Tips for Selecting Commercial Paint Types

Let’s say there are two hardware stores in your area. One has a peculiar purple oil paint, appearing dusty and emitting an off-putting vibe. On the other hand, the second store adopts a welcoming light-yellow theme and smells fresh. Think from the perspective of a customer, what would be your first choice when going to a hardware store? Which of these stores gives you a better vibe about quality and reliability? From a customer’s perspective, the choice is clear – the well-maintained store with the appealing yellow and off-white hues. 

That being said, choosing the right commercial paint isn’t only important to give off a look to your walls. It’s about giving an impression from far-away that seems to attract customers to your business. If this makes sense, keep reading to explore some of the best tips for selecting the right type of commercial paint for your business. 

Types of Commercial Paints

Types of Paint for Commercial Painting

It’s essential to understand that there are certain types of commercial paints and not every paint can be used in commercial spaces. 

Water-based Latex Paint

Water-based latex paint is a popular choice for commercial spaces. Unlike oil-based paints, it is composed of water and acrylic polymers . Plus, it has less exposure to harsh chemicals. Its standout features include a quick drying time, low odor, and excellent resistance to fading over time. 

This type of paint is especially popular in commercial settings because it’s environmentally friendly and has lower levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Its key specifications include a water base, acrylic resin composition, and the ability to adhere well to different surfaces, such as drywalls. Usually, this paint is not applied on some surfaces such as wooden surfaces such as metal. 

Advantages Disadvantages
Quick drying time Less durable than oil-based alternatives
Low odor, making it suitable for indoors Require more coats for full coverage
Environmentally friendly (low VOC content) Limited suitability for certain surfaces
Resistant to fading over time Not as glossy as oil-based paints
Easy cleanup with water Does not adhere well to some surfaces like wood

Oil-Based Paints

Oil-based paints contain linseed oil and alkyd resins that make them well-suited for specific commercial applications. These paints are known for their durability and high-gloss finish. Mostly, they are used on commercial surfaces that endure heavy wear and tear, such as metal doors or exterior trim. 

In a commercial space like a busy restaurant, where surfaces encounter constant activity and potential impact, using oil-based paint on features like window frames or wooden furniture could provide a robust and long-lasting solution. The key advantages of oil-based paints are 

  • Slow drying time
  • Robust adhesion
  • Ability to create a smooth, glossy surface.
Advantages Disadvantages
High durability, resistant to wear and abrasion Longer drying time compared to water-based alternatives
Glossy finish for a polished and professional look Strong odor during application.
Excellent adhesion to various surfaces Contains higher levels of VOCs adding to air pollution
Provides a protective barrier against the elements Cleanup requires solvents.
Ideal for high-traffic areas and exterior surfaces Color can yellow over time and affects the appearance

Pro-Tip: To minimize yellowing over time, especially in areas with less natural light, choose light-colored oil-based paints and use them on surfaces that receive adequate sunlight.

Epoxy Paints

Epoxy paint is commonly used in commercial settings for its durability and resistance. It’s particularly suited for floors where surfaces face heavy use. It’s a mix of resin and hardeners, creating a strong coating. This combination ensures excellent adhesion to surfaces like concrete, making it ideal for areas that demand extra toughness. Epoxy paint dries hard and glossy which gives dual benefits: Strength and a Sleek Finish.

A notable example is automotive repair shops. In these spaces, where the floors are subjected to constant vehicle traffic, potential chemical spills, and the movement of heavy equipment, epoxy paint serves as a satisfactory solution. The durability of epoxy ensures that the floors can withstand the daily wear and tear associated with the automotive repair environment. On top of that, the chemical resistance of epoxy protects the floors from oil, grease, and other automotive fluids.

Advantages Disadvantages
High durability, ideal for heavy-use areas Professional application is required
Chemical and spill resistance Initial cost is higher than other paint types
Glossy and smooth surface Some types yellow over time
Protects against wear and tear Requires a clean surface for proper adhesion
Suitable for industrial and high-traffic spaces Limited color options compared to other paints
Easy to clean and maintain Proper ventilation is necessary during application

Consideration of Surface Materials

You can’t just choose a paint randomly. It is important to see on which type of material on which you are painting. Let’s explore this more. 


Concrete surfaces have specific properties that influence the choice of paint. One important property is porosity, which means how much water and air the concrete can absorb. Concrete is porous, and this impacts the ability of paint to adhere to the surface. 

Acrylic latex paint is a great fit for concrete because it bonds well with the surface. It’s also crucial to consider the frequent foot and vehicle traffic that a concrete surface will endure. Acrylic latex paint can withstand these challenges. Another vital property is the potential for cracking or imperfections in concrete. 

Before painting, a thorough cleaning and filling of cracks is necessary to ensure a smooth and even application. Additionally, applying a primer designed for masonry surfaces helps the paint stick better and ensures a longer-lasting finish. 


Metal surfaces in commercial spaces, like gates, railings, and appliances, have unique properties that influence the choice of paint. One main property is susceptibility to corrosion or rust, especially as metal can catch rust easily. For these surfaces, choosing the right paint is vital for corrosion resistance and durability. 

Oil-based enamel paints are a top pick for metal as they create a tough and protective layer. Not only that, but they also prevent rust and stand up to the elements. 

Our commercial painters in Dublin suggest preparing the metal surface properly by removing any rust, dirt, or grease before painting. Applying a metal primer is also key to helping the paint stick well. 

Pro-Tip: Opting for a paint specifically labeled for metal surfaces ensures the best results and long-lasting protection.


It’s not recommended to have water-based paint or latex-based paint on wood surfaces like decks, fences, and furniture. The main reason is the tendency of wood to expand and contract with changes in weather and humidity. This movement can cause paint to crack or peel. Woodis also susceptible to moisture and insects, which can lead to issues like rotting or decay. Therefore, it’s important to choose a paint that can work well with wood. 

Oil-based paints are a great option for wood as they penetrate the material, forming a protective barrier against moisture and insects. Plus, by repelling water, oil-based paints prevent issues like rotting, swelling, or warping, which can occur when wood is exposed to damp conditions. 

The composition of oil-based paints contributes to their durability on wood. The paint contains oils often derived from linseed or alkyd resins. It forms a resilient and hard surface as they dry. This hardness makes the paint less prone to chipping or scratching.

Painter roller in apartment.

Environmental Factors

Temperature is a frequent problem impacting paint quality, especially a few months after the application. Dublin has a temperate oceanic climate and at times, it can be too much for a regular paint job to withstand. 

Fortunately, when you collaborate with our painters in Dublin, you can expect nothing but the finest job. We recommend using Acrylic Latex Paint for the following reasons:

  • Heat Resistance: Acrylic latex paint is known for its ability to resist heat. It doesn’t easily soften or become sticky, even in hot temperatures, ensuring the paint stays intact and vibrant on surfaces exposed to the sun.
  • Fade Resistant: Sunlight can cause colors to fade over time. Acrylic latex paint is formulated to resist fading and maintaining its original vibrancy despite prolonged exposure to sunlight.
  • Mildew Resistance: Warm and humid climates can promote the growth of mildew on painted surfaces. Acrylic latex paint includes additives that make it resistant to mildew.
  • Flexibility: Warm weather often comes with temperature fluctuations. Acrylic latex paint is flexible and can easily expand and contract with changes in temperature. This flexibility prevents the paint from cracking or peeling.

Color Selection

A paint job is not just about durability. Presentation also plays a significant role in commercial paint jobs. Focusing on the right colors is important if you need to create the right image for your business. Consider the following aspects and how they are impacted by color selection.

1. Brand Identity

Consider the color choices of Starbucks. The iconic green logo and the earthy tones used in their interior design create a consistent and recognizable brand identity. The color green is associated with freshness and nature, reflecting Starbucks’ commitment to quality and sustainability. 

When selecting colors for a commercial space, it’s important to choose hues that resonate with the brand’s personality and values. This fosters brand recognition and a cohesive visual identity.

2. Purpose of the Space

Examining Apple Stores reveals a purposeful use of color. The minimalist and neutral color palette, dominated by white and light wood tones, creates a clean and modern aesthetic. This choice aligns with the purpose of the space – showcasing cutting-edge technology and providing a comfortable environment for customers to explore products.

When determining colors for a commercial setting, the intended purpose, whether it’s to inspire creativity, encourage relaxation, or promote focus, should guide the color selection for an optimal user experience.

3. Lighting

Different lighting sources, such as natural sunlight, fluorescent lights, or LEDs, can impact how colors appear. For instance, warm tones may enhance a welcoming atmosphere under soft incandescent lighting, while cool tones might be more suitable for spaces with abundant natural light. 

Testing paint samples in the actual lighting conditions of the space ensures that the chosen colors achieve the desired visual impact. Our painters in Dublin also recommend considering how lighting influences color perception and contributes to creating an environment that is visually appealing and aligns with the intended atmosphere.

Application Tips for Commercial Paint

To make sure your paint lasts long, our painters in Dublin recommend the following:

  • Priming Matters: Use a high-quality primer before applying the topcoat. Primer enhances adhesion, improves coverage, and ensures the paint adheres uniformly, especially on porous or uneven surfaces.
  • Proper Ventilation is Essential: Ensure adequate ventilation during the painting process. Good airflow helps the paint dry properly and minimizes the inhalation of fumes. Use fans or open windows when possible.
  • Apply Thin Coats: Instead of one thick coat, apply multiple thin coats. Thin coats dry faster, adhere better, and result in a more even and durable finish.
  • Surface Preparation is Key: Ensure the surface is clean, dry, and free of dust, dirt, and grease before applying paint. Proper preparation promotes better adhesion and a smoother finish.

Hire the Best Painters in Dublin

Avoid compromising on quality and skillset to ensure a long-lasting paint that also looks great. Since Custom Painting, Inc. has one of the best interior and exterior painters in Dublin, you should consider us for your next paint job. The best part? We offer free consultation. Contact us today at 925-294-8062 or fill out the form on our website for a quick response.