A Guide to Painting your Home

I don't know about you, but when I started fixing up the bathroom and heard my husband mention this kind of paint and that, I wondered how many kinds were there and what for.

So I've put together a little guide, to help if you're doing a DIY project in your home, and may be not quite sure what kind of paint you would need.


Water based paint - as the name says it is water base. Nowadays these have such an evolved technology that you can use it anywhere, from the indoors to the outdoors. The big pros of this type is that brushes are cleaned with just water, they smell less strong and they are much more friendly to the environment.

Solvent or oil based paint - obviously oil base, these are used often on things that need a more durable finish, but by no means cannot be replaced by the water paints. To clean the brushes you will need turpentine or white spirit.


Matt - this one is pretty obvious, it gives a matt finish, so a flat, non-reflective finish.

Satin or silk - they are both shinier than matt, but satin will be the most shinny one of the 3. So from matt to shinny it goes: Matt, silk, satin.

Gloss - this is very shinny, like gloss lipsticks, it gives that almost clear plastic feel on top of the colour.

Eggshell - I also thought it was weird to name a finish eggshell but it does describe it. It gives a silky finish with a bit more shine to it.

Satinwood or semi-gloss - this is less shinny and glossy than the actual gloss, but it is not quite like eggshell, it is in between them.

Limewash - it is made from slaked lime and water, and it gives a chalky finish.

Flat or dead-flat oil - this one is the most flat looking finish.

Distemper - no, this is not what your husband has (hehehe), this is a paint made from natural and animal resins and gives a velvety matt finish.

What should you use where:

Walls and ceilings - almost any kind of paint you prefer. Some people prefer the ceiling to have a little shine to it like a satin finish paint with matt walls, or you can do all matt.
Usually the walls go for a more matt, satin, silk, and distemper finish.
Ceilings will either do the same as the wall or a tad shinier like semi-gloss.

Woodwork - this needs at least 2 coats, because the wood sucks it up a bit. You can use eggshell, gloss and semi-gloss, But if you are looking for a aged feel for furniture you can use distemper.

Outdoors - this has to be a more hard wearing paint, so usually go for the oil based ones, and if you want to paint over porous surfaces limewash is the best one.

Kitchens and bathrooms - this is where you usually need a harder wearing and a glossier finish - matt walls make it more difficult to clean if you have splattered frying oil on it or something. You also probably don't want the kitchen and bathroom to look shinny so the best option is satin finish paints.

Now these are not rules. You can do whatever you want with whatever kind of paint you prefer, you can even try out new things. like my hubby and I painted a wood chair we have with a matt finish water based paint diluted in water, and after 3 coats we topped it with 1 layer of varnish, and it has an awesome aged feel to it.

Have you done any improvisation painting before? What did you mix up and do?


  1. This guide has come in handy for me! I'm doing some work on my flat pretty soon!

    Eilish x

  2. Thanks for posting a guide. Now I just need to check with the most important factor in deciding how the painting will go...the wife haha


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