A Quick “Primer” For The Different Types of Paint 

paint cans next to a few swatches

One of the most fun (and messy) parts of getting a new home are painting. The paint you use in your home can be used to express yourself and create a certain feel for your home. Matched with interior elements like furniture and trimmings, and your home will have a concrete style and personality that pops, as we discussed in a previous blog.  

However, the world of paint can be quite confusing. We understand how frustrating it can be to find the right paint, so this blog will tackle that issue. In the latest Miranda Painting blog, we discuss the basic types of paint we use daily! 


Okay, so our first example of paint isn’t exactly paint, but it is still a crucial part of the painting process. Primer is a combination of synthetic resin, a solvent, and an additive. Primer is so important because it seals the drywall you paint on and acts as an adhesive for paint. This makes the paint more uniform and true to its intended color, instead of being blotchy and faded.

In addition to making your paint look great, it also helps when the wall needs to be cleaned. Without primer, it can be easy to ruin the look of the wall and actually make it worse. Picking the right primer is essential—choose the primer that matches your paint. For example, if you have an oil-based paint, grab an oil-based primer for it. 

For most painting jobs, it would be a mistake to leave the primer behind.


The main two types of paints you’ll come across are oil-based and water-based. As the names suggest, the two types are based in oil and water. But as the saying “Oil and water don’t mix” goes, there are actually quite a few differences between the two.

Water-based Paint

Water-based paint, also referred to as latex paint, is now the most popular paint in use. The main reason it’s so popular is because of the ease of use and cleanup associated with it. Water-based paint is simply easy to use, easy to clean, and easy to achieve great results with. 

From a health standpoint, water-based paints also have low VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. These compounds can give off a smell and be harmful if exposure is too high, but water-based paints typically don’t have this issue. 

Other positives of water-based paints include: 

  • No pre-treatment
  • Quick-drying
  • Flexible; crack-resistant
  • Great for interior

Water-based paint does have a couple of minor downsides, though. First, it doesn’t tend to have as rich a look as its oil-based counterpart. Second, it can be affected if hit with liquid, so keep the wall as dry as possible. 

Oil-based Paint

The brother of water-based paint is oil-based (sometimes called enamel paint), and it’s known for rich, vibrant colors that can be used on almost any surface. In addition to looking fantastic, it’s durable and long-lasting, making it great for exteriors. It isn’t as susceptible to moisture as water-based paint, which is why it’s used in rooms like kitchens or bathrooms. 

Oil-based paint also has great “leveling”, which simply means that the paint strokes tend to be more even and smooth. 

However, oil-based paint tends to be a little harder to work with, which can make people shy away from it. Oil-based paint also tends to contain higher concentrations of VOCs, though progress has been made to make oil-based paint safer. 


Acrylic paint is simply water-based paint with acrylic added. This acrylic acts as a binding agent, which means it holds together pigments and filling materials. 

Acrylic paint comes in a number of varieties, all aiming to improve the characteristics of water-based paint in some way. For example, acrylic enamel (which is not a mixture of oil and water-based paint) has improved durability. 

If you plan on using acrylic paint, be sure to research the different types of acrylic paint and what they do. 

Special Paints

Just like with acrylic paint, some water and oil-based paints contain certain compounds or chemicals to give them a special effect, like anti-mold or fire retardant. Be sure to think about the specific requirements for your project before deciding on a specialty paint. 

Choosing Between The Different Types

Choosing between the different types of paint can be a challenge, but be sure to dive deep into the needs of the rooms you’re painting to decide. If your room may be damp often, an oil-based paint may be for you. If you’re painting a nursery, water-based may be the safest option for your baby. If you keep in mind the purpose of each wall and room, you should be able to pick the right paint. 

Trust Miranda Painting For Your New Project!

All the different types of paints making your head spin? Don’t fret—simply call the experts to get the job done right! For decades, Miranda Painting has provided residential, commercial, and industrial painting services. Contact us today!

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