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How to choose interior paint

Whether you’re redecorating your entire home, or just want to add a pop of colour to one room, a fresh coat of paint provides instant impact. Before you get started, you need to consider your space and choose the right interior paint. Read on to find out more information on picking out paint.

Space

What are you painting?

Before you start looking at paint options, you should consider the space that you want to paint. Does the space get a lot of sunlight or is it quite dark? Do you want to make it more vibrant or would a neutral colour work better? Where is the room located? Is it a high or low traffic area? Is it exposed to a lot of moisture?

Types

Primers

There are two types of primers — sealing primers and deep base primers. 

Sealing primers: Depending on the state of the wall — for example, if there’s already a dark coloured paint on it or lots of staining— you may need to seal the surface with primer before you paint. Primers come in water- and oil-based varieties. Oil-based primer can be used with any paint, but do not use water-based primer under oil-based paint. 

Deep Base Primers: These are specifically made for use with saturated, dark colours, to help reduce the number of coats necessary to achieve the full depth and richness of hue. These will save both time and money on the project.

Ceiling paint

Ceiling paint is designed to be used on ceilings. It spreads evenly and provides coverage over stains. Make sure that the ceiling paint you choose is strong enough to adhere to the surface type you are painting.

Kitchen & Bathroom Paint

This type of paint is specifically formulated for kitchens and bathrooms — areas that require frequent cleaning and are regularly in exposure to moisture. It is mildew and mould resistant, offering a durable, washable surface. 

Sheen options

Matte/Flat

Matte paint is not as washable as other paints, but it’s great for hiding imperfections in surfaces, because it absorbs light. It offers a soft, smooth finish. This type of paint is best suited for low traffic areas, such as bedrooms.

Eggshell

This type of paint is more washable than matte paint, which makes it a popular choice. This finish is still flat, but offers a low shine and smooth finish. It’s best suited for lower traffic areas such as bedrooms.

Satin

Satin paint is more durable than matte and can be washed. It has a soft, shiny finish. Most people like the elegant look of satin paint. It’s suitable for high traffic areas, such as living rooms. 

Semi Gloss

Semi-gloss paint offers a shinier finish than satin. It can withstand rigorous cleaning and is very durable. It’s a great choice for high traffic areas, such as hallways, and works well on doors, trim and mouldings. 

Colours

Basic or Bold

Before deciding on a paint colour, think about the mood you want to create in the room you are painting. You may want to stay consistent with the colour scheme of the house, or if you are painting a small space like a powder room, you may want to do something a bit bolder and more adventurous!

Samples

Test it out before you buy

The lighting in your space can change the way a colour looks. Most paints come in sample sizes, so you can test them out in various lighting before painting a whole space.

Fluorescent lighting will bring out cooler shades within the colour, like blues and greens. Conversely, incandescent lighting will bring out warmer tones, appearing more yellow or red.

Lingo

Colour Retention

How well a paint stands up to discolouring against exposure to sunlight, or repeated cleaning.

VOC or No-VOC Paint

VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are harmful chemicals that are emitted as paint is drying. Read the label on paint before you buy it to check for VOCs.

Tips

Press Tape With a Putty Knife

To avoid paint bleeding, apply painter’s tape and then run a putty knife over top to create a better seal.

Avoid Lap Marks

Lap marks are those stripes caused by uneven layers of paint. They occur when you roll over paint that’s already partly dry. The key to avoiding lap marks is to maintain a “wet edge,” so each stroke of your roller overlaps the previous stroke before the paint can begin to dry.

To maintain a wet edge, start near a corner and run the roller up and down the full height of the wall, moving over slightly with each stroke. Don’t let the roller become nearly dry; reload it often so that it’s always at least half loaded


Roll paint on edges for a consistent finish

To ensure a consistent finish in areas next to trim or smaller parts of the room, use a 3” roller with the same pile size as the roller used for the rest of the wall. Roll as close as you can without bumping the opposite wall or slopping paint onto the trim. 


Applicators matter

For a consistent, long-lasting finish, you need to apply paint and coatings with high-quality application equipment. Better-quality brushes, rollers and applicators tend to apply a thicker, more uniform coat of paint than paint applied with less expensive tools. Better quality tools also speed up your working time. 

Space

Types

Sheen options

Colours

Samples

Lingo

Tips