Paint sheen is determined by the ratio of resins and binders to pigment levels in the paint. Paints with a high level of resins/binders create a high-sheen, shiny surface, while those where the pigment levels are high, create a less reflective surface. Generally speaking, glossier paints are more durable, while flatter paints are less resilient but cover better.
Beware of lead paint! Some houses that were built before 1978 have paint on them that may contain traces of lead. Exposure to lead paint can cause anaemia, learning disabilities in children and damage to the brain and nervous system. When working on the exterior of your historic home (older than 1960), be sure that you observe the proper safety measures including:
O'Neil patches shallow holes and divots with Ready Patch because it dries fast, sands smooth, and stays flexible. Deep cracks and rotten spots are best repaired with two-step epoxies, such as those made by Advanced Repair Technology. (For a step-by-step instructions, see Repairing Rot with Epoxy.) The days of using polyester auto-body fillers on wood are over. "They cure too hard," says Portland, Oregon–based painting contractor Kathleen George. "They look good at first, but then they peel away."
Glossy finish paints also may be a logical choice where an exterior will need to be washed frequently, such as in a climate where wind-blown dust is a problem, or in a home where active kids may soil the siding. But the reflective shininess will also spotlight every bump and imperfection, so for most people, they are not a good choice for large areas of the siding.
Give your fireplace mantle an accent paint color, as this adds a quick update without having to tear anything out. In the kitchen, give your cabinets a new look with a douse of kitchen cabinet paint for an affordable and satisfying update. Countertop paint makes kitchen countertops look new again. You can do it yourself with a countertop paint kit in less than a weekend. A worn-out bathtub can look new with a coating of bathtub paint. Even your tiles can get a refresh or touch up, try tile paint on your backsplash or shower. Pro-tip: Use semi-gloss paint for kitchens and bathrooms as they wipe down easily.