If you’re looking to add a new look to your home, choosing the right type of paint and finish for the job can be a little daunting, especially if you’re a novice to home renovating. Not only is there a wide range of colors to choose from, but there are different types of paints for different uses, plus several types of finishes available. We’ve put together a simple guide to help you navigate the world of painting.
Paints are made from a variety of materials, most commonly water or oil-based. The type of paint you use will depend on the surface that it’s applied to and the amount of traffic that the surface gets.
- Primer or Base Coat – A primer is used as the first layer for your painting job. It helps to cover up old paint and stains and even remove odors. Primer is an important step to make sure your paint lasts longer and is less likely to peel and crack.
- Water-based – Water-based paint can be either latex or acrylic and is the most common type of paint for interior walls. It is fast drying, resistant to cracking and easy to clean up. It also has lower levels of toxic emissions, making it a more environmentally friendly and safe paint choice.
- Oil-based – Oil-based paint is more durable and higher quality alternative to water-based paint; however, it is a lot more difficult to clean up. Oil-based paint is popular to use on trim and baseboards, since those surfaces take more of a beating, while water-based paint is more common for walls that frequently require clean-up.
There are many types of finishes and while no one finish is better than another, they all have applications that they are best suited for and varying levels of sheen (how much light bounces off of it).
- Matte – Matte finishes deliver a pigmented and smooth look, with little to no sheen since they absorb light. They cover imperfections and stains but are not very durable, which means they are best suited for low-traffic areas like a bedroom.
- Eggshell – Eggshell finishes are similar to matte finishes in sheen and are one of the most popular finishes. They are perfect for mid-traffic areas such as hallways and living rooms since they are more washable than matte sheens.
- Satin – Satin finishes are the most commonly chosen finishes, providing a soft, almost pearl-like sheen. It is ideal for indoor or outdoor use and is resistant to mildew and facing. Satin finishes work well in high-traffic areas such as kitchens or playrooms, as well as areas that are exposed to moisture such as laundry and bathrooms.
- Semi-Gloss – Semi-gloss finishes are more reflective than satin, with a smooth and shiny appearance. They are also resistant to moisture and stains, so they work well in high-traffic or high-humidity areas. One downside is that they are more likely to show blemishes on surfaces since they reflect light, so using a primer is an important step before painting with a semi-gloss paint.
- High-Gloss – High-gloss has the highest level of reflection, giving a high-shine and glass-like finish to any surface. It is ideal for doors and cabinets, as well as outdoor spots that have great curb appeal, such as shutters. It is also the most durable and easiest to clean of all the paint sheens.
As an overall rule of thumb, the more sheen a finish has, the more durable and easier to clean it will be, but that also means the cost will go up. Franca Services can help you pick the perfect paint type, color and finish for your interior painting project. Our talented painters will use the highest quality paints and give top-notch service to ensure you love the finished job.