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Types of Paint and Their Uses and Applications for Home Owners

Learn the basics of paints easily and begin your home journey right here, with us.

Paints have the ability to transform your house into a dream house. But how do you find the perfect paint for your home project? What would the finish look like? Do exteriors need a different kind of paint? What are the different types of paint you can use?

Understanding various paints and their functionalities is as important as handpicking shades for your wall colour paints and furniture since the quality and finish of your wall paint will bring alive your ideas.

Here is a simple guide created by our experts on the 9 types of paints that are commonly used and their applications.

Types of Paint

Types of Paint and Their Uses and Applications for Home Owners

1. Oil paint

Types of Paint and Their Uses and Applications for Home Owners

Paints are divided into two categories - oil-based paints and water-based paints.

Oil paints are usually applied as a primer, undercoat and a finish coat. In the past oil paints were heavily relied on because of its durability and longevity on surfaces, however water-based paints are now at par. Known for their gloss and durability, oil paints stand for a rich finish, water-resistant properties and long-lasting abilities.

Applications, benefits and tips to consider when choosing oil paint:

  • Use on metals, walls, doors, windows and stained surfaces for durability

  • Highly recommended for trim work

  • Use in non-humid areas since drying time takes longer than 24 hours

  • Easy to clean and easy to apply

Expert Tip: Oil paints are best suited for wooden and metallic surfaces for home projects due to their durability and strong adhesion.

2. Emulsion Paint

Types of Paint and Their Uses and Applications for Home Owners

Unlike traditional oil paints, majority of emulsions are water-based paints with fast-drying characteristics. It’s the popular choice for paint contractors since it’s alkali resistant, rich in texture and has stronger colour retention abilities, making it a long-lasting paint choice. As a homeowner, your biggest advantage with water-based emulsions is that it does not leave an odor and dries quickly. Acrylic emulsions offer your beautiful home resistance to cracking with its versatile and flexible finish through the years.

Did you know that sunlight can lead to the fading of your wall paints? But fret not, acrylic emulsions are resistant to this too.

Applications, benefits and tips to consider when choosing emulsion paint:

  • Mould and mildew resistance.

  • Low on VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), making it a good non-toxic choice

  • Easy to apply on exterior walls and interior walls too

  • Offers a range of wall finishes like satin, egg shell, glossy, matt etc.

  • Emulsion-painted walls are easy to clean, so let your kids loose!

  • Emulsions vary from weather-protectants to luxury, ultra HD interior finishes (have your pick!)

Expert tip: Water-based, acrylic emulsions are low on VOC, do not emit fumes and are good for the environment in comparison to oil paints.

3. Enamel Paint

Types of Paint and Their Uses and Applications for Home Owners

As an oil-based solvent, enamel paints are characterized by key qualities of oil paints like slow-drying abilities and hardness.

It is an expensive choice for a homeowner, but enamel paints also render high durability, strong adhesion, provide glossy finish and are water and stain resistant.

Applications, benefits and tips to consider when choosing enamel paint:

  • Perfect for humid and wet spaces like bathrooms and kitchen metals

  • Best for walls that need protection

  • Highly popularized for woodwork, metal work and window work

  • Offers good coverage, hardness and colour retention

  • Long-lasting choice for certain wood surfaces and metal

Expert tip: If you prefer water-based paints, there are water-based enamel paints meant for metal painting and interior sheens to meet your criteria too.

4. Bituminous Paint

Along with common paints, there are many types of industrial paints used to coat pipes, irons, woods and external work. Characterized by a black, tar-like appearance and good alkali-resistant properties, bituminous paint is formulated using dissolved asphalt and/or tar.

Although this type of paint is water-proof, it is generally not suited for areas exposed to the sun, since it deteriorates in sunlight. To achieve a certain colour, pigment can always be added to this type of paint.

Applications, benefits and tips to consider when choosing bituminous paint:

  • Provides a protective, water-proof, weather proof, chemical and corrosion-resistant layer

  • Ideal for metal work, pipe work, wood work, underwater structures

  • Ideal for exteriors such as ladders, shafts, and other iron work

  • Helps in providing rust resistance for metal application

Expert tip: Best for underwater work and its long-lasting properties

5. Aluminium Paint

Types of Paint and Their Uses and Applications for Home Owners

Aluminium paint is a type of paint coating that is made by mixing aluminium particles or flakes with oil/spirit varnish. The type of varnish can be used as per the requirement since spirit varnish leads to a shorter drying period.

The benefits of using this type of paint is resistant to electricity, weather, corrosion and is waterproof. Aluminium paints give a silvery finish and are strong and durable paints due to the resin in it.

Applications, benefits and tips to consider when choosing aluminium paint:

  • Used for hot water tanks, hot pipes, masonry, oil storage tanks etc.

  • Used for metals and woods too

  • Popular for being electricity and corrosion-resistant

Expert tip: If you look around, you might notice most building tanks and radiators have aluminium paint on it.

6. Anti-Corrosive Paint

Made from anti-corrosive elements like linseed oil, zinc chrome and fine sand, Anti-Corrosive Paints are ideal for metallic surfaces. As its name suggests, it helps prevent corrosion on various surfaces, mainly metallic in nature.

Applications, benefits and tips to consider when choosing anti-corrosive paints:

  • It is used for steel and iron work

  • Mainly used for pipes, external structures and metallic work

  • It is cost-effective, black in colour and a strong, long-lasting choice

Expert tip: It is used to paint industrial products to protect it from rust, chemical or environmental degradations owing to its properties

7. Synthetic Rubber Paint

Synthetic Rubber Paints are formulated from dissolving synthetic resins and by adding suitable pigments and solvents to it. Due to pigments being added, any colour can be attained. You will find this paint on concrete surfaces, walls and floors since it's weather-resistant and has properties that make it alkali and acid resistant too.

Applications, benefits and tips to consider when choosing synthetic rubber paint:

  • It dries very quickly and maintains consistency and uniformity on large expanses

  • It is cost-effective, chemical-resistant and weather-resistant

  • Widely used on concrete walls, large surfaces, floors, grounds etc.

  • It will be long-lasting despite weather and wear and tear of surfaces

8. Cement Paint

Traditionally known as whitewash or cement paint, distemper paint is a paint variant that comprises of lime, chalk, pigment, water and glue. It happens to be one of the oldest types of paint. Contemporary versions of it are in paint form, or else traditional distempers are available in powder form and need to be mixed for application on walls.

Applications, benefits and tips to consider when choosing cement paint:

  • No cracking due to sunlight

  • Can be applied on cement and rough interiors/exteriors without primers

  • A cheaper medium of paint and application

Expert tip: Head for a water-based distemper paint that gives you an excellent finish, durability

9. Speciality home paints: Lasts long, protects longer

You may have heard about antifungal, waterproofing and crack-bridging paints. There are specific types of home paints for exterior and interior walls that focus on protecting walls from climatic conditions, domestic situations and wear and tear.

From UV resistant, water-based exteriors to holistic weather protectants, speciality home paints target wall and climate concerns with aesthetic value as brownie points. Here’s a special mention to eco-friendly, healthy home paints for interiors too, that are specially designed for a safer environment without the presence of harmful chemicals and vapours.

Applications, benefits and tips to consider when choosing a speciality home paint:

  • Perfect for exteriors, buildings and weather-prone areas

  • Easy to apply and high coverage material

  • Targets specific concerns like algal issues, dust, longevity, climate etc.

  • Functional yet aesthetically pleasing

Expert tip: Here’s a range for humid and monsoon-prone areas in India that need exterior painting.

Conclusion: What are the different types of paint?

Each paint has its unique set of uses or applications. Here is a quick summary of the different types of paint and their different purposes & applications:

  • Oil paints: A resilient choice

  • Emulsions: A long-lasting beauty

  • Enamel paint: A Selective choice

  • Bituminous Paint: Water-proof choice

  • Aluminium Paint: Recommended for industrial uses

  • Cement paint: The chosen whitewash

  • Speciality paint: Lasts long, protects longer

Here are a few more handy tips to help you move a few steps further in your home improvement journey:

  • Understand the different types of wall paint & finishes for your walls

  • Tips to choose the best interior paints for your walls at home

  • Find the best exterior paints for your home

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