• Melanie Evans

Choosing the Best Type of Paint for Each Room in Your Waterloo Region Home


One of the things that any good Waterloo Region real estate agent will advise you to consider when preparing your Waterloo Region home for sale is painting your home. Even if you do no other home staging beyond cleaning and decluttering, a good paint job can not only brighten and neutralize any space in your home, both of which are very important - but may also be able to remedy all kinds of small imperfections.


If you choose to undertake pre-sale paint jobs yourself, there are lots of things to consider. Including just what kind of paint you should use. This is also something that is important to keep in mind if you are repainting a Waterloo Region home you just bought, or simply want to liven up the home you live in and have no intention of leaving right now.


Is it possible to use the same sort of interior paint in every room of the house? In an ideal world, yes, but conditions in one room may differ from those in another. The basement differs from the kitchen, and the kitchen differs from a bedroom.


Different lighting, activities, and microclimates in different regions of the house often necessitate different types of paint if you want the end results to be good-looking and long-lasting.


You can adapt paint types and paint glosses to each room or surface, whether you're painting one room or many: basement, kitchen, ceiling, bathroom, trim, and cabinets. Here are some basics to keep in mind as you shop your local paint store.


Best Paint For Bedrooms



Bedrooms are low-impact areas and can use any paint you wish. Since these tend to be very forgiving spaces in terms of impact, you can use flat or matte paint, if you wish. Still, most homeowners go for satin or eggshell sheen latex paints in living rooms and bedrooms.


  • Type: Interior wall paint

  • Composition: 100-percent acrylic latex

  • Sheen: Flat or a greater sheen, though most homeowners choose eggshell or satin

Best Paint For Kitchens



In kitchens, look into the general category of interior wall paints, but avoid flat or other types of matte paints, as they can be difficult to wipe down. While satin or eggshell sheens are popular, some homeowners concerned about maintenance even opt for semi-gloss sheen in their kitchen.


  • Type: Interior wall paint

  • Composition: Latex enamel

  • Sheen: Satin, eggshell, or semi-gloss

Best Paint For Bathrooms



Because of bathroom moisture, it helps to have a wall surface that you can easily wipe down. Paints with glossier sheens have a tighter molecular structure than flat paints, making it more difficult for moisture to penetrate.


  • Type: Interior wall paint. Usually, premium paints or those labeled as bathroom paint are appropriate.

  • Composition: Latex enamel

  • Sheen: Satin or any glossier type of paint. If you do not mind paints with a higher gloss, these will perform better over the long run. Use gloss paint sparingly, though. Use it only for the most critical areas where moisture- or damage-protection is needed.

Best Paint For Ceilings

A majority of ceilings are painted flat white, but for a good reason. Lighter colors reflect a more ambient light into the room and help rooms feel larger. Flat paint can hide small imperfections that are common on ceilings. It also avoids the space-limiting illusion that glossy paints create.


  • Type: On ceilings, you can use any paint that is labeled ceiling paint or any flat white interior latex paint.

  • Composition: Latex paint

  • Sheen: Flat or matte


Best Paint For Trim, Cabinets, Windows, and Doors


In years past, oil-based paints were considered the best choice for these home areas, but such paints are no longer available in Canada. Water-soluble acrylic paints are a good alternative. The finish they produce is as close to the rock-solid, glass-smooth surface oil based paints produced as you can get, but safer and better for the environment

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  • Type: Acrylic latex paint labeled cabinet and trim paint

  • Composition: Acrylic latex (the acrylic additive prevents white-tinted trim paints from yellowing)

  • Sheen: Semi-gloss or a glossier sheen



Often, the best paint for the bathtub or shower walls and bathing surfaces is not a common paint found in the home center's paint aisle. Instead, this is a coating usually found as part of a do-it-yourself refinishing kit.


  • Type: Use a coating that is specially designed for bathtubs, sinks, tile, and surrounds.

  • Composition: Acrylic resin consists of two parts, base color, and base hardener

  • Sheen: Gloss. All bathtub/shower paint will have a glossy sheen.

Best Paint For Drywall (Unpainted)


Drywall's porous outer paper covering soaks up liquids at an uneven and often alarming rate. Primer helps you lay down a more balanced color coat. If you have bare drywall, you can paint directly into it. But you'll achieve far better results if you prime it first. The primer helps to equalize the soak rate for drywall paper and dry joint compound.


  • Type: Use a primer specially labeled as appropriate for ​drywall. Usually, the product literature will incorporate the word drywall or wallboard within the name.

  • Composition: 100-percent acrylic latex

  • Sheen: You have no sheen choice with drywall primer. All drywall primer comes in flat, or matte sheens.

Best Paint For Living Rooms


Living rooms and bedrooms are similar, in that their interior paint doesn't need to be the most robust kind. So, unless you have small children and need to frequently wipe down the living room walls, flat, or eggshell work fine. If you do have kids, use satin paint.


Remember, not all paint within a single room needs to be the same. For window trim (or even trim-less windows), it's usually best to use a glossier paint than you use on the walls.


  • Type: Interior wall paint

  • Composition: 100-percent acrylic latex

  • Sheen: Flat, eggshell, or satin


Best Paint For Basement Masonry Walls


Basement masonry walls can often weep water. If your basement walls are dry, consider yourself lucky. If your basement walls do give off water vapor, you'll need to take special measures.


Basement masonry paint seals wall cracks up to 1/16-inch wide with elastomeric action. Elastomeric means that it expands, and then it resumes its previous shape when the pressure is gone.


  • Type: Basement flexible primer and finish

  • Composition: Latex acrylic

  • Sheen: Gloss. In most cases, with masonry paint, you have no choice but gloss sheen.




Let us use our huge local real estate experience and expertise to help you. Contact us directly here, or book a free Zoom consultation to discuss your unique Waterloo Region real estate needs at a time that's most convenient for you.

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