paint 101

Paint Types


  • Primer - The first coat for any unpainted or untreated surface.  Seals the surface, prolongs the wet edge as you paint, and promotes better paint adhesion.
  • Latex Paint -  Water-based, easy to apply, quick to dry and cleans up with soap and water.

Paint Finishes


  • Flat -  A no-shine finish that absorbs light rather than reflecting it.  Helps hide surface imperfections and irregularities. Used on walls and ceiling.  Not good for high traffic areas.
  • Matte -  A no-shine alternative to flat.  Used on walls where you want a washable flat finish.


  • Eggshell / Pearl - A slightly satiny  sheen, making it more resistant to stains and more amenable to washing then flat paint.  A popular finish for walls.
  • Semi-Gloss -  Shiny without looking wet.  A good choice for trim, doors and windows. Can stand up to frequent washing.  Also used in bathrooms, kitchens, and on cupboards.


Paint Preperation

The most important and time consuming part of painting.  A clean, dry, well-primed surface makes for a long-lasting paint job.



Priming covers stains, seals the surface, prolongs the wet edge as you paint the finish coat and ensures a uniform color and finish. 



Start with the ceilings, then paint the walls, working from top to bottom.  Always work quickly to maintain a "wet edge" between sections. Leave the trim for last. 

Disposing of Paint

Let empty paint cans air dry for a few days with the lids off, then dispose of them with your regular trash.  Cans containing a small amount of paint can be left out to dry with the lids off or the paint poured into a cardboard box containing shredded paper or cat litter and then disposed of with your regular trash.  Cans with too much paint to dry efficiently should be sealed and stored until your next hazardous waste collection day.  For local disposal in the Westminster - Huntington Beach area contact Republic Services.