All About Paint

Let’s talk paint. This 5 letter word sends many people into a state of being overwhelmed. We’ve all been there…at the paint store staring at all of those little paint chips in the fluorescent lighting wondering if the color we choose will look good in our room. What color? What sheen? Which brand? Do I brush or roll? You know how the story goes from there. I get so many questions about paint from my clients…great questions, in fact. I wanted to write a series of blogs on all aspects of paint so that you can be better informed the next time you step into a paint store.

*Of course, if you need extra help, selecting paint is one of my most favorite aspects of my job, so feel free to reach out to schedule a paint consultation.

There are so many colors that are tried and true, sheens I love, and brands I trust. My next several blogs will focus on specific color groups, so this one is all about the basics. Let me break it down…


There are several brands that I’ve used personally and have had professional painters recommend. Big names such as Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore are my favorites. These brands have excellent coverage that is also true to color. One of my biggest pet peeves is when the paint doesn’t match the paint chip. With these brands, you don’t have to worry about that.


I always go with a paint and primer in one for the best coverage.

Latex- Latex is a water based paint that has notoriously been used on interior walls due to its easy coverage and lower price point when compared to acrylic paints. Latex is easy to clean with soap and water and comes in a variety of sheens ranging from flat to high gloss. My favorite latex paint is Emerald by Sherwin Williams.

Acrylic Latex- This type of paint is my favorite for so many applications. Acrylic Latex is water based and is very similar to latex paint. It is often self-leveling and goes on smoothly. Many paint brands offer acrylic latex as an excellent option for interior walls. Sherwin Williams Cashmere is my go-to choice for a buttery finish. For exterior doors, I love Snap-Dry by Sherwin Williams because it dries in an hour and has an almost indestructible finish.

Acrylic- Acrylic paints are durable and bode well on interior trim. A great choice is the ProClassic Waterborne Interior Acrylic Enamel.

Enamel – For an area that requires a solid oil based finish, Sherwin Williams’ Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel paint is a wonderful pick. Benjamin Moore’s Advance Interior Paint is another excellent choice. Both offer self-leveling qualities that enhance trim, cabinetry, or any surface that needs extra durability and care.


Each paint company carries its own version of the various sheens, but this will serve as a general guide for your next painting project.

Flat/Matte – Many new construction homes are sprayed with flat paint. The benefit is that flaws are barely visible with a flat sheen because light is not easily reflected from the surface. If you have a wall that is “wavy” or that has a lot of imperfections, then flat is a great choice. The downside is that it scuffs easily, looks dull and is not easy to clean.

Where to paint with a flat sheen? Ceilings, any walls with imperfections

Where not to paint with a flat sheen? High traffic/high touch walls, bathroom walls, walls that need to be cleaned.

Eggshell/Low-Lustre– Eggshell is a very popular sheen. The benefits of a flat sheen are combined with cleanability in an eggshell finish.

Where to paint with an Eggshell sheen? Any interior wall surface.

Where not to paint with an Eggshell sheen? A high traffic wall or high touch wall that needs to be cleaned often. Cleaning often could dull the surface.

Satin– Satin is a step between Eggshell and Semi-Gloss. Textured walls look great in Satin as well as any surface that you want to allow light to bounce off of.

Where to paint with a Satin sheen? Bathrooms, hallways, any interior wall surface.

Where not to paint with a Satin sheen? Ceilings.

Semi-Gloss– For areas that may become easily scuffed, a semi-gloss finish is ideal because it is extremely easy to clean. Imperfections will radiate from the surface of a semi-gloss sheen so it isn’t advisable to paint interior walls with a semi-gloss finish. On the flip side, semi-gloss walls will reflect more light allowing the room to “radiate.”

Where to paint with a Semi-Gloss sheen? Trim, window moulding, crown moulding, chair rail, and wainscoting.

Where not to paint with a Semi-Gloss sheen? Most interior walls, ceilings.

High-Gloss– Very similar to semi-gloss in application, High-Gloss will highlight the surface it is painted on.

Where to paint with a High-Gloss sheen? Trim, window moulding, crown moulding, chair rail, wainscoting, an area you want highlighted.

Where not to paint a High-Gloss sheen? Most interior walls, ceilings.


On a scale from 0 (black) to 100 (white), Light Reflective Value refers to how light or dark a paint color will look. The higher the LRV number, the lighter the color, the lower the LRV number, the darker the color. Pastels have a higher LRV number while dark/deep colors have a lower LRV.

I hope that this helps you as you work on your painting project! There are so many things to consider to get it just right and with the right paint product and sheen, you will have a gorgeous result!

Happy Painting!

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