The free diy home improvement guide with answers to your questions on a wide range of do it yourself projects.


What Paint Goes Where?

For most of us a trip to the DIY store to buy paint is a bit of a nightmare. There are so many different types of paint for different parts of the house, interior, exterior, matt, gloss and even textured. And that is before we get to the colour we want to choose. For the best possible finish choosing the right paint is essential and this means that many of us end up getting the experts in. But getting paint right doesn't have to be difficult.

Undercoat or Primer

An important step in any paint job. It is essential in most cases to undercoat in a plain colour before putting your main colour on the wall. You can then be sure that the top colour is not influenced by the underneath colour. It also ensures that the top coat does not soak into the wall requiring extra coats.

Oil based top coats

This gives them durability. Oil based paints are perfect for around window frames, doors and other areas where a more hard wearing paint is required. Oil based paint comes in a few different types:

  • Gloss – a full sheen or shiny finish
  • Silk or Satin – this paint has a subtle sheen and is not as glossy as the standard gloss paints. It is still hard wearing
  • Eggshell – often used for architraves or skirting; this paint has an even more subtle sheen

Non Drip

Most oil based finishes are also available as non drip. This paint has a jelly like consistency and clings to the brush. It is important to be careful when using non drip paint not to overload the brush as you could end up with runs on the wall. Never stir a can of non drip paint – it is meant to be lumpy!


Usually water based, emulsion paint sometimes has vinyl or resins added for extra durability. Great for walls and ceilings and easy to apply with a roller or brush. Once again these paints come in different types:

  • Vinyl matt – Not as hard wearing, but great for covering up imperfections. The matt finish will not show all the lumps and bumps in your wall
  • Vinyl satin – More durable; this paint has a soft finish and is light reflective.
  • Vinyl silk – More durable; this paint has a soft finish and is light reflective. This is best in bathrooms and kitchens.

Specific paints

  • Anti mould paints – Usually these contain a fungicide and are designed to reduce the wall temperature from becoming too cold – reducing the chance of condensation and mould to develop.
  • Radiator paint – Perfect for high heated surfaces. It will not discolour or crack
  • Exterior paints – Look carefully for the correct paint in these circumstances. Paint for concrete, brick, wood and fencing are all available.

Hopefully this has cast come light on the available options when it comes to painting your house. If you have managed to get through the trip to the paint store, then you should find the actual painting a breeze.