Tips for Choosing the Right Paint

Woman Painting

Painting you home (both inside and out) can be a really big job, so you want to make sure you do it right the first time. Choosing the proper paint for your purposes is an important part of making your hard work...and hard-earned money, last as long as possible. Finding the right paint also includes choosing exterior or interior versions and/or selecting a formula that meets any specific needs you might have (ex: mildew resistance, washable, allergy-friendly). To help make the task a little less daunting when you encounter the mile-long paint aisle at your home improvement store, we've assembled some useful tips to get you started off on the right foot.

Dirt resistance

Dirt, dust, car exhaust, air pollution, and kids with too much time on their hands can do strange things to your home's paint job. Fortunately, selecting paint designed to repel dirt can keep it looking like new a whole lot longer. To maintain that just-painted appearance, choose high-quality exterior latex paint designed to create a durable, non-stick surface, and easy-to-clean surface. For even more dirt-repelling power, forego dirt-capturing matte paints for those with a glossy finish. In addition, you should always make sure to clean the surface in question as well as possible before applying new paint.

Suggestion: Devoe Wonder-Shield™ External Acrylic Latex Enamel

Fade protection

The last thing you want to do after finishing the monumental task of painting your house is to have to turn around and do it again in five years. The sun's UV rays can be especially hard on exterior paint, causing it to chalk and fade as polymers and pigments break down. High-quality paints with additives like silicone, resin and ceramic fillers provide lasting good looks while counteracting the effects of sunlight, moisture, dirt, and other "threats." Also keep in mind that the color of paint you use can contribute to how well it resists fading. Another thing to consider is color selection. Earth-tone paints containing natural colorants (ex: red and yellow oxides) fare better in the sun than do those with artificial coloration.

Suggestions: Rodda Paint Ultimate™, Behr Marquee™

Mildew resistance

One of the biggest issues when it comes to painting typically areas like bathrooms and laundry rooms is finding paint designed to repel mildew. Humidity and water splashes can quickly lead to an icky situation, so why not do your best to avoid them altogether? Your best protection against "growing" problems like mold and mildew is paint with a stain and moisture resistant finish. These paints are mainly water-based and the most convenient are self-priming (saving you the trouble of hours of knuckle-busting sanding). The best choices provide a smooth coat durable enough to allow for washing and scrubbing.

Suggestions: Rust-Oleum Zinsser PERMA WHITE™ Mold and Mildew Proof, Behr Premium Plus Ultra™

Better coverage with fewer coats

Paint certainly isn't getting cheaper, so the fewer coats you have to apply to get the job done, the better. The best paints on the market today are those that have your house looking like new after a single application. Quality paint can be pricy, so getting the coverage you need with a single coat can make buying the best brands less of a pain in the pocketbook. To make things even more convenient, some paints may even save you even more time and money by eliminating the need to sand and apply a coat of primer.

Suggestions: (Inside) Devine Color™, (Outside) Benjamin Moore Aura™

Fight to the finish

For less-than-perfect walls, mattes finishes can hide imperfections and even out surfaces, while a glossy sheen can exacerbate them. If the ability to wipe away dirty little fingerprints is at the top of your wish list, glossy wins every time. The finish you choose can also have a noticeable effect on the quality of lighting in a room. If brightening things up is a concern, be sure to avoid dark colors and go for a satin or semi-gloss finish; the sheen will help to reflect light and brighten up a dim room.

Suggestion: Dunn-Edwards Everest Interior Paint™


The last thing you want to worry about when painting your home's interior is generating indoor air pollution. VOCs (volatile organic compounds) found in some paints can create big problems for asthma sufferers and others with respiratory issues. To help everyone breathe easier, be aware of what is in the paint you decide to use. Most brands provide warnings about any volatile compounds they may contain on their packaging.

Suggestion: Anna Sova Latex Wall Paint™

Rain rain go away

Abuse brought on by years of pounding rain can eventually cause paint to peel and flake. This is especially true when horizontal surfaces such as decking are concerned. To keep exteriors looking better longer, choose paint designed to penetrate wood deeply in order to repel water.

Suggestion: Silkens Cetol SRD Semi-Transparent Stain™

Paint Compatibility

If your home has received several layers of oil-based or alkyd paints over the years, a new latex topcoat can lose its ability to adhere properly. As a result, paint will begin to lift off the surface and eventually flake. The easiest solution is to repaint using another alkyd of oil-based formula. To make a switch to latex type, you will first need to remove old paint layers entirely. Follow removal up with cleaning, sanding, and priming any spots which require it. After preparing the surface in this way, repaint using a high-quality latex exterior paint.

Suggestions: Sherwin Williams Duration™, Behr Premium Plus™

Cracks kill

Nothing can make your home look rundown faster than cracking, peeling, and flaking paint. Oil-Based paints are often used by professional house painters because they provide a hard and durable finish. Acrylic-latex formulas are also an excellent choice for long-lasting exterior coverage that keeps looking good long after the competition fades.

Suggestion: Valspar Duramax™

One important point to remember is that different paint types may require different equipment or application methods. For example, oil-based paints require frequent stirring and brushes designed for the purpose. Be sure to read and follow instructions for the type of paint you select.

Posted by: Ahmed Muztaba
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