You’ve finally found a color you love for your house painting project – what now? Here are three things to consider to help you find the right paint type for your next home project.
1. Pick High-Quality Paint
First, you don’t need to choose a paint brand based on color. So, if you’ve found a fabulous color from a brand that costs $100 per gallon, don’t despair. Paint color-matching technology has become very sophisticated and online tools, such as color-swatches.com, let you convert colors from one brand to another. The key is to look for the best-performing paint you can afford. You should stay away from the cheapest paints, but spending the most money doesn’t always mean you get the best quality
2. Look for Eco-Friendly Paint
If you’ve ever had a headache or felt dizzy after painting, it was likely from the paint emitting volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These toxic substances pose many health risks. Although the majority of VOCs are released into the air as paint dries, VOCs can continue to emit into the air for years. Thanks to stricter federal and local standards, however, paint manufacturers have had to reduce VOC levels. You can now find many high-quality zero-VOC paints. But do your homework first. When you choose a zero-VOC paint be sure the colorant mixed into the paint to create the fabulous color you want doesn’t add VOCs back into the final mixture! Ask your paint or home improvement store if the paint brand and color you’ve chosen are both VOC-free.
3. Select the Finish
Finally, you need to pick the right paint sheen or finish. The finish makes a big impact on how the paint looks on the wall and also determines how durable or washable the paint is. In general, the higher the shine, the more durable the paint, but each finish has its pros and cons.
Let's take a look at each one:
Flat or Matte
This finish has the least shine so it reflects the least amount of light.
Pros: Good for hiding imperfections or for covering rough surfaces.
Cons: Harder to keep clean, so not recommended for high-traffic areas.
Best for: Bedrooms and other low-traffic areas, or surfaces like ceilings that you want to downplay.
Eggshell or Satin
This type of finish is more light-reflective than flat and has a subtle pearl-like sheen.
Pros: Stands up to washing, so works well in higher-traffic areas.
Cons: The added sheen means imperfections will stand out more than with flat paint.
Best for: Kids bedrooms, dining room, bathroom, or kitchen walls.
Pros: Durable, washable, and moisture-resistant.
Cons: Details or imperfection will stand out.
Best for: Kitchen, bathrooms, trim, and doors.
Pros: The most durable, shiny finish.
Cons: Very shiny – every detail or imperfection will stand out.
Best for: Windows, trim, and doors.