Atlanta painter offers tips for picking the right paint
Brothers Roberto and Miguel Castillo founded Castle Painting in 2001. Two years later, they moved to Atlanta and expanded into remodeling, where they now have 40 employees. At the same time, Miguel's new wife, Laura, became co-owner and has run the office ever since.
How do I know what's the right paint for my home?
"You need to think about things such as washability and the condition of your walls. The shinier the paint, the more the flaws in the wall will stick out. If it's a room with a lot of water, like a bathroom, there's water-resistant paint. If it's an enclosed room, you want mildew-resistant paint. And if people have allergies, they'd want paint low in volatile organic compounds [VOCs.]
"If you're upgrading your paint, you should go to latex. The laws are changing, and oil-based paints are going to be a lot more restricted in the next few years, because they're more toxic. In the past, latex didn't hold up as well as oil-based paints, but latex has really gotten more durable in recent years.
"Paint is available in different sheens, starting with the least shiny and going to the shiniest: Flat, matte, eggshell, satin, semigloss, gloss and high-gloss. The higher the sheen, the more durable it is, and the more you can wash and scrub it. But the shinier it is, the more flaws you'll notice. Everywhere there's a nail or a place where pieces of Sheetrock meet will stand out. And it's harder to touch up.
"Any room where water might hit the wall, you want at least an eggshell sheen, since you'll be cleaning it a lot. If it's a bedroom where people aren't going to touch up the walls a lot, you want a flat paint. There's been a lot of advancements in paints recently. In my own home, I use a new matte-finish paint that's completely washable and water-resistant. But it's typically more expensive no matter which brand you choose.
"When you're getting ready to have your home painted, clean the walls as much as possible. Make sure it's free from any dust, dirt or food. Prime any oily or dark spots. Carefully decide which walls you want to keep paintings on, then patch up the rest of the nail holes.
"If you have an old home with lead paint, your painter will need to take additional precautions. It's okay to paint over lead paint, but if there's any sanding involved, they need to use careful precautions and a HEPA vacuum that sucks all the dust out of the air.
"Low-VOC paint releases very few toxins into the air as it dries. People with asthma are more sensitive to these toxins. Low-VOC paint isn't any different in quality from regular paint, but it costs more. Overall, paint is much less toxic than it used to be."