A Complete Buyers Guide to Types of Paint

Walk into any hardware store, and you’ll be overwhelmed with the number of options in the paint department. There are many different types of paint. Today’s paint options consist of oil bases, water bases and oil-modified bases. In addition, sheen type is an important factor to consider before heading out to purchase your paint. It is extremely beneficial to have a basic understanding of the terms used by paint manufacturers because it’s tough to know exactly what you want or need without knowing anything about the topic.

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Types of Paint

  • Water (Latex) Based Paint

Water base paint types of paint are most commonly referred to as latex paint. Latex paints are the most common type of paint carried at hardware stores. Latex paints are popular because of their ease of use, and soap and water cleanup. Another popular feature of latex paint is its ability to recoated multiple times in one day.

  • Oil Based Paint

Oil base paints are popular for their durability. This type of paint is most popular for use on doors, trim, furniture. While oil base paints are extremely durable, they yellow over time, and they’re a pain to cleanup which is less than appealing to most people. For those of you that want the durability of an oil base paint, without having to clean brushes and rollers with paint thinner, an oil-modified paint would be best for your circumstance.

  • Oil Modified Paint

This is a fairly new type of paint. I consider it to be the best of both, because it combines the durability of an oil base paint, with the easy cleanup of a waterbase paint. In addition, this type paint only yellows very slightly, compared to its oil base sibling. Oil modified paints are also typically low VOC, which essentially means there’s little odor. My favorite type of oil modified paint is Benjamin Moore’s Advance.


It’s also important choose the right paint sheen

Believe it or not, sheen can make a difference. Choose a sheen that will work best in the area you’re painting.

Flat: No shine. Best for hiding surface imperfections. Less durable than other finishes. Best if used in low traffic areas and ceilings.

Matte: No shine, washable. Similar to flat but has the added benefit of being washable. Choose a Matte finish when you want the flat look but need the added durability.

Eggshell: Slight shine, washable. One of the most popular and versatile finishes. Eggshell creates a softly polished glow with easy to clean surface. Great for all high traffic areas like living rooms and hallways.

Satin: Slightly shinier than eggshell, washable. Durable finish that stands up well to repeated cleanings. Great for walls and trim in high traffic areas where you don’t want the full sheen of semi-gloss.

Semi-Gloss: Slightly shinier than Satin, washable. Smooth reflective sheen that is frequently used to highlight interior trim. Semi-Gloss can withstand heat, humidity and washing, making it a great choice for kitchens and bathrooms. This sheen also works best on furniture, trim, doors and cabinetry.

High-Gloss: this finish combines the most sheen with extreme hardness and durability. High Gloss is a great choice for front doors, trim and other areas you wish to highlight.

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Hopefully these tips will help you find the perfect paint color. If you’re still struggling to find the right color, please feel free to send me a message and I’ll be more than happy to assist you.

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