A Quick-n-easy Guide to Choosing the Right Paint

Paint suppliers and manufacturers produce a variety of different types of paints. Although they may all look similar, each is formulated for a specific purpose and needs to be applied as per the suppliers’ recommendations. For DIY-ers who are less familiar with best building practices, choosing the right paint can be overwhelming, and getting it wrong could be expensive to fix. 

We understand! That’s why we’ve collated a list of the different spaces that homeowners are most likely to paint, the best product to use, and why.

Interior Walls:

There are various water-based or acrylic paint products that offer different degrees of sheen and elasticity. For a textured wall, paint with a high sheen will often be used, whereas we’re seeing a rising trend of homeowners opting for matt or ultra-matt finishes for smooth walls.

Most painting companies prefer matt finish paint, as it’s more forgiving on plaster work and hides most imperfections. However, matt paints are also porous, which makes it more difficult to wash out dirt, hand marks, oil marks, and the like. Some questions to ask when choosing the right paint for general interior walls could include the following:

choosing the right paint

Wooden Surfaces:

An emulsion-based enamel is best when choosing the right paint for wooden surfaces like timber doors, skirtings, or pergolas. It’s hard wearing and can handle the scuffs, wear, and tear that these surfaces are subject to.

Emulsion-based enamel paints are also available in a lower sheen, which is slightly more modern than the classic glossy enamel. To make their products more eco-friendly than traditional enamel, a lot of suppliers have started making water-based products that provide similar results. 

Steel Surfaces:

Emulsion-based products work well on steel surfaces, which are typically tricky surfaces in terms of adhesivity. However, you’ll need to be aware that applying paint to steel with a roller or brush may result in streaks and an uneven coat.

For the best results, we recommend a spray application, as it provides a smooth, uniform quality that you simply can’t duplicate using other methods.


Ceiling paint is usually PVA acrylic paint and should always be matt in finish. Due to the angle of light, a paint with a sheen on the ceiling will always look unforgiving with imperfections, like ceiling board seams and slightly protruding nails.

And because we so seldom touch or scuff the ceiling, a matt PVA is completely suitable in terms of cleanliness and longevity.


One of the most commonly-asked questions is how to choose paint for bathrooms. Although all modern paints are designed to handle a small amount of moisture, it’s always advisable to use paint that is specifically made for bathrooms.

We suggest using emulsion-based enamel paint for small bathrooms, where steam build-up is frequent and more intense. This paint endures moisture well and is easy to wash, particularly where mold can be a problem. 

A Pro Tip from a Painting Company

Choosing the right paint is not the only consideration when painting your home. Primers are the backbone of all paint projects and are used for many reasons. A primer is applied to neutralize pH, bond chalkiness, or deglaze a shiny surface. Fundamentally though, they’re there to create a bond between the paint you’ve selected and the substrate. Without using a good quality primer, you’ll be repainting a lot sooner than you’ve planned!

Before you rush out to buy a bucket or two of paint from the hardware store, take a moment to consider what paint and application process you will use, and whether or not you need a contractor to handle it for you. A little extra homework or a qualified hand will save you time and money in the long run.