Selecting the Right Paint
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated September 11, 2020)
One of the more interesting and often overlooked aspects of a painting project is actually selecting the right paint. Most people typically go out and do a cursory little inspection and then almost randomly pick some paint. Usually the biggest consideration that people give is that it "looks" good. To get the best possible results when selecting paint, all you need to do is keep in mind these simple guidelines.
Don't rush. The first step in selecting the right paint is to not rush. Too often people will simply rush in and get paint that is the cheapest, least expensive, or simply looks pretty. Take your time and carefully consider all of your options before you finish the selection process. Talk to the people who work at the home improvement stores and get their impressions and advice. Often they can help you narrow down what you are looking for, and point you in the right direction. Most of all, don't be afraid to simply walk away and come back another day to continue the selection process.
Take notes. When you are going around to the various stores looking at your paint options, don't forget to take notes. This will allow you to later on reference the advice and information that you get from the sales clerks you talk to. In addition to writing down your impressions, don't forget to write down colors, brands, and types of paints that you like as well. All of this information you can later on use to help make your final decision when you select the paint you want to use.
Take samples. After you have picked out some colors that you like, don't forget to take samples with you to help finalize your decision. These samples will allow you to see the colors in the home, and in the same lighting, that you will be living with every day.
Sheen type. A little known fact about paints is that the glossier the paint is, then the easier it is to clean once you have painted. For example, if you have children then you may want to go with a fairly glossy paint since it will more likely survive the daily wear and tear that young children can put on it. The higher gloss paints are perfect for areas that will see large amounts of traffic. Keep in mind that there are some drawbacks to glossy paint as well. Often the glossier paints will reflect light more than the flat or matte paints do.
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