Whether you plan to paint your home (inside or out) yourself, or hire someone to do it, you need to know what is the best type of paint for the job. Here is some info to get you started;
Flat paint: Flat finish is also called matte finish and has the least amount of shine. Because of this quality, it’s the best choice to hide imperfections like bumps or small cracks (I’m sure you don’t have any of these in your walls!), but wall blemishes aside, it also is a good choice for textured walls and just if you like the matte type finish, just because! This finish is a bit harder to clean, so is not recommended for kitchens and bathrooms.
Eggshell paint: This type is also called satin finish; it has slightly more luster than a flat finish, but you won’t be left with shiny walls. It resists stains better than flat finish and can be wiped with a wet rag. It is often used in bathrooms, kitchens, kids’ rooms and other high-traffic areas (hallways?).
Semi-gloss paint: This finish is tougher than eggshell, so it will show less wear. It reflects even more light when dry, so is not recommended for walls that have blemishes. Eggshell finishes are often used in bathrooms and kitchens; kids rooms and any high traffic area (the usual suspects, you might say!).
Gloss paint: Recommended for window and door trim. Also great for furniture because it results in a hard, shiny finish. You can get a glam look if you use it on the walls; be careful with this!
OK, here is some nitty-gritty info:
Oil based paint vs. latex based: If you have ever painted anything, and read the instructions to see how to clean up your paint brush, you probably know what these mean, as far as cleaning the brush goes. However, the appropriate uses are:
Latex, or water based paint: Recommended for most interior jobs. It dries quickly, cleans up with water and doesn’t have a strong odor.
Oil based (Alkyd): Dries slower and gives off a strong smell. It provides a smoother, almost hard enamel like finish that resists scratching, fingerprints and stains. Tends to stick to the surface better, so is a good choice for rougher surfaces, furniture and even floors.
When to use Primer:
For the best results, always start with a coat of primer, which prepares new and old surfaces for paint.
Conclusion: Even if you are hiring a pro to do your painting, these guidelines will help with selecting paint. It’s not only the color you need to think about; the “shininess” or lack thereof will matter to you as well.