How to paint the hardest working areas of your home

  • 18/11/2020
  • Sponsored by - Resene
Resene Gravel and Resene Albescent White
Resene Gravel and Resene Albescent White

Some rooms of the house demand more from their paint jobs than others. High traffic areas and wet areas like bathrooms require special care and quality products to make sure they stay looking good for as long as possible.

Newshub looks at how you can get the best out of each area-

High traffic areas

As people move around your home and haul their belongings along with them, surfaces are susceptible to damage. High traffic areas need a durable, damage-resistant paint.

Mark Aschoff, one of Resene’s area managers, suggests using a water-based enamel for walls. "They are harder wearing and can withstand the rubbing and impacts better than a standard acrylic."

He picks Resene SpaceCote (a low sheen acrylic enamel) or Resene Room Velvet (a hybrid acrylic enamel) as two paints that are up to the task.  "Room velvet performs like a water-based paint when it's wet – it washes up in water, dries quickly and is a low sheen - but it dries to a durable enamel finish. It also doesn’t have many of the downsides of an enamel paint such as the slow drying times and the smell."

If a glossy finish is what you're after Resene's technical services manager Jeff Jurlina also recommends Lustacryl waterborne enamel. "The higher the gloss level the better the wear resistance."

If you do happen to notice nicks and scratches on the surface of these areas, Aschoff recommends filling the imperfection using a filler such as PAL contact filler or Selleys Permafill.

"Once filled, sand back to a smooth and even finish and spot prime the filler with Resene Quickdry Primer Undercoat and then apply the topcoat," he says. "Do not spot prime with the topcoat as they are finely processed and will sink into the filler and leave a flat spot. Sealers are slightly coarser and are designed to seal the filler without sinking into it."

If it’s a wall you’re repairing, don’t be tempted to dab the top coat over just the damaged part. "It’s always best to apply a full topcoat from corner to corner and top to bottom as touch-ups are usually visible on an already painted wall," Aschoff says.

Ensure your top coat matches the existing colour and gloss finish and is applied with the same tool to replicate the original texture as closely as possible. If you can’t repaint the entire wall and have to touch it up, feather the edges out as much as possible with a good quality brush such as a PAL Legend, available at Resene Colour Shops.

Painting the floors of high-traffic areas also requires a bit of special care. Jurlina says correct prepping and priming is vital, as well as opting for a hard-wearing top coat. For concrete or timber floors use Resene Uracryl 802 Waterborne Polyurethane after prepping and priming, a product known for its excellent durability and colour retention. If painting tiled floors, be sure to use a special adhesion primer such as Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer to form a base primer, then apply Resene Uracryl 802 Waterborne Polyurethane on top.

Resene Half Tapa with Resene Eighth Tapa and Resene Alabaster. Photo by Mark Heaslip.
Resene Half Tapa with Resene Eighth Tapa and Resene Alabaster. Photo by Mark Heaslip. Photo credit: Resene

Wet areas

Other heavy use rooms have the added challenge of moisture being present such as laundries, bathrooms and kitchens. Resene has a selection of kitchen and bathroom variants of their products, which have extra components added to make them suitable for wet areas.

Aschoff says: "There are variants of acrylic enamels that are designed to withstand the rigours of wet, steamy environments. They are available in flat, low sheen and semi gloss variations."

Make sure the area has good ventilation while the paint is curing to ensure maximum longevity. Once the paint is applied, the main threat to your painted surface is something called "surfactant leeching".

Aschoff explains: "Surfactant leeching is the detergent content of the paint releasing quickly and leaving a fine film of detergent on the paint surface if the paint is subjected to moisture too early or over a period of time in a poorly ventilated bathroom."

It can be avoided if the room is well ventilated when curing and a good extractor fan is fitted to save excessive moisture dwelling on the painted surfaces. Should surfactant leeching occur it can be washed off using warm water and detergent or Resene Interior Paint Cleaner, which should fix the problem for good.

This article is created for Resene