Most paint retailers sell a dizzying array of coatings, and that can make it difficult for anyone to pick the right paint.

Even so, there is a way to streamline your paint selection. Answer these six questions from the Paint Quality Institute. They’ll help guide you through the maze and make clear which interior paint is best for you.

1. How sensitive are you to paint smell?

If you dislike the smell of paint, you should focus on water-based latex paints, which have little or no odor compared to oil-based coatings.

Latex paints also make cleanup easy and they perform well on all interior surfaces. These advantages help explain why latex paints are overwhelmingly favored by do-it-yourselfers and professional painters alike.

2. Will there be much activity in the space you are painting?

Walls and woodwork can easily become soiled if there is a lot of activity in a room. In that case, it’s best to use a high gloss or semi-gloss paint, which will resist stains and be much easier to clean.

However, if your room will see little activity, you should feel free to use any level of sheen – from flat paint to a high gloss finish.

3. What atmosphere do you want to create in the room?

If your hope is to make the space cozy, then consider using a “warm” hue, like yellow, orange or red; if you want the room to have a cool feel, then choose a blue or green paint.

4. Do you wish the dimensions of the room were bigger or smaller?

If you think the space seems cramped, you can alter the perception by selecting the right color of paint. Light paint colors make a room seem larger; darker colors make it feel more intimate.

5. How often do you typically repaint?

If you paint only infrequently, you’ll want to be sure to apply a very durable paint that will continue to look good over time. In that respect, the best option is to use a top quality 100% acrylic latex interior paint.

6. How much time do you want to spend on this project?

If you have limited time, or simply want to complete the painting quickly, then consider using a “paint and primer” product that works like two coatings in one. You’ll very likely need to apply fewer coats, which will greatly speed up the job.

Want to repaint your home but have no time to do it yourself? Contact me and I’ll refer you to some great home improvement folks who will do it for you.