As a professional painter, I am able to quickly rattle off what kind of paint would be most suitable for a project because I’ve been painting for over 25 years. I understand though that most homeowners who either employ someone like myself or do it entirely themselves would like to know more about what they are buying. Please do not feel obligated to memorize this guide as most paint stores will have staff that can reinforce what I am telling you here, but let is serve as something you can refer back to for your painting projects. I will also suggest some brands that I’ve relied on over the years that consistently perform. Picking the wrong paint could mean you have to completely repaint so don’t just shrug this off! Without further adieu, here is a room-by-room guide on what type of paint to buy for each room in your house.
For the Kitchen: A high-grade washable latex satin or if you are on a budget, a semi-gloss latex. If you don’t like shiny walls, go with the higher-end washable satin coating. Of course, the shinier you go, the more washable it is. Emerald or Duration are great paint brands for this purpose.
Trim, Doors and Cabinets: Go with a latex enamel, semi-gloss is typically recommended because it is the most washable. Consider this sheen for all the higher-traffic areas of your home.
Living Room & Bedrooms: Any satin or egg shell finish. I personally recommend Harmony for zero VOC (volatile organic compounds).
Bathrooms: Much like my recommendation for kitchens, I suggest using a high-grade washable latex satin or a semi-gloss latex. Anti-microbial paints are recommended for bathrooms due to moisture. They inhibit the growth of mold and mildew. Duration and Emerald have these characteristics included.
Ceilings: A dead-flat or “matte” finish. I say this for any wall/room/ceiling that has anything to hide. Flat sheens are great because they absorb light rather than reflect it so they draw less attention to imperfections. A good product is Eminence as it has self-priming characteristics so you can put it over raw drywall or newly-textured ceilings. This product also has anti-microbial characteristics. Flat finishes are recommended because they don’t reflect light as much. Ceilings tend to catch the most light. Show less imperfections and less flashing.
New Drywall: You can use a drywall primer and then use any of the interior paints recommended above or you can use a self-priming coating (paint and primer in one). Sherwin carries a brand carries two brands that accomplish this: Super Paint and Cashmere.
Sources: A Sherwin Williams Manager and TheSpruce.com