House Paint Decisions Made a Little Easier

One of the most enjoyable types of home improvement you can do to your home is paint. The whole family can get involved in the process, and a couple of coats of paint can make a dramatic change to your home. However, you can’t just buy a can of paint and a brush then get to work, you need to choose the right paint for the job you’re doing.

House Paint Finishes

If you’ve never stepped into a paint store or the paint section of your local home improvement store, then prepare to be overwhelmed by choices – and I’m not just talking about paint colors. When I went in to pick out a simple light blue color for our bathroom, the store employee immediately started shooting off types of finishes to find out which I wanted. Of course, I had no idea at the time. Now I do so let me share some basic definitions with you:

·Matte (flat finish) – Very basic finish that does not reflect light
·Flat enamel – A more durable version of matte
·Eggshell – Very low sheen like an egg – more durable than matte
·Satin – Has a smooth, velvet look and is easy to clean
·Semi-Gloss – Has a nice shine to it but requires the walls be prepped
·Gloss – Very shiny, almost reflective

The finish you pick should depend on what you are painting. Matte, flat enamel, and eggshell are good choices for most of the walls in your home. They cover nicely and aren’t distracting from the rest of your décor. Satin finishes work very nicely in bathrooms and kitchens – they stand up well under cleaning and give a beautiful look to these rooms which are already some of the most important in the house. Satin also works well for children’s homes.

Semi-glass and gloss are better choices for painting trim, cabinets, and other small areas which could use a dramatic look. You want to be careful about choosing these finishes for larger jobs because if your wall has any imperfections they will stand out with this type of paint.

Choosing House Paint

Whether you’re choosing an interior or an exterior paint, you’ll find they generally break down into two categories: latex and oil-based. Most of the paint sold today is the latex variety because it’s easier to clean up after, easier to apply, has less odor, and dries faster than oil-based types. On the other hand, you may want to choose an oil-based paint if you’re working with an area already covered in several layers of oil-based paint or if you are painting an exterior with a lot of chalking. Otherwise, latex is probably your best choice.

Also, remember to pay attention to whether you are getting an interior or an exterior paint. Exterior paints are formulated for greater resistance against the elements so they are your best choice for outdoor painting. That greater resistance doesn’t mean they would be a good choice inside your home, however. When it comes to paint, always remember to pick the one that’s made for the job you have to do – you’ll get better results.