The importance of using good quality paint.

Paint has been around for years, with a form of paint first being invented in 1718 and early cavemen using their own kind of paint for cave paintings hundreds of years ago. Paint has evolved over the years in texture and quality and there is a distinct difference between good quality paint and lower quality paint. We will look at how and why good quality paint is created and why we use it.

Firstly, why do we paint?

A lot of people paint for pleasure, that is, in the form of paintings and art pieces. Painting our homes and buildings, however, has a more practical or functional purpose. Paint allows you to change the look of a building through colour – a simple lick of paint in a fresh new colour can do wonders for the appearance of a building. Paint allows you to modernise older buildings, enhance the colour of dimly lit rooms or make larger rooms feel more homely with a warm colour. Certain colours make you feel calm and relaxed, while others bring about a sense of joy and positivity.

The main reason for which we paint buildings is to protect the building. A layer or two of paint protects the exterior and interior of a building from elements such as water penetration, wind, UV rays, stains, dirt, mould and the degradation of bricks and plaster. The level of protection obviously depends on the quality of the paint used, which is why it is critical to choose your paint carefully, to protect the surface of your building for a longer timeframe.

What is paint made up of?

Just like baking a good cake, paint is made up of the perfect combination of ingredients in order to bind it properly. Paint is formed through the use of the components: pigment, extender, binder, solvent/water and additives.

Pigment: The purpose of pigment is to add colour, opacity, and durability to the paint.

Extender: Extender is added to increase the body of the paint, to make more of the paint, as well as to enhance the opacity of the paint.

Binder: The glue that binds the pigment and extender together for adhesion to the surface.  It also affects the durability of the paint.

Solvent/water: This component adjusts the viscosity making for a smoother application by controlling the flow of the paint.

Additives: These are added as finishing touches to the paint to assist with drying and settling and to prevent skinning of the paint.

All of these elements, like the ingredients in a cake, are important components and leaving one out, would be like forgetting to add the flour or milk.

What makes up a good quality paint?

The difference between good quality paint and low-quality paint is the amount of each of the above components that go into it. For example, a good quality paint will have a higher mix of pigment and binder, than a lower quality paint. The pigment is what gives paint its UV resistance and durability, enabling the paint to last longer and fade slower.

A good quality paint mix will consist of:

  • Pigment: 20%
  • Extender: 20%
  • Binder: 40%
  • Solvent: 15%
  • Additive: 5%

Higher quality paint is not porous, which means that water does not absorb into the paint and simply runs off the paint. With lower quality paint, the water absorbs quickly into the porous paint which will result in bubbling and peeling in no time at all.

A higher percentage of pigment and binder in the paint causes the price to increase, however, the long-lasting effect of the paint outweighs the cost of having to repaint more often with lower quality paint.

It is worth investing in a higher quality paint, simply because you will need to repaint less frequently than with lower quality paint. It protects the building more efficiently, causing less damage to your structure.

There is a time and place for cheaper paints. For instance, if you are building a boundary wall where moisture is inevitable, a cheaper, more porous paint would work better, allowing the substrate to breathe.

We advise our clients to chat with us first before choosing paint yourself, in order to get the right paint mix for your needs and budget. We look forward to working on your next project with you.