How To Paint A Room: What Paint Should I Choose?

More than just color, consider paint sheen and the difference between oil and latex house paint!


Latex paint or oil paint

There are two types of house paint to consider when brainstorming ideas for painting your room:

  1. Latex paint
  2. Oil paint

Latex house paints are water-based and offer excellent durability, flexibility and easy soap and water clean-up. Oil-based house paints also provide excellent durability and are known for their smooth application properties. Paint thinner is required for clean-up.

The paint sheen matters

The next feature to consider is paint sheen. Wall sheens can vary depending upon the room; ceilings are usually a flat paint sheen and molding is often a satin or semi-gloss paint sheen.

This guide provides you with more specific paint sheen recommendations by room.
 

PAINT SHEEN:   FLAT EGGSHELL SATIN SEMI-GLOSS HI-GLOSS
WALLS:            
  FAMILY ROOM * * *    
  LIVING ROOM * * *    
  DINING ROOM * * *    
  BEDROOM * * *    
  KID'S ROOM     * *  
  HALLWAY   * *    
  KITCHEN & BATH       * *
ACCENTS,
TRIM &
ACCESSORIES
           
  DOORS/WINDOWS       * *
  MOULDING       * *
  CABINETS       * *
  FURNITURE     * * *
  CEILINGS *        

Application tips & techniques

Estimating the amount of paint
To determine the square footage of the interior of a room, multiply the width of the walls by the height of the room. Next divide this number by 400. This will give you the number of gallons of house paint you need to purchase. Remember, darker colors generally require more than one coat of interior paint.

Using a paint brush
For best results with a paint brush, begin by dipping half the length of the bristles into your paint. Tap the brush gently against the side of the can but do not wipe it across the lip. Hold the handle near the base applying light pressure with your fingertips to make the bristles flex slightly.

Using a roller
For best results with a roller, begin by slowly rolling it back and forth in the lower end of your roller tray until it is well covered. Then use the ridges in the upper portion of the tray to remove excess house paint. Roll on the house paint using even strokes to ensure a uniform look and coverage.

Order your process

Begin from the top down working from unpainted areas into wet, painted areas. Interior oil paints take longer to dry and allow you to brush across the surface several times for a smooth, even finish; latex interior paints dry faster and only one or two strokes are needed.

Ceiling Painting
Start with ceilings first. Using a brush, paint a 2-inch-wide strip on the ceiling where it meets the wall. Then, start in a corner and begin rolling across the short length of the ceiling continuing to where it ends.

Painting walls
Tape off any woodwork, window frames and door trim first. Paint a 2-inch wide strip along the areas near the trim with a brush. Then, using a roller, creating the letter “M” on your wall. Fill in the area rolling from left to right until the surface is completely painted. Remember to roll on the house paint with even strokes to ensure a uniform coverage.

Now choose your paint color!

Now you should be armed with the information that will make your DIY painting project a success. The good news? You can move on to the fun part of picking paint colors! Take a look at our entire paint color palette or browse our Room by Room Brochures to get started.  
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