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13 Types of Paints for the Inside and Outside

When it comes to painting, there are a plethora of options to choose from. Each kind of space has its own recommended paint color. This is your go-to painting guide to ensure that your job is done correctly. But first, some fun facts about paint:

  • Old rock walls were decorated by cave dwellers with rudimentary paints while they were still in their caves. Only in the Industrial Revolution did paint penetrate the American market. More than 1.57 billion gallons of paint are sold each year in the United States alone.
  • 570 gallons of white paint are required to paint the White House’s façade every year, which is why it’s named the White House.

Your painting project is the next thing we’ll be working on together.

A new paint color for your kitchen, bedroom, or bathroom has been on your mind for weeks now. Throughout the day and night, you meticulously examined the swatches. You may have even painted a few of your favorites directly into the walls. You limited your options over time until you came to a decision. Do you think that was a wonderful experience?

Choosing the kind of paint equipment you’ll need for your specific job is all that’s left (apart from — yeah, you know — tape, surface protection, painting, and cleaning). There you go! Choosing a hue alone is not enough. It’s important to know whether that hue should be purchased in a flat, eggshell, semi-gloss, or any other finish.

Nobody promised it would be simple.

As long as the finish on your surface is correct and long-lasting, you may rest easy.

Let us explain the distinctions between various interior finishes so you can make an informed decision about which one to choose.

Types of Sheen Requires for Different Spaces

Here is a cheat sheet that tells us what kind of finish each room needs.

  • Bathrooms and kitchens require a semi-gloss finish.
  • Doors, Hallways. Dining areas and Bedrooms all require a satin finish.
  • All the decorative places of the house need an eggshell finish.
  • All wooden surfaces of the house, such as cabinets and doors, require a high gloss finish.

1. Oil-based Paints

Rust-Oleum 7727502 Stops Rust Brush On Paint, Quart, Gloss Royal Blue

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An Expert’s View

Professional painters often use oil-based paints because of their strong finish, which makes them water-resistant and long-lasting. Oil-based paints penetrate more deeply into the surface and adhere better than other paints. The stain-blocking properties of oil-based paints make them an excellent solution for stained surfaces, bleeding woods, and metals that are prone to corrosion.

Latex paints, on the other hand, dry in only a few hours, but oil paints might take up to 24 hours to dry.

Tips for Oil-Based Paint

For one thing, the oil in this sort of oil-based paint separates fast, so you’ll need to mix often.

When painting with oil-based paints, use a brush or roller that is particularly developed for this purpose.

— Josh Abramson, ALLBRiGHT 1-800-PAINTING’s main solutionist

The term “solvent-based paints” refers to oil-based paints. If you’re looking for a paint that is long-lasting and trustworthy, this is the one for you. For a low price, you’ll also be able to get oil paint. In this way, it is one of the most frequent paints used in people’s houses.

You’ll be able to enjoy your home for many years to come if you use this paint. Oil-based paint is the best choice if you want your paint to endure as long as possible without displaying indications of damage or wear. You can count on this paint to last for many years without peeling or chipping. In the event that you have already decided on the paint color you want to use, using oil-based paint will ensure that your choice will remain constant throughout time.

It’s a good idea to use oil-based paint when painting your trim. Using oil-based paint on the trim will ensure that it can withstand some wear and tear. If cared for properly, your trim should look great for many years to come. Oil-based paint should be your first choice if you want something to last a long period.

A common complaint with oil-based paint is that it takes longer to cure than other choices. This paint may take a few extra hours to dry. Even though it’s a pain, it can be worth it for you in the long run. Before deciding on a paint color, for your house, think about all of the pros and drawbacks.

2. Water-based Paints

General Finishes Water Based Milk Paint, 1 Gallon, Lamp Black

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Expert Opinion

When painting an interior wall, a water-based enamel is usually a better option than an oil-based one. Compared to oil-based paints, water-based paints have a lower odor and are simpler to clean up. In addition, water-based paints emit less volatile organic compounds (VOCs), dry faster, and have a longer lifespan.

-Noah Winkles, Vice President of New Life Painting, is quoted in the fifth paragraph of this article.

There are certain advantages to using water-based paint over oil-based paint, but it’s not nearly as durable or long-lasting. There are various benefits to using water-based paint over traditional oil-based paint. Because water-based paints dry more quickly, they are a popular choice for many individuals. Water-based paints might save you a lot of time when painting quickly is a priority for you.

When painting the inside of your house, you’ll be able to get more work done in a single day if you use this sort of paint. The water-based paint dries quickly, allowing you to make steady progress. The drying period of oil-based paint makes it more difficult to work with. On the other hand, buying water-based paint will frequently be the most efficient approach to complete the project.

This kind of paint also makes cleanup a breeze. Water-based paints may easily be cleaned off with a little soap and water. It will take more time and effort to remove the oil-based paint, so plan accordingly. Because of this, water-based paint is a lot more practical to use for interior painting projects.

Water-based paint also emits no harmful emissions. Some people believe that oil-based paint is harmful to the environment. Due to environmental and health issues, oil-based paint has been proposed as a ban in several regions of the United States. So, it’s no surprise that water-based paint has been on the rise for years.

You should be aware of the drawbacks of this sort of paint as well. When compared to oil-based paint, this paint is more expensive. In addition, they’re not as long-lasting as the oil-based alternatives. By choosing a more user-friendly paint, you’re sacrificing some durability.

3. Paint made Using Latex as an Ingredient

Rust-Oleum 1990502 Painter's Touch Latex Paint, Quart, Flat White 32 Fl Oz (Pack of 1)

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Most exterior paint jobs are completed using latex paint, according to industry experts. Compared to oil-based paint, acrylic paint is a lot simpler to deal with. This water-based product is a breeze to use, dries fast, and leaves less of a mess behind. Direct sunshine has no impact on it, either. The siding of the home stretches and contracts with the expansion and contraction of the latex paint, which means it doesn’t hold moisture.

A high-quality acrylic latex paint may be used on any construction material, including stone and metal (as long as the surface is primed properly).

If you decide to go with latex paint, be sure to choose one that is made for outdoor usage only. It is not recommended that you use latex paint on exterior walls.

— Josh Abramson, ALLBRiGHT 1-800-PAINTING’s main solutionist

Water-based paints and latex paints are often mistakenly regarded as interchangeable. The phrases are often used interchangeably, which might cause some complications. Water-based latex paints exist as well. There are chemical-based latex paints as well; thus, there is a distinction.

You should inspect the paint can you are seeking to acquire in order to receive the greatest outcomes. Before making a purchase, make sure to know precisely what kind of paint you want. As previously stated, water-based paints may be used for a wide range of applications. Because water-based paints are viewed as more ecologically friendly, some individuals prefer to buy them.

Even though it contains chemicals, latex-based paint might still be an excellent choice for your house. Compared to oil-based paint, acrylic paint has the potential to provide excellent results and dry more quickly. Don’t forget to check out what you’re getting. In order to be sure that you’re getting 100% water-based paint, you should read the label carefully before purchasing.

If you’re painting your floor, you’ll want to use this kind of paint. Simply soap and water will do the trick for cleaning this paint. It’s a great paint for painting the floor since it’s so easy to use. It dries quickly and may even be used to paint concrete.

4. Priming

Rust-Oleum 3554 Zinsser High Hide Cover Stain Primer and Sealer, White 32 Fl Oz (Pack of 1)

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Expert Opinion

Oil-based primers are more common than water-based ones. Water-based primers are excellent for a wide range of tasks, but they can only be used with water-based paint. It is possible to employ oil-based primers with water-based or oil-based paints, and these primers may be used on a variety of surfaces, including stained or bleeding wood and metal.

— Josh Abramson, ALLBRiGHT 1-800-PAINTING’s main solutionist

If you want to acquire decent results, primer is an essential aspect of the procedure. In most cases, you’ll need to prime your walls before painting them. You can get paint and primer in one package for certain objects, but it’s usually better to simply apply a priming layer before painting the rest of the surface. This is the greatest way to get the best results while painting the walls.

The primer seals the wall’s surface. This protects the wall from discoloration caused by the previous paint coat. Primer is a must if you don’t want your old paint to show through and damage your new paint job. It’s easy to use, and the results are much better.

It’s possible to buy a variety of primers, as well. Changing the color of your walls may be a difficult task, as you would think. Changing the color of your walls from dark to light requires the use of a particular primer. A high-hide primer will help you get the greatest outcomes possible. In order to disguise the original hue, you may not need to apply many more layers of paint.

Determine your requirements before purchasing a primer. Examine the paint container to see whether the quality is appropriate for the task at hand. This will help you to get the job done quickly and effectively, and you’ll have a positive overall experience. If you’re feeling confident, you could even want to go with a paint and primer package offer.

5. Flat paint

Diamond Brite Paint 11900-5 Flat Paint and Primer in One, 5-Gallon, White

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A Painting Expert’s Opinion

Are you’re intending on painting your kitchen, bathroom, or children’s room and planning on skipping the flat finish? Why? It’s a pain to clean. If you want to cover up dirty fingerprints, grease splatters, and other messes, you’ll have to use paint.

The flat finish, on the other hand, is a refined and beautiful finish. It’s ideal for indoor walls and ceilings that aren’t commonly walked on. A low-reflecting surface reduces the appearance of defects, making it an ideal alternative for those with visible surface faults.

New Life Painting Vice President Noah Winkles explains the company’s philosophy in this statement:

Even though flat paint is inexpensive, it doesn’t have a very bright sheen. Because of this, it won’t be particularly reflective or have much texture. This may give the impression that flat paint is a less-than-ideal choice, but this is not always the case. However, flat paint is best employed in regions that aren’t often used.

When it comes to paint finishes, flat paint is the least long-lasting. This indicates that it is more vulnerable to harm. High-traffic areas may not be the best places for flat paint. In a space that doesn’t receive much usage, it might save you money by using this paint finish.

Flat paint’s affordability is one of its most enticing features. If you’re on a tight budget, buying a can of flat paint might save you a lot of money. Do not expect this option to last very long. This isn’t a paint you should apply in every room of your house, but it has its place.

6. Paint with a Matte Finish

Rust-Oleum 285140 Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Paint 30 oz, 30 Fl Oz (Pack of 1), Linen White

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The glossiness of matte paint is somewhat higher than that of flat paint. When referring to paint kinds, some individuals use the phrases matte and flat interchangeably. Because of these tiny variances between matte and flat surfaces, this is not entirely true.

Matte paint is more durable than flat paint since it has a glossier surface. When painting a high-traffic area, matte paint is a more viable alternative because of its slightly increased durability. It’s still not the best option for most people, but it will hold up better than flat paint. This paint may be used in a variety of ways in your house.

One option is to paint your ceiling with a matte finish. You may save some money by doing this, and the matte paint will be better than other varieties in certain respects. Using matte paint, for example, makes it simpler to cover up minor defects in your ceiling. When you’re looking to save some money and get the most out of your matte paint, this is an excellent option to keep in mind.

7. Eggshell Coat

Benjamin Moore Ultra Spec 500 Interior Paint - Eggshell Finish (5 Gallon, White)

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Expert Opinion

The Eggshell Coat has a low luster, making it ideal for ornamental purposes (imagine an eggshell’s dull shine). Even if you choose a paint like Sherwin-Williams Super Paint or Duration Interior, it is simpler to clean than the flat finish. To wash your walls, just use mild soap and water. Some of the less expensive paints aren’t washable.

New Life Painting Vice President Noah Winkles explains the company’s philosophy in this statement:

The eggshell finish is the next step up from matte. Eggshell finishes may still seem matte if you look at them the correct way. However, it has a glossier appearance than a matte finish. Because eggshell paint is quite durable, it is a popular choice. With this finish, you’ll be able to be certain that it can hold up to some rough treatment.

As a result of its affordability and durability, eggshell paint is a popular choice. Eggshell paint is a popular choice for painting living rooms and other high-traffic areas. It’s a paint that looks good and protects you at the same time. Eggshell paint is a great choice for those who don’t want their walls to seem too shiny.

The ease with which eggshell paint may be cleaned is another benefit. With this paint, you’ll be able to clean your walls more readily than you would with other varieties of paint. A moist towel is all that is needed to clean it up with this product’s high shine. These characteristics contribute to eggshell paint’s popularity as a paint finish.

8. Satin Paint

Majic Paints 8-9400-2, White, Interior/Exterior Satin Paint, RePurpose your Furniture, Cabinets, Glass, Metal, Tile, Wood, 1-Quart, 32 Fl Oz (Pack of 1)

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Expert Opinion

Satin has a higher gloss, providing a velvety and smooth appearance. It can also be washed. It can be washed, but it can’t be cleaned with a hard brush. Stain may be used on anything from hallways and doors to furniture to dining rooms.

New Life Painting Vice President Noah Winkles explains the company’s philosophy in this statement:

Overall, satin paint resembles eggshell paint. Minor variances do exist between them. Even though satin paint is somewhat glossier, many individuals are unable to tell the difference between the two. Regardless of which of these two paints you pick, you should be alright. Even though it has a tiny sheen, this matte paint is still flat enough to meet the demands of the majority of users.

Any area in your house may benefit from this long-lasting paint. There are several benefits to using satin paint in your home, such as its low cost and long lifespan. This paint is easy to work with and will last a long time if you get the hang of it. A fantastic alternative when you don’t want to purchase anything that is excessively shiny, but you also don’t want things to seem flat.

9. Semi-Gloss Paint

Diamond Brite Paint 21050 1 Quart Semi Gloss Latex Paint High Hiding White

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Expert Opinion

To give your space a subtle sheen, go with a semi-gloss finish. Kitchens and bathrooms benefit from their resistance to cleaning since they can withstand a lot of wear and tear. However, be aware that a semi-gloss finish may accentuate defects in the wall.

Doors, baseboards, and trim all look great with a semi-gloss finish. Trim work benefits from the use of Semi-Gloss finishes.  In addition, since semi-gloss dries so hard, it’s ideal for woodwork, which is often damaged.

New Life Painting Vice President Noah Winkles explains the company’s philosophy in this statement:

This is the beginning of the glossier paint types, with semi-gloss paint being the entry point. If you’re looking for paint that’s going to make a statement, choose semi-gloss paint. Using this paint will provide a stunning effect that is sure to attract the attention of onlookers. For bathrooms and kitchens, it’s also quite durable, making it a great choice for flooring.

Many semi-gloss paints can withstand dampness as well, so look for them. You should go for moisture-resistant paint if you can since it is so common in bathrooms. It will extend the life of your paint in a wet space by making it brighter. This long-lasting paint will keep your house looking its finest for years to come.

When it comes to washing your walls, you don’t have to be too cautious. You may scrub your semi-gloss paint job to your heart’s content without worrying about damaging the finish. This is ideal for kitchens, where you may need to remove food debris from the walls. Semi-gloss paint should be used in areas where cleaning is required.

Semi-gloss paint, on the other hand, has a reflecting surface. These walls will reflect light, which may either be beneficial or detrimental, depending on your personal tastes. The light will make any defects in the walls more noticeable. Make sure to keep this in mind when you’re selecting a paint color.

10. Glazed-Over Paint

Rust-Oleum 242057 Painter's Touch Latex Paint, Quart, Gloss Clear

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Expert Opinion

Shiny, stain-resistant, and easy to clean, high-gloss is a popular option. Trim, doors, and cabinets made of wood benefit greatly from this product. In bathrooms and kitchens, particularly the backsplash, this finish is ideal since it is easy to remove food spatter and fingerprints. As a result, it’s a good option for railing and banisters.

For walls, high-gloss paint is not advised since it reflects light, making defects more obvious; therefore, it isn’t the best option.

New Life Painting Vice President Noah Winkles explains the company’s philosophy in this statement:

Using high-gloss paint may result in stunning results. It may make your house’s walls stand out and provide a lot of aesthetic value. Gloss paint is a great option if you’re striving for a refined aesthetic in your house. Your house will look better and last longer if you choose to paint it with this color combination.

Easy to clean, this style of paint is extremely popular. You don’t have to worry about it being scratched or chipped like the semi-gloss paint suggested before. This will save you a lot of time and effort when it comes to washing your walls, and you’ll be able to keep them looking immaculate. If you clean your walls correctly, you’ll be amazed at how smooth they are and how beautiful they seem.

Despite this, gloss coatings reflect more light than semi-gloss paint. Because of this, any defects in your walls are going to be quite noticeable. Depending on the state of your walls, this might be a nuisance. It’s not a problem for most individuals who prefer to use gloss paint, though.

The costliest finish you can have is that of gloss paint. However, it isn’t the most frequent form of paint in people’s homes, but it does function well in specific areas. This paint is ideal for creating a luxurious atmosphere in a house. Glistening paint may be used in a variety of settings.

To paint trim, gloss paint is often used. Furniture, cabinets, and even fireplaces may be painted with this style of paint. You can undoubtedly paint your walls with this sort of paint, but you’ll have to be prepared for it to reflect light and make imperfections more noticeable. Certain applications will benefit greatly from the use of this high-quality paint.

Other Color Schemes

11. Using a Spray Can

Rust-Oleum 248568-6PK Stops Rust Spray Paint, 12 Oz, Gloss Cherry, 6 Pack

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Arts and crafts projects regularly make use of spray paint. Spray paint may also be used for DIY tasks around the home, such as painting furniture. Useful paint, but not for painting your walls, should be on your list of considerations. You will want to be careful when using spray paint, though.

Using this sort of paint in a confined location might be highly hazardous. Spray paint users should always use masks to protect their respiratory systems from toxic fumes. It’s smart to use spray paint in a ventilated area or outdoors. Many people use spray paint to create magnificent works of art, but it has also been associated with vandalism.

Spray paint is a useful tool that can help many projects to go much more smoothly. If you need to paint something outdoors quickly, then using spray paint is going to be a good solution. It is a fairly cost-effective method, too. You will be able to find spray paint at most hardware stores without any problems.

12. Enamel Paint

INSL-X CC550109A-01 Cabinet Coat Enamel, Satin Sheen Paint, 1 Gallon, White

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Enamel paint is another option that you need to be aware of. This type of paint is great when you want something that will be as rugged as possible. Enamel paint is really durable and will withstand a ton of punishment. This type of paint is often used for the exterior of people’s homes because it can withstand the elements.

Using this paint will be a good idea when you need to protect something. For example, enamel paint is often used in the interior of a home on kitchen cabinets. Cabinets are always getting dinged and bumped into, so they need to have a certain amount of protection. The enamel paint can keep the cabinets looking nice, and you won’t have to worry about them so much.

People use enamel paint on furniture fairly often as well. It is a good paint to use on a table or a chair. Using the paint is pretty simple, and it will dry into a very rugged finish. You’ll have tough paint that can withstand just about anything without being adversely affected. Consider using enamel paint when it is going to be useful to you.

This particular can of enamel paint is really useful. You can use it without needing to use a primer first or having to sand anything down. This can wind up saving you a ton of time, making it a really desirable option. When you want to have an easy time while being able to provide the right protection with your paint job, this enamel paint is going to work perfectly.

13. Chalkboard Paint

Krylon K05223000 Chalkboard Paint Special Purpose Brush-On, Black, Quart

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Chalkboard paint is exactly what its name suggests, and that is to create a chalkboard surface that you can actually draw and write on with chalk. While not a good idea for every wall in your home, it’s great as an accent wall.

14. Specialty Paint Kits

Rust-Oleum 241140 Specialty Dry Erase Brush-On Paint Kit, White

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I’ve never used a surfacing paint kit, but it’s a neat idea. Gianni is a company that creates paint kits that creates various surfaces with paint. Examples include marble, slate, shiplap, stainless steel, and subway tile.