Techniques > Systems > Finishes > NPS Preservation Brief 28 Painting Historic Interiors >

Types of Modern Paint

 

 

 

Oilbased/alkyd

Nonvolatile oils and resins, with thinners. (Alkyds are synthetic, gelatinous resins compounded from acids and alcohol.) Accept almost any type of coloring/hiding pigments. For use on interior wood and metal.

Acrylic waterborne paints (latex)

Suspension of acrylic or polyvinyl resins in water, with other resins, plus hiding and coloring pigments and extenders. Dries by evaporation. Commercially produced acrylic or latex enamels are also available in a complete range of gloss levels which are produced with the addition of various acrylic polymers. Use on interior plaster especially.

Enamels

Modern alkyd paints are adjusted with the addition of synthetic varnishes to produce a complete range of gloss levels.

Metal finishes

Paints marketed for use on metals, can either be alkyd, latex, or epoxy based, or combinations. The primers used for metals are formulated with rustinhibiting ingredients.

Special finishes

Finishes such as urethane and epoxy-based paints, marketed for very high gloss surface treatments.

Finally, decorative paint work in an historic interior — whether simple or high style — is well worth preserving or restoring, and when such fancy work is being undertaken, traditional tools should always be used. To simplify by using shortcut methods or rejecting painted decoration is indeed to dismiss or skew history as well as to lose the enjoyment of a true historic finish.

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