How To Choose Interiors Paint

What Paint to Use Where

Painting is labor-intensive and material-cheap. So as long as you’re spending many hours applying paint, apply the good stuff. It’ll cost a little more but it’ll last longer, protect better and cover in fewer coats. All paints contain four basic ingredients. Here’s what they are and what separates the good from the bad: Pigments are the finely ground particles that give paint its opacity. In high-quality paints, these pigments are purer, smaller, more plentiful and do a better job blocking the color of the surface they’re applied to. Resins, sometimes called binders, encapsulate the pigments, penetrate the wood and create the surface film. Paints labeled “100 percent acrylic” are of higher quality than those labeled “vinyl acrylic.”

Solvents are the liquids: water in latex paints, mineral spirits in oil-based paints—that transport the pigments and resins from the brush or roller onto the wall, then evaporate as the paint dries. Less solvent means more solid resins and pigments, which translates into better coverage. Additives include thickeners that help create smoother surfaces, surfactants that help paints adhere better and mildewcides that help limit mildew growth, at least for a few years. In many ways, the best determinant of good paint is price; you’ll get what you pay for. And since high-quality paint can last twice as long as less expensive paint, it’s actually cheaper in the long run. Selecting the right primer and paint for the job depends on the composition and condition of the surface it will be applied to, as well as what kind of abuse it will take.

Here are some basic guidelines:


  1. Water-based (latex): Latex paint has the consistency of latex, but doesn’t actually contain any of the substance. Withstands moisture, mildew and wood movement, more likely to show brushstrokes than oils; but new additives are overcoming this tendency. Water clean-up.
  2. Oil-based (alkyd): Most often used for woodwork, trim, cabinets and floors. Slow drying and less likely to show brushstrokes. Mineral spirits clean-up. Use is restricted in some areas. Enamel:
  3. Enamel paint is tougher and more “scrubbable” than other paints. It can be either latex or oil and usually has a fairly high sheen. More likely to yellow and become brittle with age.
  4. Epoxy: Exceptionally durable and moisture resistant. Often used on concrete and wood floors. Some are two-part products. Critical to follow manufacturer’s instructions regarding priming and other preparation work.

Paint Sheen: 

  1. Gloss: Durable and easy to scrub. Best for high-use areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, hallways and children’s bedrooms. Often used for woodwork and trim. Most likely to show surface flaws.
  2. Satin/semi-gloss: Often used in bathrooms, kitchens and other areas where a soft yet somewhat glossy look is desired.
  3. Flat/eggshell: The least shiny and least likely to show surface flaws. Often used on ceilings and walls of less likely to be abused rooms like bedrooms and living rooms.


Primers are designed to help paint stick. There are primers formulated for use on metals, vinyls, bare drywall, wall coverings and other surfaces. Using the right primer will ensure better adhesion and, in most cases, result in fewer coats of paint.

Here are a few tips to remember:

  1. Both oil-based and latex paints can be applied over an oil-based primer. As a general rule, only latex paint should be applied over a latex primer, ‘ but some newer formulas allow for both oil and latex topcoats.
  2. Tinting a primer will often allow you to get by with one coat of paint.
  3. When painting over surfaces that have stains that tend to bleed through, prime first with a “stain-blocking” primer.

How to Select Interior Paint Color

Paint manufacturers have taken much of the guesswork out of selecting paints. Most now have brochures and Web sites that suggest different schemes and combinations based on the style of your house or room.

There are a few rules of thumb in regard to color selections. Pale shades open a room and give it a sense of spaciousness. Because colors with a lot of white in them reflect light, they brighten dark hallways and rooms with a northern exposure, which get the least sunlight. White ceilings seem higher because the color makes them appear to recede. Dark colors make a room cozy and intimate. They are often used in quiet places like studies and dens.

  • Dark colors can also disguise architectural faults like uneven walls, and they hide signs of wear in heavy-use areas.
  • Blues, violets, greens and grays give a cool, serene feeling to a room. Intense cool colors are refreshing, while subdued cool hues have a tranquil effect. Reds, oranges and yellows warm a room. Intense warm colors create excitement; subtler hues, sociability.
  • Pure colors are vibrant, energetic, but, in too great a quantity, a little tiring. Expanses of bright, intense color belong in active spaces like recreation rooms. Bright accents, however, can add excitement to soft color schemes.

Using swatches.

When you choose room colors you can select them all from the families of colors on a single paint swatch; select one for the trim, one for the walls and one for the ceiling. As a rule of thumb, if your ceilings are less than 270 cm tall, paint them two shades lighter than the walls. If they’re taller, paint them two shades darker. For the trim, select a color within the same family.

Light vs. Dark Color

  • To make a room appear larger and the ceiling taller, paint them both light colors.
  • To make a room feel calm and uncluttered, paint it white.

Monochromatic vs. Colorful

  1. To unify a room or give an odd-shaped room a sense of wholeness, go with a monochromatic color scheme.
  2. To make any room feel smaller and more intimate, paint the walls a dark color. Darker ceilings tend to make them feel lower.
  3. To add liveliness to a room, use bright, contrasting colors. Kids bedrooms are likely candidates for these schemes.

These paints are designed to supply a want which has long been acknowledged, which is cheap, reliable, ready-made colors for painting the exteriors of country houses, fences, out-buildings or roofs.  They are the result of a series of experiments and tests extending over many years, and are confidently recommended as possessing all the required qualities for preserving wood, iron, stone, tin and plaster from the action of the weather. They are warranted more water-proof than any paint ever before offered, and are fire-proof to as great a degree as any paint now in use. Being ground in oil perfectly fine, they work smoothly and easily under the brush, possess a density and covering property unequaled by other substances used in painting, and can be applied by those not skilled in the use of the paint brush, without any mixing or manipulation other than being thinned with oil, benzine or turpentine, to suit the work.

For painting freight cars, wood and iron bridges, iron buildings, tin or iron roofs, warehouses, store houses, out buildings and fences, or exterior work of any description, the Railroad Paints will be found superior in every respect to any paint ever applied. The Resene being mostly natural colors, are not liable to change or fade, as are most factitious pigments ; and a given quantity of the former will cover a much larger area of surface than will the same quantity of white-lead, while the first cost is only from one-half to two-thirds as much. Samples of the shades and colors of the Dulux on painted paper, with prices, will be sent by mail, upon application accompanied by stamps to pay return postage.

The paints are put up in barrels, half barrels, and in 100-lbs. kegs, ready for use when thinned with raw or boiled linseed oil, or turpentine, or benzine, as may be required to suit the work. Many of the materials sold under various names, and recommended for painting, are in their nature totally unsuited for such purpose, being semi-transparent, and consequently wanting the property without which no pigment is valuable or economical, for ordinary exterior house painting. They are too coarse, gritty and sandy, which renders the spreading of them evenly, a task not easy of accomplishment. In hue and tone of color they are disagreeable and unpleasant.

A dingy chocolate-colored exterior is not in harmony with any landscape. No matter what the character of the structure may be, whether it be isolated or attached to other buildings, whether it be a corn-crib or cow-house, if the same be worth painting at all, it is worth painting with some regard for the laws of harmony and the “fitness of things.” Every house, barn, out-building, or fence, be-comes, when painted, a more conspicuous object n the landscape than it otherwise would be; and the cost of painting the same in conformity with the laws of harmonious arrangement and proper adaptation to the surroundings, is no greater than to paint in such a manner as to set all these laws at defiance.

Bathroom and laundry paints

Cool blues and crisp fresh whites are brilliant for bathrooms and laundries. Mix your blues to bring a sense of the deep sea, or bright summer skies into the room – perfect for baches and beach houses; Want a sleek pared-back look, but don’t want to go all-out white? These gorgeous greys can warm up a cool bathroom, or make it even cooler! Go completely starkers in the bathroom and laundry – stark white that is. It’s the freshest cleanest look for the smallest, functional rooms in the house. Complete with white appliances, white wicker baskets and white fluffy towels for a total white-out.

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