May 8, 2021

Interior Paint Buying Guide: How to Buy the Perfect Paint

If you’re new to interior painting, then buying paint is overwhelming. Where do you start? What are the basics to choosing the right type of paint? Keep reading to find out.

Buying the right interior paint can make a room beautiful. Buying the wrong interior paint can ruin a room. No pressure!

If you’re new to interior painting, then buying paint is overwhelming. It’s not just about choosing the right color. It’s about choosing the right finish and primer. It’s about choosing low-VOC or no-VOC paint.

Where do you start? What are the basics to choosing the right type of paint? Keep reading to find out.

Consider the Room

The first step in choosing the right type of interior paint is to consider the room:

Consider the shape and size of the room. A small room may benefit from a lighter paint, as it makes a room feel larger. Darker colors can make a room feel smaller and cozier, which could be useful for larger spaces.

Consider the function of the room. Are you going to eat, sleep, or work in the room? Are people eating or showering in the room? What will people be doing in the room? Warm hues are ideal for living rooms and other common spaces, as it creates a welcome atmosphere.

Consider the architecture and furniture. Some paints don’t suit moulding, trim, or columns, for example. Other paint colors will clash with paintings, upholstery, and furniture.

Choose the Color Palette

The hardest step to picking an interior paint is to choose the color palette. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. There are thousands of options.

Remember: multiple paints will suit your room. There’s no single “perfect” paint color.

To narrow down options further, consider the following:

Get creative. Some people like bold and bright colors. Others want pastel colors. It’s your home, and there are no rules. A style that’s out of fashion today may be in fashion in five years. Choose colors that match your mood and personality.

Create the environment you want. Ignore conventional interior design rules. Create the environment you want. If you want a warm and welcoming living room, then pick the warmest and most welcoming colors. You have to live with the color. Don’t live by someone else’s rules.

Build off paint colors within the room. Your room may have furniture, upholstery, or other items of a certain color. Take a shade or tone from these items, then use it to color the rest of the room. It can create a cohesive appearance for the room.

Browse the internet for inspiration. Don’t want until you’re at the paint store to narrow down paints. It will be overwhelming. Search for homes, rooms, or interior design styles you like. Try to pick at least five to ten colors to consider.

Consider the Finish

It’s not just about the color. The finish changes the appearance of a room. There’s a big difference between an eggshell white and a semi-gloss white.

You don’t need to be a finish expert to understand painting finishes. Here are basic rules when considering the finish of a room:

Flat Finishes: Flat paints are ideal for ceilings. They’re also ideal for places where people will notice surface imperfections. A flat finish paint creates a muted, low-reflection surface. Use this finish for low-traffic areas of your home, as it takes more effort to clean.

Low-Luster, Satin, and Eggshell Finishes: If you want a sheen, then choose a low-luster, satin, or eggshell finish. These finishes are easier to clean than flat paint. They’re best for high-traffic areas, as they’re easy to clean. Use these finishes on hallways, stairways, bathrooms, bedrooms, and playrooms.

Semi-Gloss or Gloss: Semi-gloss and gloss finishes are common for kitchens and bathrooms. The higher the gloss of the paint, the more it will show imperfections.

Choose a Primer

Priming is crucial for the painting process. It helps prepare the wall for painting. Primer reduces the coats of paint the wall needs. Some people add tint to the primer to make painting even easier.

The goal of primer is to:

• Create a uniform paint finish

• Block imperfections that can bleed through your topcoat, including tannin, water, grease, and smoke stains

• Improve adhesion of the topcoat of paint, helping your paint last longer and look better

We could write an entire guide on choosing the right primer. Lowes has a good buyer’s guide here.

Buy the Right Type of Paint

You’ve picked the right paint, primer, and finish. Now, it’s time to buy the right paint. You have a few more options to consider. Then, you’re ready to start painting.

Low-VOC Versus No-VOC Paint: Volatile organic compounds are harmful chemicals that your paint releases as it dries. Ideally, you’ll buy low-VOC or no-VOC paint. Check the label.

Invest in Higher-Quality Paint: If possible, buy higher-quality paint. Don’t cut corners when it comes to paint. Cheaper paint doesn’t last. Cheaper paint requires multiple coats. It may look the same at first, but it’s always better to spend a little more on paint today.

Buy Sample Sizes: To be extra careful, buy sample sizes of your chosen paints, then test the paints on your wall or any other surface. Paints dry differently. Some paints look different in different light. Until you test the paint on your wall, you don’t know what to expect.

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