10 Factors to Keep in Mind when Purchasing House Paint

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Home Design Image Gallery There are numerous aspects to take into account when selecting paint for your home, ranging from colors and sheens to durability and eco-friendliness. Discover more home design pictures.

Whether you have just purchased a new home or are in need of a change, altering the color of your walls can create a dramatic impact. Color can shape the space, set the tone, and even alter your perception of the room’s size. Choosing the appropriate color for a room entails balancing its architectural details with the rest of the house and establishing a flow throughout the space. As so much of our lives take place within the walls of our homes, it’s no surprise that we take house paint seriously.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the factors you should consider before purchasing house paint, including the decisions you should make before entering a store to begin the fun and exhausting process of comparing paint chips.

10: Interior & Exterior

Undoubtedly, the kind of paint you require is determined by which part of the house you plan to tackle. If you’re dissatisfied with the interior colors, you may not be comfortable with the exterior colors either. Painting the exterior can appear to be a monumental task, so beginning with the basics and understanding what you’re seeking can alleviate a lot of stress.

Solvent-based paint takes longer to dry, whereas water-based paint is easier to clean up. If you’re painting during the summer or believe you’ll require additional time to get everything just right, keep this in mind.

Next, think about the sheen, which is determined by the amount of traffic you anticipate. Gloss is the most resilient and is particularly beneficial for high-traffic areas, especially if you have children. Semi-gloss is recommended for trim, such as door casings and shutters, as it is less shiny but still durable.

Satin, or low-luster, is simple to clean, while flat paint conceals imperfections and is easier to touch up. If you have siding, weigh the advantages and disadvantages of these two types.

In any case, it’s preferable to begin with a small amount, paint a wall patch in direct sunlight, and observe what occurs. Like any intricate chemical compound, there are numerous factors that can alter the appearance of any paint type, so it’s critical to be aware of what the future holds.

9: Space Utilization

You may want to choose a durable paint for high-traffic areas such as hallways.
Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Thinkstock

If you’re painting an interior room, space utilization should be the first consideration. Once again, the type of paint you use should be the initial decision because it may limit the color palette you end up using. It’s preferable to narrow down those options as much as feasible before your eyes begin to glaze over from all the samples you’ll be looking at.

When it comes to choosing paint for the interior of your home, it’s important to consider the chemical makeup of the paint and the specific use of the space you’re painting. For example, a kitchen may require a paint that is easy to clean, while a high-traffic area may require something highly durable like enamel paint. Knowing what you need ahead of time will save you time and energy in the long run.

If you’re not painting the entire house at once, it’s important to consider the existing decor and how your new paint choices will integrate with it. Matching existing paint can also be a challenge, as the paint may have faded over time or the color may have changed in the can. It’s always best to consult with a paint professional for help in these situations.

8: Existing Decor

Knowing what is already on your walls can also help with your paint decisions. Paint-plus-primer is a newer invention that allows you to skip a step, but it’s important to get the advice of a professional to ensure it’s right for your situation. Additionally, it’s important to consider how your new paint choices will interact with the existing decor in your home.

7: Quality of Light

It’s important to consider the quality of light in the room when choosing paint colors. Natural light can transform color throughout the day, so it’s important to estimate how your colors will fade over time. By considering all of these factors, you can create a cohesive and long-lasting paint plan for your home.

When choosing colors for your home, it’s important to consider not only the immediate effect but also the long-term impact. For example, a breakfast nook may be perfect for early-morning coffee, but it could become stark and uninviting at night. Choosing a softer pastel color can help the space serve double duty. Similarly, a dark and exotic color may be exciting for a family room at night, but it could become a dead spot during the day. It’s crucial to think about a room’s daily life cycle and plan colors accordingly.

It’s also important to consider future changes when selecting colors for your home. A guest room may become a nursery, a care center for an aging relative, or a second bedroom. A mudroom may become extra storage, and a home office may not end up being the best workspace. Knowing what the future holds for a room can help you choose a color that fits its mood.

When decorating with DIY projects in mind, it’s essential to keep your future plans in view. Painting and decorating in a way that incorporates both your current style and your future plans can help you stay motivated and make the transition to larger renovations smoother. For example, a pastel pink accent wall may look great with your current carpet, but it could clash with your future red Mexican tiles. Choosing a texture and color that shows off new and exciting details without requiring an all-new paint job can make your project less intense.

4: Basic Expenses

After choosing the type of paint, the next step is to calculate the costs. New homeowners may not be aware of all the expenses that come with owning a house. Even those who are good with money can underestimate the cost of a home improvement job. Therefore, it is essential to measure the space you want to paint accurately and consult with experts at the store to determine the amount of paint you need. Then, you can decide on the amount you want to spend on paint and set aside money for brushes, rollers, and drop cloths. Interior paints can cost up to $50 or more per gallon, depending on quality, and for a 12-by-12-foot (3.7-by-3.7-meter) room, you’ll most likely spend up to $100 on paint alone.

It’s important to do investigative work to understand why one paint is more expensive than another. A higher price does not always mean better quality.

3: Hiring a Professional

DIY projects can be fulfilling, but they can also make you feel overwhelmed. It’s crucial to consider whether the paint job is as easy or as challenging as you think. Understanding your materials and researching the best way to do things can ease anxiety, and getting outside help can be beneficial.

A licensed contractor can increase your costs significantly, but rookie mistakes or sudden panics can do the same. Interior designer fees vary widely, but if you lack design skills, color sense, or technical knowledge, a consultation might be helpful.

It’s up to you to decide whether the pride of completing the paint project yourself is more important than living in a space that perfectly reflects your family’s story. Don’t be afraid of DIY projects, but consider whether you will be content with the results. The most important thing is that you feel happy and comfortable in your new home, regardless of who does the work.

2: Health Risks

Paint, regardless of its composition, contains thousands of chemicals. It is formulated to glide smoothly onto walls and surfaces, then harden with exposure to air. With such a recipe, there are bound to be health risks. The smell of house paint is not pleasant, and it can be harmful if inhaled in large quantities.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air is three times more polluted than fresh outdoor air, making it one of the top five health hazards. Paint emissions, known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), are among the toxins that can linger for years after painting. However, due to environmental regulations and increased awareness, low-VOC, no-VOC, and natural paint options are now available from most paint companies. Although paint still contains harsh chemicals, choosing low- or no-VOC paint can benefit both indoor air quality and the environment.

When it comes to interior design, it’s easy to get caught up in trends and popular styles. However, it’s important to consider your own aesthetic and the long-term impact of your design choices. While some trends can last for years, others can make your space look outdated quickly. The key is to choose a design that speaks to you and your family, even if it includes special paint or unique touches. Ultimately, a design that is completely yours will always be timeless and classic, and there are no wrong choices as long as you feel comfortable in your own home. For more information on paint and design, check out the links on the next page.

Additional Information

Related Articles

  • Various Types of Paint
  • Indoor Paints
  • Outdoor Painting
  • The Ultimate Painting Quiz
  • Ideas for Interior Design
  • Styles of Decoration
  • Library of Home Styles
  • Top 5 Factors that Decrease Your Home’s Value


  • B., Heather. “One, Two, Three, Three Rooms in One!” Furniture & Design Ideas. September 22, 2010. (February 22, 2011) http://www.furnitureanddesignideas.com/bedroom-furniture-design-ideas/rooms
  • CostHelper. “What is the Cost of an Interior Paint Job?” May 2007. (February 22, 2011) http://www.costhelper.com/cost/home-garden/painting-interior.html
  • Green, Penelope. “Homme & Home: Do It Yourself Interiors.” New York Times News Service. March 8, 2011. (March 8, 2011) http://www.augustman.com/2011/03/08/homme-home-do-it-yourself-interiors
  • Lowe’s Companies, Inc. “Buying Guide for Exterior Paint.” (February 22, 2011) http://www.lowes.com/cd_Exterior+Paint+Buying+Guide_39408193_
  • PadStyle. “Transforming your bedroom into a multi-purpose room.” December 7, 2010. (February 22, 2011) http://padstyle.com/transforming-your-bedroom-into-a-multi-purpose-room/3230
  • RemodelGuide.com. “Purchasing Exterior House Paint.” (February 22, 2011) http://www.remodelguide.com/improve/siding/extpaint/extpaint_bg.html
  • RISMedia. “Do-It-Yourself Interior Painting Is Like Money in the Bank.” January 6, 2011. (February 22, 2011) http://rismedia.com/2011-01-05/do-it-yourself-interior-painting-is-like-money-in-the-bank
  • Eartheasy. “Non-Toxic Paints.” 2010. (February 22, 2011) http://eartheasy.com/live_nontoxic_paints.htm
  • Wendy. “A multipurpose room…” Relatively Unique. March 1, 2011. (February 22, 2011) http://relativelyunique.blogspot.com/2011/03/multipurpose-room.html


1. What type of paint do I need?

There are several types of paint available, including oil-based, water-based, and latex. It’s important to consider the surface you’ll be painting and the conditions it will be exposed to when choosing the right type of paint.

2. What finish should I choose?

The finish of the paint is important for both the look and durability of the paint. Options include matte, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and high-gloss.

3. How many gallons of paint do I need?

The amount of paint you need will depend on the size of the room or surface you’ll be painting. It’s important to measure the area accurately and consult with the manufacturer’s recommendations to determine the right amount of paint to purchase.

4. What is the quality of the paint?

Higher quality paints tend to have better coverage, durability, and overall performance. It’s important to consider the quality of the paint when making a purchase, especially when you want a long-lasting finish.

5. What is the price per gallon?

The price of paint can vary greatly between brands and types. It’s important to compare the price per gallon of each paint option to determine the best value for your budget.

6. What color do I want?

The color of the paint is obviously an important factor when buying house paint. It’s important to consider the overall color scheme of your home and choose a color that complements it.

7. What is the drying time?

The drying time of the paint can impact your project timeline. It’s important to consider the drying time when making a purchase, especially if you have a tight schedule for your painting project.

8. How easy is the paint to apply?

The ease of application can make a big difference in the quality of the finished product. It’s important to choose a paint that is easy to apply and doesn’t require multiple coats or extensive preparation.

9. What is the environmental impact of the paint?

The environmental impact of the paint is an important consideration for many people. It’s important to choose a paint that is low-VOC and has a minimal impact on the environment.

10. What is the warranty on the paint?

The warranty on the paint can provide added peace of mind and protection for your investment. It’s important to review the warranty details before making a purchase to ensure that you’re getting the best value for your money.

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