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How to Choose the Right Paint Brand for Different Surfaces in Your Denver Home

The day you have been dreading has finally arrived: It’s time to take your chances on the right paint, finish, and color of paint at your local paint store. Your local home improvement and hardware store probably has hundreds or even thousands of colors available – but how do you know which is the right choice for your kitchen cabinets, stucco walls, or even wood flooring?

Tackling an interior painting project of any size can be tricky – especially if you don’t know which brand, type, and finish to choose. Here is some insider information that will help you find the correct paint and paint brand for almost every surface in your house.

bold paints
There’s paint and then there’s paint. Each type of paint creates it’s own, unique finish to your walls

Understanding the Basics: Different Types of Paint

Their base categorizes both interior and exterior paint. Each base performs differently and has its own pros and cons. While planning your painting project, here are the basic types of paints you will encounter:

water based paint
The majority of paints used today are water based since they are easy to apply, dry, and remove when necessary

Water-Based Paint

The majority of premium paint manufacturers and colors are water-based. This is because water-based paint features an easy application, is easy to clean up, and dries much faster than other varieties of paint – including oil-based paint. Water-based paint can be applied to almost every surface throughout the home, and because of technological advances, modern water-based paint leeches fewer toxic chemicals.

The biggest downside to water-based paint is that because the base is aqueous, the colors are not as vibrant. Water-based interior paints also do not last as long as oil-based paint brands, meaning you must repaint and touch up the walls more often.

oil based paint
Oil based paints make for a bolder, richer finish, especially on wood. But be sure to apply in a well-ventilated area!

Oil-Based Paint

If you want a product that produces a bold, rich finish, will resist fading, and will last for several decades, opt for oil-based paints. As the name would suggest, the paint is manufactured with synthetic or natural oils, such as linseed oil. The oil acts as a binder and gives the paint its reliable, even finish. Oil-based paints have been a very popular choice for surfaces throughout the home – including ceiling paint and for painting molding and trim.

As with other varieties of paints, there are disadvantages to oil paints. One of the biggest is the product’s drying time, which is much longer than water-based varieties. If you are concerned about paint fumes, and the chemicals that cause this distinct odor, oil-based products are more noxious than their water-based counterparts.

latex paint
Latex based paint is another source that’s good on all surfaces but must be re-applied regularly

Latex Paint

Another great contender for your interior and exterior surfaces is latex paint. Although most older latex paint brands were manufactured with a rubber base, newer products are now made with a water base. In addition to drywall, wood, and fiberglass, you can apply latex paint to several other surfaces of your home, including aluminum siding, concrete, and even metallic deck chairs.

If you choose to paint with a rubber or water base, be aware that it takes much longer to cure than other traditional water-based products. Latex is more prone to chipping and peeling, meaning you will need to touch up the paint more often than if you choose oil-based paint types.

acrylic paint
Acrylic paint is incredibly durable, making it ideal for exterior surfaces and decorative pieces

Acrylic Paint

Chances are you associate acrylic paint with art projects or paint a mural on the wall of your child’s bedroom. However, acrylic paint is far more versatile than that. Created by mixing pigment with a resin and acrylic polymer, these types of paint were typically used for small-scale projects simply because the product dries very quickly. Because acrylic paint is not water-based, it is highly durable and should be considered if you are repainting your home’s exterior walls and siding.

The two most significant drawbacks to acrylic paint are the product’s price – which is typically far higher than the competition – and the difficulty you will have trying to scrape the sturdy acrylic paint off your vinyl siding.

primer paint
Primer paint acts as the foundation upon which your new coat of paint is then applied.


The best paint brands recommend applying a quality primer before the first coat of quality paint – and for several good reasons. Primer helps hides imperfections on your interior walls and create a balanced surface that is necessary if you are covering a darker paint color with a lighter hue. Oil-based and latex-based primers are some of the best on the market and ideal for interior walls. Shellac-based primers are best for use on outdoor surfaces, including your backyard deck.

No matter what brand or variety of paint, always work with a residential painter who is knowledgeable about the pros and cons of different paint bases and which variety of paint is best for your needs, project, and budget.

satin paint
Gloss or satin? Matte or eggshell? Which finish you choose will depend on what kind of impact you want your room to have

The Perfect Paint For Every Room: Understanding the Pros and Cons of Different Paint Finishes

The color and base of your paint are two critical considerations. However, as a homeowner, you cannot overlook another crucial aspect of any wall paint: The finish. Choose the right finish, and your paint will last for years. Choose the wrong finish; the paint will be patchy, peel, and will not withstand the unique atmosphere of each room in the home.

Here are the most popular varieties of finishes:

high gloss paint
High gloss leaves a shiny, bold finish. Be sure to apply only on un-blemished surfaces though!

High Gloss

As the name suggests, if you want the finish of any room of your home to pop, choose a high gloss finish. High gloss finishes are durable, easy to clean, and an excellent option for the trim and molding throughout the home. If you want to paint your kitchen cabinets, a gallon of high-gloss paint is your best option because the product can withstand the grease splatter, humidity, and dirty fingerprints your cabinets will endure.

However, be aware that high gloss paint is not forgiving, and if there are any imperfections under the surface, they will be noticeable because this finish will reflect light. Priming any surface with a high-quality primer is critical if you want to complete your painting projects with a high-gloss product.

Are you considering using high-gloss paint for your cabinet painting project? At Two Painters and a Brush, we can walk you through the pros and cons of this finish.

semi gloss paint finish
Semi-gloss offers the same appeal to high-traffic rooms as gloss but without the dazzling glare


From the kitchen and the bathroom to the hallways and your kid’s bedroom, several areas of your home are labeled “high-traffic areas” for good reason. Semi-gloss paint is the standard, and if you are having trouble deciding which finish to choose, a semi-gloss finish is typically the best option. Semi-gloss paint is easy to clean, durable, wears beautifully, and will hide inherent imperfections in your walls, trim, or molding better than high-gloss paint.

Always choose semi-gloss for the kitchen and bathroom. In addition to being easier to clean, semi-gloss is more mildew resistant, which is a critical factor when choosing paint for areas that are prone to high humidity. Light reflects less off semi-gloss than the paint’s high-gloss counterpart, so if you want the sophisticated sheen of a high-gloss finish, you simply won’t achieve it with a semi-gloss interior paint.

matte finish paint
Matte finishes are better for darker tones rooms, with less traffic passing through.


A matte or a flat finish has no sheen that is ideal for some projects but the wrong choice for several others. With most other finishes, you will require at least two coats of paint, especially if you paint a lighter color over a darker hue, even with quality paint and primer. A matte finish is more forgiving and will hide imperfections. However, flat paints or matte finishes are not as durable and are excellent interior paint for low-traffic areas or as ceiling paint.

satin finish
Satin coats absorb light as easily as semi-gloss but are less reflective.


Satin finish and semi-gloss finish are often mistaken for one another – although they are very different. Satin paint has a slightly duller finish than semi-gloss and is the ideal type of paint for many of the same as semi-gloss, including high-traffic areas like the kitchen, bathroom, dining rooms, and your child’s bedroom. The biggest downside to satin is that the strokes are often noticeable if it is applied with a paintbrush. If you hire the best painting contractors in Denver, this won’t be an issue. However, you might run into a problem if you touch up the satin finish interior paint with a paintbrush.

eggshell paint
Not looking for the sheen of matte or satin but also not looking for the dullness of flat paint? Eggshell might be the happy medium you’re looking for.


If you aren’t blown over but the sheen of a semi-gloss or satin finish but want slightly more of a sheen than a flat paint, an eggshell finish is the best option. Eggshell provides you with a mid-level sheen, and this interior paint typically works in low to medium-traffic areas, such as your dining room or hallways. Eggshell is far more durable than a matte finish but cannot withstand the constant temperature changes and heat found in the bathroom or kitchen.

low zero voc paints
When shopping for paints, try to aim for low to zero VOC level brands.

What Are Volatile Organic Compounds?

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, have been a hot topic in the painting industry for many years. You have heard of VOCs but aren’t exactly sure why these chemicals are harmful and how to avoid purchasing interior and exterior paint with potentially dangerous ingredients. Technically speaking, VOCs are organic compounds featuring low water solubility and high vapor pressure. In the past, manufacturers of interior and exterior paint used VOCs because it helped the product adhere to the walls better and dry more quickly.

Not all VOCs are inherently bad, and because they are natural compounds, VOCs are found in the soil and produced by animals and plants. However, when VOCs are concentrated and used in the manufacturing of consumer products, including paint colors, the organic product can become dangerous. High levels of VOCs have been linked to several chronic conditions, including asthma. Whenever possible, choose a quality interior paint that is labeled “low VOCs” or “No VOC paints.”

Todays drywall is durable enough to have any type of paint applied to it. Always start with a primer though!

Best Paint for Drywall

Most new homes feature drywall, which provides an even, flat surface for almost any variety of interior paints. Luckily, almost any type of paint can be used to paint drywall. The ultimate decision is based on your unique preference, budget, and recommendations made by your painting contractor. Whatever paint you choose, always start the project with a quality primer and never skimp on quality paint. Instead, choose from any of the premium brands on the market – including Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, Behr, and Glidden.

stucco wall
Since stucco walls are essentially cement-based, an exterior paint such as acrylic is most suitable.

Best Paint for Stucco Walls

Stucco is a mixture of water, sand, lime, and cement – particularly Portland cement, and has been popular for several centuries. If you are privileged to have interior or exterior stucco walls, painting the stucco will not only reinvigorate the space; the paint will act as a barrier against the elements. Latex-based acrylic paint is the best exterior and interior paint for stucco. The paint provides a strong barrier while still allowing the stucco to breathe.

painted brick wall
Be sure to scrub your bricks clean before applying paint, otherwise every blemish will be laid bare!

Painting Your Brick Walls: Mistakes to Avoid

Nothing compares to the beauty and simplicity of a brick accent. You are proud of your brick walls, but the years have started to turn the once-beautiful walls into an undesirable color. Painting brick is possible – but only if you use the best paints available and follow the proper steps to prep and apply the paint. One of the biggest mistakes is not properly prepping the walls. Always thoroughly clean the brick with a wire brush, soap, and water. Allow the brick to dry completely.

Of all the paints available on the shelves of your local home improvement or paint store, acrylic latex is once again the best option for painting brick. Water-based paint peels too easily, and if you are painting exterior brick, it cannot withstand the elements.

painting cabinets
Kitchen cabinets can be painted DIY-style. But nobody leaves a spotless finish like Two Painters and a Brush!

Can I Paint My Kitchen Cabinets? Is It Possible to Paint My Wood Floors?

It is totally possible to paint both your wood kitchen cabinets and wood flooring – with the proper preparation and paint. The best products for either paint job include:

  • Acrylic.
  • Satin finish.
  • Enamel paint.

The key to painting wood flooring and cabinets is to create a rough, clean surface. Thoroughly clean either with a mixture of soap and water. For cabinets, a degreaser might be necessary. Removing the cabinet doors is a necessary, albeit time-consuming, chore. If you are tired of your ugly, outdated cabinets and don’t want to take on the task of kitchen cabinet painting yourself, leave this task to a quality painting company in Denver that can expertly paint your home’s exterior, interior, and kitchen cabinets.

which paints to use
When it comes to buying paint, the cheapest is seldom the best. Try and avoid the bargain basement variety and opt for quality brands instead.

Not All Cans of Paint Are Created Equal: What Makes a Quality Paint

There are a multitude of different brands of interior and exterior paints available – but how do you know what makes a quality interior or exterior paint? Here are a few qualities to look for when shopping for any variety or finish of residential paint:

Durability and Wearability

The durability and wearability of paint definitely matter, especially if you are purchasing exterior paints. Semi-gloss, high-gloss, and satin are the more durable paints because they resist chipping, especially when cleaning. If you have kids and are worried about cleaning off crayon marks, always stick with semi-gloss or high-gloss paint, as these are more stain resistant.

When it comes to exterior paints, choose an epoxy paint that can withstand the elements, including rain, wind, and UV sun exposure. Remember, choose an exterior paint color based on how much light you want to be absorbed. A darker color absorbs light, while a lighter color reflects light. A darker shade can raise your energy bills if you live in a hot climate.


The paint’s coverage is a consideration, but it is not always the best way to judge the quality of the interior or exterior paint. A flat finish has the best coverage; chances are, you will not need more than one to two coats to complete the job. Finishes with any type of sheen, from high-gloss to eggshell, will require at least two to three coats, especially if you are covering a darker color.

If you choose a quality paint brand, you will typically end up purchasing less paint because it will provide more coverage, regardless of the finish. Keep this in mind when budgeting for materials.

The Brand

Most paint brands will provide you with a quality, expert finish. However, if you want to ensure the paint colors are vibrant and the color remains beautiful for several years to come, you need to splurge on the best brands in the business. Sherwin-Williams is a premiere brand that homeowners have trusted for several decades. Behr Painting is another fantastic brand with hundreds of colors that will work with any aesthetic.

faq paint
Our team have addressed thousands of questions in the past. If you have any that remain unanswered, let us know!

People also ask

What kind of paint can be used on many different types of surfaces?

Almost every type of paint can be used on virtually any surface – from unfinished wood and drywall to vinyl and aluminum. If you aren’t sure if the paint you purchased is suitable for the project, read the directions or refer to the manufacturer’s website. Some paints are rated for interior use, while others are recommended for use on exterior surfaces.

How do I choose a brand of paint?

Choosing the right product for your budget can be tricky with all the brands available. House painters are a great source of information about the best brands, so go ahead and ask your painter which brand they would recommend. Do your homework, research brands, or ask friends and family for recommendations.

What kind of paint will stick to any surface?

If you need versatile paint that will stick to almost any type of surface, from wood and canvas to paper, plaster, stucco, and metal, acrylic paint is the best option. Proper preparation of any surface is key, so make sure you follow the manufacturer’s directions and take the time to prep the surface so the paint sticks.

How do I know what kind of paint to use?

You’ve searched the internet, asked friends, and read the back of countless paint cans – but you still can’t figure out which type of paint to use! In this instance, consulting professionals is the best option. Two Painters and a Brush can answer any questions you might have. Not sure how to find us? Simply type the phrase “painting contractors near me,” and you will find our information. Our team of seasoned pros can always help you determine not only the best brand of paint to choose but also which base and finish is the ideal candidate for your paint job.

Why does the paint look different on different surfaces?

Have you ever painted one wall in your bedroom or living room, only to discover that when you used the same paint on another wall, the two colors look entirely different? The issue is light and how different light sources illuminate other surfaces throughout the room. The best way to combat this is to choose a color that looks best on the wall that receives the most artificial or natural light.

Does it matter what brand of paint?

Yes, the brand of paint you purchase will have a significant impact on the final finished product. The color of a lower-quality interior paint will appear less striking. The application will not be as smooth, and you will need to retouch spots more often. Instead of dealing with the hassle and reapplication of sub-par interior or exterior paint, splurge on higher quality paint, such as Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore.

How much paint will I need for my home’s interior?

Knowing how much paint you will need to cover the walls of a standard room is essential, and unless you are a professional, it can be an impossible estimation. As a general rule, you will need at least 2 gallons of quality paint and 2 gallons of quality primer to cover a 12X12 square-foot room. The numbers can be different depending on several factors, such as the wall type.

Is it difficult to paint my home’s exterior?

Painting is tricky no matter what the situation. However, as difficult as it is to paint your walls, painting your home’s exterior is even more difficult. In addition to understanding how the weather can impact drying time, you will need to know which paint to choose, how to apply the paint, and all own all the necessary equipment.

Instead of investing in ladders, paint sprayers, and all the other equipment required to paint your home properly, leave this chore to an expert, experienced exterior painting company.

How can I responsibly dispose of old paint?

At the end of every paint job, there will inevitably be some leftover paint. Instead of allowing the paint to clutter your garage or basement, dispose of unwanted paint responsibly. Ask your local paint retailer if they have a responsible disposal option. Otherwise, contact your municipality to determine how to safely remove unwanted paint.

two painters and a brush staircase
If you’re looking for the most professional touch to your painting work, call us today and we’ll schedule an appointment!

In Conclusion

Finding the right paint color, finish, base, and brand is the key to transforming your interior and exterior walls. If you are feeling overwhelmed, the pros at Two Painters and a Brush can help guide you through every step of the process – from choosing your perfect paint color to prepping, painting, and cleaning up. In addition to expertly painting your home’s interior and exterior, we offer other outstanding services, including popcorn ceiling removal.

Our professionals also specialize in kitchen cabinet painting and wallpaper removal. No matter how big or small the job, our professional painters will make your home the talk of the neighborhood! When you search for painters near me, make sure to watch out for the name “Two Painters and a Brush!”