Painting Advice: The Best Paint for the Job


If you’re doing a DIY paint job and you want a professional and stylish end result it is important to use quality paint products. Jack’s Paint & Hardware stores stock a wide range of high quality and durable paints as well as an extensive range of paint equipment. Our competent sales staff will help you select the best paint for your next project. It is advisable to purchase all your primers, equipment and paints from one supplier so as to ensure that they are compatible with each other.

Paints that are used for house painting fall into two categories, so choosing the best one is not that difficult. These two types of paint are oil based paints and water based paints, and the best one to use depends entirely on the job. Generally speaking, oil based paints are gloss paints and are best used for doors, trim jobs, high traffic areas, bathrooms and kitchens. Water based paints, which otherwise go by the names PVA, acrylic or Latex, are best used for walls and ceilings.

Oil based paint

Even the best oil-based paint is more difficult to work with than water based paint. This is mostly because it is thicker and it requires different types of brushes and rollers than water based paints. Oil-based paints also take much longer to dry than water-based products and can have a very strong odour. Oil-based paints need to be cleaned with lacquer thinners or similar commercial cleaners. When using oil based products, you need to ensure that the area you are working in is well ventilated as oil paints have a very strong smell and the fumes can be a problem. Most trim jobs such as cornices, window trimming and trimming around doors, are best done with oil paint. Also, if you’re painting a door you’ll want to consider using oil-based paints. This is because it is much more durable and can take more wear and tear than what water-based paint can. It is also easier to clean and things like smudges, fingerprints, and dirt in general will be much easier to wipe off. Metal also takes well to oil paint, but be sure to never use it on iron or brand new masonry without properly preparing and priming the surface first. Generally, oil-based paints are a good choice for your home, and although they are initially more tedious to use, they do make the cleaning of surfaces much easier.

The best oil-based paints are available at all of Jack’s Paint & Hardware stores and they can easily be tinted to just about any colour. If you are using oil-based paint it is best to prime the area that you are going to paint beforehand. When you’re painting highly contrasting colours (e.g. dark over light or vice versa) it’s best to have the primer tinted beforehand. If you don’t prime the area first, there is a good chance that, once applied and dried, your paint will start to peel. This will also happen if the base coat is also oil based. Oil-based paint will often bubble during the painting process. Make sure that you never shake the paint can. It needs to be stirred slowly and thoroughly not shaken. It’s also best if you try to use a single coat when using oil-based paints. It’s very important to remember that oil-based paint is poisonous and harmful. Caution should be taken when painting and when disposing of it. Be sure to follow these painting safety tips.

Water-based Paint

Water-based products are quick-drying, easy to use and have very low odour. They are environmentally-friendly and are often non-yellowing, plus the equipment is easier to clean as the brushes can be washed using only water. This type of paint is the most popular paint that is used for walls and ceilings and is also available in an assortment of colours and shades. It can be applied directly onto walls that have been previously painted, or onto certain wall coverings such as textured wallpaper. Usually water-based paints come in two finishes – matt and satin/gloss. Matt finishes are flat and non-reflective and are used mostly on walls that have uneven or patchy surfaces. Matt emulsion is washable, but satin/gloss is generally the preferred choice for high-traffic areas that need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Satin or gloss finishes have a slightly shiny finish that reflects the light and can easily be washed. Both types of paint can be applied with a brush, roller or paint pad, and are being used as an undercoat for paint techniques on furniture such as wood and supawood. If used for this purpose they do need a coat of water-based varnish as a protective top coat.


Perfect for painting interior wood, trim and metal. This type of paint is now also available in a water-based formula. It gives a hard wearing finish to wood and metal and the finish is also high gloss and brush stroke free. A water-based non-drip enamel paint that is easy to apply and that is water and steam resistant is also available. This product can also be used to paint gypsum ceilings.


Traditionally eggshell paint refers to an oil-based paint with a low sheen finish that is suitable for interior walls and woodwork that needs to be easily and regularly cleaned, such as kitchens and bathrooms. Eggshell is suitable for using on wood, metal and plaster, and is a good paint for plasterboard.


Nearly all bare surfaces need priming first and this is done not only to seal the bare surface so that the topcoat paint does not sink in, but also to help the paint adhere properly and to create a protective layer. There are many different primers available for different surfaces such as tiles, wood, metal, plaster and supawood. They are available in both water-based quick drying and solvent-based versions. It is important to use the correct primer for the job to achieve the best finish, but there are also some ‘all-purpose primers’ available which are designed for two or more of these surfaces.

There are many other uses for paints other than the above household applications. These include numerous different industrial uses, and there is usually a paint that is best for each application. For example, industrial paints are manufactured to meet a wide variety of needs, including:

• Cement and floor coatings.
• Marine paints and swimming pool paints.
• Automotive coatings and machinery coatings.

The type of paint coating needed will determine what the best paint for the job is. The various coatings are:

• Industrial clear coating e.g. high traffic decking/flooring.
• High temperature coating e.g. engines/stoves/machinery of any sort.
• Non-skid coating –non-slip flooring e.g. in workshops/around pools/ tiles verandas.
• Rust preventative coatings – to apply after removing all visible and loose rust.
• Aluminium, zinc and fiberglass primers e.g. boat repairs.
• Anti- graffiti coating – necessary in today’s society.
• Salt water resistant coatings – for houses near the coast.

Whatever the job, Jack’s Paint & Hardware will have the paints and tools you need. So, visit your nearest Jack’s Paint & Hardware store before you start your next DIY project.