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The Difference Between Interior and Exterior Paints

The Difference Between Interior and Exterior Paints

Painting is a great way to breathe new life into your home or business, from exterior siding to interior details and everything in between. However, before you start your next paint project, it’s important to know which paint is best for which surfaces or locations. Why? Because you want the best results, and interior and exterior paints have a number of differences that make them best suited for specific projects. Here’s a look at the difference between interior and exterior paints.

The Similarities Between Interior Paint and Exterior Paint

Before learning the differences between interior and exterior paints, it’s helpful to understand the similarities. All paints are made of pigments, resins, solvents, and additives. Pigment is used to give paint its color; it can be made of finely ground organic or synthetic materials. Resins are used to bind the paint to the surfaces that are being painted. A solvent is a liquid that is added to paint to make it easier to apply. The solvent is typically either water (such as in a water-based paint like latex or acrylic paints) or mineral spirits (found in oil-based paints). Additives give paint specific properties, like being resistant to moisture and mildew or having a faster drying time.

While all paints have resins, they don’t all contain the exact same resins. The same can be said about pigments, solvents and additives. To ensure that interior paints achieve great results indoors and exterior paints achieve great results outdoors, each type of paint has a different formula.

The Difference Between Interior and Exterior Paints

While interior paint and exterior paint are both designed to bring color and style to your home or business, there’s a difference in how they accomplish this task. Interior paint is designed to make your home look its best through resistance to stains and scrubbing, ensuring it looks great even after spills or cleaning. Exterior paints are designed to make the exterior of your home look its best through resistance to fading, cracking, mildew and more troubles brought on by exposure to the elements. Here’s a look at how interior paint and exterior paint differ when it comes to pigments, resins, solvents and additives.


Paint gets its color from pigments, which are finely ground materials. There is organic pigment, which tends to be brighter in color, and synthetic pigment, which tends to be duller in color. Organic pigment is typically used in interior paint, while synthetic pigment is most commonly used in exterior paint.

Organic paints are safer to breathe (although you should still make sure the room you’re painting is well ventilated) and don’t have harsh odors, making them a great choice for indoor painting projects. However, some organic pigments will fade in the sun, so they’re not ideal for projects on the outside of the home.

Pigment in exterior paint needs to be more durable and able to withstand the elements. For this reason, outdoor paint is often made with synthetic pigments, which aren’t as likely to fade in the sun or heat. However, synthetic pigment can create harsh odors that you wouldn’t want inside your home, so it’s best to keep these paints outside.


Resin is the ingredient in paint that binds the pigment to the surfaces that are being painted. Resins are commonly made of acrylic, epoxy or silicone. Since exterior paint is exposed to the elements, its resin must be softer and more flexible, allowing it to adjust as the material it covers expands and contracts with changing temperatures. Resin in exterior paint is also designed to resist cracking, chalking, moisture and more. Additionally, resin in outdoor paint cures with sunlight, while resin in interior paints does not.

Alternatively, paint for your home’s interior isn’t exposed to direct sunlight, rain and other weather conditions, so its resin is more rigid. This helps protect the paint from damage caused by scuffing and makes cleaning easier, since the resin can tolerate scrubbing.


A solvent is added to paint to make it easier to use and spread around. Water-based paint is made with water as the solvent, as the name suggests. Examples of water-based paint include acrylic paint and latex paint. Water-based paints can be used both indoors and outdoors.

Oil-based paints are usually made with mineral spirits – a liquid made from petroleum – as the solvent. These paints are typically used outdoors. Oil-based paints have a strong odor and can be trickier to clean, making them better suited for exterior paint projects. Alternatively, water-based paints don’t have such a strong odor and are easier to clean, making them a smart choice for indoor painting.

Water-based paint also has a shorter drying time than oil-based paint, so it’s more convenient to use inside where you’d like to be able to use the room again as soon as possible.


Additives are substances added to paint to give it certain characteristics. For example, exterior paints have additives that protect the paint from the elements, such as water resistance, mildew resistance, or substances that make the paint less prone to fading due to sun exposure. Since interior paints don’t need to be able to withstand severe weather, they typically don’t contain these additives.

Additionally, since indoor paint doesn’t have the additives required to stand up to the elements, it would not stay in quality condition outside as long as exterior paint specifically designed with the weather in mind.

There’s a lot to know when it comes to choosing the right paint for your interior or exterior painting projects. When you’re not sure which to choose or simply don’t want to send your time and energy painting your home yourself, Prim Painting’s got you covered. We offer residential and commercial painting services as well as a free quote, a two-year warranty on most projects, custom designs and professional results. Click here to contact us or request your free estimate.

When Should I Stain My Deck?

When Should I Stain My Deck?

Doing routine maintenance to your deck is an important factor in the longevity of your wood. A well-maintained deck will look better, last longer, and also increase your property value if you are looking to sell your home in the future. There is a wide range of factors that impact how often you should stain your deck. When living in a state like Ohio, the main factor that will determine your deck maintenance is the weather. Because we can experience harsh winters and other volatile conditions, your wood needs to be treated properly to keep looking great for years to come. When you consult the experts and have a deck maintenance gameplan ready, you can enjoy all of the outdoor time in comfort during the beautiful Columbus summers.

The Best Time of Year for Deck Staining

The two main factors that determine the best time of year for deck staining are time and weather. Because Ohio weather can be temperamental, this can be tricky. The larger your deck is, the longer your deck staining project will take. A safe estimate for a moderately-sized deck is 1-2 days. If you have an existing deck that is in need of a good power washing, it is safe to add at least an extra day on to your total project time.

A common misconception is that Spring and Summer are the best seasons for deck staining. This is based on the premise that because of the heat, it makes for an ideal time to stain. While this may be true in dry climates, in Ohio, Spring and Summer are the humid months. If staining is done too early it can lead to cracking or peeling. If it’s done when the temperature high, it can lead to the stain evaporating before it’s had ample time to penetrate the wood. The perfect time for deck staining is when the air and wood temperature is between 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit. Choose a time-of-day where you are not applying in direct sunlight and check the forecast to make sure it isn’t going to rain in the next 24-48 hours after staining!

New Deck Staining

If you have a new wooden deck built, it should always be stained. How soon it should be stained depends on the climate and the type of wood your deck is made of. In a climate like the one we have in the Columbus, OH area, it is best to err on the side of caution because we experience higher humidity during the warmer months. There are multiple types of wood that decks may be constructed with, and each has a different recommended time frame for staining.

Green Lumber

Green lumber is the term given to wood that is freshly cut. This wood isn’t best suited for decks, as it can warp and crack when drying, but its availability can make it an attractive option when building. The general rule is to give green lumber at least one year per inch of thickness to dry before staining it. When it is ready for staining, a pressure wash will be needed to get the wood clean and looking new!

Kiln-Dried Lumber

If you bought your wood at a lumber or hardware store, chances are it’s kiln-dried. Because it has been dried already, you will only need to wait 1-2 months before staining/painting.

Pressure-Treated Lumber

Pressure-treated lumber needs the least amount of time before staining. It’s best practice to allow at least six months of drying time before applying staining to pressure-treated lumber. If you aren’t sure that the wood is ready, you can pour water on one of the boards. If the water soaks into the wood, it’s ready to be stained!

Staining Existing Decks

The health and longevity of your deck depend solely on the maintenance gameplan you have set in place. As a general rule, your deck should be stained every 2-3 years. This can change, however, if you are in an area of high-humidity or especially volatile weather. The signs to look for when determining if you need deck staining are:

  • The stain color of the wood is wearing off
  • Water soaks into the boards easily
  • There is visible mold or mildew

Horizontal surfaces tend to wear the fastest and can be treated first if you don’t want to go through the process of staining your entire deck. Keep in mind, however, that it is difficult to have a uniform “look” if parts of your deck are stained at different times from one another. It is important to consult an expert in deck staining services to get a complete evaluation.

Deck Staining Colors

Another thing to consider when starting your deck staining project is the color of staining. There are three main questions you must ask yourself:

What are the weather conditions where your home is located?

Solid stains provide more protection from the damaging rays of the sun, while more transparent stains are better in wet climates because they allow excess moisture to escape.

What type of wood is your deck made of?

If your deck is composed of expensive, beautiful wood, it may behoove you to use a light, transparent stain to highlight the grain and texture. If your deck is older and faded, a solid stain can help mask the mismatched colors of the boards that have been replaced over time.

What is your ideal look?

If you are after the rustic look of natural wood, choosing a light-colored transparent stain can add color while allowing the beautiful wood grain to show. The full coverage of a solid stain gives you a modern look with many color options also available (think fun patterns and designs).

The key to success lies not only in the prep work but also in the selection and application of the deck stain. We are deck staining experts with years of experience working in Columbus area homes. We can provide you with a full evaluation of your deck and offer a wide array of choices when it comes to deck staining. Contact us today to get your project started!

6 Reasons to Hire an Office Building Painter

6 Reasons to Hire an Office Building Painter

Are you thinking about repainting your office in Columbus, Ohio? If your workplace has started feeling drab, it might be time to shake things up. Repainting your office is a worthy investment with a lot of benefits, but many business owners don’t know where to start. Should you paint it yourself or hire a professional commercial painting company to do it? There are benefits to doing it both ways, but one option might be better for you. Here are some of the best reasons to repaint your office and why you should hire a professional commercial painter to do it:


Why you should repaint your office

Make a good impression on customers

A fresh paint job is a strategic investment, especially if your business has customers that visit your office regularly. Most people use aesthetic factors to judge the reliability of a business, so a well-painted office can improve your customers’ perception of you. The first thing your customers see when they visit your office is your building’s exterior. Do you want them to see an unmaintained building with chipped paint or a well-maintained building with a clean, vibrant paint job?

The same question goes for your office’s interior. Do your office walls inspire confidence in your business or are they in need of attention? You can drastically improve your office’s appearance just by repainting it, and you’ll win a lot more credibility points in the minds of your customers if your office looks energizing and welcoming.

Create a better work environment

A freshly painted office doesn’t just woo your customers; it benefits you and your employees too. Your employees’ morale can falter if their environment stays the same for too long. Think about it: you and your employees sit in the same office for eight hours a day, five days a week. Working in the same environment month after month can drain even the most loyal workers. You might be in a rut yourself and not even know it. A freshly painted space can spark creativity and boost morale at any company.

Increase employee productivity

Repainting your office can increase employee productivity if you use the right colors. While it might sound hokey, colors evoke emotion. Blues and violets have calming effects, while yellows, oranges, reds and other warm colors inspire focus, energy and enthusiasm. Choosing colors to paint your office should be a strategic decision that benefits you and your employees.

If you and your employees have particularly stressful jobs, painting your office blue might be a good choice. Incorporating brighter, warmer colors might help you stay motivated if your work involves a lot of mundane, repetitive tasks. And remember: you don’t have to paint your entire office the same color. Utilizing accent walls allows you to play it safe with a mild color while also benefiting from bolder colors. A professional commercial painting company can help you select colors and design your office.


Why you should hire a professional commercial painter to do it

Office painting takes time

Painting is a huge time commitment. Taking a day or two off work to have a company painting day can be a fun bonding experience, but if your company is particularly busy, this might not be your best option. When you hire a commercial office painter, you’ll get all the benefits of repainting your office without losing any of your company’s precious time. Office painters usually have flexible hours and can paint when you’re not there.

Office painting is difficult

Painting is hard work, especially if you have a larger office. While the idea of painting your office is straightforward, there’s a lot of work that goes into it. You’ll have to move all your office furniture, lay down tarps, spackle the walls, tape the walls, move ladders around…and that’s just the work you do before painting. Hire a commercial painting contractor to do the heavy lifting for you.

Office painting is dangerous

Another thing to consider is the chance of injury. Offices typically have higher ceilings, so painting will involve balancing on ladders and stretching to paint to hard-to-reach areas. It’s better to hire a commercial painting company to paint your office so that you’re not liable if one of your employees gets hurt. Painting your building’s exterior is even more dangerous, so you should definitely hire professional painters for that kind of job.

You want it done right

Repainting your office is an investment, so you want to make sure it’s done right. Professional painters paint every day, so they have more experience and expertise than the average person. You could paint your office yourself to try and save money on labor, but what if you mess up and it ends up taking even more of your company’s time and money? Hire a professional commercial painter to ensure you get the job done right the first time.

There are so many reasons why you should repaint your office. A freshly painted office leaves a good impression on your customers, boosts your employees’ morale and improves your office’s productivity. It’s worth the investment whether you decide to paint it yourself or hire a professional commercial painter. If you’re looking for a professional office painting company in Columbus, Ohio, contact Prim Painting today. We can come to your office, give you our color recommendations, and provide you with a fast and accurate painting quote. Call us today for a free estimate.

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