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Flat, Eggshell, Satin, Semi Gloss - Which should I Use?

Isn’t eggshell a color?  If I had a nickel for every time I have heard that over the past 20 years, I could retire.  There are so many choices in today’s paint world, it can be overwhelming what to choose for your home.  Just like the grocery store, paint stores are lined with so many different choices.  It is easy to get confused about what to buy, so how do you know what kind of paint you need?

One thing that you don’t have to really decide about is Latex vs Oil.  With all the changes the EPA has made in the paint industry, you can’t really buy oil base paint in California anymore.  And the very limited types you can, only come in quarts, and are very expensive.  Why would you buy oil when there are so many excellent choices in the latex lines?  You shouldn’t!  Latex paint has less odor, is better for the environment, and is easier to use.  Now there are still some oil base primers that you may want to use, but the future is already written.  In the next 5 years we won’t even be able to get those.

What sheen should I use?  Flat, eggshell, stain, semi gloss, or gloss?  Here at Brooks Painting we use eggshell more than any other wall finish.  The reason is that it gives you the most durability with the least sheen.  We use flat for most ceilings, it hides the flaws in the ceilings and doesn’t reflect the light like an eggshell or higher sheen would.  We use semi gloss on trim for the most durability, since homeowners touch the trim more often than other surfaces.

What is low voc or zero voc paint?  Using a low- or no-VOC paint will decrease the odor we like to call “that fresh paint smell”. While the evaporating solvents in a typical paint have not been shown to be harmful in reasonable amounts, it can be more pleasant to work with the low-VOC varieties. There are also fewer compounds that evaporate into the atmosphere.  Most paints today are required to meet the low voc label, and many more are simply making zero voc paint.  Sherwin Williams just recently switched their tints to zero voc, so now their zero voc paint will truly be zero voc.  It is the future of paint, and they are top quality products.

The next question is what brand of paint should I buy?  As a professional painting contractor, Brooks Painting has worked with almost every paint brand over the past 15 years.  Our primary brands that we work with are Sherwin Williams and Kelly Moore.  There are countless other brands out there, and that can be overwhelming and confusing.  One thing I recommend is buy paint from a paint store, not a big box store.  Paint stores specialize in paint only, and are the best resource you can find on products.  They also stand behind their products if something goes wrong.  You wouldn’t buy a car at a grocery store, so don’t buy paint from someone who doesn’t specialize in it.

More Questions? Your paint experts at Brooks Painting will be happy to answer any more questions you have about interior or exterior painting topics. As a painting contractor working in Yolo County, we bring our stellar service to you, so feel free to call us at 530-753-5074.

Our Promises to You

1. We’re committed to your project’s success

A lot of painters do the bare minimum, just to get by and move on. That’s not who we are or how we’ve built our reputation.

2. You can feel comfortable with our team

From the estimator to our office team, field employees to Crew Leader, we want you to know that you’re valued, cared for, and safe.

3. We’ll do the job correctly

You deserve total transparency, accountability, and exceptional work. No skipped steps or opting for the “easy way.”

4. We’ll stand by our job

Because we know we’re doing it all the right way, we can confidently stand by our work. We’re picky, and we want you to be 100% satisfied.

Most trusted painting company in the Greater Sacramento & Davis Areas

4.9 rating from 350+ reviews

Google Facebook Angi

My experience with Brooks Painting has been outstanding, and, if it were an option on Google, I would assign 100 stars to their work. Mark and his crew were exceptional in painting both the inside and outside of my Central Davis home. They were considerate, careful, and respectful of my furnishings and yard. Kristen and her office staff were also responsive to my queries and were timely in scheduling the work. Thank you Brooks Painting for assisting in transforming my house into a beautiful home!

Hollis Skaife

Mark and the team from Brook’s Painting are exceptional at their jobs. We recently renovated a 5000sqft home and they did all the painting. Their attention to detail and investment in our project is so appreciated, and we knew we were in good hands with them. The value they add by identifying issues, making suggestions and going the extra mile to deliver quality work and make sure we are happy with our home is such a breath of fresh air. I would hire this team and company for any future work in a heartbeat and can’t say enough how amazing they are!

Kirsten Martin

Bud was always available and extremely knowledgeable. He was always willing to go that extra step and also explain things thoroughly.

Michelle B.

Brooks Painting gets in gets it done and out! Quality job, great price. Touch base daily with a report on progress of job. It's important to have confidence in a company that works for you. Brooks is that company.

Jeff Allbright, Nugget Markets Corp.

Consummate professionals! We hired Brooks to repaint the exterior of our house, and they did a fantastic job. The paint looks wonderful, everyone was also on time, friendly, and respectful of our property. Exceptional communication through the entire process. I was worried about damage to the landscaping near the house (bad previous experience with another outfit), but they were all very understanding and the crew was super careful. Did what they said they would do with no weirdness, no smoking, no radio, and they cleaned up after themselves nicely. This picky customer is very happy!

Lisa Goodin

Another great job by Brooks Paining. they did a great job on our trim painting and siding varnish. They were very timely and considerate of our home and property. This is our 3rd time in 19 years utilizing Brooks Painting. We haven't been let done. 👍👍

T Thompson

Great job in every way- quality of work to customer service.

Debbie M.

Hiring Brooks Painting was an easy and professional process the whole way through, from the estimate to the completion of having my very high walls edged, where I was unable to reach them. Crew Leader Eric was prompt and super capable, which was a relief since he had to maneuver and climb a very tall ladder. He was also in the process of teaching a newer painter and I admired his positive and encouraging manner. In addition, he was willing to respond to my requests with ease. No regrets here! The edging looks amazing and only took 4 hours to complete.

Serenity Now

We would recommend them highly. [They] painted and did a good job. Kept everything clean and cleaned up after, very polite.

Muriel Y.

Listened to my needs and offered good suggestions. Customer confidence in value and quality.

John K.

I wanted to have my kitchen cabinets painted but knew that that was a job that required skill and expertise. I called Brooks Painting and the experience from start to finish was perfect! Everyone I dealt with was personable and good at their jobs. They spent time answering questions, explaining the exact process, and did the work precisely as promised. They even did a few other small jobs (repairing and painting 2 water damaged ceilings) to perfection. And everything was neat and clean when they left! And the cabinets – better than I could have hoped for. Esteban is a master craftsman who was meticulous in every aspect of his work. The finish is smooth as glass with no imperfections. I couldn’t be happier!

Christina Fotenos

The crew is as neat and reliable as the actual painting job and paint used. No boom boxes!! Cordial staff spoke English. The crew got along with each other and worked as a team. The actual finish is / was beautiful. We would like to use Brooks again!

Donna H.

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Residential and Commercial Estimator Corey is a wonderful asset to our sales team! Whether you're seeking expertise for a residential interior, cabinet, or exterior painting project, or you're a commercial owner or contractor in need of a quote, Corey is your go-to expert!

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Ryan Lowery

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Residential Estimator Ryan is a fantastic new addition to our sales team! If you have a residential interior, cabinet or exterior project, book with Ryan!

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    Why Work with Brooks Painting


    Our reputation is built on our painting craftsmanship and excellence.

    Prompt Service

    We are proud of our reputation for friendly, prompt service, and this positive attitude is reflected by every one of our employees.


    We offer a three-year labor guarantee for all painting projects involving one coat, and a five-year labor guarantee for all two-coat projects.


    Our priority has always been to deliver quality work, services, and customer experiences. This has led us to become the largest painting contractor in the Davis/Woodland area.


    Brooks Painting is a fully-licensed, bonded, and insured company. We also offer up to $1,000,000.00 in liability for your protection.


    We offer you superior value, from the materials we use to the quality of the services we perform.

    Schedule a Free Estimate