If you’re a painting novice, the different types of paints available can be confusing. We share some tips and explanations of each type to help you choose the right paint and get the look and feel you want.

Interior paints
A flat non-glare paint dries to a minimally reflective finish while a flat enamel has a slight sheen to it and is easier to clean with a damp cloth. Satin, eggshell, semi-gloss, and gloss are alternative interior paint finishes, all of which have varying degrees of reflectivity, with gloss paints being the most reflective. While a flat paint takes to rougher surfaces more easily than glossier paints, dirt and stains tend to show up more so it’s best to use this type of finish on surfaces that don’t attract stains such as ceilings and areas which have low traffic. Dents and bumps also become more visible under glossy paints while a flat paint tends to minimize the defects of an uneven surface because it doesn’t reflect the light.

Eggshell paint has a low luster and is better able to withstand cleaning and scrubbing than a flat paint. This type of paint works well in living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, home offices, hallways and children’s rooms.

Satin paint has a medium-gloss sheen to it. It is easier to wipe clean and is often used in high traffic areas such as living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, home offices, hallways and children’s rooms.

Semi-gloss paint has a visible sheen. It is very durable and can be easily wiped down. A semi-gloss paint is most often used in for trim, woodwork and cabinetry and works well in hallways, kitchens, bathrooms and utility rooms.

High-gloss interior paint is the most reflective of all the paint finishes and is also the most durable, resisting dirt, stains and mildew making it an ideal selection for areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. Since it has a high sheen that reflects light and will show off uneven surfaces, it is best to avoid painting whole walls but to use it instead for doors, windows and trim.

Exterior paints
Exterior paint is different to interior paint because it includes additives which deter mildew growth and protect surfaces against sun and water damage. Priming is recommended for many exterior surfaces for improved paint application and durability. The Clark+Kensington Paint + Primer in one exterior paint addresses this need.

Exterior paints come in a flat enamel, satin, semi-gloss and high gloss finish. The type of exterior paint you choose will depend on the type of surface that is to be painted.

Using a low luster paint, such as flat enamel or satin paint is recommended for wood, stucco, masonry, brick, concrete block, aluminum, vinyl siding and primed metal. A satin paint could be used for trim.

Semi-gloss paint works well with wood, stucco, masonry, brick, concrete block, aluminum, vinyl siding and primed metal and is ideal for house siding, trim, doors and furniture.

Hi-gloss exterior paint works well on wood, stucco, masonry, brick, concrete block and primed metal.

When choosing exterior colours, it’s important to bear in mind that year-round, sunny climates are hard on paint causing colours to fade faster. Dark colours in direct sunlight will also heat the surface and stress the paint film.