The type of paint you'll use depends on how the room to be painted will be used and the type of finish you want. Interior paint is specifically formulated to provide:

Scrubbability and stain resistance
Good hiding ability
Good coverage
Spatter resistance
Easy touch-up

Latex or Oil?

Interior house paints are either latex- or oil/alkyd-based. Today, most oil-based paints are made with synthetic resins (alkyds), which perform better than paints based on natural oils. Each has different characteristics and uses. Your neighborhood Sherwin-Williams paint expert can provide advice about which paint is right for your project.

Latex – Get the longest-lasting finish with the best gloss retention. latex paints are easy to work with, dry quickly and are extremely durable. Latex paints clean up easily with soap and water.

Oil / Alkyd – Good adhesion, excellent durability and stain resistance make oil/alkyd-based paints excellent choices for trim in high-traffic rooms, such as kitchens and bathrooms. Clean paint tools with mineral spirits.

Choosing the right paint for the surface will help ensure that you achieve a quality paint job that will last.

Ceilings - Use specially formulated flat ceiling paint. The flat finish hides irregularities and lap marks. Ceiling paint rolls on with minimal spatter and won't yellow over time.

Woodwork - Use either latex or oil/alkyd paint. Always prime bare wood. Easy-to-clean semi-gloss finishes are first choice, but when wear-and-tear is modest, flat or satin finishes are fine selections.

Walls - Because it's easy to work with, latex paint is an excellent choice for do-it-yourself projects. Latex paints can be applied over properly primed drywall, wood or masonry.

Metal - Use either latex or oil/alkyd paint on properly primed iron or steel. You can apply latex directly on aluminum and galvanized metal. However, these metals need to be properly primed if you're using oil/alkyd-based paint

Masonry - For cement, concrete block and brick surfaces, acrylic latex wall paint designed for masonry surfaces is an excellent choice.

Floors - Use a product specifically designed for floor to stand up to abrasion, traffic and heavy scrubbing.

Picking a Color - With the vast array of color choices available today, it can be hard to know where to begin. And if you’re like many homeowners, you want to make sure you’re not only choosing the right colors, but also colors that will coordinate from room-to-room, or from interior to exterior. The good news is that there are many easy resources available to help you create your personal palette with confidence. Think of a favorite rug or fabric you own. Often these objects are your favorites because they feature all the colors you like. Use the combinations as a guide to choosing colors for your wall.