...continued from previous page
Exterior Paints, Accent Colors
Draw attention to the front of the home and accent those elements that make a beautiful statement. Things like decorative support brackets, scrollwork on cornice boards, flower boxes, shutters, interesting trim along the roof-line or detailing around doors.
By Stacey Enesey Klemenc
through a neighborhood, a dazzling front door that almost seems to shine or a radiant trim that looks like it was just painted yesterday catches your eye. What makes these accent colors so vibrant?
For starters, the substrate was properly prepared before it was painted. “Preparation is vital for any paint job,” says Mary Lawlor, color design studio manager for Kelly Moore Paints. After thoroughly cleaning the surface, she recommends using a primer if it has never been painted or is in bad shape.
John Lahey, president, founder and owner of Fine Paints of Europe, the exclusive importer/distributor of Schreuder finishes in the United States, totally agrees. “The use of a correct primer is critical to providing long-lasting durability and retaining color,” he says. A high-quality primer has excellent filling and hiding properties and provides a sound foundation for the topcoat. Plus, a good undercoat prevents moisture penetration and extends the life of the paint job.
For a truer color, “Tone down that bright white,” Lawlor advises. “Use a tinted primer that is in the same color family as the accent color.” If the surface is in good shape and you’re not going for a drastic color change, a primer usually isn’t necessary.
The most brilliant accent paints are factory mixed, which tend to be more expensive than those tinted mixes created as you wait. “Factory-ground enamels contain intense levels of finely ground pigmentation. You get greatly enhanced color retention because you’re starting with a better color to begin with,” Lahey says.
“Our Hascolac enamel is a marine-quality enamel which contains no fillers or extenders. It has an incredible gloss level and great depth of color. Its primary ingredient is titanium dioxide, considered to be the most costly and best pigment available,” Lahey continues. “In other words, this meatloaf is all filet mignon.”
His company’s imported products, he admits, are not for the weak of budget. Schreuder stock colors retail for $75 per eurogallon, which normally provides the same coverage as a U.S. gallon. Custom tints cost a bit more. Unlike most domestic paints that last four or five years, this Dutch-made finish is touted to last 10 years or more.
As for color retention qualities, Lawlor says water-based products outshine their oil-based counterparts. “Most alkyds get chalky very quickly due to ultra-violet rays. Acrylics are more flexible. Alkyds allow a higher sheen but it breaks down quicker,” she says. On the other hand, she adds, “You can’t get a real high gloss with an acrylic.”
Lahey maintains his factory-ground oil-based paints have incredible color retention — “A factory-made red will retain color better than a tinted red under any circumstance,” he says — tinted waterborne products retain color better than oil-based. “Tinted oils are more prone to UV damage,” he says.
Adequate film build makes color more resilient. With the proper number of coats, you won’t get cracking and peeling, Lawlor says. As for applying accent colors, “As long as you get the proper film build on a surface, it doesn’t matter if it’s sprayed or brushed on. The main thing is not to scrimp on the paint.”
To make a really bold statement with an accent color, go for the gloss. “One way to really bring out color is to use a high-gloss paint on decorative trim to make the color look richer,” says Linda Trent, director of color marketing and design for the The Sherwin-Williams Co. “We’re seeing more high gloss in vivid colors throughout the country. Perhaps there’s not as much in the Sunbelt regions because of the glare but certainly in most other parts of the country.”