Determine the type of paint necessary by deciding if the walls should be glossy or matte. Choose a water- or solvent-based paint and a specialty paint for a kitchen, bath or flooring if necessary.
Generally, paints fall into one of four categories: eggshell, flat, gloss or semi-gloss. Eggshell has a durable finish with a slight sheen. Eggshell is a common choice for interior wood surfaces and walls, and this type of paint gives a smooth, even finish.
Flat paint is primarily used for walls and ceilings and provides a matte finish. Flat paint comes in exterior and interior versions, and more than one coat may be necessary to provide even coverage.
Gloss and semi-gloss paint is extremely durable and quite shiny. A primer is usually necessary in order to get even coverage with gloss or semi-gloss paints. Satin paint falls into this category and is not quite as shiny as gloss or semi-gloss.
Water-based paints consist of latex and acrylic and are the most ecologically friendly paints available. Solvent-based paints include mineral spirit paints. Solvent-based paints give off more fumes, and most cities have regulations regarding their disposal, as they can damage the environment.
Some homeowners prefer using a specialty paint such as metal paint, floor paint or kitchen paint. Metal paint provides rust coverage and a high-gloss finish to metal objects. Floor paint is perfect for concrete, is durable and long-lasting and comes in gloss finishes. Bathroom and kitchen paints resist moisture and fungal growth.