The Different Types of Paint Finishes

The general rule you need to know when choosing paint finishes (or sheens) is that the higher the sheen, the shinier it will be. In addition, the shinier the paint, the more durable it is likely to be.

Flat paint does not have any shine to it, while high gloss is extremely shiny. There are plenty of options in between to choose from, both for practical and decorative purposes.

Here is some information from a paint store in Seattle about the different types of paint finishes to help you choose the right one for your upcoming job:

  • High gloss: High gloss is the most durable and easiest to clean paint sheen. It is hard, extremely shiny and reflects light. It is a great choice for anywhere fingers will regularly touch, including cabinets, trim and doors. However, it typically is too much of a shine for interior walls, except for in kitchens. Keep in mind that high-gloss paint will also show imperfections much more easily, so you need to prep the walls appropriately for it to look its best.
  • Semi-gloss: Semi-gloss paint is a great choice for any room that has lots of moisture, or where there tend to be grease stains. It is a natural selection for kitchens and bathrooms, as well as for trim and chair rails. It is very durable and capable of withstanding lots of abuse over the years.
  • Satin: Satin sheen has a velvety sort of appearance that fits well in most rooms, such as family rooms, hallways and bedrooms. It is very easy to clean, so it’s frequently used in high-traffic areas. However, application flaws show up quite well with satin paint, so you need to make sure it goes on properly.
  • Eggshell: Eggshell falls between satin and flat, both in terms of durability and sheen. Eggshell is essentially a flat paint with little luster, but it manages to cover imperfections quite well and is an ideal paint choice for rooms where bumps and scuffs aren’t as likely to be an issue, such as living rooms and dining rooms.
  • Flat or matte: Flat or matte paint soaks up light rather than reflecting it, which means it is much more capable of hiding imperfections. While it has the most pigment and provides the most coverage, which can make for financial savings, it also can be tougher to clean without taking off paint, and is not as durable as other paint options. It is most commonly used in adults’ bedrooms and any interior rooms that don’t see a ton of traffic or in which kids aren’t likely to be playing.

These guidelines should help you make your paint selection. What’s most important to you? Durability? Sheen? Reflectiveness? Coverage? Now you know how to make your choice.

For more information about the various types of paint sheens and the advantages and disadvantages of each one, we encourage you to contact our paint store in Seattle today and we will be happy to answer your questions.

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