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House Painting Tips: Choosing
the Right Paint

Paint, like most things, comes in many varieties. Which paint you select depends on the job at hand. You will need to consider where you are painting, as well as what you would like the paint to do. In addition to making a decision on the type of paint, you will need to decide the type of gloss that you want to use.

Initially, you will decide between latex (water-based) and oil-based paint. Some of the newer paints may actually be produced with synthetic materials that perform like latex.

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Gloss is a feature that varies from one manufacturer to another. Although the basic meaning of each of the terms will remain the same, the appearance will vary slightly from one brand to another. To further explain, a semi-gloss in one brand may look as shiny or glossy as the high gloss in another brand. Therefore, it will be important for you to look at the paint samples for each type of paint that you are considering.

The range of gloss is as follows: high, semi-gloss, eggshell, satin, low sheen, and flat. It is important to note that in the case of paint gloss, eggshell is not a color, but is a very slight gloss. Since the amount of gloss will change the look of the paint and therefore its effect, it is important to consider this feature.

Paint with a lower gloss will give a smoother appearance. Higher gloss paint will not hide marks such as indentations, drywall seams, and scratches, but rather it tends to make them more pronounced. In general, though, higher gloss paint will not only resist certain types of marks, but also clean up more easily.

Lower gloss paint is recommended for the inexperienced painter, especially since it touches up quite nicely. Low sheen or flat paint is recommended for ceilings and walls in most low traffic areas such as bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms. However, unless you are using a mildew resistant type of paint, you should avoid using flat paint for the bathroom entirely. In bathrooms and kitchens, higher gloss paint is recommended because it will hold up to washing much better than a flat paint. Semi-gloss paint is usually sufficient for the trim and woodwork in all rooms.

There are also other factors to consider when selecting your paint. If you are contrasting the colors of the ceiling, walls, and trim, then a higher degree of skill will be necessary for the painter. Obviously, a much lower degree of skill will be needed if the ceiling, walls, and trim are all painted in the same color or similar shades.

A base coat will also need to be considered, unless you are painting a newly constructed room. The primer paint is generally white in a new room, and therefore a light colored paint might require only one coat.

Remember to consider the quality of the paint you are purchasing as well. Higher quality paint may cost you more, but in the long run, it will also last longer. This is because it will give you more paint coverage and also wash up better.

There is more to selecting the right paint for you than choosing a favorite color. So, make your choice wisely and let it shine.

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