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The Complete Guide to Paint


It’s one of those text book situations, couples arguing between Apricot and Autumn Leaf, but what’s the point in being so particular about the colour when you’re clueless about the type of paint you need?

It’s not easy to decide which paint goes where, which colour looks best and what consistency the paint should be. So we’ve pulled together a few tips to help you decide where and what paint you should be using.

First of all, we’ve all heard a few references floating around, Satin, Limewsh, Matte… here’s what they mean.  

A Satin finish is a shiny vinyl or acrylic paint used for walls. Making the walls in busy areas such as hallways more durable. Silk is very similar although not as shiny.

This is a type of paint is chalky in texture. It’s good for brickwork and plaster which is porous and soaks up a lot of the paint. Limewash creates surfaces that are mottled and matte with a suede looking finish.

This term is used when describing a non-reflective finish.
It is ideal for walls and ceilings that are not perfectly smooth.

This traditional water-based paint dries with a matte finish. Used for ceilings and furniture to create an aged effect.

Traditionally oil-based, you can now buy water-based Eggshell paint which is used for interior walls and woodwork.

Flat or Dead-Flat Oil-
We would suggest using this in a quieter area of the house. Basically creating a flat finish but not very durable.

Usually used on woodwork such as skirting boards, these paints have a high sheen finish.

Satinwood or semi-gloss-
Very similar to gloss, used on woodwork, however with a more subtle sheen to it.

You can buy paint to cover every surface in your home, from tiles too wood; you should always consider which paint will work the most efficiently. You can buy the majority of these paints already mixed and prepared in D.I.Y shops; B&Q stock multi purpose Fortress Interior and Exterior paint to be applied directly to surfaces such as plastic, metal, ceramics and even wood.

When it comes to kitchens and bathrooms, you may need something a bit more durable because of the water and cleaning chemicals. Delux have a range of Kitchen and Bathroom emulsion paints which come in thousands of different colours, designed to be durable. You can also buy specialist paints which have a metallic or matte finish to suit your decoration or theme.


One thing that people can worry about is painting wood, especially on a floor. Thinking about having paint on the floor can give you all sorts of worries. What if it doesn’t dry properly? How long will it take to dry? What will I do with all my furniture? What if it get chipped by a chair leg? It’s all okay. Some companies specialise in wood paint. They have discovered how to hide a wooden floor under wonderful coats of paint and it’s very tough and hardy. At you can filter your perfect floor paint by selecting colour, finish, surface type and more to ensure you have the perfect paint.

Some paints even treat a wooden floor to help you learn to love the real wood again. These come in different colours, constancies and finishes so your floor can keep it’s wooden style. has a range of wood care products to ensure you can get the job done properly from vanish to wood stain.

Dulux design service has a team of experts who have put together some ideas to help you choose the perfect colours for your room. If you’re thinking of something bright on the walls, then ensure that your furniture doesn’t over do it. Try neutralising the room with creams and whites and having a few matching patterns running through the cushions and ornaments to create a theme.

When it comes to exterior paint, there are also lots of companies which specialise in ensuring they have created the best product for your needs. You can buy specialist masonry and exterior paint for outside wood and brickwork. These also include protecting agents to help keep the finish in the elements. Choosing an exterior colour can be as important as your interior colours. Think about the surrounding buildings and garden furniture, try and match the wood and keep a theme throughout the garden. You can create some really personalised designs by matching flowers and hanging baskets.

Companies such as Sandtex have taken their customer service to a new level by advancing their paint. You can now buy X-Treme X-Posure, protecting outdoor buildings from any elements while providing a 15 year warranty. Their products range from UV protection to Microseal Technology preventing penetration from the wet outside but allowing airflow. These also come in a range of colours and finishes, so if you’re living in a lighthouse, there is paint for you.

UKinsuranceNET are all for protecting the environment, we have a strict recycling policy in the office and so we should with our paint. Ecos Organic Paints are a company which provide paint for all surfaces but all of their products are environmentally safe. Odourless, free of solvents and volatile organic compounds, their formulas are not only safe for the environment but for the decorators themselves.

The majority of leading brands now produce paint with lower volatile organic compounds and water- based acrylic paints to prevent those strong smells and damage to the environment.

So having a general understanding of what is meant by water based and oil based, what does it actually mean for our home and what would be best for the job?

To create a paint formula, there has to be specific ingredients. One of these is pigment, and the more pigment, the better the quality. The higher the pigment ratio, the better durability and lasting colour.

Originally used for interior walls and ceilings, you’ve probably referred to this paint as emulsion before. These days water-based formulas like this have been advanced to cover all types of surfaces efficiently and be effective inside and outside. The advantages of water-based paints over oil based paints is they are better for environment, cleaner and less smelly! They also make the clean up much easier.

Before water-based paints became so snazzy, solvent and oil-based paints were required for tough jobs. With a durable finish, designed to protect wood and masonry, this paint can be used for interior and exterior. You can use something a little tougher like turpentine or white sprit to help with the clean up this time.

Whether you’re painting a bench or a ceiling, you should have a better idea which ones for you. If you have enjoyed reading The Complete Guide to Paint, you may also find our other articles useful such as How Going Green Can Save you Money or Brilliant Storage Ideas.

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  • ndukwe Avatar


    l like the products

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