Paint can be applied as a solid, a gaseous suspension (aerosol) or a liquid. Techniques vary depending on the practical or artistic results desired.
As a solid (usually used in industrial and automotive applications), the paint is applied as a very fine powder, then baked at high temperature. This melts the powder and causes it to adhere to the surface. The reasons for doing this involve the chemistries of the paint, the surface itself, and perhaps even the chemistry of the substrate (the object being painted). This is called “powder coating” an object.
As a gas or as a gaseous suspension, the paint is suspended in solid or liquid form in a gas that is sprayed on an object. The paint sticks to the object. This is called “spray painting” an object. The reasons for doing this include:
• The application mechanism is air and thus no solid object touches the object being painted;
• The distribution of the paint is uniform, so there are no sharp lines;
• It is possible to deliver very small amounts of paint;
• A chemical (typically a solvent) can be sprayed along with the paint to dissolve together both the delivered paint and the chemicals on the surface of the object being painted;
• Some chemical reactions in paint involve the orientation of the paint molecules.
In the liquid application, paint can be applied by direct application using brushes, paint rollers, blades, other instruments, or body parts such as fingers and thumbs.
Rollers generally have a handle that allows for different lengths of poles to be attached, allowing painting at different heights. Generally, roller application requires two coats for even color. A roller with a thicker nap is used to apply paint on uneven surfaces. Edges are often finished with an angled brush.
• Using the finish flat one would most likely use a 1/2″ nap roller
• Using the finish eggshell one would most likely use a 3/8″ nap roller
• Using the finish satin or pearl one would most likely use a 3/8″ nap roller
• Using the finish semi-gloss or gloss one would most likely use a 3/16″ nap roller