Choose from historical hues for period homes; sleek chalky finishes that stand up to the rigours of modern life; or new formulas designed to suit all surfaces. By understanding the product you can unleash all the design possibilities of paint that make it such a tempting medium.
Today, it is increasingly easy to source ecologically sound paints, as most specialist ranges, such as Ecos, Earthborn, Georgina Barrow and Auro are available via mail order. There is a wealth of colour options in these pre-mixed ranges that include lush shades and muted palettes, reflecting their natural ingredients. Ecos continues to lead the field. It has recently developed Atmosphere Purifying Paint, which absorbs and neutralises volatile chemicals, solvents and VOCs from the atmosphere in a home.
Even if you don't need to apply a coat of primer before your new coats of paint, doing so will always save you money. Whether you use white or tinted primer, a coat of primer is always more cost effective for one simple reason: It is cheaper! In fact, primer may cost as little as half as much as standard paint. If you get it tinted the same as your paint, then it is cheaper by the coat. If you use white, as in the first scenario above, it will also minimize the number of coats of paint you have to apply. Either way it reduces how much paint you have to buy. Do you want to learn more about maximizing your paint color coverage, minimizing your paint usage, optimizing coats, and perfecting your primer?
"Boxing" is a good method of mixing paints. Since paint is a mixture of solids and liquids, it is important that it be mixed thoroughly before using. To do this, the greater portion of the liquid contents of the can should be poured in a clean bucket somewhat larger than the paint can. Then, with a stiff paddle, the settled pigment in the original container should be loosened and any lumps broken up. After this, mix the material in the container thoroughly, using a figure 8 motion, and follow with a lifting and beating motion. Continue stirring the mixture vigorously while slowly adding the liquid that was previously poured off the top. Complete the mixing by pouring the paint back and forth from one container to the other several times until the entire amount is of uniform consistency.
The leading brands now flag up paints with lower VOCs and produce paints that are virtually odour-free - the Breatheasy range by Crown is one example. Most leading brands now produce high-quality water-based acrylic paints which outperform the older technologies of vinyl and oils.
Ecological Paint. The "organic" paint brands, such as Ecos, which emerged in the late 1980s, heralded a new era of odourless paints, free of solvents and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and paved the way for other companies' environmentally safe formulas. Following European legislation, the first stage in lowering the solvent content in paints and varnishes is set to come into force in 2007.
Reading: To read well, a child needs to have developed the ability to notice the separate sounds in words. He also needs to be able to recognise similarities and differences in how words sound (eg: rhyming words or words that sound the same but have different meanings). Trying to learn these in a formal setting is daunting and removes the chance of the child feeling that he can take ownership of words; instead he feels that words are foist upon him and outside of his control.