When it comes to home decorating paint the assortment is enormous. Due to having a large selection the process of choosing paint can be, at times, overwhelming. Of course, there are a few tips to help you decide on the best type of paint for the job at hand.


The main goal when purchasing your home decorating paint is to match the product to the specific project.

  1. First up would be in deciding on a paint retailer. If you're looking for a paint that's a little more economical then the Walmarts of the world will win you over. Do keep in mind though that cheaper paints do have their disadvantages. For example, if you repaint every five years (or more) or your intent is to roll on a few darker colors then I would recommend a pricier product. With that said, buying a more expensive paint usually means purchasing the paint from a retailer that specializes in paint coatings.

    Otherwise a lower cost Walmart product will work just fine for areas that will be receiving constant repaints.
  2. Once you have decided on a brand, price would be the next issue. If you're looking for long lasting durability or are interested in vary dark feature walls then your paint will (in most cases) be more expensive. When I say expensive I'm referring to coatings that are priced in the mid range (or higher).

  3. Now that you have a price range, deciding on a product type is the next order of business. To do so you will have to consider where the paint is being applied. A less costly paint can be used in lower traffic areas (the master bedroom for example) where as a bathrooms, kitchen or a child's room might require a more expensive coating (because of durability, washability humidity or color).

    I find it easiest though to stick with one product for all areas of a home even though it ends up adding extra cost to the project.

  4. Sheen selection is next and choosing a sheen depends on the surface being coated. Doors, trim bathrooms and kitchens are usually painted in a gloss type finish (pearl, semi-gloss etc.). Most other surfaces look best when a lower sheen is used (eggshell for example).

    Quality, high end flat paints are also good sheens to apply to walls especially when your surface is in poor condition. Furthermore, ceilings tend to show better with a flat finish as well as when applying very dark colors to a feature wall etc.

  5. Buying paint in five gallon containers will save you money. Having said that, there are things that you should consider before doing so. First up would be that most fives (painter slang) of paint tend to be dirtier than the gallon pails so a fiver (more painter slang) might need to be filtered or screened prior to use.

    Another thing to consider when buying a five is that you might end up with more left over paint than you want when the job is done. Furthermore, if you're thinking you will need six gallons of product be sure to either roll on the gallon first, mix it with the five or use it in a separate room. I say this because the color of a gallon of paint does not always match up with the color that's in your five gallon paint container.

  6. The rule of thumb when buying paint is 400 sq ft per gallon. Of course, the suggested amount is subjective to the surface being painted as some substrates will absorb more paint than others. I have been a painting contractor for a number of years and still find it difficult to estimate the exact amount of coating needed for a particular project. I actually prefer to buy one gallon at a time. Once my gallon of paint is used up I will then do an estimate as to the amount I will be needing to finish the work (two coats).
  7. Color selection is one of the the most important issues when choosing your home decorating paint. Using this color selection page should help you with getting those tones, hues and shades picked out.

Home retail centers and hardware stores do sell paints that are just as good as the paint store. It all comes down to expectations.

Durability and coverage tend to come with a higher price so no matter where you spend your money on do let the retailer know exactly how you want the paint to perform and the type of job being done.


I tend to, mostly, use quality brand name medium priced paints for the majority of my work.

I will buy a very expensive coating though, if the project warrants the extra cost. As an example, most high priced paints have amazing coverage, clean up easily, adhere well and do not require a primer coat. So, what I'm saying is, a quicker project might need a costlier paint as rolling on a primer would not be necessary etc., or if a customers main concern is wash-ability then a pricier paint would be in order.

As a final note, I do not have a preference when it comes to manufacturer but plenty of contractors do. Reason being is that one gets use to a specific paint due to a coatings thickness, sheen (finish), or drying time (just to name a few).

The only way to find out if you're going to like a paint is to try it out. With that said, I would recommend buying just enough home decorating paint to coat one room as oppose to being stuck with five gallons of a product that's causing you application issues.

You might want to also check out the types of paint page.

From home decorating paint to the miscellaneous page

Return to the home page