There are many different types of paint and from my visits to the paint shop I can hear, that some people out there are not sure which paint to use and where to use it.
Silk Emulsion (soft sheen)
Egg shell (oil or water based)
Satin wood (oil or water based)
Gloss (oil or water based)
Undercoat (oil or water based)
Primer. (oil or water based)
Above are the most common names one will see on paint tins in your local paint shop. Matt emulsion is used on walls and ceilings generally in rooms and areas that do not get too much human traffic, dining rooms, bedrooms, and your home office for example. Silk emulsion or soft sheen may be used in areas of high traffic, like hall ways, stair cases and stair wells, so they may be washed down when grubby. One can also use these paints in bathroom walls and kitchens walls where there may be moisture and condensation, and again these are ‘easy wipeable paints’. Egg shell, satin wood and Gloss are generally used on woodwork, and it all depends what finish you want in your home, if you want a super shine on your woodwork, you go for gloss paints. If you want slightly less shine, one goes for satinwood paints, and if you want a near flat finish, one goes for an egg shell paint. All before are hard wearing and wipeable paints. Gloss paints would be the tougher finish for areas with a lot of wear and tear. If you have a hand finished kitchen we generally use egg shell paint as it suits cabinetry better than a higher sheen. But this is subjective and is entirely up to the person who is living in the space which is being painted, to determine what they like.
Lastly undercoats and primers are used in preparation of wood before painting please see blog. Now the next time you are in your local paint store you will know which paint to get for what.