Paint is a powerful thing. It can take a boring room and transform it into something to wow the neighborhood! Or into something unbelievably painful… We’re going to skip over the normal technical and color selection discussions today and focus on a small but important piece of your painting project: choosing the right finish.
There are 5 basic paint finishes, all designed to work perfectly for different types of projects. Choosing the wrong finish can really make or break that final look when you put the brush down:
Matte finish has no gloss or reflection. This type of paint has great coverage and can be very useful when covering bright existing paint. It’s also good when you’re working with uneven or flawed walls, or if your brush technique is less than perfect. Matte finish is a big forgiver, until you’re talking about keeping it clean post application. This finish is pretty much a dirt magnet. And not only that, it is too delicate to scrub hard so the dirt moves in to stay. Good for ceilings and low use areas.
This is one of the more multi-purpose finishes and is widely used in lots of different applications. It has a little more gloss than the matte finish which gives it more durability, but not so much that you would notice the shine. Eggshell paint is good for just about any area that isn’t extremely high use (like the kitchen or the kids room). Anywhere where you will need to scrub the walls a lot might need something from one of the categories below.
There is a fine line between the eggshell and satin finishes, and it can be a little bit difficult know how a paint carrier defines them. But in general, satin finish is just a bit glossier and more durable than eggshell. This would be your choice for high use areas that you don’t want shiny. Good for utility rooms like bathroom, kitchen, laundry room etc.
We are pretty much out of the all purpose paint at this point. Semi-gloss finish is just too shiny for your typical paint job and is only occasionally used in high traffic rooms, specifically the kitchen and bathroom. When in doubt, choose satin.
Pretty much no one uses gloss paint. It’s just way too shiny for any room of the house and is considered a poor choice. Some of the only uses you’ll find would be in the accent department. Think cabinet trim and artistic uses to catch the light. It is pretty rare for this type of finish to be useful for your painting endeavor.
That’s it! Now you can start your painting project out right and know that you won’t end up with shiny walls distracting you from the beautiful interior design you’ve implemented. Questions or thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!