Tag Archive for: paint


There is nothing like a quality paint job on an exterior to add visual appeal, protection and value to the home.  Painting a home’s exterior takes time and consideration, particularly when it comes to choosing outdoor paint.  It is not just the color that needs careful consideration.  The quality of the outdoor paint will make a substantial difference in its durability and its ability to keep the color fresh and new-looking after several years of exposure to the elements.  Homeowners in harsh and extreme weather conditions such as in the New England states must pay particular attention to the quality of the exterior paint.

When it comes to outdoor paint prices, it is a bad decision to purchase the cheapest paint available, even if the color is perfect.  The pricier paint is actually formulated differently than the cheap brands.  The higher price is due to the cost of the premium ingredients used in manufacturing the paint.

Any home improvement store, large or small, will offer a massive array of outdoor paint colors.  The brands they stock will differ, however.  Some will offer Behr or Olympic; others Valspar, Glidden or Dutch Boy.  Sherwin-Williams has its own chain of retail stores.  Following are the top three outdoor paint brands used and recommended by professional painting contractors.

I just want to make a clear indication that these remarks are only a matter of our own opinions and not off of facts from the manufacturers.

Sherwin-Williams Duration

This brand is the most highly recommended paint of professional home remodeling contractors.  Duration is their swpaintcantop-of-the-line.  Contractors prefer it, even though it is a bit pricey with prices ranging from $60 per gallon and lower, the quality of its one-coat coverage and excellent formulation is unmatchable.  The cost per gallon is definitely offset by the savings in labor and quantity of paint required for the job. I’ll have you agree with me on a couple details:

  • Does it make sense to save time and paint once? Yes.
  • Would you save money in the end because you don’t have to do multiple coatings? Yes, because multiple coatings means more paint, which equals more money.
  • Do you want your home to look nice? Well, duh!

The solution is to simply purchase a higher quality paint that will out-perform your expectations and give you that dreamy look you’ve been looking for.

Homeowners in New England with its extreme climate can turn to the professionals at United Home Experts who highly recommend and use Sherwin-Williams outdoor paint for all the reasons mentioned here.

Benjamin Moore Aura

Benjamin Moore’s answer to Sherwin-Williams Duration is its Aura line of paint. These two would be close picks duration homeof professional painting contractors if it were not for the price difference.

Valspar DuraMax

It is a far less expensive exterior paint at $33 to $35 per gallon. It claims to be self-priming and is said that it requires only one coat for good coverage. Some homeowners give Valspar DuraMax a high rating, though most professional home remodeling contractors shy away from the big box house brands. In my own experience of painting my own home and many relatives’ homes, many of these lower priced paints do not perform well enough to meet my expectations and require multiple coatings.

Do not be fooled by the price; expensive paints are worth their salt because they are genuinely higher quality, so if the price seems too low to be true, it is almost certain that the quality has suffered.

It must be noted that Sherwin-Williams Duration and Benjamin Moore’s Aura are the top-of-the-line paint formulations for both paint manufacturers, with Sherwin-Williams offering excellent quality at a more competitive price than Benjamin Moore.  The companies also offer a range of quality paints at many price levels.

Homeowners thinking about repainting the exterior of their homes should bear all these facts in mind.  It does appear that the more expensive paint can actually saves them money in the long run.  Whether handling a massive exterior paint job themselves or hiring a contractor to get the job done, it would be wise to seek the advice of professionals like those at United Home Experts. For our main painting page, click here!


Oil-based paints have excellent qualities of adherence, which is essential for a durable outdoor paint product.  Their main disadvantage is brittleness that can lead to cracking.

Even with this drawback, oil-based outdoor paint is the desired formulation under two circumstances.  The first has to do with an exterior surface that is heavy with chalking.  The second issue crops up when the new oil-based paint is being applied over four or more layers of old oil-based paint.  In both instances, only the oil-based paint should be used.

Oil-based paints should never be applied directly to unpainted masonry or galvanized iron.  The paint fails rapidly on these surfaces.

Any messes incurred with oil-based paints demand that they be cleaned up with paint thinner and rags.  The brushes and rollers must also be soaked in thinner until completely free of paint in order to be reused.  Unlike water, paint thinner has a very strong odor and the thinner-soaked rags used for cleanup must be properly disposed of as paint thinner is highly flammable.

Repainting an exterior requires much research into the outdoor paint type and color as the project will make asherwinwilliamspaintbrushca significant dent in the budget.  The results must not only be visually appealing, but that visual appeal must last a long time so the process does not have to be repeated in a few years.  Choosing the right type of paint for the job may be the most important consideration of all in terms of durability.

The New England states are fortunate to have a rich mix of historical homes, traditional homes and homes featuring the most modern designs and amenities.  Homeowners there need professional advice before considering repainting their exterior.  Here at United Home Experts, our team can advise you on the nature of their existing surface and how to properly deal with it.

For more detailed information and free estimates, contact the United Home Experts. For our main painting page, click here!

Every eight to ten years, the exterior of a home needs to be painted.  A house requires paint for a variety of reasons.  One reason can be aesthetics.  The old paint job is simply looking shabby, making the home look old, rundown and as if it is not being properly cared for.

But there is also another reason for painting: paint protects a home.  Wood and other materials need a coat of paint to protect them from the damaging aspects of the elements.  With regular and proper painting, a home can last for hundreds of years.

Painting a home is a big job that most homeowners would rather give to qualified professionals, but knowing how the process works can aid in the decision-making process.  The following outdoor painting tips are intended to make the homeowner’s job easier, smoother, and more long-lasting.

  1. Start by investing in top-quality equipment. This means spending the extra few cents for top-of-the-line paintrollerwhite-resized-600rollers and paint brushes.  Use high grade paint as well. Using high grade supplies and tools will result in a faster and better job. Remember, a workman is only as good as his tools.  A homeowner cannot expect to get superior results using inferior tools or supplies.
  2. Spring or fall are usually the best times of the year for outdoor painting. Do not paint if temperatures are below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or above 80 degrees. Try not to paint in high wind or in direct sunlight if possible. Too much direct sun can cause paint to dry too quickly, which can cause wrinkling and even cracking and flaking. If possible, plan paint jobs to “follow the shade.”
  3. Don’t skimp on time. Painting even a medium-size house is a huge undertaking – perhaps several weeks or even months. And keep in mind that the painting itself is actually less than half the job. Most of the homeowner’s time will be spent preparing the house to be painted. Preparation is the key.
  4. Wash the house. Use a power washer if possible, but the homeowner needs to take his or her time and cleanpowerwashing the house of all dirt, oil, grease, grime and mildew. This should include a detergent and hand scrubbing (using a nylon brush) of any stubborn areas. Plants should be protected from detergents and soaps by plastic drop-cloths.
  5. Repair areas that have become damaged in any way. If possible, discern the reason for the damage and solve the underlying problem, or the damage may simply repeat itself in a short time. Scrape and/or use a wire brush on any spots where old paint is flaking, blistering or peeling. A wire brush attachment for an electric drill can speed this process considerably. Sand areas that are peeling or flaking, getting down to raw wood whenever possible. As much old paint as possible, particularly lose old paint, must be removed before applying new paint.
  6. Lay in a supply of blue painter’s tape. This is the tape the homeowner applies to both certain parts of the woodwork as well as to the edges of windows and other areas on which the homeowner does not want the primary color of paint applied. When the blue tape is removed, following the final coat of the primary color, the area under the tape is paint-free and the special blue painter’s tape does not leave adhesive behind on the unpainted surfaces.While a homeowner may wish to choose an oil-based paint under some circumstances, most homeowners opt instead for a good grade latex paint. Latex protects as well as oil-based paints but latex paints go on smoother and easier and clean up with soap and water.
  7. Homeowners should always use the best quality paint that is consistent with their budget. The reason is swpaintcansimple. Lower-quality paints almost always take more coats to provide the same level of protection. The last thing a homeowner wants is for an undercoat to bleed through the final coat of a new color.
  8. Bleed through can be averted by painting a primer coat before apply the final color. A primer is a light-colored (often white) lesser-quality paint designed to cover the old color, at least primarily. It is acceptable for the old color to show through the primer to some extent, since the final paint will be applied over the primer coat.  Applying a primer coat requires the home to be prepped first and entails a large amount of work, time and expense.

However, applying a primer coat can be worth the time and the expense, especially when radically changing the color of a house and there is the possibility that the old paint will show through the new paint. It is less expensive to apply a coat of primer and then a coat of the more expensive paint, and it is also cost effective to put on one primer coat and two additional coats of more expensive paint as opposed to three coats of the more expensive paint.

As alluded to earlier, quality tools make all the difference. When painting a home’s exterior the homeowner should purchases the following, at a minimum:

  • Nylon/polyester brushes if using latex paint – natural bristle brushes if using oil-based paint. At a minimum, a homeowner should purchase a 4-inch brush and a 2-and-a-half-inch brush. Never dip a brush all the way into paint. Load a brush only half way with paint and then scrape the brush on the side of the paint can to remove excess paint before applying paint in a long, slow stroke. Practice will allow the homeowner to apply an even coat of paint without visible brush strokes.
  • Two different-sized rollers, one 7-inch roller and one 4-in roller should allow for the fast application of paint in any area. The smaller roller is often useful in applying paint to siding.
  • “Cutting in” refers to using a paint brush to paint an area about 4-inches wide around corners and anywhere a roller cannot paint. Only cut in a relatively small area before covering the rest of an area with a roller as it is best to roller over cut-in paint that is still wet.

These basic tips help to give a sense of all that is required to repaint the exterior of a home. Homeowners who AndersenExterior-04-075-resized-600decide that painting a home is beyond their skill level, or for homeowners who simply wish to have a professional do the job, the qualified staff at United Home Experts have years of experience. They can paint a home quickly and they clean up after themselves completely, do everything quickly and also provide a written guarantee.

Repainting a home not only enhances the home’s appearance and increases its value, a new-looking home also gives a homeowner a sense of pride of ownership which few other things in this world can match.

First-time homeowners should not attempt to paint the exterior of their homes by themselves. For more detailed information and free estimates, contact the United Home Experts. For our main painting page,click here!


Is It Time to Repaint the Outside of The House?

The outside of a home is one of the first things guests see when they come for a visit, and it might be the only part of the home that people passing on the street might see. As they say, first impressions are everything, so homeowners will most certainly want to make sure that their homes look their best from the outside.

Repainting outdoors can have a very dramatic effect on a home’s curb appeal. Many people live in a house for years without ever refreshing the paint on the outside – either because they don’t think it needs it, or because they don’t know the best way to go about it. The fact is, though, that there are some times when the outside of a house really needs to be repainted.

If the exterior paint is stained, chipped or fading, paint repair is definitely in order. Exterior paint damage can lead 2to further damage to the home’s wood structure, and even internal damage to the home itself. Faulty paint can ultimately lead to a number of more serious issues for homeowners. Anyone who is unsure of whether the outside of their house needs to be repainted or not should consult with the professionals at United Home Experts.

Tips for Repainting the Home’s Exterior

After the decision is made to repaint the exterior of the home, the first thing many homeowners will want to do is pick a color for the exterior. Sherwin-Williams has a wide variety of outdoor paints that come in a number of different colors. All these color choices can be daunting for the inexperienced home remodeler. Again, a meeting with the United Home Experts should help any homeowner clarify their home’s needs.

Before repainting, the surface will need to be brushed free of dirt and debris, smoothed, and primed. In addition to paint colors, Sherwin-Williams has a good selection of exterior paint primers that can be tinted to match whatever shade is chosen for the job. Before priming is done, however, it will be necessary to remove any existing paint on the exterior surface of the house.

The homeowner will also need to make determinations regarding how they want to be apply the paint. Brushes are better for small detail work, while sprayers are obviously better for larger surfaces.  Rollers can also be useful for outdoor painting because they come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

There are many more things that need to be taken into consideration before a repainting effort is made. Somepaintrollerwhite-resized-600 seasons of the year are better than others for painting outdoors. Fall, for example, is a great time for painting outside because the paint needs outside dry time to cure. Rain and humidity should be avoided at all costs. Also, there is the issue of whether or not the homeowner knows how to add aluminum wedges to improve air circulation to prevent moisture problems.

First-time homeowners should not attempt to paint the exterior of their homes by themselves. For more detailed information and free estimates, contact the United Home Experts. For our main painting page,click here!


Is It Time to Repaint?

There is nothing quite as important to a home’s interior decorating scheme as indoor paint. Repainting a room can have a dramatic effect on the overall appearance and feel of a home. Many people live in a house for years without ever repainting indoors  –  either because they just don’t think it needs it, or because they don’t know the best way to do it.

When is the best time to repaint? It really depends on the individual and the situation. If interior paint is stained, chipped or fading, it is definitely time to consider a change. But what if the interior paint isn’t damaged in some way? How can the informed homeowner know when it is time (and when it is not) to repaint?

Quite simply, if the paint color on the walls is beginning to look dull or boring or (even worse) is getting on the PeelingPainthomeowner’s last nerve, this is a very good indication that a change in color is in order. If the home is going to put on the market in the very near future, a fresh coat of paint can enhance the presentation of the house and make it that much easier to sell. Basically, the decision for such a change in the event that no actual paint damage has occurred is up to the individual homeowner. Anyone who is unsure of whether they need to repaint their home would do well to consult with the professionals at United Home Experts.

How to Repaint

After the decision is made to repaint indoors, the first thing that will need to be decided upon is the color of the room or the section to be painted. Many people stick with either white or off-white because they become too nervous about painting their space a color they will end up hating. This is really an unnecessary worry because repainting is not a very difficult task. Again, speaking with the United Home Experts should put any fears to rest.

Paint texture should also be taken into consideration. For example, flat paints work best on ceilings where there is gallery01-resized-600not as much risk of staining and less gloss is desired. High gloss paints work best in children’s rooms and other high traffic areas because they are easier to clean and more stain-resistant. Sherwin-Williams has an amazing selection of paints of various styles in many different shades, and most of these can be custom made according to the homeowners’ desires.

Before repainting, the surface will need to be sanded, smoothed, and primed. Sherwin-Williams also has a variety of indoor primers that can be tinted to match whatever shade is chosen for the job.  The homeowner will also need to make determinations regarding how they want the paint to be applied. Brushes are better for small detail work, while rollers and sprayers are obviously better for larger surfaces.

There are several other things that need to be taken into consideration before a repainting effort is made. Some PaintPreparationseasons of the years are better than others. Also, homeowners will have to make determinations as to whether they want to remove furniture completely (if repainting whole rooms) or just shift it from one part of the room to another (if repainting only a section). These questions and many more can be answered by the United Home Experts. For our main painting page, click here!


Sun, rain, snow, and ice. Everyone knows that these adverse weather conditions can cause damage to human skin. That’s why there are things available to protect against these things, such as sunscreen, umbrellas, winter coats, and gloves. What most people may not realize, however, is that they need to protect the outsides of their homes from these weather conditions, just as they would need to protect themselves if they were going outside.

Think of it this way. Humans expose themselves to weather conditions for a certain amount of time before they go inside to get out of the cold, heat, or dampness. The exteriors of their homes do not have this luxury. Day in and day out, homes that are treated with exterior paint face the harsh realities of unpredictable weather. For this reason, it is necessary for homeowners to check the condition of their outside paint at least once a year. Chipped, cracking, or peeling paint exposes the wood to the elements as well, and this can cause serious damage to a home’s structure.

One of the things to look for is fading paint. Are there areas where the exterior paint is lighter than it is in other places? These lighter segments are the trouble spots. Paint fade is an indication that the wood is not being protected.

Also, look for signs of 2something called “alligatoring.” This is what happens when the paint starts puckering, wrinkling, and overall just looking like the skin on an alligator. This is a sign that water is getting through and penetrating the surface of the paint.  When this is discovered, it’s important to repaint immediately to avoid any further damage.

In selecting a paint to use for exterior paint protection and repair, it is important to make the choice with an eye toward paint protection. First, it will be necessary to pressure wash any areas to be painted in order to get rid of all the damaged
paint and debris. Complete this step a few days in advance to give the wood enough time to dry.

Next, the wood will need to be primed. Sherwin-Williams Wood Primer is highly recommended, in either the oil-based or latex versions. The oil-based primer is better for areas that are prone to staining. The latex version is best for wetter areas, where mildew is a concern. Either type of primer can be tinted to match the color of the paint to be used.

After the primer is applied, it is time to paint. Two coats of very high quality latex paint like Sherwin-Williams’ A-3100(R) Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint should be used. This kind of paint is affected less by the sun’s ultraviolet rays than are other types of paint.  It also adheres well to all wood surfaces and is less likely to experience blistering or puckering in wet conditions. It is a flexible, mildew-resistant paint that expands and contracts in relation to temperature changes to prevent paint cracking and peeling.

As soon as the first signs of fading paint and cracked surfaces appear, contact the professionals at United Home Experts. They carry a wide selection of paints and can give you more detailed advice on selecting the best paint protection for your home.

Preparing a surface for paint makes the difference between a quality, lasting exterior and a shoddy one.  The result of an unattractive, short-lived painted exterior is not the fault of the paint itself but rather the failure of the paint to adhere to the surface.  The paint had no chance of adhesion because it was applied over a dirty, greasy, peeling surface.

Before starting preparation, a major consideration in preparing and painting an exterior surface is when the work should be done.  When painting an exterior, the temperature of the surface to be painted should be greater than 50°F and less than 90°F.  This means that homeowners in areas of the country such as New England have a rather slim window of opportunity to carry out the exterior paint preparation and repainting project.

Preparing the Environment for Exterior Paint Preparation

Surrounding landscape plantings, barbecue grills and other nearby objects must be protected from paint chips and PaintPreparationspatters as well as the chemicals in cleaning solutions and paint strippers:

  1. Turn off all electrical power and gas fuel suppliers that connect to outside objects.
  2. Cover them with canvas.
  3. Pull any tall bushes near the home away from the structure with ties.   Stake the ties so that the foliage does not touch any exterior surface.
  4. Remove exterior fixtures such as lighting, mailboxes and shutters.
  5. Patch, repair and repaint any trim that is to be reaffixed to the home’s exterior when the new paint is dry.

Removing Loose Paint

This chore will always include hand scraping and sanding.  A power washer can also be used, but should only be PaintScrapeoperated by an experienced operator, as this tool can cause serious damage to an exterior if misused.

 On a dry surface, beginning with the loosest part of the peeling paint, scrape it off using one tool or a combination of a paint scraper, putty knife, heat gun, sandpaper and sanding block.  On wood siding in particular, careful attention must be paid when scraping with any tool to avoid gouging the wood.

Sanding the Surface

Once all loose paint is gone, the surface must be sanded wherever the paint was removed, blending the harder edges with the sandpaper to make the surface as smooth as possible.

Cleaning the Surface

Now that all the scraping, sanding and environmental protection has taken place, it is time to thoroughly wash PowerWashingthe exterior.

Remove screens, storm doors and windows and whatever is not to be painted.

With a solution of TSP and water, thoroughly wash the exterior with either a power washer set to the lowest pressure or a hose with a car wash brush attachment. Work from the top down.  Rinse each cleansed section as completed with clean water.

At this point, homeowners residing in the New England states with the short span of weather conditions conducive to the proper paint preparation and repainting might want to consider getting help for this extensive project.  The professional, experienced home remodeling team at United Home Experts has been doing quality work in the New England area to the satisfaction of many homeowners.

The Final Paint Preparation Stage:  Drying and Caulking

  • If the paint to be applied is latex, allow the exterior to dry at least a day.
  • If it is an oil-based paint, allow at least a week before painting.
  • Caulk any gaps around windows, doors, between siding, moldings; anywhere moisture can seep in.

With completion of these steps in paint preparation, the exterior paint that is finally applied will have a smooth, attractive appearance and will keep that look for many years with minimal maintenance.


When it comes to interior decorating, one of the most important questions any homeowner or designer can ask is, “How should I paint the inside of my home?” Indoor paint adds depth and character to walls and ceilings and changes the atmosphere of any overall living or working space. For this reason, it is important to know how to select the best indoor paint for your purposes.

Use flat (matte) paint for ceilings. One of the best reasons to use flat paint is that it readily adheres to rough surfaces. Because it adheres so well and is non-reflective, it tends to minimize imperfections, whereas glossy paints highlight imperfections.

Have a textured ceiling that needs to be covered over? Flat paint can help with that. It actually decreases the amount of texture that is present, giving a smooth, finished look than can instantly update a room’s style.

It should be noted that flat paint is very hard to clean and tends to attract dirt and stains more than glossier paints do. Flat paint, then, is perfect for use on ceilings because stains are less likely to occur there.

Satin and eggshell paint is optimal for dens, adult bedrooms and other areas children don’t usually frequent. Both swpaintcansatin and eggshell paints are good choices for these areas because they are much easier to clean than the matte version of indoor paint. Satin finish works best on walls because it is more reflective, while eggshell works better on ceilings because it does not emit as much glare.

Eggshell paint is slightly more difficult to clean than satin paint, and it is not as readily available. It should be noted that neither of these types of paint will hold up to any serious scrubbing.

Semi-gloss paint for family rooms, children’s bedrooms, and window and doorway trims. This type of paint is perfect for very high traffic areas because it is very resistant to dirt, grease, and grime. It is also very easy to clean, more durable, and comes in more color varieties than the other types of indoor paint; however it also costs more than the other types, with the exception of high-gloss paint, which is the most duration homeexpensive paint type as well as the most difficult to find.

Gloss paint for bathrooms, kitchens, and other highly humid areas. This paint is very useful in areas that are prone to moisture and staining. It is even more durable, dirt-resistant, and easy to clean than its semi-gloss cousin. It does, however, tend to show more imperfections than any other of the indoor paint types, so walls should be very carefully sanded down before the paint is applied.

All of these paints come in a variety of colors, although some (especially the glossier paints) tend to be offered in more color choices than others (especially the flat paint).  Sherwin-Williams has a wide variety of all of these types of paint, available at a great value to the consumer. Whether the desired paint type or paint color is decided upon first, individuals should consult with the professionals at United Home Experts for more ujwkmam6detailed recommendations.


A correct and thorough preparation of a home’s interior will help ensure a quality, long-lasting paint job.  Proper paint preparation will also help avoid messes and mistakes that could be time-consuming and expensive to clean up.  Interior painting preparation is actually more tedious and takes more time than applying the paint. For good advice and a quote on contracting the job out, homeowners in the New England states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island can depend on the professionals at United Home Experts. Following are some of their useful tips for interior paint preparation.

The first step in interior paint preparation is to clear the room of light furniture and any decorative items.  Remove everything from the walls, including heating vent covers and electrical faceplates.  Cover switches and receptacles with painters’ tape.  It is also beneficial to remove hardware such as knobs, handles and locks from doors and windows, or at least mask them off with painters’ tape.

Heavy furniture should be pushed into the center of the room and covered with a plastic sheet, with a canvas SWPaintCandrop-cloth on top of that.  Should a light fixture be immovable, wrap it carefully with plastic.  A garbage bag serves this purpose well.

Wallpaper in good condition can be painted over.  Wallpaper that is torn or pulling away from the wall must be removed.  The best way to remove wallpaper is the good, old-fashioned method of peeling off all possible paper by hand.  Any remaining shreds and paste are then sponged or mopped with very hot water until every last bit is removed.

The surface can now be prepared for the paint by a thorough sanding to ensure the wall is free of any specks of paper or paste.  Be sure to dust off any traces of the sanding as well.

Like the loose wallpaper, paint that is chipped or peeling must also be completely scraped off.  The trick here is to PaintPreparationremove the paint without gouging the wall.  A scraper with edges that can be sharpened and a stiff wire brush are good tools to use here.

If the finish on any woodwork is in poor condition, it is best to remove the paint or stain altogether with paint-stripping gel before applying new paint or stain.

Small holes and cracks in the wall from denting or nail holes must be puttied over to enable a smooth surface.  Larger holes can be made smooth with self-adhering mesh cut wider than the hole.  To do this, cut two pieces and center the first piece over the hole.  Press it down.  Center the second piece over the hole to form an X with the first piece and again press on it.  Cover the mesh completely with putty using a putty knife.  When dry, sand the area and apply primer.

Use fine-grain sandpaper to smooth the entire surface for paint preparation.  Sanding also finely roughens the surface, allowing better paint adherence.

The final step in interior paint preparation is to vacuum the rooms to be painted and dust the surfaces of walls, ceilings and trim.  If it is a kitchen or bathroom that is being repainted, the walls must be cleaned of all grease and soap scum both before and after sanding.

Repainting an interior space can make a huge difference in its appearance and livability.  This is a big project, but the results can be amazing.  A quality paint job will also add value to the home.  Homeowners considering selling their home should keep this in mind.


There is a distinct difference between paint and wood stain in theirchemical makeup as well as the circumstances under which each should be used.  There are also at least as many differences in wood stain types as there are in types of paint.  One simple, general rule for choosing between stain and paint for covering either an exterior or interior surface is if the wood is rough-sawn, stain it; if smooth, paint it.

Like paint, wood stain can be oil-based or water-based.  Unlike paint, stain also comes in gel form.  The decision wood scapeson which one to use depends on the wood species to be stained, the space in which the work will be accomplished, and how important environmental friendliness is to the homeowner.

Oil-Based Stain

This is easy to work with as it is slow to dry.  It does require that the staining be done in a well ventilated area if the stain application is taking place in an interior space, as the vapors can be hazardous as well as flammable.

Water-Based Stain

These are more environmentally friendly and do not diffuse harmful vapors into the surroundings.  The stain color duration homeis added to a water-based solution instead of oil.  It is not nearly as flammable as the oil-based stain.  Unlike the oil-based stain, though, the water-based stain dries very quickly making it more difficult to use.  Because of the rapid drying once on the wood surface, it is not easy to achieve an even finish.  Water-based stains actually raise the wood’s grain, roughening up the surface.  One way to smooth the grain is to wash the wood with water, let it dry and sand it smooth before the water-based stain is applied.

Gel Stain

Not everyone knows about these relative newcomers to the stain and paint market.  The consistency of the gel stain is like a thick paste, so it cannot penetrate wood like the oil- and water-based stain products.  Gel stain lies on top of the wood in an even layer.  It is good for woods that have an uneven grain such as maple, where a penetrating stain might make the wood appear blotchy.  However, the gel stain will not allow the natural wood grain to show through.


Modern paints come in two varieties: oil-based and latex.  Oil-based paint is preferred for interior spaces like swpaintcankitchens and bathrooms as dirt and grease can be easily wiped off.  Latex is generally preferred for exterior painting because it weathers better than oil-based paint and is more resistant to fading and chalking.  Latex paint is preferred for all climates, but particularly for harsh climates found in all parts of the country.  Oil paint, however, is a good choice for repainting an exterior where old, brittle paint is already present on the surface of the structure.  This type of situation exists in areas such as New England, where historic homes are cherished and preserved.

The New England states of Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire are not only rife with stately historic homes but are also subject to some of the harshest weather anywhere in the country. Homeowners in these states should consult with the professionals at United Home Experts to guide them to the proper choice.

Choosing between wood stain and paint is a complex issue.  The decision depends on so many factors that conducting a thorough research involving contacting United Home Experts, home improvement stores and retail paint outlets for more information and advice before beginning a major painting or staining project would serve the homeowner well.