We talk paint! (again), walls, kitchen cabinets and more

Whether you are preparing your home for selling, moving into a brand new property or a well used period family house, chances are you're going to need to paint some walls.

The old paintwork may need a tidy up, or you just need to explore your interior design skills. Whatever the reason, you need to make sure that you choose the right paint for your interior walls. There are various types of wall paint to choose from so we've consulted the experts for the options.

Best paint for walls

Matte emulsion
Matte is a type of paint finish characterized by its non-reflective appearance, in comparison to other paint finishes such as gloss and satin. The price of matte emulsion will vary hugely depending on the brand you choose and the colour, although, costs can start around £10 and easily rise to £70 or more per 5 litres. A matte finish can cover any wall imperfections, so instead of paying out for expensive repairs, a matte emulsion does a good job of covering it up. It is also very easy to touch-up. It has a contemporary feel and great for modern interiors. But, matte emulsion can be difficult to clean, wiping down may remove the matte finish, so this type of paint shouldn't really be used in high traffic areas or kid's bedrooms. It's not as durable as some other options, generally the higher the sheen the longer the paint will last.

Silk emulsion
Silk emulsion is another type of paint finish which provides a subtle sheen to your walls. For 5 litres you'll pay around £10 to £40 per tin. Compared to a matte finish, silk paint is very easy to clean, so it is perfect for all interior walls. They also offer a smoother, a long-lasting finish. A shinier finish like silk paint can show imperfections easily, so you may have to fill in cracks and fix any damage before painting. So, if you have to choose between silk or matte paint, you will have to assess the damage first. 

Oil-based gloss
Oil-based gloss is made up of either natural or synthetic oils, along with pigments and resin which offers a high sheen. The average cost of oil-based gloss is typically £15 to £25 per 5 litres. Oil-based paints provide a high-gloss finish, it's likely to be a better shine than water-based gloss paint. It is also hardwearing. One of the downsides of oil-based paint is that it has a strong smell while it is being applied. It also takes longer to dry than water-based paint and more is required when applying it to your interior walls.

Water-based gloss
Water-based paint is made up of small plastic particles which are dissolved in water. If you choose a gloss option, this will provide you with a high level of sheen. The cost of water-based gloss paint is normally around £30 to £60 for 5 litres. One of the main advantages of choosing a water-based paint is that is odourless and easier to apply, with a quick drying time. It's less prone to cracking, but, it is also prone to chipping and damage from scuffing and impact. Water-based gloss paint is not as shiny as other paint types with a gloss finish.

OK so walls are done, we're in the kitchen, what about the cabinets?

When decorating your kitchen, you should consider which paint will complement your kitchen cabinets. Here's a breakdown of the different kitchen cabinets paints to choose from.

Satin paint
Satin or satinwood is a type of paint finish which offers a pearl-like sheen. It normally costs around £10 to £30 per litre. A satin sheen is one of the easiest paint types to apply, especially on wooden kitchen cupboards. It also provides a happy medium, as it is not too shiny or flat, which is why it is a popular option for kitchen units. One of the main disadvantages of a satin finish is that it does not hide imperfections well.

Semi-gloss paint
A semi-gloss finish is similar to satin paint but offers more of a sheen and is technically a light-reflecting paint. Semi-gloss paint for kitchen cupboards tends to be priced at £8 to £35 per litre. It's perfect for kitchen cabinets as it is extremely easy to clean and is also very durable. It creates shiny surfaces but it's a bit more subtle than high gloss. But, like any shiny surface, it will show imperfections, so you need to make sure they are prepared properly before painting.

High-gloss paint
A high-gloss finish is one of the shiniest paint options available, which reflects light and creates a mirror-like aesthetic. The average cost of high-gloss cabinet paint is around £5 to £30 per litre. High-gloss kitchen cupboards create a bright and shiny, modern look for your kitchen. It reflects light and so enhances space, even in the smallest kitchens. High-gloss is also very durable and low-maintenance, as it is very easy to clean. The shiny surfaces do show up smudges and scratch more than other types of pain thought. High gloss is hard to repair if there any scuffs on the surface.

If you have done the walls and kitchen cabinets, then you probably need to look at the remaining wooden surfaces that need touching up.

There are various paint types you can choose from which will protect the wood and improve its appearance.

Oil-based paint
Oil-based paint is arguably the best paint for wood. It is normally made up of linseed oil or other synthetic oils. The average cost of oil-based paint is around £10 to £25 per litre. Oil-based paint is ideal for wooden fixtures such as cladding, as it is not susceptible to scuffs or serious damage, while also offering temperature and humidity resistance. The main disadvantage is the time it takes to paint, as the drying time is much longer than other paint types.

Latex paint
Latex or acrylic paint is a water-based solution containing acrylic and vinyl material. This is typically used to re-paint wooden furniture and tends to cost around £5 to £15 per litre. The great thing about using latex paint on wood, especially on furniture, is that it is really easy to clean, and it also doesn't yellow over time. Latex paint also dries quickly so there’s no need to wait a long time for it to cure. It is also a lot more eco-friendly than other paint types, as it does not release as many harmful toxins. In comparison to oil-based wood paint, latex paint is not as durable though. It also requires more work, especially when changing the colour of your wood from a dark colour to a lighter shade, as this will require at least two coats of paint.

OK, the finishing touches, yep the skirting boards!  they're just as important as the rest of the room, so as with everything discussed so far, it's important to choose the best paint for the job.

Gloss paint
Gloss paint is one of the most popular choices for skirting boards, as it helps to create a shine to rejuvenate even the oldest skirting boards. The average price of this type of paint is around £8 to £35 per litre for semi-gloss and £5 to £30 per litre for high gloss. It's the go-to option for many due to its durability and easy to live with sheen, which makes skirting boards look brand new. If you have children or a significant amount of foot traffic, then this is a perfect choice, as it is resilient and will last for years. A downside of choosing a gloss paint is if your skirting boards are significantly damaged, then these imperfections will show up when painting over it with gloss paint. It might mean you have to replace or repair your skirting boards before they can be painted.

Satin finish paint
Satin paint is a more subtle option for skirting boards which work well with bold wall colours. Satin finish paint tends to cost around £10 to £30 per litre. Satin finish skirting boards work well in modern homes with contemporary wall colours. It's also easy to maintain and can cover up imperfection on your skirting boards if you use a plastic-based satin paint. 

Eggshell finish paint
Eggshell paint is a type of matte finish that has a slight sheen and is a step up from a flat finish. The average price of eggshell paint is £13 to £25 per litre. This type of paint is ideal for areas with a high level of foot traffic, as it is resistant to scuffs and other damage. The disadvantage of eggshell paint is that is hard to touch up, which means imperfections will show easily. This will result in your having to repaint the entire skirting board to ensure it all matches.

We have 2 more blogs in this 'Paint' series!
If you'd like to learn more about painting your garden fences, decking and even garage door click here
For advice on painting metal, MDF and dealing with damp, click here

And please ensure you seek personal, expert advice if you're really not sure what paint is going to be absolutely right for that big project.
Good luck!

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