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Joe, How do I know which type of House Paint to choose?

Choosing the right House Paint



Ask Joe Pullaro

Going into a paint store with all its choices can be a bit confusing and intimidating.

There are many choices in type of paint nowadays. Going into a paint store with all its choices can be a bit confusing and intimidating. For example, there is different products, different sheens (flat, semi-gloss, gloss), and of coarse all those colors to choose from. I can’t help you choose a color, but I can help when it comes to type and sheen.

Let me describe the different paint types to choose from.

Enamel paint has a high content of resin. This gives the paint a nice gloss look. It works well in areas that need to be cleaned a bit more often due to its resistance to rubbing. It can come in a latex or alkyd.


This is a water-based paint. Meaning that it can be cleaned up with water and thinned with water. It has less of an odor than other paints that are oil-based and it will dry in a reasonably short time. Latex paints also work well with high alkali content such as concrete.


This paint is made to provide resistance to damage from abuse/abrasion. This is an oil based solvent thinned paint. It is used for high traffic areas, doors, kitchens, bathrooms, and cabinets. It creates a smooth surface and helps to refurbish any rough wood surfaces. It has a very strong odor and paint brushes need to be cleaned with solvents.

Latex Flat Enamels:

This is water based and easy to clean up. This means that it has the benefits of latex, but more like enamel in that it is easily washed but is more. It has a flat finish, not shiny.


This paint is a 2 part enamel type product that is used in high moisture areas, such as kitchens and bathrooms. It can be scrubbed, but with ease when needed.

Acoustic Tile Paint:

This paint is specifically for acoustic tile. The tile is made to absorb sound by tiny holes within it. If these holes are filled by paint, it defeats the purpose of them. This product was made to not fill those holes and to keep the tiles soundproof.

Floor and Deck Paint:

This is an exterior paint used on decks. It is a heavy duty paint that resists weather. It can be glossy or flat.
The glossy product can be cleaned easily and the flat is more resistant to chips and cracks.

It is also important that you do not buy “cheap” brushes. Putting in the extra cost for your tools will greatly improve the finish of the surfaces that you are painting. Natural bristles are better for oil based paints. Nylon bristles are better for water based paints. Always read labels and look up new products, the more information, the better your project will be!

GOOD LUCK! Joe Pullaro