Different interior paints and their applications

The right paint for the job

Choosing the right type of paint is essential to achieve the desired finish and durability for specific surfaces. Here are some commonly used interior paints and their applications:

  • Latex Paint: Latex, or water-based paint, is the most popular choice for interior painting. It has a quick drying time, low odor, and is easy to clean up with water. Latex paints come in different finishes / sheens, including flat, eggshell, satin, and semi-gloss. You can learn more about the different paint sheens here. Flat finishes are suitable for low-traffic areas, while higher gloss finishes offer better durability and washability, making them ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, and high-traffic areas.
  • Oil-Based Paint: Oil-based paints, also known as alkyd paints, provide a durable and glossy finish. They are slower to dry compared to latex paints and we use mineral spirits for cleanup. Oil-based paints are typically used for trim, cabinets, and doors, as they offer excellent resistance to wear and tear. However, they have a stronger odor and release volatile organic compounds (VOCs), so proper ventilation and respiration is necessary during application.
  • Acrylic Paint: Acrylic paints are a blend of latex and acrylic resins, offering the benefits of both. They provide good durability, adhesion, and color retention, making them suitable for high-traffic areas. Acrylic paints dry quickly, have low odor, and  clean up with water. They are available in various finishes, including flat, eggshell, satin, and semi-gloss.
  • Chalk Paint: Chalk paint is a unique type of paint known for its matte, velvety finish. It has a thick consistency and is highly pigmented, providing excellent coverage. Chalk paint is commonly used for furniture refinishing, giving pieces a distressed or vintage look. It sticks well to various surfaces and requires minimal surface preparation.
  • Textured Paint: Textured paint is designed to add texture and depth to surfaces, effectively hiding imperfections. It comes in different formulations, such as sand, popcorn, or stone finishes. Textured paint is often used on ceilings or walls with uneven surfaces to create an appealing visual effect.
  • Primer: While not a paint itself, a primer is an essential coating applied before painting. It prepares the surface, improves adhesion, and enhances paint durability. Primers are available in oil-based, latex-based, and shellac-based options, each suitable for specific applications.

When selecting an interior paint,  consider the surface, the desired finish, durability requirements, and the specific area being painted. Consult with a professional painting contractor if you’re unsure about the best paint type for your project. Paint Works New York is here to help.

Interior of a nicely appointed apartment dining room

Volatile Organic Compounds in Finishes

VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are chemicals that are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs from paint are released into the air during and after the painting process. These compounds can have both short-term and long-term health effects, and they also contribute to air pollution.

To protect against VOCs, take the following measures:

Choose Low-VOC or Zero-VOC Paint: Look for paints labeled as low-VOC or zero-VOC. These paints contain significantly lower levels of VOCs compared to traditional paints. They are formulated to have reduced emissions, making them better for indoor air quality.
Read the Label: Always read the paint can label and check the VOC content listed by the manufacturer.
Proper Ventilation: When painting indoors, ensure proper ventilation by opening windows.
Wear Protective Gear: When applying paint, wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as a respirator mask, goggles, and gloves.
Time Your Painting: Try to schedule your painting project during a time when you can keep the painted area well-ventilated for a few days.