It is important to consider before decorating the different types of paint available when decorating. Different compositions and bases of paint will ultimately produce highly variable results. With home decorating in mind there are three major types paint that you should be aware of.
Fundamentally the addition of oils or fatty acids to water, this type of paint produces a glossy finish and has a fairly slow drying time. It is quite odorous and thick in texture and tone. Alkyd paint can be cleaned up with the application of soap and water while the paint is still wet.
Oil paints produce a lustrous and smooth finish, they tend to be highly odorous and like Alkyd can have particularly long drying times. Unlike the Alkyd this paint must be removed or cleaned up using white spirits whether it is wet or dry.
Latex paint comes in two varieties:
Acrylic sets quickly and because of the resin binders retains a certain elastic quality when dry.
Enamel dries to a harder and more resilient finish that is smooth but lacks any elasticity.
Viscosity: The density and overall thickness of the paint, often linked with the presence of solids, resins or in oil emulsifications.
Adhesion: The level at which the paint will adhere to a surface and stay fixed without blistering or cracking.
Emulsion: Indicative of the volume of solids or resins suspended in the paint and determinative of shine or finish when dry.
Sheen: Descriptive of the shine or polished effect the paint has when set. Sheen can range from Flat, Enamel, Eggshell to shinier satin, gloss and high gloss.
Curing: How the paint dries and achieves a toughed, solid finish.