Choosing the right paints for your house painting near me comes down to more than color alone. The paint finish is just as important as the color – or maybe more important than it is.
If you think that choosing the right color would be enough, you also have to get the paint finish right. Suppose you’ve chosen the perfect color but, without prior research, picked out the wrong finish; it could derail your paint project.
To avoid this scenario, it helps to know the different types of finishes, why it’s essential to choose the right one, and where they’re used most appropriately.
What is a paint finish?
A paint finish is a texture that forms once the paint dries and how much light it can reflect off the wall, which is referred to as a gloss or sheen.
Depending on the degree of gloss, a paint finish can hide imperfections, provide protection to the surface, and enhance the overall look of a space.
The higher the gloss, the more light it will reflect – thus, the higher the shine.
You have to keep in mind some basic rules of thumb when choosing a paint finish. The higher the shine, the more durable it will be and the better it will repel dirt and moisture. But there’s a flip side to it – the higher the shine, the more imperfections it will show and the more coats it will require to sufficiently cover the surface.
Here are the different types of paint finishes:
- Flat or matte (0% to 10% gloss) – A flat or matte finish has the least gloss or sheen. Since it doesn’t reflect light, flat paint is perfect for masking surface imperfections. But flat paint is also the most difficult to clean due to its porous nature, and this is why it tends to show dirt, scuffs, smudges, and fingerprints more quickly than other types of finishes. You can use flat paints for areas with the least traffic, such as the bedroom or study room.
- Eggshell (10% to 25% gloss) – Compared to flat paints, eggshell paints have a slight sheen and reflect a bit more light, just like the soft look of an eggshell. While the finish is a low gloss, eggshell is more reflective than flat and more durable. Eggshell paints are an excellent option for any area of your home, from bedrooms to living rooms to dining rooms.
- Satin (25% to 35% gloss) – Satin is often lumped together with eggshell since both have a slight sheen. However, satin has a slightly glossier finish than eggshell and is more durable. Satin is also easier to clean than eggshell and flat. It is the most commonly used finish and can be used for areas with high traffic, such as a hallway and kids’ rooms.
- Semigloss (35% to 70% gloss) is more reflective than eggshell, giving it some significant gleam without being incredibly shiny. While semigloss is more durable than its less shiny counterparts, it is poor in masking imperfections. A semigloss finish is excellent for molding, baseboards, trim, banisters, and railing. Since it reflects a significant amount of light, a semigloss finish is ideal for darker rooms, primarily when used in light tones such as white, cream, and other neutrals. The reflection of light can give the room a more dimensional look and make it appear bigger. Semigloss does well in areas with high traffic and humidity, such as hallways, kitchens, and bathrooms, since it repels dirt and moisture better than satin and, therefore, is easier to clean.
- High-gloss or glossy (70% gloss and higher) – High-gloss paints reflect the most amount of light, pretty much like a mirror, making the color appear more vivid and bright. However, high-gloss paints won’t do well in hiding surface flaws. They also require more coats of paint than their less shiny counterparts. That said, high-gloss paints will give the surface a durable, shiny, and lacquer-like finish, giving it a striking visual effect. They also clean up the easiest. Because of their highly reflective nature, high-gloss paints are mainly used for trim and woodwork. If you want to paint your walls with high-gloss paint, use them for accent walls or smaller and darker rooms.
If you’re still in a dilemma on which paint finish is the right one for a particular room or area, remember that house painting near me experts have run a lot of “rescue missions.” Custom Painting, Inc. will happily do the same for you.