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Give your woodwork a facelift with enameling

Was your home built in the 1990s or 2000s? If so, the woodwork and trim is likely oak, alder, maple or cherry. It’s also likely very orange or yellow and is starting to look dated.  Have you considered replacing it? If so, don’t rule out enameling it first! Doing so can give your entire home a remodeled look for a fraction of the price.

What is enameling?

Enameling is applying enamel paint to any surface. Enamel paint has a hard, smooth  finish; resists marring, scratching, and chipping; does not collect dirt easily; and is washable and long-lasting. These properties make it ideal for high-touch indoor services like cabinets, trim and wainscoting that are prone to scuffing.

What are the different types of enamel paint?

Water-based: Latex and acrylic enamels have a low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) content, which makes them appealing to many people. They are non-yellowing and very durable.  That said, they are difficult to apply smoothly and do not touch up as well as traditional oil enamels. Water-based enamel paints are not suitable for every project, but if being green is more important to you than finish, it may be a viable option for you.

Oil-based: The benefits and drawbacks of oil-based paints are opposite of water-based enamel paints. On the positive side, they are more durable and provide a better finish that can be easily cleaned. On the negative side, they have a higher VOC content. They also can “yellow” over time. Oil-based enamel paints must be applied in a dust-free environment, and typically take 12 to 24 hours to dry. Therefore, it’s easiest to apply oil-based enamel paints when no one is home.

What are ideal uses for enamel paints?

When you think of where to apply enamel paints, think of high-traffic areas: kitchens, bathrooms, and stairways. Enamel paints may be applied to cabinets, vanities, stairs, railings, wainscoting, and doors, all while giving them a fresh new look. They work especially well for woodwork in bathrooms because they can handle higher humidity and are mildew resistant. They’re also suitable for high-heat areas like fireplace mantels, as certain enamel paints come with heat-resistant properties. Because they come in a variety of colors, they can work in any room.

How is enamel paint applied?

Enamel paint can be applied in a variety of ways. One can use brushes, rollers, or sprayers.. Sprayers typically provide the smoothest finish. Spraying enamel paint onto surfaces such as trim and other woodwork is not a job for a novice, as special care must be taken to ensure that the paint does not get on other surfaces. Regardless of what method is used to apply enamel paint, it easily provides better coverage than other paints.

If you’d like to take advantage of the benefits of enameling woodwork in your home, your best bet is to contact the professionals at Cityscape Painting. We’ve been helping homeowners in the Twin Cities beautify their homes for more than 35 years and would love the opportunity to serve you, as well.

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