What type of paint should I use where? Podcast: Episode 4

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Last updated on May 21, 2021

On our recent podcast Perry Holloway, Paint Sales Manager of Schloegel’s Paint Services joined us to impart a little bit of his expertise on paint. Perry is our resident paint expert. Prior to working at Schloegel, he owned his own paint company for over 14 years.


The Best Type of Paint For Walls

For walls in any area of your home, you’re going to be wanting to look for interior wall paint. There are many different classifications or areas where you might use different wall paint. In one form or another based on traffic and heavy use areas, areas where hands and bodies and things are touching the walls regularly or not. There are some wise choices that can be made to make those areas last, as long they can.

Paint for Bathrooms

What is one of those wise choices? What should we avoid in those really heavily trafficked wall areas?

Major paint companies have made giant strides and improvements in technology and in the paints that they produce. The old adage used to be if I’m painting a kitchen or a bathroom or someplace, but particularly a bathroom must look at those. I mean, you’ve got showers, you’ve got steam running in the bathroom. You’ve got an exhaust fan that you hope is delineating all of that, but it may not be. And the default in bathrooms has traditionally been to go to a higher sheen paint. Higher sheens are more conducive to abuse where and they’re easier to wipe and clean with a cloth or dish soap rag, that kind of thing, they’re more durable. It just makes it a more durable finish.

There are paints that are made for bathrooms and, there’s a lot of choices there. Some of the paint companies have begun introducing biocides in their paint formulations, that rebel against mildew. The major paint companies have also recognized within our living, in our own homes. There’s a lot of people that don’t like high sheen paints on their walls, it’s not a very trendy sheen. But paint companies have developed properties more conducive to cleaning and wiping off in the lower sheens. They’re a more expensive product, but they’ve done research and development and have improved the formulations of lower sheen paints. They are much more durable and you’re able to wipe them without leaving watermarks.

Ceiling Paint

Ceilings are typically a flat finish paint and because there’s zero traffic on them unless you’re walking around the house with flagpoles. But normally we just use flat ceiling paint and they make products that are designed for ceilings.


Trim is all trim paint, it’s just a completely different category. People have the tendency to think that I can use anything on my trim and that’s not the case. I get asked over and over again. Can I use wall paint on my trim? Uh, you can but it may not necessarily last that long or it may chip or slough. You’ll likely run into more problems later down the road. If that’s the paint that you choose on your trim, it’s easy, but it’s not necessarily the best. We always use enamel on trim. And there are many.

Talking about your trim paint, there are some processes that are important to know. If you have oil-based paint right now on trim, and you’re going to go to a hybrid or a latex enamel, you have to go through several processes to prep that oil paint before it’s receptive and will bite and hold a latex or a hybrid layer of paint.

To convert oil trim to the hybrid trim paint, the starting point to make that happen is to, sand your trim and apply a primer. The bonding primer can be water-based as long as it’s a bonding primer. Then you’re ready for hybrid paint.

Paint Sheens or Finishes

Your finishes typically start with a flat that has zero reflective to it. You can see the color without the shiny. The sheen is the shininess, how shiny, that’s the best way to describe the difference in the sheens. So flat has no sheen. The next level would be a matte finish and the next level would be an eggshell. And then after the eggshell, you get into satin finishes. Satin goes from there to semi-gloss, gloss, and high gloss.  What we typically use is a matte finish, but we’re using very high-quality paint that has the ability to be wiped down. They’re more expensive.

Oil-Based Paints

We used to use oil-based trim paint, occasionally we still do, but because of the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) with oil-based paints and the environmental impact of oil-based paints the paint companies have moved into developing hybrids specifically water-based paints designed for trim.

We would lean towards either a hybrid or a water-based paint design specifically for trim. How you layer those, you need to ask your paint store, or who’s working at your paint store.

Oil paint is usually a harder surface. That’s the advantage of oil, it is the most durable paint. The downside to oil paint aside from the environmental issues is the smell of everything about it. It also discolors over time. The color retention on oil-based paints is the worst of all things that we use in our home. White trim, yellows.  Sometimes it happens within months and you just don’t notice it because you’re living in it.

The hybrids, new technologies are very colorfast and they act more like oil paint when you apply them. The durability when you’re starting with new wood and new trim, the durability is almost equal. If you’re painting hybrids over an existing layer, that’s where, maybe a primer layer between if you don’t know whether your trim is oil or water-based trim, would be to prime.

Cabinet Paint

We like to use paints that are specifically designed for cabinetry and furniture, and we spray those products. So, what we do is different than maybe what a homeowner might try to do on their own. We use catalyzed products. Homeowners are going to have available at their hands what’s sold over the counter, like Home Depot, Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, PPG. Any of those will have primers and paints that you can use on your cabinetry. Learn more about painting cabinets.

With stained cabinetry, if you’re converting stained cabinetry you need to start with sanding everything and then apply an oil-based primer. Sand it again, and then you could come back with a hybrid enamel and use that on your cabinets. It won’t be quite as durable as, as what the professionals are doing. Learn more about staining cabinets.

You just need to be careful with your cabinetry for several weeks after you complete them. Because many of the enamels are going to be dry to the touch, but they’re still soft. They’re still trying to harden and bite into the painted surface that you’ve just painted. It takes several weeks for that to fully cure. So, within the first two or three weeks, be careful how you bang them around.

Home Exterior

Exterior paints are specifically designed to be used out outside. Fungicide properties and mildicide properties are built into the formulation of the paint.  UV resistant properties are also built into the formulation of the paint.

They’re going to be a softer paint if you will. Even weeks and months after you apply them because exterior paints are designed to expand and contract a lot more than interior paints. This is because of the elements and the wooden are siding wood trim.

To Prime or Not to Prime

I’d say if you’re taking on your own project and you have really dark balls you want to convert to really light walls. I would use a primer to start the process of getting that dark, dark color to a lighter color by priming it first.  Rather than trying to just choose the paint primary combination. You could do that, you just may have to apply more coats.

I would use a primer in any new wood or new trim. Definitely use a primer on any new drywall in your walls. If you got really ambitious and took out a wall and put up a new wall or something where you’ve got bare drywall, that needs to be primed before you paint. Otherwise, it’s just going to soak every layer until you get it primed to block that out. So, you start building layers instead of just absorbing them.

Paint Brands

Sherwin Williams is a very good paint line. Benjamin Moore is a very good line of paints. Some of the differences are Sherwin Williams has their own retail stores. They’ve begun to sell some of the Sherwin Williams paints at Lowe’s, I don’t know if they do in Home Depot, but they didn’t use to.

Benjamin Moore is sold in several different retail locations and not necessarily specifically their own stores and Behr, Valspar we know those are sold in Home Depot and Lowe’s, typically good paints. But you may have a little, a wider spread between their higher-end paints and their lower-end paints. They are good home consumer paints. We use typically use Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore paint, and that’s just the nature of the remodeling industry. We want to use very high-end paints and that’s, that’s what leads us.  

Hopefully, you’ll find this information helpful when it’s time to paint your home. Painting can be a daunting task and we’re here to help. Give us a call to speak with a Schloegel expert.