Which Paint is Best for Your Walls

Which Paint is Best for Your Walls

House painting designs and colours interest everyone, but our focus is usually on the shade or finish of wall paints. We rarely get into the details of its composition. However, if you really want to pick the right wall paint for your home, you must understand how one type of paint differs constitutionally from the other. Each type of paint comes with its own set of properties that determines its functionality. 

It is pertinent to point out that each type of wall paint can be further segregated on the basis of finishes like a flat, eggshell and satin finish. However, house painting designs and colours have been grouped as per their composition here. Check out our range of Melbourne Home Painting to help in your problem

Paint comes in a variety of sheens as well as in either oil or latex. Latex paint is the most common and preferred paint type to use because of its ease of clean up and long-lasting durability. It also tends to be more fade resistant and breathes better than oil, resulting in less blistering of the paint. I recommend using latex paint for most of your walls and household uses. However, oil-based paint is great for priming real wood mouldings and trim as it tends to seal stains and knots from the wood better than a latex paint wood. It does take longer to dry than a latex paint though, so plan for more drying time. I personally use an oil-based shellac primer on my trim and then opt for latex paint as the topcoat. There are a variety of brands on the market, but my top preference is Behr paint.

Which sheen should I select?

The glossier the paint, the easier it is to clean up. If you have small children and the room you are painting has high traffic, like in a playroom, or tends to get grease on the wall such as in a kitchen, opt for high gloss sheen as you can easily wipe the wall down with a damp sponge. This will, however, make blemishes and imperfections in your wall more apparent and in rooms such as living rooms, could give off an unpleasant shine. High gloss is also great for trim and will give the trim a nice finished look, complementing the flatter sheen of your walls.

Semi-gloss would also be a good choice for kitchens and baths as well as trim providing you with ease of wash-ability and less shine than the gloss. It is also slightly cheaper than the gloss finish and is a very common alternative. Satin sheens have a satiny smooth finish to them and could also be used in kitchens, baths and hallways. This may be a good choice if you really want some gloss and paint that can clean easily without the shine of a gloss.

If you have walls with lots of imperfections, select a flat or matte paint. You can usually get away with one coat of paint with a flat. The downside to this paint is that it does not stand up well to a good cleaning and does tend to show dirt more so choose this for rooms that will not get lots of fingerprints and dirt on them. Probably the most popular sheen is eggshell, which hides imperfections like a flat does but is easier to wash, so more durable and smoother to the touch. I recommend this for most rooms as it seems to have the best of both the flat and glossy worlds.

Which colour should I choose?

If you are in the process of selling your house, I recommend selecting a white or off-white colour as the choice for walls. This will allow the buyer to easily cover the wall with their choice of colour and will give your rooms a brighter and clean appearance. However, you should take full advantage of the hundreds of paint selections and brochures at your local paint store as well as talk to a salesperson about the various colour schemes for the look you want. You can change the feel of any room in your house with a little planning and some colour, varying the shades for a certain look or feel.Check out home painting specialists in providing solutions to your problem.

A good rule of thumb is to remember the colour wheel. We all learned about the primary colours in school – red, yellow and blue. These are on the colour wheel at 12:00, 4:00 and 8:00 respectively. Combining any of these will give you a secondary colour (i.e. purple, orange). Colours near each other on the colour wheel such as blue and purple are analogous to each other and will allow one colour to stand out more. Colours opposite each other on the colour wheel such as green and red are complementary to one another and will nicely play off each other. Staying within the same shade of colour (i.e. greens) will give you a subtle and soothing look. Painting with cool colours such as blues, greens, and purples make small rooms appear larger and airier while colours such as reds, yellows and oranges will give a room a more vibrant appearance. You can vary the warmth even with a red or yellow by choosing muted shades of those colours such as pink, peach or a buttery yellow. Warm colours have cool ones as their complementary colours while cool colours have warm complements. Shades are either pure or vibrant, muted (which are less intense than their vibrant counterparts) or shaded (the darker colours in the same colour scheme). 

I Want A Subtle And Soothing Look:

You can choose to stay within the same shade and use a monochromatic approach such as select a variety of shades of blue for subtle colour that tends to be soothing. This tends to look good in a bathroom or a bedroom if you want the feeling of calmness. Just choose your favourite colour and overlap the shades. For example, select a darker colour for the wall and then another in the same colour scheme but different shade and slightly lighter for the trim. Your curtains, towels or bedding, as well as accessories such as candles, can be varying shades within the same scheme. You can also layer the colours by selecting a lighter green as the basecoat and then do a faux paint with a darker green overlay.

Light colour choices such as blues, lavenders, pinks and soft yellows are great choices for a romantic feeling of tranquillity and restfulness in a room. If you are looking for a calm ambience in your bedroom, choose lighter shades of either cool or warm colours. Use different textures in your bedding and accessories to make the room even more appealing. Don’t hold to the old rule of one shade and one texture. You will be pleasantly surprised at the effects just changing textures and colours can have on a room.

 Colours such as sage can turn a kitchen quickly into one of comfort and shades of buttery yellows in a kitchen will lend to that feeling baked goodies brings. Shades of powdery blue also tend to yield feelings of tranquillity.

Guide to Paint Finishes

There’s a basic rule of thumb to follow when choosing paint sheens: The higher the sheen, the higher the shine — and the higher the shine, the more durable it will be.

Flat paint has no shine; high-gloss is all shine. In between are eggshell, satin, and semi-gloss, each with its own practical and decorative job to do. 

High Gloss

The most durable and easiest to clean of all paint sheens, high-gloss paint is hard, ultra-shiny, and light-reflecting. Think appliance-paint tough.

High gloss is a good choice for an area that sticky fingers touch — cabinets, trim, and doors. High-gloss, however, is too much shine for interior walls. And like a Spandex dress, high gloss shows every bump and roll, so don’t skimp on prep work.

  • Practical application: kitchens, door, and window trim
  • Durability: very high


Good for rooms where moisture, drips, and grease stains challenge walls. Also great for trim work that takes a lot of abuse.

  • Practical application: kitchens, bathrooms, trim, chair rails
  • Durability: high


Has a yummy lustre that, despite the name, is often described as velvety. It’s easy to clean, making it excellent for high-traffic areas. Its biggest flaw is it reveals application flaws, such as roller or brush strokes. Touch-ups later can be tricky. 

  • Practical application: family rooms, foyers, hallways, kids’ bedrooms
  • Durability: high


Between satin and flat on the sheen (and durability) scale is eggshell, so named because it’s essentially a flat (no-shine) finish with little lustrous, like a chicken’s egg. Eggshell covers wall imperfections well and is a great finish for gathering spaces that don’t get a lot of bumps and scuffs.

  • Practical application: dining rooms, living rooms
  • Durability: medium

Flat or Matte

A friend to walls that have something to hide, flat/matte soaks up, rather than reflects, light. It has the most pigment and will provide the most coverage, which translates to time and money savings. However, it’s tough to clean without taking paint off with the grime.

  • Practical application: adults’ bedrooms and other interior rooms that won’t be roughed up by kids
  • Durability: medium-low

Tips For Choosing the Right Sheen

If your paint colour is dark and rich, but you don’t want a super shiny effect, step down at least one level on the sheen scale. That’s because the darker and richer the paint colour is, the more colourant it has, which boosts sheen. Ditto if you’re painting a large, sun-washed, or imperfect wall. The higher the sheen, the more defects will show.

Adding sheen also adds to the cost, usually an extra dollar or two per gallon as you step up on the sheen scale.

Best Paint Brands for Your Interior Painting Projects

Choosing the right paint colour can be daunting enough—we know the image of paint swatches and paint samples littering your dining room table all too well—but knowing where to start when it comes to choosing which brands you want to use can be mind-boggling. Some are better when it comes to the quality of paint finish and application, but not all of them offer mould-resistant finishes if you’re looking to paint your bathroom, for example. To make selecting your paint brand(s) easy, we’ve broken these best paint brands down into ten categories, from best value to best coverage and beyond, so you can find the best paint for your particular project. You may need to get a few of them too, based on the needs of the job and what it is you’re painting. (Yes, there’s the best paint that’s specific to ceilings!) Shop our best paint brands right here. Check out Home Painting Melbourne specialists in providing solutions to your problem.

Benjamin Moore

Founded in 1883, Benjamin Moore is an American paint company that has become one of the most popular paint brands. However, you won’t find Benjamin Moore paints at big retail chains, but only at independently-owned stores and retailers (find one here). 

Remember, you don’t have to choose a bold colour to refresh a room. Some of Benjamin Moore’s best-selling colours are shades of white, like the designer-approved White Dove and Decorator’s White. 


Another popular paint brand, Sherwin-Williams not only has a huge range of colours, but its HGTV Home line of paints is available at Lowe’s, making it convenient to shop. On the company’s list of best-selling colours, Pure White and Agreeable Gray land at the top. 


One of the go-to paint manufacturers in the Southwestern United States, Dunn-Edwards is starting to become more popular throughout the country. In fact, when we ask L.A.-based designers for their top paint picks, Dunn-Edwards options often make a list. While all of the brand’s stores are located in the Southwest, there are a few dealers that carry the brand throughout the country (search for the one nearest you). 


If you’re hoping for a paint makeover that won’t break your budget, Behr is the paint brand of choice. Available at the Home Depot, a gallon of flat finish interior paint can cost you less than $30. And because you can pick up your paint as you stock up on paint rollers, brushes, and tarps, you won’t have to make the trek to another store. 

Farrow & Ball

Looking for timeless paint colours that will never go out of style? Farrow & Ball should be your go-to. This luxury paint brand has a higher price per gallon than other companies on the list, but most of its colours are based on historic colour palettes and archives, so you know you’ll always get a hue that you can live with for a long time. Farrow & Ball’s paints are known for being rich and complex, so it’s a good idea to paint a test swatch on your wall to observe how the colour changes as the light shifts throughout the day. Ready to test some paints? Order a sample pot online or at a store near you. 


For those who are overwhelmed by the seemingly endless selection of paint swatches at the store, there’s Clare—an online paint company founded by interior designer Nicole Gibbons, with a curated selection that delivers to your door. With just 55 paints to choose from, Clare simplifies the process of picking a hue. Still, having trouble deciding? They even have an online quiz to help you find your perfect match. Order your paint and all the supplies (including drop cloths), and you won’t even have to make a trip to the store. 

Little Green Paint & Paper

While many of the brands on this list have a line of eco-friendly, low-VOC (aka, Volatile Organic Compounds, which contribute to air pollution) paints, all of the paints at Little Green are low-VOC, and its oil paints are made using sustainable vegetable oil. Plus, the colours are rich and sophisticated, perfect for a room refresh you’ll want to keep for years to come. Little Greene is based in the U.K., but you can search for U.S. stockists here. 

Scroll to Top