Walking into a paint department can be a bit overwhelming, if customers are not sure what specific products they need. Picking the color is only a small part of the process. It is helpful for people to have some basic information before they purchase their paint.

The first choice to be made is interior or exterior paint. It’s an easy decision, depending on whether the paint is being used indoors or outdoors. These paint’s properties are specific for their use. Interior paint is made so it can be scrubbed, and it is stain resistant. It can also be touched up easily. Exterior paint is made to expand and contract with changing conditions in the weather. There is a common misconception that exterior paint could be used indoors because it would be more durable. This is not true, the exterior paint may start chalking and touch up paint may not stick to the previous coat. Exterior paints also contain ingredients that resist mildew and fungi that can cause an odor when the humidity is high. The concentration of these ingredients can be a health hazard and can make allergies worsen.

Another decision to be made, is oil based or latex paint. Oil based paints are not utilized as much as they once were. Most people prefer latex paint, especially because it is soap and water clean up and does not require a thinner. The smell of latex is not nearly as strong as oil based paints.

There are a number of paint finishes to choose from.

A matte, or flat finish, has no sheen and marks easily. It is not recommended for homes with children or pets.

An eggshell finish has a little sheen to it, and is a bit more durable than flat.

Satin paint has a bit more gloss than eggshell, and provides easy clean up, but imperfections cannot be hidden when painting with satin paint.

The most popular paint finishes for homes is a semi-gloss. It is very easy to clean, and is very reflective. It works well in bathrooms and kitchens where there is an abundance of moisture. It is also a good choice for frames, trim, and furniture.

High gloss paint is extremely shiny, and is the easiest to clean. For the most part, it is used for closet and entry doors. Cracks and marks on surfaces are very visible when high gloss paint is used.

There are some specialty paints on the market. There are paints for the eco-conscious, they are low odor and have no VOC or low VOC. Paints are also available that add instant texture to walls to hide imperfections. There are even paints that have a deodorizer manufactured in them.

Color is a personal choice and there are thousands to choose from. Numerous paint stores can perfectly match the color to a piece of material or an item you take to them. The paint chips available in the store can give good ideas and it might be wise to take a paint chip home and put it in the area that is going to be painted. This allows a person to see how the color will look in the room’s light.



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