What are the Different Kind of Paints And Their Uses?

Paint is a well-rounded, cost-effective way of reviving the interior and exterior walls and surfaces of your home. Regardless if you mean to touch up particular areas of the property or you are assuming responsibility for a mega renovation project, it is worth the time and effort to know the different kinds of paints and their uses. 

There’s a whole diversity of paints out there. Each comes with its own pros and cons. The reason there have to be so many different kinds of paints is that people ask for all sorts of finishes and there are all kinds of surfaces. The paints vary with respect to their pricing too.

Primer paint 

Primer paint gives a superb finish. These are frequently water-based or oil-based. As regards oil-based primers, you may use them with both oil or water-based paints. 

Primer is so essential to painting a wall that, if skipped, you will end up with results far below standard. That means wastage. The paint adheres to the wall because the primer prepares the latter for it. 

Although great for any surface, primers are especially good for metals and stained wood. 

Primer -pros: 

  • Prevents old paint from bleeding through; 
  • Gives a more continuous and superior quality finish; 
  • The previous paint does not need extra coats once you have used primer; 
  • Primers may be used for both oil-based and water-based paints.

Primers – cons: 

  • Now and then the primer you get might not match the particular brand or make of paint you need; 
  • The primer’s extra cost over and above the paints and painting services costs is burdensome.

We would suggest that you apply the paint with a paintbrush around the edges first prior to working your way in. Some primers may require a couple of coats prior to moving on to the succeeding painting stages.

Water-based paint

Water-based paint is a safer choice for anyone who is conscious about paints where oil or harsh chemicals are being used. Such primers are easier to use. These are also easier to clean. 

Water-based paint is suitable for a commercial or housing project where the time to dry is significant for tenants so that they can go back into the property. Such paints are also great for those who would like a quick paint job without odours. 

Water based paints – pros: 

  • These can be cleaned up with relative ease with soap and water; 
  • These are quick to dry; 
  • These have a lesser odour, given that they are low in volatile organic compounds or VOCs.

Water based paint – cons:

  • Such paints are not as tough as oil-based paints; 
  • Generally costlier; 
  • They are user-friendly though not durable.  

Get rid of any loose dust with dry brushes. With a damp cloth wet the surface to aid with water-based paint adherence to the surface. It would be touch-dry within the hour. 

Oil-based paint 

Solvent-based or oil-based paints are just right for giving a water-resistant, durable finish. Frequently painters use them to give a hard finish that also blocks stains. 

Oil-based paints are great for rust-prone metal coating and stained surface coating. Oil-based paints are the solution for properties facing a lot of perennial rainfall and showers. 

Oil-based paints- pros:

  • If you ask the majority of project managers and homeowners, oil-based paint is just right for their needs; 
  • Long-lasting and hardly any wear and tear.

Oil based paints – cons:

  • Oil based paints take their own time to dry. The property’s ventilation is one affective factor; a
  • As these dry, they give off a pungent odour.

Given that there is an oil component to such paints, it makes sense to keep stirring them as you apply them.Be cautious that you opt for a brush or roller that has been designed to work with oil based paints.

Latex based paint 

Latex paint is generally used for surfaces on the exterior. When there’s a surface with a lot of sunlight falling on it, latex based paints are the right choice. Latex based paints are especially good for humid climates. 

Check that the paint may be used for exteriors when it is exterior painting you must do. 

Great for stained surfaces and rust prone metal. As we have seen above, humid and wet climates need such paint.

Latex based paint – pros:

  • Latex paint is relatively easy to clean; 
  • Just right for floor painting; 
  • Dries up fast and works well even with the painting of concrete.

Latex based paint -cons:

  • This Type of paint tends to crack with rough surfaces ; 
  • These paints are not good enough for furniture.

Enamel paint 

For a hard and glossy finish, we have enamel paint. This is a paint that is used for minor projects around the home. You can use enamel paint to touch-up things like railings or grills. Enamel paint has an attractive glossy shine to it. 

This type of paint is good for metal surfaces indoors, railings, and grills.

Enamel paint – pros

  • Durable, long lasting; 
  • High-quality glossy polish.

Enamel paint – cons

  • This type of paint takes its own time to dry, longer than other types of paints; 
  • Enamel paints are not eco-friendly.

Get rid of any dust from the surface first from the surface with a dry cloth prior to application. Use a quality paintbrush. 

Acrylic paint 

When it is interior walls that you have to paint, acrylic paint is best for you. That goes for the ceilings too. 

This type of paint is good for house exteriors. There’s a diversity of finishes from glossy to matte.

Acrylic paint is versatile and can be used extensively in and around the home. 

Acrylic paint – pros

  • Even taking into account the finish, acrylic paint is relatively quicker to dry; 
  • Across projects, acrylic paint is just right.

Acrylic paint – cons 

The curing can take weeks, although the drying up is fast.

Paint finishes : types

Flat finish 

Flat finishes are what you pick up when are looking for a refined, sophisticated finish to interior walls. Ceilings or high walls which are not going to be touched too often preferably get this treatment.

Flat finish -pros 

  • Flat finish creates a low reflecting surface that aids in imperfection removal; 
  • Quite light on the pocket. 

Flat finish – cons 

  • Flat finish cannot tolerate too frequent touching. As such it is off limits as far as applications in living spaces are concerned; 
  • Flat finish scores low on durability.

Matte finish 

Relative to flat finish, matte finish gives a bit glossier sheen. Matte finish is very durable and therefore just right for living spaces. 

You could even use matte finish on ceilings, if you mean to let it endure for generations. 

Matte finish – pros 

  • Long lasting and durable; 
  • Hides peculiarities in the surface quite well.

Matte finish – cons

High traffic areas can ultimately cause some wear and tear over time. 

High gloss finish 

Stain resistant and shiny, high gloss finish is just right for anything that gets plenty of washing. That would be skirting boards, and cabinets. 

Akin to semi-gloss finishes, this type of finish is good for wet rooms. You may use it on bannisters and railings. High gloss finish is easy to clean.

Aside from wet rooms, cabinets and furniture pieces are grateful for high gloss finish. 

High gloss finish -pros 

  • As good as semi gloss paints appearance-wise; 
  • Spaces look brighter and bigger; 
  • Friendly to cleaning. 

High gloss finish – cons 

  • Scratches and smudges are too obvious; 
  • Heavy on the pocket.

Satin finish 

A satin finish gives a sheen that’s velvety. Like eggshell finish, satin finish is washable. However, satin finish is also glossier than eggshell finish. 

Satin finish is good for hallways, on woodwork and on doors inside the home. Dining rooms and bedrooms also sport this sort of finishing.

Satin finish – pros 

  • Relative to matte, is more reflective; 
  • is washing-friendly and tolerates high traffic spaces well.

Satin finish – cons 

  • It can hide neither surface imperfections nor poor quality paint application; 
  • Further touch-ups are difficult.

Semi gloss finish 

Semi gloss paint gives a bit of a shine. Being wash-friendly,  semi gloss finish is just right for kitchens and bathrooms. It’s good at covering up imperfections too. 

Not only is it good in appearance, it also holds up well with respect to dirt and grime. 

Semi gloss finish -pros 

  • Semi gloss finish tolerates moisture and water well; 
  • The reflective surface makes the space feel bigger. 

Semi gloss finish – cons 

Faults are visible under light. 

Eggshell finish 

Eggshell finish is low-keyed and serves decorative purposes. The finish is very durable and wash-friendly. 

After the matte option, eggshell is your go-to finish. It is glossier relative to matte. You can expect it to last generations. 

Eggshell finish – pros 

  • Durable relative to matte; 
  • Very washable. 

Eggshell finish – cons 

Eggshell finish cannot tolerate later touch-ups; eggshell finish is prone to get scratches. 

Miscellaneous paint types 

In case you cannot get the above mentioned paints and finishes, there are alternative paints. 

Spray paint 

For quick style updates, you cannot put down spray painting. You can target side tables, and shelves. Older appliances and furniture too. Rollers and brushes miss nooks and corners. Spray paint has it all covered. 

Chalkboard paint 

Chalkboard paint needs no primers. It affords both durability and coverage. Low in volatile organic compounds or VOCs, chalkboard paint is water based. That translates to chalkboard paint being relatively odour-free.  


We have covered different kinds of paints and their uses. Painting your home might sound simple. However, you do have to give it all a thorough think-through. You are best prepared reading a guide like this, or better still, calling up the services of professional painters. They will take care of issues like moisture damage.

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