Are you planning to change the colour of your rooms? 

Or make the ambience of your exterior more appealing, soothing, and cool in the eyes? 

There are a lot of things you should consider!

The quality of your finish is dependent on how well you prepare - the substrate, the paint you choose, the tools you use & even the timescale you have to give the project. Painting is more complicated than you can expect. Various factors need to be considered include the mixture of the paint, the status of the substrate, and even, for exterior jobs, the weather conditions!

If this is your first do-it-yourself venture in decorating, it can become daunting as you come across terminologies and jargon in your research. This article will try to clarify some of the noise and help get you started. 

Where to start?

To kick things off, you need to understand that there are three important layers and steps in painting: priming, base/under coats and top coating.   

Priming is the process of preparing your substrate to a certain quality that is conducive for the paint to look beautiful. 

There are various types of substrates: wood, aluminium, metal, concrete, synthetic vinyl, and plastic. Each substrate has its defects and curing conditions which are important to take note of in painting various substrates. 

Typically, it takes one to three days for the paint to cure. The duration depends on what type of paint is used: oil-based or water-based and of course of the condition of the substrate. 

Oil-based paints take longer to cure, while water-based are easily ready, normally in just a few hours. Nonetheless, the important thing to take note of is that you will  need to consider the different types of paints and substrates you are working with as each will yield different results. 

It is in the process of priming the substrate that the base coat is included. Understanding that different types of paints and substrates will generate varying results, painters make it a point to make the substrate as clean as possible. 

By clean, we mean making sure there are no crevices, cracks or even dents to the surface.  This will ensure that once the coats are applied, the finish is clean, sleek and beautiful. 

In ensuring that these defects are addressed, putties are used to fill holes and sanding is completed to level out any imperfections, making the paint adhere to the surface better. Once the putty is applied all imperfections are addressed, it is time to apply the base coat. 


What is a base coat?

The base coat is the first layer of paint applied to the surface after the primer, it provides the base colour, complexion and usually influences the finish of the topcoat. 

Typically, base coats do not use a gloss finish. As the base paint, they are usually matt finish, easily changeable and available in various types colours. Aside from the protective role of base coats over the substrate, base coats also allow for the periodic refurbishing of rooms and buildings. 

The better the base coat is, the easier it is to apply and change the colours of the top coat over time. In addition, base coats determine the type of colours and finish for the topcoat and clear coat. Of course, colour matching is essential to create a great finish & are essential in delivering a depth of colour


Colours To Choose - Basecoat

In choosing the right colour, there are various mixes to choose from. A general rule of thumb followed in the industry is to make the base coat as light as possible. This is to make it easier to adjust the topcoat and offers more flexibility based on the needs and preferences of the homeowner. 

In building establishments, it is mostly recommended to make the base coat as bright as possible. Dark colours are fine, but they can be heavy in the eyes and make a room dark and gloomy.  Make sure you consider the size of the room, the light & how it travels throughout the day, the artificial lighting you have available and the overall mood/ambience you are trying to create.  You can never go wrong with white. It is a base colour that is flexible and can be partnered with any finish. 

Yellow and other pastel colours are also great, especially if you are going for a more appealing, light and vibrant feel. Using pastel colours also works as they provide a suitable setup for pastel finishes. Consider that pastel finishes and base coats have a flat finish and the topcoat can be adjusted to a semi to a glossy finish, if this is the effect you wish to have.

The big downside with lighter and pastel colour base coats you need to consider is that they do not hide the imperfections of the wall as well. A few months or years, and those dents and bumps will start to come through. 

This is where darker colours come in. 

Dark base coats will unsurprisingly have a dark finish. It should be obvious that the darker your base coat, the harder it will be to add a lighter finish on top - dark base coats overshadow the top coats making the finish poor in quality. 

Typically, dark base coats are used in exterior settings. They are less prone to dilapidation and can provide a more architectural and aesthetic feel as the layout and structure of establishments become more pronounced and distinct. This does not mean that it cannot be used in interiors; in fact, dark base cots are often used in borderlines or to hide dents and crevices which cannot be fixed.

To Summarise

In painting houses or refurbishment projects, choosing the right base coat is essential. 

Aside from the usual fixing of dents and crevices, base coats also determine the type and quality of the finish of the wall. 

Be mindful of the properties of the base and top coats you chose - the right choices can often save you time, energy & provide a longer shelf life of that decorated wall.  It also helps easier refurbishments in the future.

Visit our website for a range of tools & solutions to assist you in your next home project. If you have any questions about which tools you need, call us for more information!

September 07, 2021 — Smarter Media