When it comes to home improvement projects, one of the easiest ways to completely transform a space is to add a fresh coat of paint or two. Just by changing the wall color, you can change the whole mood of the space and create a brand new atmosphere. Brighten it up for positive vibes, or dull it down while adding bright and funky furniture and home decor. Choosing the perfect color might seem like a challenge, but it is actually the easiest part.
If you have ever strolled through the paint aisles of home improvement stores, confusion on which can of paint to buy most likely occurred. Questions like “Is the $40 can of paint that much better than the $10 can?” or “What is the difference between flat, eggshell, and semi-gloss?” are common. So which paint is best for your space? Check out this guide on what to consider when choosing the best type of paint for your home.
Type of Paint: Oil-Based or Water-Based Latex
Choosing the type of paint you need is the first challenge when transforming your space. The two main types of paint available are oil-based and water-based latex. Oil paints are often found to be more durable and smoother when applying, but are often trickier to work with and clean up. Latex-based paints, on the other hand, are much easier to work with and can easily be cleaned with water if mistakes are made. Improvements to latex paints have made them much more durable than they used to be, so purchasing water-based latex is the way to go.
Cost of Paint: Expensive or Affordable
While picking out the perfect paint, you have probably noticed the huge range when it comes to price. Is that expensive can really any better than the cheapest can on the shelf? Chances are, yes it is. The pricier paints often contain titanium, allowing for more coverage and smoother application. Cheaper cans typically take much more paint to thoroughly cover the wall surface area, sometimes even three coats instead of just one with the more expensive brands. Another significant difference between these paints is overall durability. Pricier paint often lasts longer than the more affordable version.
Paint Finishes: Flat, Eggshell, Semi-Gloss, and High-Gloss
Another big question for your home improvement project is which paint finish is best for the surface you are painting. There are several to choose from, including flat (or matte), eggshell, semi-gloss, and high-gloss. Flat/matte paints are known for hiding imperfections because they absorb light rather than reflect it. The flaw of flat finish paints, however, is that they don’t stand up well to children and pets since they aren’t the easiest to clean. These paints are ideal for ceilings or lower-traffic areas.
Eggshell paints are similar to flat ones, but they are often easier to clean. They are also slightly glossier, reflecting more light than flat paints. Once again, these should not be used in high-traffic areas since they are still less durable than glossy paints. Semi-gloss and high-gloss paints are more reflective and give off a nice sheen when in contact with light. If the texture of the walls is uneven, you should not use gloss paints as they do not hide imperfections as well as flat and eggshell ones. They are, however, more durable so they are more ideal for high-traffic areas, and can withstand kids and pets.