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All your Resene paint and painting questions answered

Paint can transform your home inside and out, and it’s even more satisfying when you complete the work yourself. Painting your home is a task that even total DIY beginners can tackle, but before you pick up a paintbrush you might have a few questions about the types of paints and how to use them.

The answers to these frequently asked questions will get you started and will point you in the direction of other helpful MasterStroke by Resene articles. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to ask the friendly staff in your local Resene ColorShop or Ask a Resene Paint Expert online. 

Which Resene paint should I use to paint the exterior of my house, and which exterior paint is most suitable for New Zealand and Australian conditions?

Resene has a wide range of exterior paints that are especially designed for New Zealand and Australia’s harsh UV light and weather conditions. The type of Resene paint you choose depends on the materials your home is built from and the finished look you are after. Resene Lumbersider Low Sheen is Resene’s most popular exterior paint and is suitable for painting a wide range of substrates and surfaces, including wooden beams, timber weatherboards, brick and blockwork, concrete and plaster. This waterborne Eco Choice-approved product is also available in a matt finish and can be applied over new or previously painted surfaces. 

Other popular exterior paints include Resene Sonyx 101, a semi-gloss paint that is especially well-suited for architecturally designed homes or heritage homes with a lot of detailing, and Resene Hi-Glo, a high gloss exterior paint with a super slick finish. 

From art deco stucco to galvanised steel, there’s a Resene paint suitable for every type of home and substrate. If you have any questions unique to your home, don’t hesitate to ask the staff at your local Resene ColorShop for advice or browse these answers from our tech experts.

For more on painting exteriors, check out this article:
How to paint the exterior of your home.

Can I paint my exterior a dark colour?

Yes, for many projects you can – but it’s best to use a Resene CoolColour formula. Resene CoolColours have the same vibrancy of normal Resene paints, but contain special heat-reflective technology that keeps dark colours cooler when exposed to UV light. This protects the substrate and makes surfaces cooler to touch in summer. 

Note: Dark colours contain a low LRV (light reflective value) rating and some local councils/Building Consent Authorities or substrate manufacturers might have restrictions on allowing you to paint your house very dark colours, so it pays to check in advance. 

For advice on painting exteriors in hot weather, check out this article:
Painting in hot weather

Once you’ve decided on a colour, the next step is choosing a paint finish. Resene’s popular exterior paints include Lumbersider Low Sheen, Resene Sonyx 101 and Resene Hi-Glo.
Resene has a wide range of paints ideal for painting all house exteriors that are especially designed for New Zealand and Australia’s harsh UV light and weather conditions.

Which Resene paint is best for interior walls?

Resene SpaceCote is a durable waterborne paint that brings enamel- style toughness to broadwall areas, making it ideal for painting areas such as bedrooms and lounges. This Eco Choice-approved paint is available in low sheen and flat finishes.

For advice on prepping your walls for painting, check out this article:
How to prep a wall for painting

Which type of paint roller should I use?

The roller you choose depends on the job at hand. Rollers with extendable handles allow you to paint walls and ceilings with ease, and a 230mm roller will cover a good amount of the surface in one go, saving you time. The three most popular roller sleeve sizes are 230mm for painting ceilings and walls, 150mm for smaller areas like kitchen cupboards, and 100mm for tricky small areas.

The most common roller material (sometimes called nap) is knitted polyblend, which is suitable for most surfaces and paint types. A polyblend roller gives a slight orange peel effect to help disguise imperfections.

Other common paint roller materials include: 

  • Angora Mohair blend − used for smooth surfaces.
  • A #15 rough surfaces roller   − for rolling fences, decks and rough-sawn timber. 
  • A high solids texture roller − ideal for using textured paints such as Resene Sandtex.

For more advice on paint rollers, including how to clean a roller, check out these articles:
How to use a paint roller
How to clean a paint roller

Resene SpaceCote is ideal for painting the interiors of busy homes and works perfectly on architraves, bathrooms, furniture, kitchens, laundries, plywood, skirtings, wallboards and window frames.
The roller you choose depends on the job at hand, as each different type works best on different surfaces and with different Resene paints. Chat to the team at your Resene ColorShop to get some guidance if you’re unsure. If you already have a roller, bring it in when you come to buy your paint and the Resene ColorShop staff can check it for you.

What type of paintbrush is best to use?

Again, the paintbrush you choose depends on the area you are painting and on your strength. An 88-100mm flat brush is suitable for most surfaces such as fences and weatherboards, but if you’re a beginner you might want to choose a lighter brush such as a 64-75mm brush. An angled cutting in brush is good for cutting into corners and edges in your painting project.

For more advice on paintbrushes and using a paintbrush, check out these articles:
How to use a paintbrush
Expert advice for cutting in
How to clean and care for your paintbrush

What order should I paint my room?

In most cases it’s best to work from the top down. Start by painting the ceiling, followed by the walls and lastly paint trims such as skirting boards, scotia and windowsills. By painting in this order, you avoid getting drips and spills on already painted areas, and it also makes it easier to cut in edges. On any surface, cut in tricky areas such as around wall sockets and ceiling roses, before tackling the main surface.

If you are staining, painting or clear coating your floor, do this task last when all the paint in the rest of the room has thoroughly dried and make sure to plan your pathway/exit carefully so you don’t accidentally paint yourself into a corner.

For advice on how to speed up the drying process, check out this article:
Speed up the paint drying process

What type of Resene paint do I use in my bathroom?

Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen Kitchen & Bathroom is ideal for wet or steamy areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. This durable waterborne paint features antibacterial silver and MoulDefender for added protection. 

For more advice on painting bathrooms, check out this article:
Use paint to refresh your bathroom

An 88-100mm flat paintbrush is suitable for most surfaces such as fences and weatherboards.
The order you paint a room is important to avoid any splatters or spills, as is all your prep work prior to picking up a paintbrush or roller.
Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen Kitchen & Bathroom is a great choice for steamy kitchens and bathrooms. It’s easy to clean and is specially formulated to minimise bacteria and mould growth – which are prevalent in wet areas.

Can I paint over old kitchen cabinets, including Melteca melamine?

Yes, you can – but the surface needs to be prepped first. 

Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer is ideal for priming melamine or laminated surfaces, common materials found in older kitchens. After applying, allow it to cure for 48 hours before painting your topcoat. 

Normal timber can be primed with Resene Quick Dry waterborne primer undercoat. Cabinets painted in old solventborne enamel should be primed with Resene Sureseal before repainting. Resene Lustacryl Kitchen & Bathroom is a semi-gloss waterborne enamel ideal for painting kitchen cabinetry. This paint contains antibacterial silver and MoulDefender, and is easy to clean − ideal when it comes to wiping up spills and cooking splatters.

I have an old tin of Resene paint in my shed. How do I know if the paint has gone off?

It’s common to keep leftover paint for touch-ups, and if stored correctly, paint can last for five years or more. Paint that has gone off will smell bad, but if you’re unsure whether it’s still OK to use, take it into your local Resene ColorShop to check. The team will also be able to recycle unwanted paint. 

Make sure you store your paint out of direct sun in a cool area, with the can well sealed. When you are painting, pour the paint you need into a separate paint pot rather than painting out of the main can. This will help keep your paint fresher for longer.

For more advice on storing and recycling old paint, check out these articles:
Simple paint storage solutions
How to get rid of old paint safely

If you’re not quite ready for a full kitchen renovation, cabinets can be updated easily with new paint, but it’s essential to prep them first.
Off paint smells awful, but if you’re not 100% sure if it’s useable or not, always head to your Resene ColorShop for the staff to check it. The team will also be able to recycle your unwanted paint if need be.

How much Resene paint do I need for my project?

To work out how much paint you’ll need for your room, find out these three things:

  1. The area in square metres of the surface(s)to be painted (excluding areas where there are windows, doors etc) 
  2. The spreading rate of the paint being used (usually on the paint can or online data sheet)
  3. The number of coats needed

Then use this calculation: Surface area ÷ spreading rate x number of coats required 

Most paint labels or data sheets will tell you the spreading rate of that particular product, for example Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen has a theoretical spreading rate of 11 square metres per litre. 

For a quick and easy way to find out how much paint you’ll need, use the Resene paint calculator here or our handy tool below:

If you change data entered into the fields below, ensure you press the calculate button again to re-run the equations and get the new answers.
Calculated result: 0 Litres in total
To find the spreading rate of your Resene product, click here.
NB: Porous surfaces and shapes (ie corrugated iron) will require more paint.

Which type of Resene paint should I use to paint my front door and trims?

Resene Enamacryl gloss or Resene Lustacryl semigloss are hard-wearing waterborne enamel-style paints ideal for painting doors. These easy-to-clean Eco Choice-approved products are also a great choice for trims and windowsills as they are made to withstand lots of knocks, bumps and scuffs. For an ultra-glossy finish, try Resene Super Gloss on your front door.

For more advice on painting doors, check out these articles:
How to paint an exterior door
Make your front entrance porch perfect with these simple steps

Why choose Resene paint over cheaper options?

The most important question of all! Resene uses top-quality binders and tinters to create durable paints with long-lasting colour. High-quality paints such as those made by Resene use more concentrated tinters, so the paint keeps its colour and integrity for longer. 

Though cheaper brands may try and tint colours like Resene, the colour will never be ‘true’ because the paints, tinters and formulations are completely different. Remember, using cheaper poor-quality paint is a false economy often requiring more coats of paint to finish the job and will deteriorate quicker, and will require repainting after a shorter amount of time, impacting the environment.

Sustainability is at the core of Resene’s product range, with an extensive range of waterborne, Eco Choice-approved and new plant-based paints. Choosing a high-quality product is a sustainable choice as it will last longer than cheaper brands that will break down faster. 

Resene products are also designed and made in New Zealand, one of the harshest environments for paint. Our clear skies means that our UV light is very strong in summer, which not only leads to very fast sunburn times for humans, but also puts a lot of stress on paints and buildings.

Resene has been voted New Zealand’s most trusted paint brand 12 years in a row in a survey run by Reader’s Digest.

Want to learn more about Resene’s environmental credentials and recycling methods? Read more here

Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss is ideal for front doors, trims and windowsills. It’s easy to clean and durable enough to withstand lots of knocks, bumps and scuffs.
Performance, efficacy, sustainability and formulations designed specifically for New Zealand conditions are just a few reasons to choose Resene paint.

About MasterStroke by Resene
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