Thinking of painting your bathroom, but not sure what kind of paint to use? Wondering what the difference is between a flat paint and glossy paint?

Here’s a quick lesson in the different types of paint you’ll find on the market and where and how to use them.

We Know: Fast Facts about Paint Types

How many kinds of paint are there?

There are basically two types of paint---water-based and oil-based.

  • Latex Paint is made with a water base and is generally used for the interior of your house. Latex paint is easy to clean up because you can dissolve it with soap and water. It has very little odor.
  • Oil-based (alkyd) paint is generally used for the exterior of your house. These paints are more durable and work well on surfaces that get a lot of wear and tear. They are usually made with a soya-based resin and require some kind of solvent for clean up, such as paint thinner.

What does gloss mean?

Gloss means shine. The higher a paint’s gloss, the shinier its appearance. The more gloss a paint has, the easier it is to scrub or wipe clean.

Here are some common gloss categories:

  1. Flat paint—almost no shine in the paint, good for low-traffic areas such as dining rooms and bedrooms. Flat paints hide surface irregularities. (Use a special ceiling flat paint for ceilings.)
  2. Low-luster, satin and eggshell paints have a subtle sheen that is glossier than a flat paint. Good for bedrooms, hallways, and family rooms. Easier to wipe up than flat paints.
  3. Semi-gloss paint—more gloss than those listed above, and more durable. Use this in kids’ rooms, the bathroom and for painting trim. It is easier to scrub and more water-resistant than flat paints.
  4. High-gloss paint—shiny and easy to wipe up. Great for trim, molding, doors and cabinets. This paint takes abuse and is easy to clean.

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