Use our handy guide to choose the right paint for your home. Whether you're painting your home's interior, exterior, furniture, or cabinetry, our tips for what to look for in paint products, plus how to save time and money, will help you paint any item or surface successfully.
shaker paint colors and brush

When it comes to refinishing interior walls, cabinetry, furniture and exteriors, not all paints are created equal. There are so many types of paint, and knowing what paint to choose for the job can save you time, money, and frustration.

Interior Paint

Living room blue wall

When it comes to painting interior walls, you can save yourself a lot of effort by choosing a dual-purpose paint that includes both primer and paint. Interior latex paints that include primer, like the new PPG Timeless Interior Paint +Primer, cover walls in one coat, which eliminates the need for multiple layers of paint. Whether painting a dark wall white or making a slight color change to your interior walls, paints that include primer give better coverage than traditional latex paints, and you will save yourself time and money since less paint is needed.

If you're painting a bathroom or room that is prone to high humidity, like a sunroom, look for specialty interior paints, like Benjamin Moore Aura Bath & Spa paint, that are made for high-moisture areas of the home to help reduce the possibility of peeling and staining over time.

Painting Cabinetry, Doors, and Interior Trim

Kitchen Cabinet Colors

If you're thinking about painting the cabinets, doors, or interior trim in your home anytime soon, the key for choosing the right paint is finding one that is not only highly durable but also has a beautiful smooth finish. It's important to choose carefully when it comes to paint products for high-traffic areas in the home, including interior trimwork, doors, and cabinets, which receive the most daily wear and also happen to be the most visible areas.

Water- or oil-base enamel paints are formulated specifically for these high traffic areas and are dual-purpose when it comes to durability and finish. Many enamel paints contain self-leveling additives that help to ensure the paint will spread evenly and reduce brush marks. Enamel paints do not require a top coat, as these paints are formulated specifically to give a highly durable and strong finish.

An enamel paint like Sherwin Williams ProClassic Waterborne Interior Acrylic Enamel will give a smooth, durable finish that is tough enough to hold up to daily wear and tear.

Allergy-Free Paints

can of benjamin moore semi-gloss natura paint
benjamin moore natura paint

If anyone in your home suffers from asthma, allergies, or is sensitive to the chemicals or fumes of paint, choosing the right paint for your home becomes an even bigger challenge. The good news is there are now interior paint products on the market with both low and zero volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. These interior paints help reduce allergens and sensitivity to paints.

Benjamin Moore Natura is a certified asthma- and allergy-friendly paint line with zero VOC and zero emissions that is available in a wide range of colors. As a bonus, Benjamin Moore Natura is self-priming on most surfaces, which is a big time-saver, as fewer coats will be needed.

Exterior Paint

victorian house exterior

With so many varieties of exterior paints on the market, it can be overwhelming to know what paint will do the best job and hold up to a wide range of weather conditions for years to come. The most durable exterior paints with the greatest staying power have formulations that include UV protection, resistance to mold and mildew, and resistance to chipping, flaking, and cracking.

Seeking out an exterior paint that checks all the boxes when it comes to durability is the best way to ensure that you will find the right paint for your home's exterior. PPG Timeless Exterior Paint + Primer does an excellent job of covering an exterior surface in one coat, and the paint includes UV protection technology, resistance to chipping, flaking, and cracking, and a coating resistant to mold, mildew, and algae.

Exterior paints that contain a primer will require fewer coats and less paint, which will help save time and money when it comes to painting your home.

Furniture Paint

craft room

There are a myriad of furniture paints that are available on the market, including ones with chalk-style finishes, high-gloss lacquer, and finishes that create a distressed look. If you're not looking for a specialized decorative paint finish for a furniture paint job, traditional water- or oil-based enamel paint will give a beautiful, smooth, and durable finish on furniture that will be tough enough for even high-traffic furniture pieces. No top coat is needed when it comes to enamel paints, as the finish is formulated to be strong enough to be used without a top layer clear coat.

A quick trick for applying enamel paint to furniture is to use an extender additive, like Floetro (for water-based paint) or Penetrol (for oil-based paint) with the paint, which extends the paint drying time, increases paint leveling, and helps eliminate brush marks. Supplementing with an extender additive makes the furniture painting process smoother and helps to hide any painting imperfections. Refer to the directions found on the extender additive to determine how much product to mix with your paint.

Comments (1)

Better Homes & Gardens Member
May 23, 2018
What color of paint is on the mint green cabinets?