Choosing The Right Type Of Paint Finish

The basic rule of thumb to follow when choosing a paint finish is this: The higher the sheen, the higher the shine and durability.

In between flat paint (no shine) and high gloss (all shine) are eggshell, satin, and semi-gloss, each with its own practical and decorative characteristics.

Here’s how to choose the right paint sheen for your home remodel.

 

High Gloss

This is the easiest to clean of all paints. It is hard, ultra shiny and reflects light. Common in commercial kitchens with high moisture, can take a beating. Also requires more prep work as all drywall defects will show.

High gloss is a good choice for area that see a lot of hand touching — cabinets, trim, and doors.

  • Practical application: kitchens, door, and window trim
  • Durability: very high

 

Semi-Gloss

Not quite shiny as high gloss. Great for rooms that see moisture & grease. Works well in kid playrooms!

  • Practical application: bathrooms, kitchens, trim
  • Durability: high

Satin

A very easy to clean paint, that has been described as “velvety”. This paint can be tricky to apply as it will reveal brush strokes easier than glosses.

  • Practical application: foyers, living rooms, hallways, kids’ bedrooms
  • Durability: high

Eggshell

Between satin and flat finish is eggshell (essentially flat with little to no luster), this is a good all around choice for most rooms. This finish covers up wall imperfections well and will hold up well under moderate traffic.

  • Practical application: dining rooms, living rooms
  • Durability: medium

Flat or Matte

This paint has no gloss at all and is the most cost efficient of the finishes. It soaks up light rather than reflecting it. Can be a pain to clean, as it will sometimes take off the paint in the process.

  • Practical application: Adult bedrooms & closets
  • Durability: medium-low

 

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