Indoor paint buying guide

At wilko, we’ve been developing quality paint since 1973 – it was our first own-brand product, and has continued to be endearingly popular to this day. Safe to say, we know a thing or 2 about paint, so here’s our guide on everything you need to know when buying a pot of your own!

  • Alex - copywriter
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  •  5min read
Indoor paint buying guide

Choosing the right paint finish

When it comes to painting your walls, you should start with the finish. We have a gigantic selection of interior paints to choose from on wilko.com, but don’t worry – we’re here to help you choose the one that’s perfect for your space.

Before you start thinking about colour, you should decide on which finish you’re after on your walls.

Jargon buster:

‘Emulsion’ may sound like a finish, but it’s actually a catch-all term for water-based paints. They’re easy to apply, quick to dry, and better for the environment than oil-based paints. It’s a win-win!

Silk

Silk paints have a delicate sheen when dry, subtly reflecting light and adding a touch of shine to your rooms. You may also see silk paint referred to as ‘satin’ when you’re looking at wood paint.. Silk paints brighten up dark rooms and have a wipeable finish, perfect for busy homes.

Make sure your walls are flat before using silk paint, as the finish is more likely to show up any lumps & bumps that are there.

Matt

Matt paint has a flat finish which reflects less light and does a good job at covering imperfections in your walls.

Flatt Matt

This is matt paint’s flatter cousin. Flat matt reflects almost no light for a modern, chalky finish, adding a whole new dimension to deeper shades.

Washable

Ideal for busy areas in your home, paint such as wilko tough & washable is incredibly hardwearing and laughs in the face of spills and stains. It’s scuff-resistant and easy to clean with sugar soap without damaging the finish, perfect for when the kids decide to get creative with crayons or the dog shakes mud everywhere after a long walk.

Feature wall paint

Bring some wow to your walls with feature wall paint, including bold colours and dazzling finishes like shimmer, metallic, and glitter to create a real statement piece. If you’re after eye-catching patterns and designs, we also have some spectacular feature wallpaper!

Eggshell

Eggshell paint, believe it or not, resembles the appearance of an eggshell when it dries. It sits somewhere between a matt finish and a silk finish, with a very slight shine which brings a certain ‘glow’ to interior spaces. Eggshell paint is normally reserved for wood & metal, but can be used on walls for a handsome and hardwearing finish.

Gloss

Gloss paints are hardwearing and wipeable, usually safe for wood & metal. They’re most commonly used on skirting boards and radiators.

Paint by room

Rooms such as your kitchen and bathroom have been specially formulated to be moisture resistant and easy to wipe clean, great for keeping on top of mould and damage in high-traffic rooms.

For more ideas on dealing with damp, check out our blog on how to reduce moisture in your home!

Primers & undercoats

Primers and undercoats let you start fresh with your painting projects, prepping your surfaces to let your paint be the best it can be!

Primer

A primer creates a foundation for your paint to stick to. We’d recommend using a primer if:

  • Your walls are stained or chalky
  • You’re painting onto bare wood or freshly plastered walls
  • You’re painting over a gloss finish (use some sandpaper then clean with sugar soap first)
  • You’re changing the colour from dark to light

Undercoat

Using an undercoat is like making your walls a blank canvas. It provides a solid white base which covers up imperfections and lets the colour of your topcoat shine through.

Undercoats should be used on surfaces which are already painted or primed to make the finish more even and professional looking!

Top tip: If in doubt, remember – new unpainted surfaces need primer; painted surfaces need an undercoat. Easy!

Painting

Choosing the perfect colour

Now that you’ve chosen your finish, it’s time for the exciting part: picking a colour! We won’t lie, the choice when it comes to colour can be a little overwhelming. If you don’t know where to start, here’s a few tips to help you:

  1. How much light does the room get?

    Rooms that don’t get as much natural light, like north-facing ones, can benefit from lighter shades of paint to brighten them up. They also help in small rooms to make them feel more airy.

    With bright or large rooms, you can experiment with deeper tones in a matt finish. Glossier paints like silk can often feel overwhelming in bright rooms as they reflect light, making an atmosphere not dissimilar to being inside a lightbulb.

  2. What’s the room used for?

    Certain shades lend themselves to specific rooms in your home. Warm colours can make a room feel cosy & snug, making them a great choice for bedrooms. Bathrooms and kitchens tend to work well with cooler shades, and your living room is where you can really show some personality with feature walls or contrast colours!

For more ideas on picking your perfect shade, you can check out our blog on how to colour your home beautiful.

But how are you supposed to know what your paint will look like from a picture on a website? The truth is, you can’t; it’s only when the paint is on your walls that you really know what it looks like.

This is where tester pots come in! Once you’ve narrowed down your search, grab a few tester pots in different shades of your chosen colour so you can see them in your space.

This is especially useful if you’re using more than one colour in a room, so you can see how they’d sit alongside each other.

Don’t forget the tools!

You’ve decided on your finish, colour, and primer or topcoat… now you need some bits of kit to help you use it all!

Painting essentials:

One more thing…
Any good painter has a trusty stick which they use only for stirring paint – getting one of your own is the first step on the road to decorating glory

Painting

We love paint, and we love seeing how you use yours! Share your pics with us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok & X.