How Do I Pick Which Paint to Use on My Upcoming Project?

When deliberating whether or not to paint all or part of your home, it is a good idea to do a bit of research on the paint options to ensure that you use the correct product for your job. When painting your interior walls the two biggest decisions you have to make are “which sheen”, and “what quality” of paint should I use.  While exterior painting has similar options, we often suggest picking from a smaller selection due to the more dramatic wear and tear they will receive.

For an Interior project you first need to pick the sheen for the paint you would like to use.  Your standard sheen options across most brands are: flat, eggshell, and semi-gloss.  Flat has no to very low shine when dry.  This would be a perfect selection for rooms with lots of imperfections.  Flat paint does an excellent job of hiding flaws in your walls.  We find that clients who are planning to sell their home will often use flat paint in many of their rooms.  This helps show the house better by hiding any minor imperfections in the walls. Eggshell is probably the most common sheen choice for interior painting, and can be used in almost any room.  It has a low to medium shine when dry, and can be cleaned occasionally.  Eggshell is a great choice for most bedrooms and common areas.  We often recommend this sheen for bathrooms as well, as it resists moisture, and when properly applied it will not crack and peel from the steam that a shower produces.  Your final primary option is Semi-gloss.  Semi-gloss has a medium shine when dry.  Semi-gloss is most commonly used for trim and woodwork.  Finally, there is a high-gloss option.  Sheen will vary slightly by brand, for example, Sherwin Williams has a Satin in place of Eggshell.  Regardless, the above list is a great place to get started when choosing your sheen.

Sheen Options

FlatNo to very low shine when dry. Perfect for rooms with lots of imperfections as it hides flaws well.
EggshellLow to medium shine when dry which is best for most interior walls.  We would recommend this for bathrooms as well
Semi-GlossMedium shine when dry.  This is best for trim and woodwork.


After choosing your sheen it is time to pick the quality of your paint.  (Below is a chart that outlines the paints we use most and recommend.)  I am going to lay out the 2 most popular levels of paint to help you make your decision.  A popular mid-grade option is Sherwin Williams SuperPaint or Cashmere.  These mid-grade options have slightly better coverage than the Promar line, which is a construction grade paint, and not recommended for homeowners.  This is an excellent choice for a quality repaint on a budget.  Secondly, there are the premium quality options.  For this level we would recommend Benjamin Moore’s Regal Select or Sherwin Williams’ Duration.  These options are a slightly thicker paint and more expensive, although they are more durable and can provide great coverage with fewer coats. 

Premium Interior PaintSW Duration HomeBM Regal Select
Mid-grad Interior PaintSW Superpaint & CashmereBM BEN
Trim and Door PaintSW Proclassic enamel & SW Emerald Urethane trim enamelBM Regal Select

BM Advance

Ceiling PaintSW Promar ceiling paintBM Waterbourne ceiling paint


Exterior painting is in some ways less complicated and an easier decision to make when choosing paint.  For exterior painting you are going to have similar sheen options as the interior.  The quality of the paint also comes in similar levels.  However, we always recommend using higher quality paint when painting exterior surfaces.  Exterior surfaces are typically rougher and have much more exposure to harsh elements.  Because of this, it is best to use thick, durable high quality paint.  Our paint of choice for exterior work is Duration Exterior.

Hopefully the above details will help you when choosing what paint to use when painting your home.  There are obviously other options out there, but this is a good starting point for most any project.  Feel free to reach out anytime if you would like any clarity or direction on what paint to use for your project!