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14 Different Types of Paint Finishes for Interior and Exterior Surfaces

Collage of interior and exterior home paint applications

Table of Contents Show

Quicklist: Interior/Exterior Paint

  1. Oil-based
  2. Water-based
  3. Latex-based
  4. Primer
  5. Flat
  6. Matte
  7. Eggshell
  8. Satin
  9. Semi-Gloss
  10. Gloss
  11. Spray
  12. Enamel
  13. Chalkboard
  14. Specialty Kits

While cave dwellers used crude paint to decorate the ancient rock walls about 30,000 years ago, paint only entered the American market during the Industrial Revolution. It’s now a multi-billion dollar industry with over 1.57 billion gallons sold per year in the U.S. alone.

The White House is so-called because of its lime-based whitewash which requires a yearly painting and 570 gallons of paint for the entire exterior.

Now let’s turn our attention to your painting project.

You’ve agonized over the new paint color for your dining room, kitchen, bedroom or bathroom for weeks now. You’ve hung the swatches and dutifully studied them in all lights of day and night.

You may have even painted samples of your top choices right onto your walls. Slowly, ever so slowly, your choices narrowed and narrowed until you finally selected The One. Didn’t that feel great?

Now, all that’s left (aside from — oh, you know — the taping, the surface protecting, the painting and the cleanup) is selecting the type of paint tools you need for your particular project. That’s right. It’s not enough to select a color. You need to know if you should purchase that color in a flat, eggshell, semi-gloss or other finish.

Nobody said it was going to be easy.

But when you get the finish right for your surface, you’ll be able to rest easy for years to come.

We’re here to help you understand the differences between interior finishes so you can select the right one for your particular project.

Related: Types of Wood Stain | Green Paint Color Options | Beige Paint Color Options | Gray Paint Color Options | Satin Paint | Flat Paint | Eggshell Paint | Oil-Based Paint | Gloss Paint | Enamel Paint | Latex-Based Paint | Chalkboard Paint | Water-Based PaintIs Semi-Gloss Paint Okay in the Living Room | Ceiling Paint vs. Wall Paint


Hide and Seek: Paint Sheen

Illustration shows five sheens of paint: matte, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss and high-gloss.

Overview: Best Sheen for Different Rooms

Here’s a quick cheat sheet for the best finish by room. Below I provide more details about each finish.

  • Kitchens and bathrooms: Semi-Gloss
  • Bedrooms, Dining Rooms, Hallways and Doors: Satin
  • Ceilings:  Flat finish
  • Decorative areas: Eggshell
  • Wood Surfaces (doors, cabinets and trim): High-Gloss

Types of Paint Bases

1. Oil-Based Paint

Mixing the oil-based warm white paint using a stirrer.

Painting expert:

Professional painters often use oil-based paints for their hard finish that makes them durable and water-resistant. Oil-based paints provide better surface penetration than other paints, as well as better adhesion. Oil-based paints are great at stain blocking, which makes them a good choice for stained surfaces, bleeding woods and metals that can rust.

Their drying time, however, is far longer than latex paints — sometimes taking as long as 24 hours.

Oil-Based Paint Tips

1. The oil in this type of paint separates quickly, so you’ll want to stir your paint often.

2. Use a brush or roller that is specifically designed to be used with oil-based paints.

– Josh Abramson, chief solutionist of ALLBRiGHT 1-800-PAINTING

Oil-based paints are also sometimes called solvent-based paints. This paint is going to be a great choice if you are looking for something that is durable and reliable. You will be able to purchase oil-based paint at a very reasonable price, too. This makes it one of the most common types of paint that are used in people’s homes.

This type of paint can really stand the test of time for you. If you want your paint to last for as long as possible without showing signs of damage or wear, then using oil-based paint is the way to go. This paint is definitely resilient and can look beautiful in your home for many years.

If you have made a decision on which color of paint that you would like to have on your walls, then you can lock it in for a long time by going with an oil-based paint.

When you are looking to paint your trim, it is a good idea to use oil-based paint, too. You need the paint on the trim to be able to stand up to some abuse, and the oil-based paint will keep it protected.

Your trim will look really nice and it should stay vibrant for years to come. When you want something to last for a long time, oil-based paint should be your first option.

One of the problems that people have with oil-based paint is that it doesn’t dry as quickly as some of the other options. It can take several hours longer for this paint to dry. This is a bit of an inconvenience, but depending on your needs, it can definitely be worth the wait.

Take everything into consideration before you make your final decision on which type of paint to use in your home.

2. Water-Based Paint

Water-Based Paint


water-based enamel is most often a safer choice than oil-based when you’re painting an interior wall. Water-based paints carry less of an odor and they are easier to clean up (which you’ll appreciate as you paint inside your house!). In addition, water-based paints have low VOCs, dry quickly and wear better throughout the years. 

– Noah Winkles, Vice President of New Life Painting

Water-based paint isn’t quite as resilient or long-lasting as the oil-based options on the market, but it can still be a good choice for you to use. This paint has several advantages over the oil-based options.

One of the biggest reasons that people choose water-based paints is that they dry a lot quicker. When you want to get the painting done as fast as possible, water-based paints are certainly going to save you some time.

When you use this type of paint to paint the interior of your home, you’ll be able to do many coats of paint in a single day. It doesn’t take too long for the water-based paint to dry and you’ll be able to make steady progress.

Oil-based paint isn’t quite so easy to use, as it can take a long time to dry. This really prolongs the process, so buying the water-based paint is often going to be the most efficient way to get the job done.

This type of paint is significantly easier to clean up as well. You will usually be able to clean up a water-based paint using a bit of soap and some water.

Cleaning up the oil-based paint is going to require a lot more effort and this can add more time to your job. It’s a lot more convenient to use water-based paint for interior paint jobs because of this.

Water-based paint doesn’t give off any noxious fumes either. Oil-based paint is seen as a bit of an environmental hazard by some.

In some parts of America, there are even movements to ban oil-based paint due to environmental and health concerns. For this reason, water-based paint has been creeping up in popularity for years.

There are some negatives about this type of paint that you should be aware of, too. This paint can be more costly when compared to oil-based paint.

They’re also a bit less durable than the oil-based options. You’re essentially trading durability for a paint that is more user-friendly.

3. Latex-Based Paint

Latex-Based Paint

Expert opinion:

Latex paint is used for most exterior applications The nice thing about this paint is that it’s much easier to work with than oil-based paint. As it’s water-based, it’s easy to apply, dries quickly, and it doesn’t make as much of a mess. It’s also resistant to the effects of direct sunlight. Latex paint expands and contracts with the siding on the house and doesn’t trap moisture.

Acrylic latex is the highest quality latex paint, and is perfect for any building material — masonry and metal included (as long as the surface is primed properly).

If you choose latex paint, make sure you choose one that is specifically for exterior use. The latex paint you use for interior walls will not hold up outside.

– Josh Abramson, chief solutionist of ALLBRiGHT 1-800-PAINTING

Many people assume that latex-based paints and water-based paints are the same. You will often see the terms being used interchangeably and this can lead to a bit of confusion. Some types of latex-based paints are also water-based.

There are also latex-based paints that make use of chemicals, so there is a difference between the two. In order to get the best results, you should look at the can of paint that you are trying to purchase. Determine exactly what type of paint you are buying before moving forward.

As noted above, water-based paints are excellent for many purposes. Some people choose to purchase water-based paints simply because they are seen as a more environmentally friendly option.

Latex-based paint, even when it is using chemicals, can be very good paint to use in your home. The paint can turn out well and it will dry quicker than oil-based paint, generally speaking. Just remember to make sure that you know what you are buying.

If you really want 100% water-based paint, then you should read the label carefully to ensure that you are buying the right stuff. The latex-based paint being shown here is meant specifically for painting the floor.

It doesn’t require primer and can be easily cleaned up with just soap and water. It is a really convenient paint to use when you want to paint the floor. It can dry fast and will even work well when you’re trying to paint concrete.

4. Primer

Hand-rolling with a primer.


Primers are also either oil-based or water-based. Water-based primers are great for most any job you’ll do, but you can only use them with water-based paint. Oil-based primers can be used with both oil- or water-based paint, and these primers also work well on stained wood, bleeding wood and metals.

– Josh Abramson, chief solutionist of ALLBRiGHT 1-800-PAINTING

Primer is an important part of the process that you won’t want to forget if you want to have good results. You need to put on a coat of primer before painting your walls, in most situations.

It is possible to buy paint and primer all-in-one solutions for certain things, but it is often best to just do a primer coat ahead of the normal painting. This prepares the walls for the paint and gives you the best results possible.

What the primer does is seal the surface of a wall. This provides the wall with a protective layer that will prevent discoloration from the old paint. If you want to keep your old paint from bleeding through and negatively impacting your new paint job, then you are going to need to buy primer. It is simple enough to use and you will get far better results.

There are different types of primer that you can purchase, too. As you might expect, changing the colors of your walls can present some challenges. If you have dark colors on your walls now and wish to change them to something that is lighter, you’ll need a special primer.

Something known as a high-hide primer will work brilliantly to give you the best results. It can prevent you from needing to waste a lot of extra coats of paint in order to hide the old color.

Before you purchase your primer, simply understand your needs. Look at the can of paint and determine if it is the right grade for what you are trying to do.

This will allow you to get everything accomplished efficiently and you will have a good experience overall. You may even want to consider the paint and primer combination deal if you’re feeling confident.

Paint Sheen Options

5. Flat Paint

Flat paint

Painting expert:

Pass on the flat finish if you’re planning on painting your kitchen, bathroom or kids’ bedrooms. Why? It doesn’t clean well. You’ll actually have to paint over grubby fingerprints, grease splatters and more if you want those messes to disappear.

The flat finish, however, is a sophisticated and luxurious finish. It works well for interior walls (that won’t be frequently touched) and ceilings. It’s also a good choice if you have noticeable surface imperfections because it creates a low-reflecting surface — diminishing the appearance of imperfections.

– Noah Winkles, Vice President of New Life Painting

Flat paint is very affordable but doesn’t give off a very vibrant look. It isn’t very reflective and it won’t have much texture to it at all. This may make it sound like flat paint isn’t a very desirable option, but this isn’t necessarily the case.

Flat paint can be useful, but it is best used in areas that aren’t used as often. The flat paint is the least durable paint finish that you can buy. This means that it will be prone to becoming damaged. Using flat paint in a high-traffic area might be a poor decision.

It can be a good paint finish to use in a room that doesn’t get a lot of use, as it can save you a little money. One of the most appealing aspects of flat paint is that it is quite affordable. It usually costs very little to purchase a can of flat paint and this can be nice when you’re on a budget.

Just remember that it is not a very durable option. This won’t be a good paint to use in every area of your home, but it will have its uses.

6. Matte Paint

Rust-Oleum 287722 Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Paint 30 oz, Clear

Matte paint is ever-so-slightly glossier than its flat cousin. Sometimes people wind up using the terms matte and flat interchangeably when speaking about paint types. This isn’t quite accurate as there are minor differences between matte and flat finishes.

Aside from matte paint having a more glossy finish than flat paint, it is also more durable. The slight increase in durability makes the matte paint a more reasonable option when you are looking for paint in a high-traffic area.

It still isn’t going to be the ideal choice for most people, but it will stand up a bit better than flat paint. You should be able to find plenty of uses for this type of paint in your home.

One good idea is to use matte paint on your ceiling. This is a fantastic method for saving a bit of money and the matte paint will be preferable to other types in some ways.

For example, you can hide damaged parts of your ceiling or little flaws a bit easier when using a matte paint. This is something to consider when you want to save a little money and make good use of your matte paint.

7. Eggshell Paint

Afm Safecoat Eggshell Enamel Pastel Base 0 Voc, White 32 Oz. Can 1/Case


Eggshell provides a low luster (think of the low sheen of an actual eggshell), so it works well for decorative finishes. It can be cleaned easier than a flat finish, especially if you purchase a paint like Sherwin Williams Super Paint or Duration Interior. This paint is durable and won’t wash away when you wash your walls. Some cheaper paints don’t hold up to washing.

– Noah Winkles, Vice President of New Life Painting

Eggshell is the next step up from a matte finish. When you look at an eggshell finish in the right way, it will still appear somewhat matte. It is glossier than a matte finish, though.

The biggest selling point of eggshell paint is that it is fairly durable. You will be able to feel confident in this finish being able to stand up to a bit of punishment.

The fact that eggshell paint is fairly durable while remaining an affordable option makes it quite popular. You will often see people using eggshell paint to paint their living rooms and other important areas.

It works well as a paint that will look nice while providing practical protection. People who don’t want something that looks too glossy will really enjoy the overall look of eggshell paint.

Eggshell paint is really easy to clean as well. Even once it is applied to your wall, you’ll be able to wash the walls more easily than with some other paint types.

It has just the right amount of gloss to make cleaning up with a wet cloth a simple process. Traits such as these help to make eggshell paint one of the most prevalent finish styles on the market.

8. Satin Paint

Rust-Oleum Corporation 02711 Mold and Mildew Proof Interior Paint, 1-Gallon, Satin


Satin gives more of a sheen, creating a smooth and velvety look. It’s also washable. While it can be washed, it can’t be roughly scrubbed. Use satin in your hallways, on doors, on woodwork, in bedrooms, and in dining rooms

– Noah Winkles, Vice President of New Life Painting

Satin paint is quite similar to eggshell paint overall. They have minor differences that do set them apart. Satin paint is just a touch glossier than eggshell, but many people can’t notice the difference very well.

These two paint types are very closely associated with one another, so whichever one you decide to choose should work just fine. This is a slightly glossy paint that is still flat enough to suit most people’s needs.

This durable paint will work well for just about any room of your home. If you are looking for an affordable paint option that will last you for several years, then the satin paint will fit the bill nicely.

You’ll be able to make use of this paint without any type of hassle and it will be durable enough to last. It’s a good option to consider when you don’t want to buy anything that is too glossy, but you don’t want things to appear too flat either.

9. Semi-Gloss Paint

Semi-gloss paint


Semi-gloss adds a small shine to your room. Because it holds up to scrubbing, it’s a good choice for wet rooms, like kitchens and bathrooms. Take caution, however, as imperfections in the wall may be highlighted by a semi-gloss surface.

Semi-gloss also works well on doors, baseboards, and trimSherwin Williams ProClassic Semi-Gloss is a good choice for trim work. And because semi-gloss dries extremely hard, it’s also great for woodwork, which tends to get beaten up.

– Noah Winkles, Vice President of New Life Painting

Semi-gloss paint is where you start to get into the glossier paint styles. If you want a paint that is going to stand out and pop visually, then you will want to consider purchasing semi-gloss paint.

This is a paint that is going to look very nice and will be very eye-catching. It’s also very durable, making it perfect for bathrooms and kitchens.

You’ll be able to find many semi-gloss paints that are capable of standing up to moisture as well. The fact that this paint is so popular for bathrooms has influenced this and you should seek out a moisture-resistant paint if possible.

It will help your paint to look more vibrant for a longer period of time when used in a wet room. This rugged paint is going to help your home to look its best for many years.

You won’t have to be too careful when you are cleaning your walls either. Semi-gloss paint is rugged enough to be scrubbed thoroughly without negatively impacting your paint job.

This is good for rooms such as kitchens, because you may need to clean food particles off of the wall. Use semi-gloss paint in rooms where scrubbing is going to be necessary.

It should also be noted that semi-gloss paint provides a reflective surface. The light will bounce off of these walls and that can be either good or bad, depending on your preferences.

If the walls have some flaws, then they will be more apparent due to the light. Just keep this in mind when you are choosing which paint to use.

10. Gloss Paint

Majic Paints 8-1509-2 Diamond Hard Acrylic Enamel High Gloss Paint, 1- Quart, Battleship Gray


High-gloss is shiny, stain resistant and very scrubbable. It’s great for wood surfaces, like trim, doors and cabinets. It can also work in bathrooms and kitchens (especially the backsplash) because you can easily clean food splatter and fingerprints off this finish. It’s also a great choice for banisters and railings.

As a shiny paint, high-gloss does reflect light, making imperfections more noticeable so it isn’t typically recommended for walls.

– Noah Winkles, Vice President of New Life Painting

Gloss paint has the potential to be very beautiful. It can help the walls of your home to stand out and will provide a lot of aesthetic appeal. When you’re going for a classy look in your home, using gloss paint is a very sensible choice. It will add to the overall visual appeal of your home while providing you with a durable paint option.

This type of paint is also known for being very easy to clean. Much like the semi-gloss paint mentioned above, it can be scrubbed rigorously without you needing to worry.

This makes cleaning time a lot simpler for you and you will be able to keep your walls looking pristine. Your walls should always look very smooth and you’ll be pleased with how nice they look when everything is cleaned just right.

Gloss finishes wind up reflecting light even more than semi-gloss paint, though. This means that any flaws in your walls will become quite apparent.

This can be an annoyance, depending on the condition of your walls. Most people who would choose to use gloss paint will not have to worry about this being an issue, though.

The gloss paint will be the most expensive type of finish that you can purchase. It isn’t the most common type of paint to see in someone’s home, but it does work excellently in certain spaces.

This paint is for when a homeowner wants to create a classy environment. The gloss paint is very eye catching and will work well in many situations.

The most common use for gloss paint is for painting trim. People also use this type of paint for painting furniture, cabinets, and even fireplaces.

You can definitely use this type of paint on your walls, but you’ll just have to be prepared for it reflecting light and making flaws more apparent. This is high-quality paint that will work excellently for certain purposes.

Other Paint Options

11. Spray Paint

Used cans of spray paint.

Spray paint is used for arts and crafts projects quite frequently. People will also use spray paint for furniture and other types of projects around the house.

This isn’t something that you would use to paint your walls, but it is a useful type of paint that you should be aware of. You will want to be careful when using spray paint, though.

This type of paint can be quite noxious and shouldn’t be used in an enclosed area. People who use spray paint should be wearing masks to protect themselves from the fumes.

It’s smart to use the spray paint in a ventilated area or outdoors. Many people use spray paint to create magnificent works of art, but it has also been associated with vandalism.

Spray paint is a useful tool that can help many projects to go much more smoothly. If you need to paint something outdoors quickly, then using spray paint is going to be a good solution. It is a fairly cost-effective method, too. You will be able to find spray paint at most hardware stores without any problems.

12. Enamel Paint

Majic Paints Diamond Hard Repurpose Chalk-Style Paint for Furniture and Cabinet, Interior or Exterior, 1-Quart, Golden Dandelion, 1-Pack

Enamel paint is another option that you need to be aware of. This type of paint is great when you want something that will be as rugged as possible. Enamel paint is really durable and will withstand a ton of punishment.

This type of paint is often used for the exterior of people’s homes because it can withstand the elements. Using this paint will be a good idea when you need to protect something. For example, enamel paint is often used in the interior of a home on kitchen cabinets.

Cabinets are always getting dinged and bumped into, so they need to have a certain amount of protection. The enamel paint can keep the cabinets looking nice and you won’t have to worry about them so much.

People use enamel paint on furniture fairly often as well. It is a good paint to use on a table or a chair. Using the paint is pretty simple and it will dry into a very rugged finish.

You’ll have tough paint that can withstand just about anything without being adversely affected. Consider using enamel paint when it is going to be useful to you. This particular can of enamel paint is really useful.

You can use it without needing to use a primer first or having to sand anything down. This can wind up saving you a ton of time, making it a really desirable option. When you want to have an easy time while being able to provide the right protection with your paint job, this enamel paint is going to work perfectly.

13. Chalkboard Paint

DIY Shop Chalkboard Paint by American Crafts | 16.5 ounces, Black (366867)

DIY Shop Chalkboard Paint by American Crafts | 16.5 ounces, Black (366867)

Chalkboard paint is exactly what its name suggests and that is create a chalkboard surface that you can actually draw and write on with chalk. While not a good idea for every wall in your home, it’s great as an accent wall.

14. Specialty Paint Kits

I’ve never used a surfacing paint kit, but it’s a neat idea. Giani is a company that produces paint kits that create various surfaces with paint. Examples include marble, slate, shiplap, stainless steel and subway tile.

Check out the examples:

Paint-on marble surface

Giani paint-on marble countertop kit

Giani paint-on shiplap surface

Giani paint-on shiplap surface

Giani paint-on stainless steel for a dishwasher

Giani paint-on stainless steel for a dishwasher

Giani paint-on subway tile kit

Giani paint-on subway tile kit

Giani paint-on slate countertop kit

Giani paint-on slate countertop kit

Painting isn’t only about choosing a color and applying the paint to surfaces. There are a variety of paints and they all serve different purposes. Depending on the kind of surface you are going to paint, you will have to decide on the types of paint for the different kinds of surfaces.

Are you looking to paint the kitchen, bathroom or living room but are not sure which paint to use? This is a guide to help you understand the different types of paint and where to use them.

Paint Product Variants

1. Oil Paints 

U.S. Art Supply Artists Oil Color Paint, Titanium White, 2 Extra-Large 100ml Tubes - Professional Grade, Excellent Tinting Strength, Mixable - Portrait Painting, Canvas, Wood Media - Student, Beginner

Oil paints are slow-drying paints applied in three coats, including primer, undercoat and finish. They have a high gloss, rust and scratch resistance. Oil paints protect metal surfaces from rust.

Although oil paints take longer to dry, they are easy to clean. In addition, they have a strong odor and may peel off surfaces over time.

2. Emulsion Paints

Rust-Oleum 301908 380 Non fibered Asphalt Emulsion Coating black gal Emulsion paints are water-based, fast-drying paints consisting of polyvinyl acetate, polystyrene as binding agents, and Cobalt or manganese as driers. They are more environmentally friendly because they do not emit volatile organic compounds.

Emulsion paint quality is not affected by water and does not fade when exposed to sunlight. Besides, emulsion paints are versatile for use on concrete, glass, wood and metal surfaces. However, emulsion paints are more expensive than oil paints and may take longer to dry in humid environments.

3. Enamel Paint

INSL-X CC550109A-01 Cabinet Coat Enamel, Satin Sheen Paint, 1 Gallon, White

Enamel paints are oil-based paints that dry quickly and leave spectacular glossy finishes on wood and metal surfaces while retaining great color. However, they may be highly flammable when wet.

4. Bituminous Paints

FixtureDisplays® Black Bitumen Paint Modified Bitumen Tar Oily Polyurethane Waterproof Sealant for Concrete Floor Crack Roof Repair Parking Lot Drive Way 2.2LBS 18525-NPF

Bituminous paints consist of dissolved tar or bitumen. They have many industrial and home applications, including waterproofing and protecting metal surfaces from corrosion.

Bitumen-based paints are great for coating pipes, ladders, and shafts, in humid areas because they are water resistant. They are cheap, readily available and fast drying. However, they are black, thus limiting color options, and they are prone to heat destruction.

5. Aluminum Paints

Rust-Oleum 8781502 Stops Rust Flat Aluminum Primer, 32 Fl Oz (Pack of 1), White, 12

Aluminum paints are solvent-based protective paints consisting of aluminum flakes and spirit varnish. The paints give surfaces a protective metallic luster, useful when painting pipes, grills, gates, metal grains and roofs. Aluminum paints are versatile for interior and exterior painting, are durable, and leave a glossy finish.

6. Anti-Corrosive Paints

RAPTOR 4:1 Anti-Corrosive Epoxy Primer Kit UP4831 Gray 1L, 2 Piece Set

Anti-corrosive paints are protective paints consisting of corrosion-resistant components like zinc chromate, lead chromate and zinc oxide. They also contain linseed oil as a binder.

These paints dry and harden quickly and are great at protecting steel, metal, and cast iron surfaces from harsh weather conditions.

Anti-corrosive paints prevent the degradation of surfaces from oxidation and chemical destruction. However, before applying them on surfaces, you must add a solvent to these paints.

7. Cellulose Paints

Nitrocellulose Lacquer Spray Paint | Easton Green | 12 OZ | Spray Lacquer with High Gloss Finish for Furniture, Crafts, Metal, Glass, Wood | Amy Howard At Home

Cellulose paints are swift-drying spray paints used as the top coat to provide a smooth finish. These paints are water, acid and smoke resistant. However, they are expensive and toxic. Cellulose paints are suitable for painting outdoor metal and wooden surfaces, but these surfaces need prior preparation.

8. Cement Paints

KILZ Decorative Concrete Coating, Interior/Exterior, Slip Resistant, Gray, 1 Gallon

Also known as a whitewash, cement paints are water-based paints applied on concrete surfaces to prevent water seepage and reduce dust collection. They also decorate walls and ceilings and come in various shades and color options.

9. Synthetic Rubber Paints

Plasti Dip (11207-6) Multi-Purpose White Synthetic Rubber Coating 11 oz Spray Can

Synthetic rubber paints are made from synthetic polyvinyl to provide a protective coat on wood, metal and plastered surfaces. Thus, they are handy when painting garages, gardens, water tanks and cables. Synthetic rubber paints are quick drying, corrosion and abrasion resistant, and leave a silky smooth finish on surfaces.

10. Plastic Paints

Rust-Oleum 209460 Plastic Primer Spray

Plastic paints are oil-based with a high plastic percentage, hence the name. They are applied on walls to provide a silky matt finish. Plastic paints are easy to clean, resistant to mildew, durable and affordable.

Top Brands

1. Cloverdale Paint

Source: Cloverdale Paint

Cloverdale Paint is the largest family-owned paint coating business in North America. Established in 1933, on a farm near  Cloverdale. B.C., Canada, the company manufactures technologically advanced and environmentally friendly paints. Cloverdale paint products include liquid coatings, sealants and powder coatings.

2. Benjamin Moore Paints

Source: Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore & Co., established in 1883, produces premium paints and stains to provide exceptional performance and application properties. 

Benjamin Moore employs Gennex color technology that eliminates chemicals that could weaken paint. As a result, its colors are fade-resistant and can stand harsh weather conditions. Besides, the stains do not emit volatile organic compounds and last for many years.

3. Sherwin Williams Paints

Source: Sherwin Williams

Sherwin Williams is a global leader in paints and coatings. The company offers some of the industry’s most innovative products, value-added services and specialized knowledge.

With more than 150 years of experience in the industry, Sherwin Williams has a world-class portfolio of paint brands including Valspar, Minwax, Purdy, Krylon. Thomsons Waterseal, Cabot, Dutchboy and Dupli-color.

4. PPG Diamond Paints

Source: PPG Diamond

PPG Diamond partners with its customers to ensure 100% project success rates. It designs its products using the latest technology to suit its customers’ needs. With over 135 years of experience in the painting industry, the company offers various paint products, including interior paints, exterior paints, stains and sealants. 

5. Behr Paints

Source: Behr Paints

Otho Behr Jr. established Behr Paints in 1947 selling linseed oil wood stains out of the back of his station wagon to paint stores. The southern California, based company is now one of the leading manufacturers of paints globally. Behr’s product portfolio includes interior paints, exterior paints, stains, floor coatings, special paints and decorative finishes.

Painting natural wood with yellow paint,

Best Type of Paint for Various Surfaces

Best Type of Paint for Interior Walls

In picking the type of paint to apply on interior walls, an important thing to consider is the shade or finish of wall paint and the emission of odor.

Emulsion paint is one of the ideal paints to use for interior walls. It is water-based paint and odorless. The paint is also quick to dry and possesses very low quantities of volatile organic compounds. When stains arise, you can easily remove them using mild soap and a wet cloth.

The paint can be used in a variety of finishes, including matte, sheen and silk. Applicable when painting interior walls of homes.

Paint for Kitchen Cabinets

You don’t have to do a full kitchen remodel. You can still improve the overall look of a kitchen with a fresh coat of paint. This is less costly and the process is simple compared to a whole kitchen remodel.

Oil-based paints are the preferred choice for kitchen cabinets because of their resilience and finishing. The paint makes it easy to clean kitchen cabinets.

When grease or stickiness gets onto the surfaces, it is easily wiped without the worry of wear or tear on paint or the surface. However, oil-based paints take a long time to dry.

On the other hand, latex paint dries quickly and has lower levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). It is much easier to use latex paint for kitchen cabinets thanks to advances in water-based paint formulas.

Type of Paint for Bedroom Walls 

Because a bedroom is a low-impact zone, matte or flat paint can be used. However, for a premium finish, go for an eggshell sheen or satin paint finish.

Exterior Wood Paint

What is the best paint to use on exterior wood to add weather protection to decking, fences, furniture, and sheds? Or to revolutionize your outside space with color? Use the exterior eggshell for a rugged protective coat that is durable. The paint is best for wooden front doors, outdoor woodwork and window sills. The exterior eggshell does a fabulous job and the outlook lasts ages.

Type of Paint for Bathroom

What is the right kind of paint to apply to a bathroom for a bright space to start your day off right, and for a serene spa experience? When planning to paint the bathroom, consider the damp and humid conditions typical of bathrooms.

The paint used needs to withstand these conditions and prevent the growth of mildew.

Oil-based paints are not the ones to use because they dry slowly between coats, emit high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and to clean minerals, spirits must be used. Also, with time the paint will likely yellow, more so in conditions of low light.

For those reasons, latex paint is the preferred choice because of its moisture resistance and much-improved durability. For water-based latex paint, use one that is washable.

Paint for Brick Walls

To add charm to the interior or exterior of a house, use brick walls. Improve its aesthetic value by painting in a way that it doesn’t look out of the blue. Use latex paint or paint formulated for masonry. The inner brick of a fireplace would need the use of heat-proof paint.

Exterior brick walls would need to be painted with 100% acrylic latex paint for durability.

Recommended Paint for Baseboards

The recommended paint for baseboards is water-based or acrylic-alkyd hybrid paint compounded with a semi-gloss sheen. Although oil-based paints dry smoothly, leaving an appealing professional look, they contain VOCs, which can be toxic in the home.

Also, the paint takes longer to dry, usually 10 to 18 hours, making the completion of a project challenging. Due to these concerns about using oil-based paint for baseboard, an improved type of paint has been developed to combine the benefits of water-based elements and those of oil-based.

This paint is known as acrylic-alkyd hybrid paint. It is much more suitable because it dries faster, and is also smoother with fewer environmental issues.

Choosing paint color from swatch for house stucco exterior facade.

Where to Buy Online

Paint is one of the most important things you’ll need for your home improvement project. Not only does paint add beauty and value to your home, but it also protects your investment from the elements.

Whether you’re painting the interior or exterior of your home, you’ll need to choose a quality paint that will last for years to come. There are many places to buy paint, both online and in store.

However, not all retailers are created equal. To ensure you’re getting the best possible deal on paint, it’s important to compare prices and shipping costs before making a purchase.

Here are a few of the best places to buy paint online:

1. Home Depot

Home Depot is one of the largest home improvement retailers in the world. They offer a wide selection of paints, both online and in store. Home Depot also offers free shipping on orders over $45.

2. Lowe’s

Lowe’s is another large home improvement retailer that offers a wide selection of paints, both online and in store. Lowe’s sells both interior and exterior paints.

3. Amazon

Amazon is a great place to buy paint because they offer a wide variety of brands and colors. They also sell paint supplies, such as brushes and rollers.

4. Walmart

Walmart is a good place to buy paint because they offer low prices and a wide selection of colors. They also sell paint supplies, such as brushes and rollers.


Behr is one of the leading manufacturers of paint. They offer a wide selection of colors and finishes.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What type of paint is interior paint?

Eggshell and satin finish paint are ideal for interior rooms like bedrooms and hallways. Semi-gloss and high-gloss paint work best on cabinets and in rooms with high moisture, like bathrooms and kitchens.  

How much paint do I need to buy when painting a room?

One gallon of paint should be enough to cover 400 square feet, which is a smaller room, like a laundry room or a small bathroom. If you need to cover a larger room, you should get at least two gallons of paint, which should cover up to 800 square feet.

What are the best types of paint for art?

Acrylic and oil paints are the best types of paint for art on canvas because of their versatility, beautiful finish, and thick consistency that’s easy to work with when using various brushes. Watercolor paints are also popular and are best used on paper rather than on canvas, and they have a lighter finish.

What paints last the longest?

Acrylic paint tends to last the longest since it can resist everything from water to direct sunlight without breaking down or fading. Latex paint is easier to clean, but it doesn’t last as long as acrylic paint.

What paint do professional painters use?

Professional painters typically use a primer first, then apply a coat or two of paint. Most professional painters use high-quality paints and will choose the type and finish based on the specific room they’re painting. For example, acrylic eggshell is usually applied to trim, doors, and moldings, while a satin finish acrylic could be used to paint the walls in bedrooms, the living room and hallways.

What type of exterior paint finish is best?

Acrylic latex is the best exterior paint finish since it’s water-based and resistant to UV rays and direct sunlight. It also expands and contracts, won’t trap moisture and has a long-lasting finish.

Are there any washable paints?

Most washable paints are used for arts and crafts and not for painting walls or exterior surfaces. Watercolor is washable paint, and there are also special washable paints made for kids’ art projects. All paint is washable from brushes when they’re rinsed with soap and water, but most paint will stain clothing and carpet permanently.

Can we buy paint online?

Yes, you can buy paint online from many different retailers, such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, Amazon, Walmart, and Behr.

What is the best place to buy paint?

The best place to buy paint depends on your needs and budget. If you’re looking for a wide selection of colors and brands, Amazon is a great option. If you’re looking for low prices, Walmart is a good choice. And if you’re looking for high-quality paint, Behr is a good option.

What is the most affordable paint?

The most affordable paint depends on your needs and budget. If you’re looking for low prices, Walmart is a good choice. If you’re looking for high-quality paint, Behr is a good option.

How much is one gallon of paint?

One gallon of paint typically costs between $15 and $50. The price varies depending on the brand, quality, and type of paint.

What is the best exterior paint?

The best exterior paint depends on your needs and budget.

What types of paint are there?

There are many different types of paint, such as oil-based, latex-based, and water-based.

About the contributing experts:

Noah Winkles is the vice president of New Life Painting. For over 35 years, New Life Painting has provided residential and commercial painting services to residents and business owners living in California’s Central Coast.

Josh Abramson is the chief solutionist of ALLBRiGHT 1-800-PAINTING, a residential and commercial painting company serving the Greater Los Angeles Area.

Related: Blue Paint Color Options | Red Paint Color Options | Virtual House Paint Visualizer Options | Types of Paint Brushes | Is It Okay to Paint Walls Different Colors in the Living Room? If so, How Many is Best? | Online Painting Cost Calculator

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