Painting is a specialized job and is best done by professional painters, who have the expertise, skills and experience to give your home the most attractive appearance according to your tastes. While the selection of color shades largely rests on you, the onus of selecting the right quality of paint lies with the painters you engage. It is presumed that for delivering the best professional service they will be using the appropriate paints. But how would you know that they have done the right selection? Here are some basic ideas about paint selection that you may find useful.


Seeing the labels on the paint cans in a paint store you might have been baffled by the terms glossy, semi glossy, eggshell, alkyd, acrylic latex and so on. These prefixes or suffixes convey some information regarding the quality of finish and composition of the paints that are indicators for selection. Primarily paints are classified according to the base used for preparing the paint – oil based and water based paints. Further classification is done according to the surface finish that the paints will give.

Water based or Latex paints

This kind of paint is almost without any odour and is the quick drying variety. This means speedy painting as two coats can be applied on the same day. Application is easy as it has greater fluidity and the painted surface can be easily cleaned using soap water solution.


Oil based paints

Although oil based paints take longer time to dry that increases the application time, this kind of paint last longer and has been in use for pretty long time. These paints have strong odour and is mostly preferred for outside painting of buildings as it can withstand the environmental hazards and harsh weather. Various chemical solvents that are used in manufacturing this paint contributes to the strong odour and is also responsible for causing breathing problems and eye irritation for some people. Such health and environmental concerns have to be factored during selection.

The next set of classification of paints is done on the basis of the kind of surface finish that the paints produce. Wall finishes can be of five types – Matt finish, satin finish, eggshell finishFree Articles, glossy finish and semi gloss finish.

Matte finish – Also known as flat finish gives a surface finish that is not easy to clean. The surface is non-reflective and is mostly preferred for painting areas with low traffic like ceilings and other places where you might like to conceal minor surface defects like uneven surface or slight cracks.

Satin finish – This gives a velvet like smooth finish that has good shine and gloss. The surface can be rubbed for cleaning and is a good choice for bedroom or bathroom walls and on door trim and window.

Eggshell finish – This kind of finish resembles the sheen on an eggshell and reflects light a little more that matte finish as it is a little more shinier. This is good for use in low traffic areas like interior hallways.

Glossy finish – Mostly used for furniture and cabinets but seldom on walls as it gives a plastic like appearance in finish.

Semi-gloss finish– This is capable to withstand repeated rubbing and is neither fully glossy nor dull as matte finish. Good for use on walls due to its ability to reflect light better and for cabinets and trims.

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