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How Do I Choose the Best Interior Paint?

Paint with a matte finish.
There are numerous factors to consider when choosing interior paint.
A can of red interior paint.
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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 22 August 2014
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To choose the best interior paint, you will first need to decide whether you want latex or oil-based paint. You will then need to determine what type of finish you want the paint to have; flat or matte paint, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, or high-gloss. Each type of interior paint may work better in a different location or for a different purpose; so, it is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages ahead of time.

Oil-based paint was very common at one time, but it is rarely used anymore. It has very strong odors, is extremely difficult to clean up if a spill occurs, and takes at least 24 hours to dry; in addition, it does not hold up very well over time. Latex paint, on the other hand, is water based, is easy to clean up, dries quickly, and lasts a much longer time on the wall. Oil paint may be used on metal surfaces, but latex paint is typically the best choice for interior paint.

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Then, you must choose between flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, or high-gloss paint. Flat or matte paint has no sheen to it whatsoever; it is good for hiding imperfections on walls, and is frequently used on ceilings as well. It can be difficult to clean, however. Eggshell and satin finishes are great choices for interior paint for almost any wall; they each have some shine, with satin being slightly shiner than eggshell. The shine makes them easier to clean, and many people use satin paint in children's rooms.

Semi-gloss and gloss paint are quite shiny, and the easiest types of interior paint to clean. These are often used for painting woodwork and trim in a room; they may also be used for painting wood furniture. Some people use semi-gloss in a kitchen or bathroom as well, where the walls will need to be washed regularly. On the other hand, paints with a great deal of shine tend to highlight imperfections on walls, such as uneven plaster.

Aside from choosing the type of paint, the only other consideration you will need is the color. Paint can now be created in virtually any color imaginable; many home improvement stores are now able to match paint colors to other items, such as fabric samples. When you are choosing interior paint, do not forget to use primer on the walls first, and create a smooth, uniformly colored surface on which to add paint colors.

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Discuss this Article

Speechie
Post 5

@geekish - What I have found is that dark colors definitely need two coats of paint and as far as glossy type of paint needing two coats, I have found that it depends on what you are painting over.

My favorite paint technique actually uses eggshell and glossy paint type of the same color! Here's what you do - make thick vertical or horizontal stripes with the two different types of paint.

The end effect - regal and understated texture to the walls.

geekish
Post 4

I chose some dark interior paint colors for my bedroom when I was in college and I thought I was going fancy by getting the glossy paint. I ended up having to put on two layers of paint.

Ever since that moment I thought that it was the glossy paint that was the cause of the double coating. However, when my husband and I were painting the house I reiterated this story so as to avoid the same mistake.

My husband then informed me that it was the dark color not the glossy type of paint.

We did not use the glossy type of paint as he also informed me that he heard eggshell was best for interior paint. But I still wonder if people have found the same thing with dark paint and/or glossy paint... any thoughts?

MrSmirnov
Post 3

Are there any interior painting techniques someone can recommend that will give our living room a really unique look?

We have been looking at a lot of different interior design paint and feel like we want to have more than just one flat colour on our walls. We've considered alternating stripes of satin and matte finished color for a bit of texture, as well as sponge painting so far.

I suppose that when choosing interior pain colours you really have to be willing to get your hands dirty and try different things to make your home look really good.

lonelygod
Post 2

Did you know that paint stores can match the color of anything you bring into them?

We found some gorgeous Japanese paper at a stationary store and wanted to recreate the look in our home. Our paint store was able to exactly match the paper by making an entirely new interior paint color right on the spot. We were amazed at how easy it was.

I think the only unpleasant thing about making your own interior pain colors is that the interior painting prices go up once you start having custom things made. I guess it is a sacrifice though to get exactly what you want.

Sara007
Post 1

We've been renovating our home and there are so many interior paint colors to choose from that it can be really overwhelming when we go to the paint store. You would be surprised at how many shades of white exist!

We have found the easiest way to choose interior decorating paint is to get interior paint samples from the store and look at them at home. The color is always different near your furniture and under your own lighting.

Also, if you want great interior paint ideas grab a few home design magazines and see if you can match some of the looks that are published. We found a great shade of blue for our bathroom from a magazine.

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