Choosing the Right Paint for an Interior Project

by James Florence

Painting a room may seem simple enough, but there are actually many factors to consider besides color. To get the most out of your interior painting project, consider the following tips:

The complexities of color
The effects of paint color can vary significantly depending on how it’s used, so it’s important to consider the specific room or area to be painted beforehand. Color can be used to accentuate the good and mute the bad, and it can also be the difference between a room that feels inviting and one that feels inhospitable. A light color can be used to make a small room feel spacious, and a darker hue can be used to make a large room seem warmer and more intimate.


Distribution of color is a key aspect of painting any room. Photo: Solidarity Painting, Inc. (2013)

The distribution of color is also central to its overall effect. You shouldn’t be afraid of bold and bright colors, but remember that less is more in most cases. Using spare and varied hues to complement architectural aspects such as trim, molding, and columns is a good example of this. The colors should also reflect the purpose of the room—a living room should be warm and inviting, and a bedroom should be calming. It’s also a good idea to think of the room as a whole and coordinate the paint colors with the furniture and décor. If you want, you can purchase test quarts and paint a piece of scrap material or part of a wall to get a more accurate idea of how the color will look.

The right sheen
When it comes to sheen, function is as important as fashion. For example, flat paint works best for low-traffic areas in a home because it takes more effort to remove stains from this type of paint. It’s also a good option for areas with surface imperfections, as it gives a muting effect. On the flip side, low-luster, satin and eggshell paints provide a bright sheen that’s easy to clean and can withstand the wear-and-tear of high-traffic areas such as living rooms, bedrooms, and hallways. If you want to accentuate architectural features such as banisters, railings, windowsills, and doorjambs, semigloss and high-gloss paint and enamel are ideal choices.

Water-based is best
When selecting an interior finish, water-based enamel is preferable to oil-based gloss paint because it emits fewer noxious fumes, which can be a big deal when you’re painting inside your home. Also, water-based enamels are easier to clean and hold up better over time.

Quality counts
As with any product, the quality of paint can vary greatly, so be sure to choose a high-quality paint to ensure better performance and durability. High-quality paints are also easier to clean and more resistant to dirt. Remember, if you’re putting in the effort to paint the inside of your home, spending a little extra money will go a long way toward ensuring the best possible results.

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