Ready to paint the interior of your home but have no clue as to what kind of preparation, paint or tools you need to do a quality job? This step-by-step painting guide can help.

Paint Finishes and Gloss

With all the paint manufacturers and dealers out there offering so many different grades of products, it’s no wonder many consumers have no idea which products to buy.

The vast majority of paint finishes used today are water-based latex. Oil-based paints are rarely used for finishes anymore because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has put a limit on the amount of volatile chemicals that can be used.

The first thing to understand is that paints have different gloss ratings, or sheens: flat, low-sheen, eggshell, semi-gloss and gloss.

Flat paint has little or no sheen and is used primarily for walls and ceilings. The remaining are considered enamels and can range from a five to 85 percent sheen rating–the higher the rating, the higher the shine. These are used for trim, cabinets and walls in kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms.

Many homeowners use enamels on all their walls because they are more durable and easier to clean, but low-sheen is recommended because it is more attractive than shinier enamels.

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