“I can get a $15 gallon of paint at Wal-Mart,” you think to yourself while preparing to repaint the inside of your house. While this may be true, it will end up costing you a lot more time and money in the long run than spending a bit more up front and purchasing a higher quality paint. Cheaper paints tend to be thinner, or what many people consider “watered-down.” This leads to the need for numerous coats of paint to get the full color coverage you need. Meanwhile, a higher quality paint will cover in less coats, saving you precious time and money. A higher quality paint will also fade slower than the cheap stuff, meaning that you will be able to enjoy the finished product longer before needing to repaint again!

The sheen you choose for your project also makes a difference. Here in the midwest we tend to have a standard set of sheens used for different projects. Flat paint is used for ceiling, eggshell on walls, and semi-gloss on trim/cabinets/doors. Do you HAVE to follow these standards? Absolutely not. It’s your house and you can use whatever finish you want!

Let me give you the reasoning for using those finishes. Ceilings don’t tend to get touched very often, so a softer flat finish is fine on them. However, the same can’t be said for other surfaces in your house. Most people want a finish for their walls that is durable and can be cleaned easily. While semi-gloss would be the best candidate for those requirements, it’s usually too shiny for walls. It would make imperfections stand out too much. Eggshell is the perfect middle-ground. It’ll stand up to normal wear and tear, and give you a surface that is easy to clean. Now onto the semi-gloss. Where should it be used? I generally sell semi-gloss for cabinets, trim, and doors. Semi-gloss paint dries hard and shiny, which gives it a smooth surface that is extremely durable and the easiest to clean.

Does a paint and primer-in-one really make a difference? Yes! It does make a difference, but it isn’t a miracle product. Some products like this “guarantee” one coat coverage. You’ll find they don’t always deliver. An all in one product is generally thicker. This helps with coverage of the color you pick out. So, if you’re just refreshing a room with the same color paint, then you don’t really need to use a paint and primer-in-one. However, if you’re using a lighter color or a much darker color, then you have a better chance of covering in one coat when you use a product with a primer already in it. One thing to keep in mind is that the primer in the paint is not generally meant for bare wood or new drywall. For new drywall a standard drywall primer would be the way to go, and a thick primer meant for bare wood is best practice for new trim/doors/cabinets.

There are more things to consider when picking out the product for your project. Please give me a call or stop by the store and I would be more than happy to help you figure out the perfect product for you!