Featured Article: Choosing the right kind of paint
The two major groups are "oil" and "Alkyd" and Latex or "Acrylic". The major characteristic of Oil based paints is that they must be thinned and cleaned up with mineral Spirits. Latex paints can be thinned with water. This makes them more "user friendly", and allows for easier cleanup (warm soapy water) and also makes them kinder to the environment.
Most paint research today is performed on water based paints, and the improvements in workability and durability has made them the preferred choice for the majority of jobs. Nevertheless, there may be occasions when an Alkyd is preferred (e.g. highly humid environments).
Specialty finishes, such as Urethane varnished and Wood Stains are now found in both water and mineral spirit thinnable types. Your retail supplier can assist you to make the correct choice if you are uncertain as to which base to choose.
* "Acrylic" paints are formulated from an especially formulated variety of latex resins. Unfortunately the term "100% Acrylic" is used by some manufacturers to describe blends that are not truly what they claim to be. Denalt’s "100% Acrylic" paints are guaranteed to be exactly as described, and are, we believe generally superior to competitive offerings.
* Descriptions in this document are based on DENALT products only. Other manufacturers may use different terminology or claims.
"Gloss", also known as "Lustre" or "Sheen" describes the shininess of the finish, regardless of the type of paint. The amount of gloss is measured in degrees, the higher the number, the more shiny the finish. Generally speaking, the higher the gloss, the more durable and washable the finish. On the other hand, shinier paints reflect more light, and tend to show up more imperfections in the underlying surface.
Before selecting the gloss level, then, consider the lighting in the room (long walls can show many defects,) and the usage (bathrooms and kitchens can need many washings). Again your dealer is a valuable source of assistance.
Typical Gloss Levels
Matte Flat Finish:
Ideal for soft pastel colours requiring little maintenance.
Almost dead flat finish specifically designed for ceilings, which usually require no maintenance and can reflect considerable light. Not recommended for bathrooms unless well vented with ceiling fans.
With a very low gloss, this finish is ideal for low traffic areas, such as dining room and bedroom walls. It tends to provide a warm atmosphere.
A more washable, yet still warm and rich finish, this is a very popular "middle or the road" choice for the average room.
This populair paint appears flat when viewed "head on", but provides a slight "glow" when seen form the side.
Ultra smooth, this highly scrubbable paint represents the best choice for hallways, children’s rooms and other high traffic areas.
Popular in some parts of the country, this finish lies in between pearl and eggshell.
This is a perennial favorite in bathrooms and kitchens. It has a very dense finish, which resists scrubbing, and is less sensitive to humidity than the lower lustre finishes.
This one common finish is now seldom used except in specialty accents, or on the exterior of the home. Ultra resistant is the most hardy of all the finishes but tends to magnify all imperfections.Source: Denalt