Types of Paint

Purchasing a home is the first of many decisions you must make as a new homeowner. After the paperwork, you will need to make selections on how you will furnish your house, such as designing your master bedroom and choosing the right type of flooring to use throughout the house. Many of these choices can be quite enjoyable, such a choosing the paint  for the walls.

Your paint selection, both inside and outside your home, can be an opportunity for creativity. Properly applied, paint allows you to quickly change the tone, mood, atmosphere, and feel of a room.

Even when you disregard the innumerable options with colors and shades, paints come in a variety of types, from primers to acrylics. Below are some dissections of the most common types of paints, helping you make a smart decision when selecting which paint to use in your home.



As the name implies, primers are applied to an uncoated surface to “prime” it for the application of water- or oil-based coats. Primers are absolutely essential for most painting projects, as they protect and seal the material of the uncoated surface. Additionally, primers serve to stabilize surfaces that are powdery or flaky so that future coats are smooth. The primer is applied as a base coat to build opacity for the finishing coat.


Finishing Coats

Finishing coats are the layers that you see on a finished project. Although your local home improvement store is lined with hundreds of unique shade and color choices, finishing coats are generally grouped into two categories: water-based paints and oil-based paints.


  • Water-based paints, also commonly referred to as latex paints, are known for their ease of use. Latex paints are quick to apply, often drying within several hours, and can easily be wiped off with soap and water. Additionally, latex paints let off minimal odor, are non-flammable, and are resistant to blistering and cracking. Latex paints are commonly used indoors.
  • Oil-based paints, on the other hand, see more exterior use than latex paints. They are also recognized as alkyd paints. Compared to latex types, alkyds are more difficult to apply, often take 24 hours or more to dry, and require special chemicals to remove. The trade-off is a harder glossier surface–compared to latex–and a superior resistance to wear and tear. Enamel, a member of this category, is frequently used around windows, doors, and trim where cracking and blistering usually occurs.

In addition, both types of finishing coats come in different levels of “gloss” or “sheen” that serve various purposes.

  • Flat finish creates a matte or non-reflective surface, ideal for surfaces safe from wear and tear, such as ceilings and dining rooms.
  • Satin or eggshell finish exhibits a soft sheen while possessing a hard surface, perfect for children’s rooms.
  • Semi-gloss finish, with a durable, easy to clean surface, are often applied in kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Gloss finish is the most resistant finish of the four, suitable for areas of high traffic and wear such as floors, stairs, handrails, and doors.


Hopefully you can now begin your search for your perfect paint. Remember to read all labels and instructions!

Contact Arcadia Ridge today for more tips and ideas on how to make your new home truly yours.

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