Enamel paint dries into a glossy and hard shell that often appears like glass. It is used in very little quantities and is mostly used for small arts and crafts. Enamel paint is perfect to give durability and vibrancy. These are often used for last-minute touch-ups and finishes. It also provides a last minute reliable protection to your artefacts and surfaces.
But, what is enamel paint and what is so special about it?
What is Enamel Paint?
Enamel paint has better qualities than any other paint. It is a solvent-based paint that dries into a hard, vitreous shell. Solvent-based paints are known as oil-based paints and those without solvents are known as water-based paints.
Often enamel paints can be confused with enamel of molten glass, but there is no similarity between the two, as such paints do not have any glass content. The name enamel was first given to a glass coating that is baked in a kiln or melted at high temperatures on surfaces like ceramics or metal. Baked enamel finishes are rendered on vehicles as well because this process eliminates the need for VOCs or solvents and also makes the surface durable.
But enamel paints are different from enamel coatings. Air-dry enamel paints are softer. Water-based enamel paints come without solvents and oil-based enamel paints come with solvents.
History and Origin:
Enamel paints were first introduced in the mid-1800s. It was a major development as paints were considered absolutely unreliable and used to smudge off easily. Enamel coatings are used to give a hard, impermeable and tough coating to porcelain, ceramic tiles, porcelain bathroom fixtures, cookware, tile, sinks, bathtubs and more. Today, enamel paints resonate with the same concepts. This paint is water-resistant and tough.
Around 1900, enamel paints were first used and advertised by Sherwin Williams as a coating for wickerwork and furniture as well. Today, baked enamel coating has largely been replaced by powder enamel coating, especially for industrial applications. During the time of World War II, synthetic latex paints were introduced on the market for the first time, and it was then that enamel paints faced tough competitions.
But, if you want to paint hard-shell appliances like refrigerators, washing machines and more, enamel paints are widely considered even today. But they are also powder-coated widely.
How is Enamel Paint Used?
Enamel paint can be applied via a brush, roll on or sprayer on home and commercial complexes’ surfaces that need a glassy and glossy look. This paint is also used to make a surface durable and weather-resistant. The most common uses for enamel paints are to refurbish a barbecue grill, painting door casing or for revitalizing your outdoor furniture.
It can also be used to paint doors, window trims, cabinets, crown moldings, window sashes, decks, floors, handrails, cabinet fixtures and appliances. Enamel paint easily adheres to a variety of surfaces including ones that are slick to those that are porous. These can be used on glass, aluminum, stainless steel, caulking, galvanized steel, wood, plastic, porcelain, ceramic and more.
Pros and Cons of Enamel Paint:
- This paint maintains its gloss.
- It renders a uniform finish.
- It is mar-resistant.
- Enamel paints hold color well.
- Surfaces coated with enamel paints will resist yellowing.
- These are smooth to apply and you will notice reduced brush marks.
- After the paint dries up, you will notice an extremely hard shell-like surface.
- These can be applied to a wide range of surfaces.
- Enamel paints can give a very strong and pungent odor.
- These can be tough to mix well.
- The paints will require solvents for cleaning or thinning.
Properties of Enamel Paint:
Enamel paints contain zero volatile organic companies, although some do say that there is a presence of 400-500 gm/litre depending upon the shade of the paint. The washability of the paint also depends upon the manufacturer. It is graded between medium to high level. The surface sheen decides the washability quotient.
Sometimes, the sheen is wipeable and sometimes, it is washable, depending upon the manufacturing process. These paints are available in 500 ml, 1 litre, 4 litres, 10 and 20 litre tin packs. You also get different finishes such as high gloss, smooth and opaque. For painting an area of 100 to 130 sq ft. you will need 0.6 to 1.0% of litre paint for two coats.
Different paints come with different properties and are formulated for different needs. Paints should have different properties suitable for both interior and exterior requirements. There is a difference between paints for exteriors and interiors as they both need different chemical formulations.
Interior paints can be easily scrubbed and they also resist staining. These are formulated such that they are resistant to physical damage. Resins used for these paints are firmer as the paints do not have to deal with temperature and weather differences.
Exterior paints are made in such a way that they can combat heat, mildew, moisture and fading easily. The resins used for exterior paints are flexible and softer so that they can easily survive temperature and weather changes. They are also resistant to moisture. Exterior paints are tougher and resist peeling, fading and chipping from sunlight. These are also supposed to resist water and need to be waterproof.
This is all you needed to know about enamel paints. Having prior knowledge of the product helps you choose properly the type of enamel paints on the respective surfaces you need to paint.