Enamel is a type of paint that dries to a hard glossy or matt finish. It is most often oil-based and can be thinned with turpentine or paint thinner. However, there is also water-based enamel paint. Because of its hard, waterproof nature, enamel paint is usually applied to areas that will receive a lot of wear or moisture.
Enamel can be used to paint furniture a solid colour. Because enamel paint dries to a hard surface, it can withstand the wear and use that furniture, such as tables and chairs, receive. Either oil- or water-based enamel can be used.
Enamel's tough, waterproof character makes it suitable for use on a variety of outdoor structures that have to withstand sun exposure, wind and rain. The wood on houses, decks, patios, and outside benches and tables can be protected by either water- or oil-based enamel.
Enamel paint is also used for vehicles, such as bikes, motorcycles and cars. Cars and motorcycles use specialised, oil-based enamel paint for their surface. People who paint their own bicycles also use enamel paint for its ease of application and ability to protect the metal from corrosion.
Enamel paint is used for plastic and metal models because it gives them the smooth, shiny finish of the vehicles the models represent. Enamel also will stay on the model and will not rub or wear off as easily as acrylic paint. Model enamel paint is oil-based and fast drying.
High Humidity Areas
High humidity areas in houses, such as kitchens and bathrooms, often have walls painted with enamel paint, rather than latex. Latex paint is permeable, and as result it can absorb humidity, leading to peeling or the growth of mould underneath the paint. Enamel paint, especially oil-based enamel, will keep moisture out, preventing mould and lasting much longer than latex paint.
Enamel paint is often used to paint woodwork. Wood can rot if exposed to moisture for a long period without protection. Latex and acrylic paint cannot prevent wood from absorbing moisture. Enamel paint is waterproof, durable and easy to clean.
Enamel paint is used for indoor concrete flooring. Enamel specially designed for concrete can withstand the wear that a floor would be exposed to as well as protect the concrete from moisture that can lead to cracking.