How Many Different Types of Paint Are There?


If you’re getting ready to do some home improvements, and painting is on the list, you need to know all you can about the different types of paint available. Choosing the right kind for your DIY projects is necessary to get the results you want. Using the wrong kind can cause disappointment. Here is a complete guide that tells you how many types of paint there are. You will also learn what painting jobs you can use for each.

How many kinds of paint are there?

Some websites list five main types of paint, but many variants exist. We’re going to cover all the most common types. There are 21 different paint types to choose from. We use some of them for the same purposes, but each paint type has a different formulation. Some paints are more durable, while others have unique characteristics. To find the best paint for any job, it’s necessary to know as much about them as possible. You should also know the recommended uses.

1. Flat Paint

This refers to the type of finish of the paint. Flat paint has a matte finish, and people sometimes confuse it with matte paint, but they are two different types. This paint is the type that produces very little shine when applied to surfaces. It covers surfaces with fewer coats, and it is best for hiding surface imperfections. According to Master Class, flat paint is more easily damaged by cleaners and work best on ceilings and other low traffic areas.

2. Semi-gloss

Semi-gloss paints have a reflective, shiny finish when dry. This type is resistant to mold and mildew and is one of the most durable. We recommend this type of paint finish for bathrooms and kitchens because it resists the effects of moisture. Semi-gloss paint is more washable and suitable for time, doors, cabinets, and other high-traffic areas. The drawback with this paint is that it shows imperfections on the surface more readily. They recommend semi-gloss paint for kitchens and bathrooms.

3. High-gloss

High-gloss paint finishes are the most reflective and shiny. They’re also highly washable and durable. They’re suitable for interiors or exteriors because they are resistant to staining, moisture, and mildew. You can wash this paint every day and even use household cleaners without damaging the paint. You should apply high-gloss paint to finished surfaces without perfections because they will show up if you don’t do the prep work first. It’s best for cabinets, doors, trim, and other wood surfaces.

4. Eggshell

Eggshell paint finishes are a step above flat or matte paint with a slight sheen. They are almost as good for covering imperfections. Eggshell paint is more durable than flat paint but not as durable as satin or higher-gloss paints. We recommend eggshell paint for decorative areas in the home.

5. Satin

Satin paint finishes have a velvety luster. They’re more durable than flat or eggshell paints and easier to clean. They’re good for high-traffic areas. The downside of satin paint is that it shows the brushstrokes and may need several coats to cover a surface. This paint type is best for bedrooms, hallways, ceilings, and doors.

6. Oil-based paints

Home Stratosphere recommends oil-based paints for protecting metal and wood surfaces. The paint dries to a hard texture and is resistant to staining, bleeding woods, and metals. It is rust and moisture-resistant. This paint type takes longer to dry than latex, but it lasts longer. Plan on the paint, taking up to 24 hours to cure completely.

7. Water-based paint

Water-based paint dries much faster than oil-based paint. It also goes on the surface faster, leaving fewer brush strokes. This type of paint is not as durable or long-lasting, but it’s more convenient to use. It’s used for interior painting and can dry in a few hours or less, allowing you to add multiple coats as needed.

8. Matte paint

Matte paint is a type of paint finish. The appearance is somewhere between flat and eggshell. It has a slight increase in glossiness that is discernable when comparing the two finishes side by side. There aren’t many differences between Matte, but enough to distinguish one from another. It’s suitable for low-traffic areas but is slightly more durable than flat.

9. Latex paint

Latex paint is among the straightforward types to use. This paint is water-based. It goes on the most smoothly, leaves the least brush strokes, and dries the fastest. They commonly used latex paint for exterior painting because of its resistance to ultra-violet light. It doesn’t fade as quickly when exposed to sunlight and it is flexible to contract with cold weather and expand with extreme heat in terms of durability. Latex paint is also resistant to moisture and its effects after drying.

10. Acrylic latex paint

Acrylic latex paint is on the high end of the latex paint spectrum. We can use it on any surface that other types of latex paint are. It’s the better choice for painting primed metal surfaces and masonry. You will pay a little more for acrylic latex paint. It is durable and remains in good repair well under adverse weather.

11. Primer paint

Primer paint is available in water-based and oil-based types. This type of paint is used to prep the surfaces before you paint them. Primer paint seals the surface and helps to prevent bleed-throughs on metals and woods that have been stained. It is also useful to create a more prepared surface to give you the best results for an even and finished-looking paint job. Primer can be purchased separately and applied to surfaces before you paint them. It is also found as an additive to many of the higher-end paints.

The cost of paint with primer added is usually only a few dollars extra per gallon. It is well worth the small additional cost for the amazing results it produces. Primers come in different types so make sure that you buy the primer that is compatible with the type of paint you will use on the surface to finish the project you’re working on.

12. Spray paint

Spray paint is a different kind of paint that you don’t need a brush to apply. It is most commonly sold in aerosol cans with a propellant that sprays the paint out with the touch of a button. This kind of paint is used to paint wood furniture or art projects. It must be used in a well-ventilated area because spray paint contains fumes and chemicals that can be dangerous to inhale. You must spray a light coat on the surface to avoid paint runs. It’s best to coat the object lightly, then allow it to dry and go over it a few more times to avoid unattractive runs in your finished project. Since you’re not using a brush, it’s difficult to spread the paint around for touchups. That’s the biggest drawback to using spray paint, but on the plus side, it can make a project go much quicker.

13. Enamel paint

Enamel paint is one of the most durable and washable types. it is hardy and can take a great deal of abuse. This type of paint is used for painting exterior surfaces because of its resistance to the effects of the elements including wind, sun, heat, and cold. Enamel paint is highly protective for the surface to which it is applied. It’s an excellent choice for metal, wood, and it can also be used on interior surfaces such as kitchen cabinets.

14. Chalkboard paint

Chalkboard paint is a specialty paint that is used to create chalkboard surfaces. This paint type has multiple applications. It is the best paint for creating a board that will allow you to write on it with chalk, then erase the chalk to start with a clean surface. Some people use chalkboard paint to create ornate areas in the home. It can be used to create an accent wall. It cleans up easily but is not recommended for every room in the house.

15. Whitewash

According to Epic Home Ideas, Whitewash is a basic type of paint that is used after new construction is completed. This type of paint is affordable because of its chalk and slaked lime formulation. It helps fill pores in the building materials and seals the surfaces to prepare them for their final coats of paint. It’s a protective surface sealant that comes in many colors. It is easy to paint over with other types of paint.

16. Epoxy paint

Expoxy paint is a special type of paint that is made from epoxy resin. The creation of this paint involves chemical processes using synthetic materials. This is one of the best types of paint for achieving a shiny and hard surface on a showroom floor. The paint is most often used in commercial buildings, garages, operating rooms, industrial floors, and some homeowners use them to create decorative floors in the home or shop. Epoxy paint is also used for painting kitchen countertops because of their hard and shiny appearance.

This type of paint is highly resistant to chemical damage. it is among with strongest and most durable types of paint. It is also used to create jointless floors as well as floors that are free of bacteria. Epoxy paint is among the most expensive types of paint you can buy, but it holds up for years.

17. Matte Enamel

Matte enamel paint is slightly different than regular matte paint. It is much stronger and durable and it is easier to clean. Matte enamel dries to a hard finish that doesn’t need touch-ups, making it easier to work with. It looks similar to the matte finish paint. It is resistant to stains and is often chosen for kitchen surfaces.

18. Emulsion paint

Emulsion paint is created by combining two different liquids that are naturally resistant to blending. The two liquids create a variety of emulsions that are decorative and unique. This type of paint is usually sold in a specialty kit to achieve a certain type of aesthetic. There are many different types of emulsion paints. For example, you can use emulsion paints to achieve a marbled effect and other unique designs.

19. Bituminous paint

Bituminous paint is created with coal tar or asphalt bitumen by dissolving them in a mineral spirit or naphtha. Most bituminous paints are the color black, but they are available in various pigments. This type of paint is recommended for surfaces that are prone to chemical contamination or corrosion. The paint is resistant to corrosion, weather, water, and chemicals. it is also resistant to alkali. It is commonly used for painting underwater structures, water tanks, steelwork, wood, and concrete.

20. Cement-based paint

Cement-based paint is a water-based paint. The base of the paint is cement as the primary ingredient. The cement gives it hardness and durability. It is used for exterior and interior walls to prevent penetration of moisture and to lessen the collection of dirt. It’s often used for painting outdoor walls and concrete structures. It is also a decorative type of paint.

21. Aluminum paint

Aluminum paint is a type of coating material that reflects the radiation of the sun. It is made of aluminum pigment and oil varnish. These ingredients overlap in the film of paint to help maintain the in tanks or hot-air pipes. This type of paint has a metallic shiny finish that is used to coat masonry, metal, and wood surfaces. It is also recommended for painting marine piers, gas tanks, radiators, oil storage tanks, and similar structures. This is yet another specialty paint that has specific applications. It’s not the paint that you would typically choose to paint your house on the interior or exterior.

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