Take the “Pain” out of Painting – Choosing the Right Paint for the Job

GHS LOGO W- white transparent background (1)


It took me almost 6 months to finally decide on a paint color for my entry hallway.  I had so many paint squares of yellows, oranges, and shades of terracotta taped up all over the wall that I started to think of it as my own personal Rorschach test.


Once the color was FINALLY decided then I had to choose what TYPE of paint to use.  That almost put me into another month of analysis paralysis!   Was my wall considered textured?  What type of paint is already on the wall?   Did I want smudge proof? A slight shine? What was the difference between satin and semi-gloss?  Latex?  Oil Based? Did I want to buy higher priced quality paints ($$) or go for the cheaper brand ($)?  Does price or brand really make a difference?  What tools do I need?  I don’t know about you, but I can feel my blood pressure rising just typing this.


Sheen – The degree of light reflection

Tip: The shinier it is the easier it is to clean!

The duller it is, the better it covers up imperfections

Type of Sheen for Interior Paint Details Tips
Flat Finish This type of paint has a matte surface (dull) that doesn’t reflect light. Best on interior walls

Really good if you need to cover up any wall bumps or cracks

Not washable or smudge proof

Good for ceilings


Flat Enamel This is the same as above, but can take an occasional gentle cleaning. Can gently wipe down and not smudge paint


Eggshell Finish Still on the “Flat” side, but with a hint of a low sheen/gloss.

If you were to look at the shell of an egg, that’s pretty much how it will look.


Cleans better than a Flat paint

Powder room or guest bath


Satin Finish Think of a smooth, velvety look with a touch more shine/gloss to it. Use in areas that get lots of traffic

Smudge resistant

Designed to hold up to a light scrubbing

I like to use in children’s bedrooms


Semi-Gloss A subtle shine but not too glamorous and glitzy. This paint requires more prep work

If surface isn’t prepped right, the end result can be a bit “off” in areas giving you an uneven shine

Cleans great!

Used mostly in kitchens, bathrooms and on interior doors

Best used where there is water, splashing or steam


Glossy Finish More of a contemporary paint.  Dramatic, shiny, glossy, reflective quality.  Kind of has an enamel or plastic look to it. VERY careful prep work and sanding required on surfaces

It will draw attention to any imperfections

Formal, contemporary settings

Used on cabinets, trim and sometimes on furniture


 Latex Versus Oil based:

My general rule of thumb is latex for indoor use due to its low odor, quick drying time, durability and easy cleanup.


Oil based paints are best used for exterior jobs when repainting OVER previous coats of oil based paints (at least 4 layers of old paint) or for surfaces that have a “chalky” texture to them.  Meaning, when you run your hand across the surface, a chalky type substance rubs off on your hands.


What’s VOC?

You will see paint brands that say they are Low- VOC.   VOC means Volatile Organic Compounds.  These compounds are found in the resin of all paints to help the paint bind to a wall.  If they weren’t in the paint, the color would just streak down the wall.   Paints with Low-VOC’s are best for those who are allergic to the typical paint smell, want an environmentally friendly paint and it’s also virtually odorless.   It doesn’t affect how the paint looks on your wall.  This is more of a personal choice.


Does it really make a difference if I buy a cheaper ($) interior paint?

The old adage of “You get what you pay for” is true with paint.  This isn’t like trying out a new hair spray or brand of car oil.  This is usually a one and done type of job.   You get better quality ingredients which translates into better binding agents that will stay on your wall longer.   There is also less “filler” with quality paint.  The paint has a solvent that is a mix of color (pigment) and resin (binding agent).  Cheaper paint has more solvent which means the end result is a thinner paint on your wall requiring more coats of paint to get the color depth you desire and staying power. (which means you may have to buy MORE paint) Quality paints tend to have less solvent so you’ll need less coats of paint.


The right tools for the interior paint job:

Tool Description Tips
Brushes Synthetic bristle brushes are the best to use with latex paints.   Look for quality brushes that won’t leave its bristles on the wall or streaks.   Brushes with flexible split ends at the tip will lay the paint down more evenly.

Only use natural bristle brushes if applying oil based paints.

3″ brush serves most general interior painting purposes

A 2″ brush can be used to cut-in corners for interior work

An angled sash brush, 1″ to 2 1/2″ wide, is ideal for painting both interior and exterior trim, window frames and moldings


Rollers Only synthetic roller covers should be used with latex paints.  Look for rollers without a seam and hold their shape when squeezed.

You also want to look for a higher quality roller that doesn’t leave fibers behind on the wall.

On wallboard, smooth plaster, wood, or metal, use a short nap of 1/8″ to 1/4″

The smoother the wall, the shorter the nap


The right person for the job:

Now that you have all the information to pick out the right sheen of paint, the right texture and the tools for the job, WHO is going to do all the prep and painting?

If you’d like to save time, reduce stress, eliminate clean up and spend time enjoying the end result, give Garcia Handyman Services a call to get a free estimate.

I’m glad I called them!

Great News!  10% off of all interior paint jobs through April 2017!!!

Kimi Brown

303-800-3373; GarciaHandymanServices.com; Facebook.com/GarciaHandymanServices;
Twitter @ GarciaHandyman