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4 Easy Steps To Selecting The Right Paint


Any of you that have followed my blog now know the importance of colour and the role that it plays in EVERYTHING decorating!  

If your colour is off there is no sense in having the right finish or type of paint.

The colour will grate on your nerves so much that you will most likely end up repainting, so best to do your homework from the beginning and make sure your colour choice is all that it should be.


Is your room a low or high traffic area?  Often this will decide the type of finish or sheen level that you select for the paint. 

Having said this, modern technology has almost redesign paints allowing us to use finishes such as matte that not that long ago, would never have been used in higher traffic areas.

There are four main sheen levels of paint:


Matte or flat finish is a great finish to help camouflage imperfections in walls. I also find that rich, darker colours just pop when a matte finished is used!  As well, I find that they create an overall softness and coziness to a room.  This finish is recommended for use on walls and ceilings.


This type of paint finish has a higher sheen that matte. It is easy to clean and works well even in the high traffic areas of the average family home. This finish is recommended for use on walls.


A high sheen than eggshell, satin finish is recommended for use in rooms such as bathrooms and laundry rooms. It can also be used on trims such as moldings, doors and baseboards.


Semi-gloss finish is a higher gloss yet again and recommended on trim such as moldings, doors and baseboards.

NOTE: Depending on the brand of paint some companies have different names for their sheen levels within a particular line. Check with your paint store about the brand you are purchasing have labeled their various sheen level before you make your final purchasing decision.

Here is a short video from Benjamin Moore on which sheen level is best suited to each area of your home: How To Choose Paint Sheen


If you will be staying in your home for any length of time I recommend purchasing the highest quality of paint that you can afford.

How many of you have moved into a new home, went to spot clean the wall with a damp cloth only to find the paint also comes off on the cloth? Cheap paint can be frustrating to work with. It can end up costing you more money in the long run when you find that you need to do three, four, five coats of paint when in fact a top quality brand will have done the job in two or even one coat!


Many brands now have all of their colours available for purchase in a test quart. This is a great way to take your colour for a test run before you make the big commitment to a whole room.

Often the manufacturers demonstrate painting swatches of colour on the wall. I tell my clients DON’T DO THIS!  I recommend getting sheets of Bristol board and applying two coats of paint.  Let the paint dry. When the colour is on the Bristol board it can easily be moved around to different walls and different lighting. Look at the colour in all types of light and different times of the day and evening. You will find the colour will change as you do this.  As well, if it is say three weeks until you paint, you do not have to look at blotches on your wall for that length of time.

All ready to start that painting project now? Don't forget, if you still feel overwhelmed about your colour selections I am here for you with a web based or in person colour consultation!

In a world full of beauty….

Gail K Allen

Interior Design Consultant

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