Painting Guide: Different Types of Paint And Where You Can Use Them


When you are thinking of painting, there are a million decisions to be made. There are numerous types of paint that are used for different surfaces. Choosing the paint that is right for you is crucial as the paint is much more than a decoration. It provides your surfaces with a layer of protection and using the wrong kind of paint can actually ruin the material as well. When you paint your house, it is suggested to choose the type and color of paint that highlights the perfections of the house while hiding any damages. A good paintwork does not accentuate the things that you don’t want to show. Painters in NYC can be consulted, in this case.

Before you agonize over the color you want, you should ideally spend some type of deciding the type of paint that is the best for your requirements. You need to decide if you should opt for paint color in semi-gloss, eggshell, flat, or other finishes. Since there are so many choices available, it is not exactly going to be easy. But once you do make an informed decision and choose the finish that is right for your surface, you will be able to relax for years.

Without further ado, let us look at the different types of paint surfaces and see where you can use them.

What are the Different Types of Paint?

There are majorly two kinds of paint, water-based and oil-based. Most of the wall paint sold nowadays is water-based. This is because it is very easy to use. It does not need a pretreatment. Water-based paints have no mold and can easily be cleaned with water. Check the kind of paint your surfaces had before. If your surfaces previously had an oil-based paint, you need to be careful before switching to water-based as it may not stick that well. You can wash the surface and roughen it with an object like sandpaper to make the paint stick. This will make your surfaces dull, dry, and clean and prevent the new coat from peeling off. If you prefer an oil-based product but you want to opt for a water-based one, consider waterborne enamel. This paint behaves and looks oil-based and has very good leveling qualities that give a smooth finish. Oil-based paints are versatile and can be used on all surfaces. They give a very rich finish and are highly durable. However, they can’t exactly be washed with water and might be a bit difficult to clean.

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Different Kinds of Paint Finishes that You Need to be Aware of

Your paint finish and sheen options share common characters. With newer paints hitting the market, there is an increased durability with each paint. This means that you can mix and match different kinds of paint while keeping its value intact. By using different types of paint on different surfaces around the home, you can create a real texture and impact within a scheme. For example, you can paint a stripe with gloss paint on a matte wall in similar colors to create a textured and striking textured look.

You can also try an accent wall with a glossy sheen and keep the rest of the room matte. The paint you select depends on the atmosphere you want to set. For instance, a matte sheen gives a serene and calm feeling due to its texture. Gloss however adds excitement and energy. Every kind of paint finish adds something to your surfaces. Darker and richer colors naturally have a higher sheen because of their increased colorant. It is common practice to go for a lower sheen while painting a dark color. You can use satin and eggshell in places that are smaller and get less natural light such as the powder room. It will end up reflecting the light to bring out the color. Eggshell is scuff resistant and is great for hiding imperfections.

Matte Paint

Matte paint is known for its density. It gives the least reflective sheen available. It has a very velvety texture. Matte paint is preferred by designers to hide imperfections in the ceilings and walls of the house. Since it is basically non-reflecting, it offers a very deep color. It is considered typically to be a standard sheen for ceilings. However, due to its non-reflective look, it can be hard to clean sometimes.

Satin Paint

Satin paint is known to be slightly glossier than eggshell. It offers some degree of reflectivity. As compared to other types, it offers more durability. Due to this characteristic, it is used in demanding environments where you need easy cleanups like bathrooms and kitchens without a very glossy look.

Gloss Paint

This popular type of paint works well with bathrooms, accent walls, window trims, doors, and kitchens. Gloss is the most reflective paint available and offers great sheen. It is very durable and can be cleaned regularly without any wear and tear. Traditionally gloss paint was used on doors, moldings, and baseboards. Although it makes a statement, gloss paint can also end up highlighting your surfaces’ imperfections.

Flat Paint

Flat paint gives a very luxurious and sophisticated and luxurious finish. It is great for interior walls that aren’t touched frequently and ceilings. Flat paint is a good choice for surfaces that have noticeable imperfections as it creates a low-reflecting surface. Although it doesn’t give a very dynamic look, flat paint is very affordable but it is prone to damage. It is commonly used in a room that doesn’t get a lot of use such as closets and storerooms.

Eggshell Paint

Eggshell paint is known for its low luster. It is a low-key version of an actual eggshell and works very well with decorative finishes. It is much easier to clean than a flat finish. Eggshell paint is durable and versatile. It doesn’t get washed away even when you wash your walls. Because of its tough nature, it is commonly used in open spaces to protect their look from wearing off by natural factors such as the sun and rain.

Semi-Gloss Paint

Semi-gloss paint is used to add a little shine to the room. A durable paint, it holds up to vigorous scrubbing. Hence it is considered a good choice for wet rooms like bathrooms and kitchens. However, you need to keep in mind that semi-gloss paint can highlight the imperfections on your walls. Semi-gloss paint works well on trim, baseboards, and doors. It dries up to give an extremely hard finish. This allows semi-gloss paint to be amazing for woodwork that might get beaten up.


Before starting, it is a good idea to get as many samples of the different kinds of paint as you can. You should examine how easily they spread an area and how you can clean them once they are dry. When you browse through photos and read the information in this guide, you will get an idea about how different paint finishes look. You can shortlist a few and see how they look on your surfaces to select the one that works well for you. To make an informed decision, use the information spelled out in this guide and try these paints yourself.

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