A quality paint finish requires more time spent in preparation over application. Choosing the best paint, the right brushes, and preparation of the room, are the 3 main ingredients to ensure superior results.
Paint comes in 2 standard compositions; alkyd (oil based) or acrylic (water based). For interior applications the standard recommendation is acrylic paint for its quick drying time, easy clean up and minimal toxicity during application. The only exception is if the wall has been previously painted with an oil base. Acrylics do not adhere well and will often cause cracking and peeling
Choosing Paint Color
When choosing a wall color, buy small sample cans of your selections. Each color should be painted on a 2' square piece of foam core board. Position the boards around the room during different times of the day or night, to get a sense of how the color will change as the light shifts. Test color in natural light as well as with evening lamps.
The best type of brush to use on standard interior walls is a quality synthetic. Synthetic brushes will grab more paint, keep their shape during paint application and their tapered cuts will make corners and edges easier to maneuver. Smaller angled brushes work well for finishing around windows. Larger angles are good for your trims and moldings. To test the quality of the brush, pull gently on the bristles. Tug on the brush bristles, if several bristles pull out easily this is a cheaply made brush that will lose bristles in the paint or on the wall. Keep shopping.
Choose your roller by evaluating the walls surface. Rough surfaces need a longer nap roller (orange colored). Smoother surfaces will need the smaller nap (yellow). Testing for a quality roller is to simply separate the nap, if you see the cardboard core, keep looking. Also, "squish" the roller to see if it returns to its original shape quickly. Do not use foam rollers. These are best used for stencils and other decorative wall treatments.