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Types of paint for walls

Which Paint is Right for You? A Comprehensive Guide to the Types of Paints & Finishes for Walls

Did you take a trip down to the hardware store to pick paint for your walls? A hardware store’s exhaustive varieties of wall paint can make anyone feel adrift. While buying the paint after deciding the color of your wall might have seemed like the natural step, there is one decision yet to be made—what texture do you want for your walls? There are dozen of different types of paint available in the market, but not all are right for you. A flat paint might not go well on your master wall where you want to add a rich, smooth, and satin-like texture. In this comprehensive guide on the types of paints, we will examine the different types of paints for walls so that you don’t end up making a terrible mistake that you will regret later. You will find the benefits, application and other details of a variety of paints, including oil-based, latex-based, eggshell, flat paint, and more, to help you make a choice that is good for your home and the environment. 

Why Is Choosing The Type of Paint Important for your Wall?

The paint determines the type of finish and has a major impact on the final look of your walls. Below is a quick overview of the perfect paint finish you should use in different areas of your home:

  1. Bedroom, Hallways & Dining Area: Satin
  2. Ceilings: Flat Paint
  3. Bathroom and Kitchen: Semi-Gloss
  4. Wood Surface (Trims, doors, cabinets): High-Gloss
  5. Decorative Areas: Eggshell

Types of Paints And Their Applications

You do not paint your walls every other day. So before you dip your brush into a paint bucket, make sure you know which paint it is and how it will look on your walls. Don’t worry—you do not need to do a Ph.D. for this, a quick read of our article will do. We have compiled for you a guide on all the different types of paints:

#1 Water-Based Paint 

Water-based paints are an environment-friendly choice, becoming increasingly popular for interior and exterior painting. These are known for high color retention and do not fade over years. They dry faster and produce less odor than alternatives. Since they hold color for longer, professionals widely use them for exterior painting and moisture-prone areas like kitchens, bathrooms, etc. They come in a wide range of finishes.


  • No need for pre-treatment
  • Lower level of toxic emissions (VOCs)
  • Resistant to mildew growth
  • Easy to clean with water & soap
  • Quick-drying
  • Flexible, elastic finish resistant to cracks
  • Applicable on almost all surfaces
  • Doesn’t fade or turn yellow over a period of time


  • Doesn’t provide a rich and vivid finish
  • Last lesser than oil or urethane-based paints

#2 Oil-Based Paint

Types of Paints And Their Applications

Trusted for centuries and still continuing to be one of the most popular types of paints in the markets, Oil-Based Paints are made using natural oil resins. These are extremely durable and also resistant to fading. A complete opposite of water-based paints, they take more time to dry and are thus difficult to work with. Let’s explore its pros and cons in detail:


  • Attractive glossy finish
  • Perfect for high-moisture areas like kitchen or bathroom
  • Fixable as it takes longer to dry
  • Remarkable leveling as brush strokes themselves render a smooth finish
  • durable and long-lasting


  • Releases harmful VOCs
  • Hard to clean
  • Application can be messy

#3 Latex-Based Paint

A type of water-based paint uses acrylic resins instead of oil, making it more durable and resistant to fading. It dries quickly and lasts for many years. It has the ability to expand and contract along with the sidings of your home without trapping any moisture. All these factors make it a preferred choice for exterior painting. 

A lot of people use water and latex interchangeably, however, not all latex-based paints fall under the category of water-based paints. Some are made using chemicals as well.

A PRO TIP: Not every latex-based paintbox can be used for exterior painting. Make sure its label mentions ‘For Exterior Use’, as the one used for interior walls will not be able to hold in the harsh exterior conditions.

Types Of Paints Based On Finishes

Would you want your walls to have a rustic, flat finish, or do you like them super-smooth and satin-like? Here are some common types of paint finishes that will help you determine what you want.

#1 Matte Finish

  • Having the least sheen, it does not reflect light at all
  • Renders a velvet-like smooth finish
  • Hides every imperfection perfectly in ceilings and walls
  • Offers unmatched depth in color
  • Can be challenging to clean
  • Standard sheen for interior walls

#2 Eggshell Paint

  • Offer some reflectivity
  • Have better durability
  • Used widely in harsh environments like kitchens or bathrooms where people want less gloss yet an easy-to-clean solution

#3 Semi-Gloss and Gloss Paint

  • Have the highest sheen and are very reflective
  • Perfect for furniture, bathrooms, kitchens, window trims, doors, and accent walls
  • Extremely durable and can survive multiple cleanings without fading
  • Great for making statements. However, can highlight imperfections

Many interior designers use this gloss-matte combination to make a statement, painting one wall with semi-gloss or gloss paint and the rest matte. In the end, it is how you want your house to look, what textures you like, and do they resonate with your personality. Gloss usually is preferred in spaces where you want to add some excitement or energy. Dark & rich colors are naturally high on sheen and might be extremely reflective when used in semi-gloss or gloss textures, thus, going for less gloss is a better option in this case. As for eggshell paint, they are great for smaller spaces that are exposed to natural lighting. 

Hope this guide was helpful for you in making the right decision. Are you still confused? Not sure what to do? Hire a professional who can help you guide you through it with personalized suggestions for your home. Here is how to find the right contractor for your project. If you happen to live in Ohio, you can just click here and connect with the best professional painter in the region.

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At Perrysburg Painting Company, we have helped multiple clients revamp their homes with professional painting services. Delivering exceptional results at every project, we are making a difference in the lives of the people we serve. We make our work count, not words—let’s connect for a free consultation to make your space, your happy place.

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