; the texture particles will clog and damage the sprayer.)
When cutting in, load up the brush heavily and frequently. Otherwise the brushing will thin out the texture and result in a noticeable unevenness at the edges of the wall or ceiling. Roll the paint on in long, even strokes, keeping the thickness even to maintain consistent texture.
Use a thick-napped roller to create a stippled surface. For a deeper texture, use a looped roller cover specifically designed for this purpose. The nap is stiffer than others and pulls the paint up behind it as you roll.
When using a stipple roller, avoid overlapping previously painted sections or the stipple pattern will appear interrupted at the overlaps. An advantage of texture paint is that you can stop with the roller, or, as the accompanying photos show, experiment with other tools to create other patterns.
If you have never employed this technique or product before, experiment on a large piece of scrap plywood, drywall, or hardboard. This will give you a chance to judge the final appearance of the surface and hone your techniques so your application will be easy and consistent.
Modern technology has created so many products that there's virtually nothing you can't paint and there's a paint made for almost every purpose.
-- Ceiling paints are formulated for spatter-free application. Some even go on displaying one color and then dry white. This eliminates the problems inherent in painting a ceiling -- if you're painting white on white, you often can't see where the new paint begins and the old paint ends. Some brands even boast a dry-up time of 30 minutes.
-- Kitchen and bath paints are also formulated to keep spattering to a minimum and cleaning easy, but their chief claim to fame is that they contain an extra dose of mildewcide to stop this annoying growth in these usually humid rooms.
-- Elastomeric wall coatings (EWCs) are specifically designed to paint over small cracks in masonry surfaces.
The key to success for these paints lies in the flexibility of their binders. Masonry cracks expand and contract at a greater rate than other materials, and standard latex paints are too rigid to handle these changes. EWCs actually stretch and bridge thin cracks. In addition a properly applied EWC can be top-coated with exterior acrylic latex paint in a flat, satin, or semigloss finish.
-- Before applying an EWC to a wall, repair any cracks more than 1/8-inch across with a high-quality acrylic or siliconized caulk; not even an EWC can bridge gaps that wide. EWCs should also be applied in much thicker coats than other paints for best results. Where a gallon of latex paint may cover approximately 400 to 500 square feet of surface, a gallon of EWC will cover only 40 to 50 square feet.
-- High-temperature paints are made in several colors and different grades that will withstand different temperatures, some up to 1,200°F. They see wide applications in commercial enterprises, but some are formulated for consumer uses, like repainting the barbecue grill or touching up the wood stove, radiator, or supplementary gas heater. They are commonly available in aerosol spray cans.
-- Epoxy paints, an alternative term for epoxy polymers, are a tough plasticlike material employed as a coating, especially for interior floor surfaces. Most epoxy paints are prepared by combining two components on-site, just before application. Some epoxy materials contain very high or 100 percent solids; some are two-component water-base acrylic-epoxy; and some are one-package water-base products. Two-component epoxy systems generally do not stand up and maintain color in exterior applications as well as two-component urethane systems.
Epoxy chemistry and the number of products produced for different purposes and at different prices is an extremely complex subject, and there are some surfaces to which epoxy won't stick. Research your choices thoroughly before purchasing an epoxy product.
-- Rust encapsulators are formulated to be brushed or sprayed onto rusty steel and iron. These products are useful where sandblasting or other rust-removal methods are impractical. (They can also be used over new metal or rusty metal that has been cleaned.) The hard, nonporous coat prevents further rusting. Moisture and humidity help the coating cure, but the surface should be dry for application. Some rust encapsulators are UV sensitive and require a topcoat.