Don’t be overwhelmed by a home interior paint project. Find out how to choose the right paint colour for a home interior – from paint colour to finish.
Whether planning to take on the task of a do-it-yourself home interior paint makeover, or to hire professional painters, choosing the paint colours for a home interior is the fun part. Painting rooms in a home is a creative project; how a home is painted reflects individual personality and style.
Every brand of paint has a vast array of paint colours, from subtle neutral tones, to bright bold colours, and countless shades in between. Most paint suppliers provide colour samples, as well as coordinated colour schemes, to help envision the finished paint project.
Types of Home Interior Paint
Home interior paint is either latex-based or oil-based. Latex-based paint is versatile – it can be used on walls, floors, woodwork, or metal surfaces – and it washes off hands and paint supplies with regular soap and water. Oil-based paint, on the other hand, is sticky and requires turpentine or similar solution for cleaning. However, oil-based paint adheres well to surfaces, and it’s easier to wipe clean once it’s on the walls, which can be beneficial in bathrooms and kitchens.
Some brands offer eco-friendly paint, with little or no VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which are potentially hazardous chemicals released into the air from the paint. Natural paints, such as clay paint, milk paint, and lime wash, do not contain any VOCs, but colour choices are less abundant and the colours are often muted.
Choosing Paint Colour
To choose the paint colour that is right for each room, first consider the size of the room. Dark shades or warm colours, such as red, orange, and yellow, tend to close in a room, making it look smaller. Smaller rooms may fare best with light shades or cool colours, such as green, blue, and violet, presenting an airier feel.
Other considerations arise if a room will be painted more than one colour. For smaller rooms, choose monochromatic colours, which are different shades of the same colour. A larger room may dramatically display bold contrasting colours. For suggestions, peruse an interior design magazine, but stay true to personal style.
Choosing Paint Finish
After choosing the paint colour, you must also choose the type of finish. The basic finishes for home interiors include flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and gloss. Flat finish does not exhibit any shine and is more difficult to wash, but it is better at hiding a wall’s imperfections. Eggshell finish provides a bit more shine and is easier to wash, and might be a suitable choice if there are only a few nicks or scratches on the walls. For some low cost quality paints and finishings, see here.
Satin finish is ideal for kids’ rooms and other rooms that host a lot of traffic, because scuff marks and dirt wash off easily; it does offer some shine. Bathrooms and kitchens bode well with semi-gloss finish, because it resists moisture and scrubs easily. Semi-gloss is also often used for painting baseboards or other trim.
Likewise, gloss finish can be used for trim or doors and cabinets, especially for a modern look, but is otherwise rarely used for interior paint jobs. If working with a smaller room, keep in mind that a glossier finish makes a smaller room look larger because the gloss reflects light.
Choosing the right paint colour for a home may seem like an overwhelming task, but by following these guidelines and taking the time to carefully choose the paint colour and finish before getting started, you will benefit from a polished end-project.