What Type of Paint Should I Use for Interior Painting?

You have probably heard that a good paint job depends on how well a surface was prepped. This is correct, but selecting the right kind of paint for any painting project is very important as well. Paint products are different than they use to be. Most of the products found on the shelf are better than older products, but you have to know what type of paint to use and how to use it in order for it to be effective.

Walls and Ceilings

When selecting an interior paint for your walls or ceilings, you need to ask yourself a few questions to determine the proper product. First, do you want a washable and durable paint or a paint that just looks good? Why is this a good question? Because sometimes a paint that is more washable and durable may not look very nice on your walls or ceilings if the area gets a lot of natural light. Paint that has more of a sheen to it tends to make the imperfections on your drywall more noticable. Most ceilings are painted with flat except for kitchens and baths. If the areas get a lot of moisture or grease from cooking, you need to use an enamel (anything but flat). The flat finishes today are washable for a short time and durable. However, if you know you are going to have children or a lot of foot traffic around the painted surfaces, flat is not recommended. Certain accent colors look good with flat as well.

Whether you decide to use flat or an enamel on your drywall, we would highly recommend painting with acrylic paints (also called "water based"). It is getting more difficult to paint with oil based paints, due to all the government regulations. An oil base has its place. If you already have oil base on your bathrooms and kitchen, it is typically less expensive to paint with the same product. The downside to using oil is that it tends to yellow. If the area has a lot of natural light, the oil will not yellow as fast.


Many times, people ask us to put a gloss on the walls or trim when in reality, they just do not want flat. A Gloss from the paint stores is very shiny and does not necessarily look appealing on most surfaces. For woodwork, we would typically recommend using semi-gloss, and in some cases a low-sheen enamel. Because it is getting harder to find oil base products, we recommend switching to a durable water base paint when painting woodwork. The waterborne paints are getting better each year. The problem we found in the past with most water base paints is that they did not dry as hard inside and were less durable than the oils. On the positive side, they do not yellow and the smell is not bad.

If you hire us to paint your cabinets, we will test the surfaces and see what existing products were used. Depending on the surface, we can use water, oil or a pre-catalyzed lacquer. The pre-cat. lacquer is the most durable of finishes.

To learn more about the right products to use on your home, ask our estimator.

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    Phone (858) 454-3850
    7958 Convoy Ct
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