Types of paint
It can be confusing when selecting the sheen of paint you want since the term used for the sheen varies by manufacturer.
Low-sheen (low-gloss) paints have none to little observable sheen. The amount varies slightly by manufacturer. Low-sheen paints can be called: flat, matt, eggshell, satin and velvet.
Higher sheen paints are semi-gloss, gloss and enamel. They have the most visible shine to them.
Low-sheen paints can be washed, but with care, higher sheen paints are the most washable and have the most durable finishes.
Most people select semi-gloss or high-gloss paints for rooms with high moisture levels such as kitchens and bathrooms, and high traffic areas such as main stairways and halls. Most people prefer to use semi-gloss or high-gloss paint on windows, trim and doors.
Bedrooms, dining and living rooms are more commonly painted with lower sheen paints.
Years ago, enamel meant oil-based paints.Today the term enamel can also mean durable latex paint.
Sealers are primarily used on new wood or masonry surfaces. They seal the surface of the material, forming a base coat which keeps the topcoat from being absorbed unevenly. They can be used to encapsulate materials to seal in gases thus preventing them from offgassing.
Primers are used to make the substrate more uniform, and to create a tight bond between the topcoat and the surface to be painted.
Cementious or masonry paints are used on concrete walls and floors.
Ceiling paints are designed not to drip.
Melamine paints are used for cabinets and shelves, and are very durable and washable.
Choosing paint by the brand is not enough. Many brand manufacturers make higher and lower quality lines of paint. As you move up in quality so does the price. Each grade is usually a few dollars more expensive than the previous grade. Avoid mixing the brands by using the primer of one brand with the finish paint of another. Paint will adhere better if you use the same brand for both applications.
If you buy all the paint you need at one time you have a better chance of getting a uniform colour.