The product choices often depend on what existing finish is on the woodwork.
If it has been painted before there are generally three possible types of paint finishes to consider.
Oil based, Water based or a combination of the two products know in the trade as a Hybrid.
This type of paint does have a better finish with less coats applied, however it will turn a shade of yellow quite quickly, it also take quite a long time to dry and has a very distinctive smell when drying and for a few days after application as it dries fully.
Decorators that are not experienced using water-based paints will tell you that it doesn’t cover as well as oil.
For some this may be true, however due to the quick drying times it is possible to apply several coats in a day, therefore reducing the drying times. Although extra coats may be required the major advantages of using water-based paint is the finish will stay the finished colour without yellowing, the drying times are reduced dramatically, there is next to no “new paint” smell. Ideal for people with allergies etc.
These are crossover products that have been introduced into the marketplace to encourage tradesmen etc. to move from oil-based paints to water based. When there wasn’t a great deal of quality water-based products available.
In recent years there have been a wealth of very high quality water based paints made available to the decorating trade and in my opinion these Hybrid paints are now a waste of time.
There are varying degrees of sheen level to choose from, Eggshell has the least level of sheen and Gloss has the highest sheen. Satinwood has a sheen level between Eggshell and Gloss. Each finish if applied correctly will look great and provide longevity.
The trend in trim paint seems to have moved in recent years, as more and more people are starting to use Satinwood rather than using the traditional Gloss finish. I personally believe that satinwood gives a more modern, subtle and pleasing look. It also holds it white colour longer and doesn't go yellow/cream as Gloss tends to over time.
Obtain at least three estimates for the work, also ask to see a copy of their Public Liability insurance.