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House Painting in Singapore

Designing our home is a fun activity. You get to customize your space to fit your personality or mood. One key aspect of transforming your personal space is through house painting.

There are infinite possibilities when it comes to painting your walls. There are different colors, shades, sheens, and textures. It is possible to have your creative ideas come to life.

However, house painting is not as simple as people think. You cannot just grab a bucket of paint and a brush and start painting right away. Once you visit a paint store, you will realize that there are many things to consider before you can get started and It can be overwhelming.


Once you start planning to paint, make sure that you are equipped with enough knowledge about the process. Part of the preparation is knowing some important terms.

When you go into a store to buy paint, you might be asked about the type of paint you are looking for or what would be the purpose of the paint. We’ve all had those anxiety-inducing moments when the store personnel asks us what we need for our house painting. Having an understanding of technical terms can help you convey your vision and get the right paint.

Here are some of the terms you need to know:

Primer & Seal

Primer is the initial coat of paint that is applied on the surface. The priming step is done to do the following:

  • Prevent moisture to reach the surface
  • Prevent topcoats of paint from absorbing into the surface
  • Provide adhesion to succeeding coats of paint

Make sure that the surface is clean and free from dust and moisture before applying primer.

Sealer is a specialized type of primer used to achieve a uniform finish on uneven surfaces. Sealers are commonly used on surfaces with cracks or holes that have been filled in by putty.

Undercoat & Top Coat

The undercoat is the first coat of paint that seals up the surface from any imperfections and moisture. Primer and sealer can be used as undercoats. When painting timber or metallic surfaces, an undercoat is vital to prevent water damage and corrosion.

Topcoat is the paint that you want to see on your walls. It is the layer that covers the primed and undercoat surface. For a clean finish, apply the topcoat twice.


Odorless paints do not have a strong smell that paints commonly have. The strong smell from the paint can be harmful. It can trigger asthma or even cause memory impairment.

Anti Mold

Areas with high moisture, such as kitchens and bathrooms, are prone to molds. Anti Mold paints prevent that from happening in damp surfaces.

Easy Wash

Easy Wash paints allow you to wash off dirt from the walls without ruining the topcoat of paint. This type of paint is recommended for spaces for children.


There are several factors to consider in choosing the right type of paint. It varies from factors regarding the paint itself to the environment where the paint will be applied especially when we are living in Singapore. Here are some of the things you need to keep in mind during house painting selection:

Type of Paint

  • Water-based paint
    • Water-based paints, also known as latex paint, consist of pigments and water-based binders. This is the most common paint option because it is easy to use. It has excellent color retention and is resistant to cracking. It dries faster than other types of paint and washes with water easily too. Water-based paints eliminate mildew growth, have low levels of toxic emission, and do not produce odor. 
    • You can use water-based paints over existing oil-based paints. However, be cautious because it may have trouble adhering to the existing layer of paint. 
    • Water-based paints are used for DIY projects and painting walls, ceiling, and floors.
  • Oil-based paint
    • Oil-based paints are made with either natural linseed oil or synthetic alkyd oil. It consists of pigment and resin in a solvent thinner. It has a smooth and durable finish with an attractive gloss. However, it takes longer to dry and cannot be washed with water. This paint also has a stronger odor.
    • It can be used for almost any type of surface. It is especially recommended for areas with high moisture, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.


Color is one of the critical things to consider in choosing the right paint because it is the first thing that people will see once they enter the space. Different colors create different moods. Do not be limited to the primary colors. There are many different shades that you can utilize. Different shades can also create different moods. Here is a small guide in choosing the right color of paint for your house painting:

  • Red
    • Red can be bold and dramatic or warm and earthy, depending on the shade. Darker reds create more drama, while rustier tones create a cozy feeling.
  • Pink
    • Pink adds a sense of femininity to a room. Lighter shades lighten a room, while darker shades creates more drama.
  • Orange
    • Orange gives a bright and fun energy. It also creates warmth in the room. However, it can feel overwhelming in large quantities.
  • Yellow
    • Yellow creates a happy and positive mood in a room. It helps in sparking creativity and encourage communication. However, just like orange, too much can be overwhelming.
  • Green
    • Green is reminiscent of nature. It creates a sense of balance and harmony in the room. Lighter shades are relaxing and helps in focusing and stimulate creativity.
  • Blue
    • Blue is a relaxing color. Lighter shades give a calm and serene mood. Darker blues give off a masculine feeling.
  • Violet
    • Violet is commonly associated with royalty. Darker shades add a bold and exotic flair to the room, while lighter shades can be calming. The color also sparks creativity.
  • Brown
    • Brown makes a room feel warmer and homier. It is one of the more versatile colors because it can be used for different interior designs.
  • Black
    • Black makes a room feel more sophisticated, elegant, and luxurious. It is timeless and chic. However, too much makes the interior dreary and overwhelming.
  • White
    • White makes a room look clean and pure. The color can feel fresh and modern. However, without an accent color or furniture, an all-white room can feel cold and barren.

However, this all depends on the style of the area you are painting, how it fits with the surroundings, and also your own personal preference.


Different types of paint have different finishes. “Sheen” is the amount of shine that a type of paint gives off. It is essential to take into consideration the paint’s sheen for both aesthetic purposes, but also because specific finishes fare better in certain rooms. Here are the different sheens available in the market:

  • High Gloss
    • Glossier sheens are easier to clean. High gloss sheens are used in rooms such as kitchens and playrooms, where the dirt can be easily wiped with a damp sponge. It is ultra-shiny and light-reflecting, which is why it is not used on interior walls like in living rooms.
    • High gloss sheens have high durability. However, it makes blemishes and imperfections on the walls more apparent.
  • Semi-Gloss
    • Semi-gloss sheens are a good alternative to high gloss paints. It can also be easily washed, with less shine. Semi-Gloss paints also have high durability.
    • Semi-gloss sheens are commonly used in kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Satin
    • commonly used for kitchens, bathrooms, family rooms, and kids’ rooms, Satin sheens have a velvety finish and it’s easy to clean. It is the best option for easy washability without the shine of a gloss sheen.
    • It has high durability. However, it makes application flaws like brush strokes visible. Touch-ups are tricky with this sheen.
  • Eggshell
    • Eggshell sheens have the best of both flat and glossy paints. A flat finish with no to little luster, resembling the texture of a chicken’s egg.
    • It hides wall imperfections and is easy to clean. It has medium durability and a smooth finish. Eggshell sheens are commonly used in dining and living rooms.
  • Flat or Matte
    • Flat or matte sheens hides the wall’s imperfections because it soaks up light rather than reflecting it. It has the most pigment and provides full coverage; one coat of paint is usually enough.
    • However, flat or matte sheens are hard to clean. So, it is commonly used in adults’ bedrooms and other interior rooms that won’t be usually occupied by children.


Durability refers to how long paint will last. Factors like UV light, water, oxygen, and heat cause paint to break down through a process called “light-induced oxidation.” Here, UV light triggers molecules in paint, which starts a chain-reaction of oxygen, moisture, and heat that breaks down the resin. The result is chalking on the surface or fading of the paint color.

A paint’s durability is based on the binder (resin) and gloss level. The higher the gloss level, the more durable the paint is. For binders, the most durable types are polyvinyl fluorides, silicones, urethane-acrylics, aliphatic urethanes, and pure acrylics.


One way to avoid the paint from chalking or fading is by adding a clear coat on top of the flat paint. The clear coat protects the layer of paint from the factors that can cause it to break down. Make sure that the clear coat you choose has excellent exterior durability and contains additives that protect the underlying layer of paint from UV.

By selecting a paint that has the most durable binder and high gloss level increases the chance for the paint to last.


It is important to take into consideration the material of the surface where you will be doing your house painting. For different materials, there is a different type of primer and paint that is suitable for it. Here are the recommended types of primer and paint for different materials:

It is important to take into consideration the material of the surface where you will be doing your house painting. For different materials, there is a different type of primer and paint that is suitable for it. Here are the recommended types of primer and paint for different materials:

  • Brick
    • Primer: quality latex primer
    • Paint: top-quality latex paint (second coat is recommended)
  • Ceramic Tile and Porcelain
    • Primer: top-quality acrylic primer
    • Paint: semi-gloss acrylic interior paint
  • Concrete Block
    • Primer: high-quality acrylic latex primer
    • Paint: acrylic latex paint
  • Drywall
    • Primer: top-quality acrylic latex primer
    • Paint: acrylic latex paint
  • Fabric
    • Paint: water-based paint (specifically for fabrics)
  • Fiber-cement Siding
    • Primer: primer formulated for cement and masonry products
    • Paint: top-quality exterior paint
  • Fiberglass Doors
    • Primer: acrylic latex primer
    • Paint: top-quality, exterior-grade latex paint (apply two coats; sand lightly between coats)
  • Fiberglass tubs
    • Primer: an auto primer
    • Paint: polyurethane-based automotive paint (use HVLP spray gun)
  • Glass
    • Paint: specialized paint used for glass 
  • Laminate Countertops and Cabinet Faces
    • Primer: primer specifically for non-porous surfaces
    • Paint: acrylic latex enamel (at least two coats)
  • Metal
    • Primer: an exterior-grade primer
    • Paint: paint formulated for metal
  • Plastic
    • Paint: spray paint formulated for plastic or exterior-grade acrylic enamel
  • Vinyl
    • Advisable not to paint because of poor adhesion
  • Wicker
    • Prime: a top-quality primer
    • Paint: exterior-grade acrylic latex paint
  • Bare Wood
    • Primer: stain-blocking primer
    • Paint: high-quality latex or oil-based paint (sand between coats)
  • Painted Wood
    • Primer: high-quality latex or oil-based paint
    • Paint: latex paint


The light source affects how the paint’s color appears. So, the color may not look the same when it was in the store and when applying it in your space. For natural light, the direction where the light comes from should be taken into consideration, while for artificial light, it is essential to note the type of bulb used.

To choose the right paint, here is how the room’s orientation affect the color:

  • North-facing rooms
    • The light looks cool and bluish. Bolder colors register better in these rooms, and lighter colors look more subdued.
  • South-facing rooms
    • The light brings out the best in cool and warm colors. Here, dark colors will look brighter, and lighter colors will glow.
  • East-facing rooms
    • The light is warm and yellow earlier the day and turns bluer on the later part of the day. Red, orange, and yellow register well in these rooms.
  • West-facing rooms
    • During the day, light produces shadows and makes colors look dull, while during the night, the light is beautiful and warm.

If the room has an artificial light source, here is how they type of bulb affect the color of paint:

  • Incandescent light
    • The warm yellow light makes red, orange, and yellow more vivid. It mutes blue and green.
  • Fluorescent light
    • This light brings out the color in blue and green paint.
  • Halogen
    • It makes all colors vivid. The white light resembles natural light, so it adapts better to shift from day to night time.
  • Compact fluorescent light (CFL)
    • This light can produce either warm white, neutral, or bluish-white light.
  • Light-emitting diodes (LED)
    • You have a choice if you want your LED to have a warmer or cooler color. There are also “smart” LEDs, which you can control its color.


When choosing the right paint, you have to keep in mind the room where this paint will be used. The paint you use in a bedroom should be different from the living room. There are specific colors that work for certain rooms because of the mood they create. Also, some types of paint, work better in different rooms because of factors like heat and moisture, especially in rooms like the kitchen.

Here are some of the recommended paints for each room:

  • Living Room
    • For living rooms, orange and yellow are great colors because it makes the room feel warm, happy, and friendly. It creates a cozy and welcoming mood.
    • An eggshell or matte finish is recommended because it does not have the shine that gloss finish has.
  • Dining Room
    • Pale and cool colors such as purple and blue are perfect to create a relaxing vibe in the dining room. These colors are also versatile for different decors for special occasions.
    • An eggshell or matte finish is also recommended.
  • Kitchen
    • Shades of yellow can create a happy mood while cooking or washing up. So, it is the recommended color for kitchens.
    • You could use a matte finish to control the reflective glare of the yellow color. However, for kitchens, a glossier finish is suggested, so that it will be easier to clean.
  • Bedroom
    • To create a relaxing atmosphere in the bedroom, you could opt for light blue or greyish-blues. Just keep in mind, do not choose colors that are too dark; it makes the room feel more enclosed and suffocating.
    • A flat or matte finish is recommended.
  • Children’s Room
    • Green is a good color for children’s rooms. It makes the room feel open and inviting. It also facilitates creativity for children.
    • A satin finish can be used because it is easy to clean, without having the high shine of glossier sheens.
  • Bathroom
    • For bathrooms, shades of neutral colors, light browns, blues, and greens are good colors to create a relaxing and clean interior.
    • Here, glossier finishes are better because they are easier to clean.


Another important thing to consider is the budget you have for paint. There are many paints in varying price ranges. Remember that high-quality paints will be more expensive, and cheaper paints tend to have a lower quality. 

Higher quality paints contain titanium that gives better coverage and better at concealing the surface. Cheaper paints contain little or no titanium and make for a thinner coverage. Three or more coats of more inexpensive paint are equal to one layer of higher quality paint. Another thing, brush marks are more noticeable when you use cheaper paint. High-quality paints leave a smoother finish.

They also differ when it comes to durability. Higher quality paints also have greater scrub resistance and durability. Cheaper paints usually come off when washed.

It is smarter to invest in a more expensive and high-quality paint because it will last longer and produce better results.


Many paint brands in Singapore offer a variety of colors and shades, suitable for paint jobs for home and office spaces. As more paint brands are popping up in the market, the quality of the products are improving. It is not hard to find a paint brand that suits your needs. Some popular brands include Asian Paint, Dulux, ICI, SKK, Kansai, Berger, and Jotun. One of the leading and trusted brands in the market is Nippon Paint.

Nippon is a well-known brand among expert and professional painters. The brand offers various paints with a wide range of colors and finishes. Nippon paint is usable for all types of surfaces, from wood to metal. Aside from paints, the brand also manufactures primers, marine coating, undercoats, binders, fillers, and other painting tools.

Here are some of the known products produced by Nippon paints:

  • Nippon Paint Odour-less Anti-Mould Ceiling White
    • Formulated with anti-mold properties that protect ceilings from most species of mold. It is commonly used in the ceiling of damp areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Nippon Paint Easy Wash 
    • Premium acrylic paint specially formulated for washability and resistance against common household stains.
  • Nippon Paint 3-in-1 Medifresh 
    • An anti-bacterial paint that protects from harmful bacteria such as MRSA, E-Coli, and Staphylococcus Aureus.
  • Nippon Paint SolaReflect
    • It reflects large amounts of solar energy and reduces the surface temperature up to 5°C, which lowers heat build-up.
  • Nippon Paint Weatherbond Algaeguard  
    • A high-performance exterior paint that can withstand rain and humidity while giving a lustrous finish.
  • Nippon Bodelac 9000 Alkyd Resin Undercoat 
    • An undercoat that has high opacity, commonly used over timber or metal.
  • Nippon Aqua Primer Sealer Undercoat
    • Water-based primer formulated with a special acrylic polymer, with strong resistance and quick dry
  • Expresskote Sealer 
    • Formulated with a special styrene acrylic polymer for excellent alkali and efflorescence resistance properties.