Choosing Your Paint Finish

You’ve chosen your paint colors and now you have one last decision to make – what finish?  Should you choose a flat or satin finish?  Before you make that choice, here are a few tips to help you decide on the perfect paint finish for your interior home applications.

Matte/Flat Finish
This paint finish is only available in latex paint. It is the least shiny finish available and doesn’t clean well.   This application is not recommended for kitchens or any space that has high traffic.  It is a good finish to use if you have to camouflage small wall bumps, cracks or other imperfections for this paint finish does not reflect light.  This type of interior paint has a matte surface. This paint finish is usually used on interior walls. While some flat paints are advertised as washable today, you may need to touch up scratches or marks by covering with a bit more paint, so be sure you keep some on hand after you’ve finished painting.

Eggshell Finish
An eggshell finish has a very low sheen to it.  This option is very favorable to use in interiors because it provides a low luster, but does not exaggerate imperfections in your wall. It also cleans up better than a flat finish and can be wiped down with a wet rag.  This finish is a popular option in bathrooms, kitchens and other high traffic areas.

Satin Finish
Satin finish is the most popular.  It has a smooth, velvety look with a bit more sheen than an eggshell finish.  This finish is a good option for woodwork, walls, doors, trim, hallways, interior walls and ceilings.  It is particularly suitable for areas with a lot of traffic.  This paint finish is formulated to hold up to cleaning and light scrubbing.

Semi-Gloss
Semi-gloss paint is tougher than eggshell and satin and will show less wear.  It does reflect more light when dry so it is important that your surface not have any imperfections for they will become highlighted with this finish.  It is most often used on doors, trim, and cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms. It is easily cleaned and lays down a nice, subtle shine, without being too glitzy.

Glossy
A high gloss finish has a very shiny, almost reflective quality to it and can mimic the look of enamel or plastic.   It is very stain resistant and scrubbable.  This finish can be used for window and door trim, cabinets, furniture and walls if you are wanting a more glamorous look.    However, it is very important for your surface to be very smooth and even, for this finish will magnify any surface imperfection.

satin finish

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