What type is best?
If you have decided to paint, the next thing you need to decide is what type of paint is best suited for the job.
For woodwork, choose a semi-gloss finish, which is less permeable and allow for easy clean up of dirt and fingerprints. Satin finishes work well on woodwork, but in homes with small children where woodwork is susceptible to lots of fingerprints, satin finishes are probably not the best choice.
If your walls have bumps, gouges and other imperfections, choose a flat finish. Flat finishes reflect less light and hide imperfections.
If you want to paint over dark paneling to lighten up a room, sand paneling lightly, then wipe it with paint thinner or de-glosser. Next, paint paneling with an alkyd oil-based primer. This will seal rough spots and keep rough, wooden knots from being visible after you paint. Use a latex paint for your final coat.
If your walls have an oil-based paint, paint over them with a universal-based primer before you attempt to use a latex paint. If you apply latex paint over oil-based paint without using a primer, the latex paint will peel off.
Most people prefer latex paint because it is so user-friendly. Brushes and pans can be cleaned with water, and the smell is mild. Of course, oil based paints have their purposes, too. For example, they work well on paneling that has been previously stained or varnished.
Source: Bob Johnson of B & amp; J Painting and Decorating