Top paint considerations are color, paint volatile organic compound content, and finish. Darker hide dirt and stains. Therefore I chose a medium blue color for the whole house. I lightened it up with a white baseboard. Fluorescent light enhances blues and greens. If I had incandescent lights in the home I would have chosen warm colors such as red, orange and yellows which are enhanced by incandescent lights.
Volatile organic compound (VOC) content is listed on many paint labels. VOCs are air pollutants that are regulated by the US Environmental Protection Agency and in larger amounts may contribute to headaches, dizziness, and respiratory infection. Benjamin Moore EcoSpec Paint has less than 10 grams of VOC per liter. They have extensive off-white options but fewer darker color options. Yolo Colorhouse offers zero-VOC paints in about 40 shades. Other low or non-VOC options include Dunn-Edwards EcoShield, Devoe Wonder Pure Interior Latex, Olympic Premium, and Anna Sova Latex Wall Paint. I chose Dunn-Edwards because of the multiple color choices, no ethylene glycol content, mildew resistance, durability, stain resistance and lower price than many other options.
I used off-white high gloss for the baseboards. I only used it on baseboards because its mirror-like finish scratches easy and it shows wall imperfections and dust. Prior to application I used oilcloth to clean the baseboards. It is the easiest finish to clean though so by using this I could get white baseboards even in the baby’s room. I minimized use of gloss paint is that it is about twice the price of flat finish.
Semi-gloss is great for kitchens and bathrooms because it is resistant to chipping and is one of the most scrubbable finishes. However it is about 25% more expensive than Satin. I chose Satin for the kitchen, bathrooms, family room, my bedroom, and dining room. This finish is the only finish that works great for all these rooms (mildew resistant, scrubbable, durable, resistant to scratches, resistant to marring, easy to clean, and not too expensive). By having one paint for all of the house except for the baby’s room and baseboards I saved on unused paint and storage for touch up paint.
I avoided eggshell because it is less scrubable than satin but about the same price as Satin.
In the baby room I used flat paint. Flat hides background wall marring and is the lowest cost, to minimize cost of touch ups. I chose the Super Scrub flat finish for added washability.